Really, American folk. You have to give up elevating warped human beings to Mount Olympus (and we’re not quite talking about the camera company, although it might be apt to include them).
Joe Paterno? Please. And Steve Jobs, over whom plenty of really smart people gave weepy eulogies? Before you go on with your extended mourning and before you rush out to buy another Apple, read yesterday’s New York Times long, fascinating and enraging piece about Jobs (his name is bitter irony) and his company.
It says an awful lot:
[During a dinner in Silicon Valley last February with tech leaders and President Obama, as Steve Jobs was talking], President Obama interrupted with an inquiry of his own: what would it take to make iPhones in the United States?
Not long ago, Apple boasted that its products were made in America. Today, few are …
Why can’t that work come home? Mr. Obama asked.
Mr. Jobs’s reply was unambiguous. “Those jobs aren’t coming back,” he said …
Why not? Because Apple, a monstrously rich company, whose monstrous hypes about its products turn so many of you into eager little robots, upgrading like mad every time Apple comes out with something new— didn’t we all learn to parse promotion more wisely that this? — has its stuff made in China.
You knew that, of course. But what the New York Times makes clear, it’s not simply because China can produce things far more cheaply than we can. It’s because China’s workers are willing to be serfs on Steve Jobs’s plantation:
Apple had redesigned the iPhone’s screen at the last minute [after a Jobs tantrum], forcing an assembly line overhaul. New screens began arriving at the [Chinese] plant near midnight.
A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories … Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,0000 iPhones a day. [My emphatic emphasis!]
“The speed and flexibility is breathtaking,” the [Apple] executive said. “There’s no American plant that can match that.”
No. Because can you find 8,000 contemporary American workers who would accept these living and working conditions? For less than $17 a day?
“They could hire 3,000 people overnight,” said Jennifer Rigoni, who was Apple’s worldwide supply demand manager until 2010, but declined to discuss specifics of her work. [Why not? What on earth is she hiding?] “What U.S. plant can find 3,000 people overnight and convince them to live in dorms?”
Can this woman hear what she is saying?! Terrifying.
…The first truckloads of cut glass arrived at Foxconn City [the lovely name of the Chinese slave encampment] in the dead of night … That’s when managers woke thousands of workers, who crawled into their uniforms — white and black shirts for men, red for women — and quickly lined up to assemble, by hand, the phones.
So Apple profits off serf labor and has no concerns about it.
“We sell iPhones in over a hundred countries,” a current Apple executive said. “We don’t have an obligation to solve America’s problems. Our only obligation is making the best product possible.”
Please read the whole article and keep these statements in mind. If you find yourself as disgusted, as horrified by it as I am, stop buying Apple products.
And cut out all the public weeping over Steve Jobs. He is a false god, a two-bit huckster and an indecent human being.