Foster Perlmutter response to Podcast


I personally found this report to be old news and not significantly powerful or revealing. In today’s society it’s common knowledge that what is going on at manufacturing plants in China and all over the developing world. It is reported by every news channel almost weekly with a new “Special Report” or opinion piece. Just as revealing, even if these exact events were not reported I feel as though they are assumed. The fact of the matter is most people are aware of these issues and frankly they do not particularly care. People are more than willing to turn the other way when it comes to how foreign products are made.

People give votes of confidence and it is already projected that the Iphone 5 will sell 250 million copies during the life span of its purchase. The only real momentum which would most likely stop this would be if the price point for the IPhone went from $200 to $1000. It is only at cost that I believe consumers would change their minds. So if Apple did do the right and paid their employees fair wages, they most likely couldn’t sell their products in the market place and there would be no Apple.

What the report does not go into and which I believes provides context to this entire conversation is if what life would be like if the factories weren’t there. Would people be unemployed? Would they be farmers? What would Chinese society look like without the economic engine which is its manufacturing and exporting sector? There is no guarantee that life for these workers would be better off without these factors and I believe this level of reporting is what is missing from the commentary on Asian labor and manufacturing.

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4 thoughts on “Foster Perlmutter response to Podcast

  1. I do have to agree that it would be really interesting to see what the Chinese society would look like without its manufacturing and exporting sector. A lot of people would be out of a job, and even though the work is excrutiating, it does provide some sort of income for those that otherwise might not be able to attain it. I’m sure you can agree with me too that the working conditions should be more thoroughly mandated. Evidence of this seems to come from the hundreds of cases of health issues due to working with harmful chemicals.

  2. I agree with you in that I believe the podcast would have been more honest if it discussed life without these factories. I did hear one commentator mention that for many, life in factories is better than the alternatives. Although that is a sad reality, maybe sweatshops are something we need to come to accept.

  3. I like that you point out the fact that if Apple did not manufacture in China, then their prices would soar and they would lose any edge that they have in the tech market. Not that they are particularly competitive (price wise), but I think that there is only so much sacrifice that Apple consumers are willing to make. If Apple products were made in the US under US regulations, then there is absolutely no way that they would be attainable for the vast majority of their current following.

  4. I enjoyed your point about wage increases and resulting prices which I haven’t seen made by anyone else in their blog post. Without these workers putting up with this environment and minimal wages, iPhones and iPads would exist at a price that the majority of consumers wouldn’t be willing to pay. Perhaps a middle ground could be found, but overall I’d say that for the Apple consumer concerned with Apple’s FoxConn plants, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

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