Daisy vs Jobs

@RealMikeDaisy: Happy Halloween everyone! Last time I saw this many zombies walking around? #foxconn

@RealMikeDaisy: I would like to apologize for that last tweet. Did not mean to offend anyone.

@SteveJobsGhost:  @RealMikeDaisy I’m watching you.

@RealMikeDaisy: Finally got my iphone 5 in the mail, then realized its the same thing as iphone 4s. Threw it in the trash and powered up my old android.

@SteveJobsGhost: @RealMikeDaisy Boo!

@FosterAKAforest: yo @RealMikeDaisy I have an android they’re excellent. I don’t own an apple product. Please retweet me- trying to increase my followers:following ratio.



What does The Truman Show tell us about company ethics?


When thinking about ethics in pop culture, the first idea that came to mind was The Truman Show starring Jim Carrey. For those of you who haven’t seen the film, here is the trailer! The protagonist, Truman, is the world’s first true reality TV star who has been filmed since birth in an artificial studio world built just for him. Everyone he has ever known is an actor, every interaction he has ever had is fake, and he is the only one who doesn’t know the truth. Even the environment itself is controlled by the director, Christoff, who manipulates everything from traffic to the weather in order to get higher ratings. The staff (comprised of studio employees, technical directors and actors) go along willingly with every one of Christoff’s demands in his attempt to play God. Despite the fact that what is going on is clearly wrong, everyone being paid to work on the program goes along willingly (with the exception of Truman’s love interest as a young man who tries to tell him the truth). They abandon any shroud of ethical thought and listen to the orders of their leader. Continue reading

Paper one – Who takes care of ethics?

Although we have continually analyzed the situation regarding Apple and the Foxconn controversy, it seems to me that there exists a general lack of accountability regarding the case. Everyone seems to point their fingers at someone else. One vital question still stands out to me – who’s fault is it? Who has let this happen? Who is responsible for a corporation’s good or bad ethics and how does this affect the business decisions? I want to further analyse the scene to identify Apple as either a shareholder or a stakeholder company, clarify what this means and the responsibilities held by each associated party, and finally answer the question of who is to blame. Who has to be ethical? Who’s job is it to protect the ethics of a company?

Paper 1 Idea

For my essay, I would like to explore further the ethical issues associated with Apple and its factories in China, specifically Foxconn.  In the essay, I will discuss the conditions found in the factories and how they are ethically wrong and go against most American social standards.  I will focus specifically on stakeholder ethics and how Apple should force its factories to treat their workers better, since they are technically shareholders.  I will also touch on Mike Daisy’s expose of the Foxconn factory, its retraction, and the general reaction (or lack there of) in the US.

Paper 1- Apple

For paper 1, I plan on using Apple as a real world example to discuss the conflicting theories of stakeholder ethics and shareholder ethics.  I plan on focusing on the struggles of creating value for the wide variety of stakeholder’s that Apple has, and the difficulty in identifying which stakeholders are the most important for certain decisions. Furthermore, I want to investigate the changing ethics Apple has undergone over the past few years, the true reasoning for this change, and if they could ever become a socially responsible company to their core.

$65 per phone? Not likely (labor costs, fairness, profit)

The question of what is a fair return to workers for manufactured goods is a complex one in the details, but, often, a simple on in terms of gut-check ethics.

Valerie, in an excellent comment, on Nyein’s post, pointed out that the journalist (not an expert, but reporting on expertise) in the “Retraction” episode mentioned iPhones might be $65 more if made in the US.  That struck me as too high, so I checked it out.  Now, cost data on products is usually hard to find as it can be strategically important.  So, this involves a lot of guesswork.

First, an analyst, Horace Deidu,  made a good estimate of labor costs.

This leaves about 17 hours unaccounted for in the throughput time. Could this time be spent in labor intensive operations? In the ABC report the wage of workers on the line is given as $1.78/hr[4]. 17 hours of labor input would imply $30 labor cost per iPhone.

So,17 hours per phone. Continue reading


Foxconn Employee: Stop.  The Guards are not armed, underage workers are rare, and we do not use dangerous chemicals without the proper equipment.  These lies exaggerate our physical plight but barely skim the surface of our psychological suffering.  Foxconn is not evil.  They are not trying to maim us.  The people of the world demands innumerable “necessities” and this is the only feasible way to supply them.  It’s not the company that hurts us, it’s you.

Life is beautiful because it is spontaneous and unpredictable.  The world is filled with a never ending supply of knowledge that lies just out of the reach of our finger tips.  My life is work: tedious work.  I will never know the fulfillment of intellectual studies, the pride of building a career, or the simple rejuvenating properties of rest and leisure.  I assemble tiny machines that allow others to achieve these possibilities.  I work, physically tired and mentally exhausted, so that you can live a beautiful life.

A Foxconn Factory? Maybe?


Dorm Room Diaries

So here I am, sitting at my standard wooden desk, in my typical cement-walled dorm room, at my classic American university listening to the Daisy Retraction podcast from The American Life through the silver speakers of my Macbook Pro. Did I feel a little guilty when the original podcast warned me that the solution that once cleaned this beautiful Macbook Pro might have caused the hands of Chinese workers to shrivel and melt? Yeah, duh.

After hearing the retraction, that feeling of guilt has not disappeared. But it has been slightly overshadowed by a feeling of deception. Like I had been forced to feel helpless regarding the horrible events at Foxconn, forced to accept these terrible working conditions, and even forced to question my position in the world and my decisions in life. I may be a little overzealous in this reaction, but mustering words to describe feelings is a difficult task.

So, here are some of my original thoughts from the first podcast: “Let me get this straight – there were security guards… with guns? What is this, a scene from Prison Break? I think about even the secured French embassy in DC where I had to apply for a French visa for study abroad. They had a guard at the gate and my parents were forced to wait outside for me. But that guard was about as ferocious as a mall cop. But guns – guns evoke fear, even when I can’t see them for myself, or feel the stern eyes of the guards watching me as I pass though the gates.”

In reflection, it seems absurd. My reaction was clearly influenced by my personal prejudices as an American teen who is accustomed to democracy and red, white and blue and all that shit. We have this image of China as a communist nation and apparently it involves gunmen standing outside of office campuses. How would I feel if there were gunmen standing outside the gates of Bucknell, keeping me inside this little dorm room of mine – or maybe their purpose would be to keep other people out.

But anyway, who does Daisey think he is? How can he sleep at night knowing that he played off this irrational image and further solidified this absurd and over-exaggerated pre-conceived notion of how China is run? Or was his goal not to encourage anti-China sentiments, but instead to cast a dark shadow on American enterprise? Guilt, fear, deception. It’s all there. But what can we, as American consumers, really feel guilty about? Can the image of an armed guard standing outside a building on the other side of the world really induce fear? And did Daisey really deceive us, or force us to pay attention to what was really going on? After all, the truth about Foxconn did have to surface eventually.

Steve Jobs Interruption

Steve Jobs: Excuse me Mr. Daisy? What have you ever done to promote American industry? You think one trip to Foxconn makes you better than the rest of us? You feel able to pass judgement on American consumerism as if you’re not a part of it. Meanwhile, you sit back in your Hawaiian shirts made in China and gorge yourself on the fast food meals provided by minimum wage workers and have the nerve to criticize what I have built? I’m not saying that the conditions are ideal at Foxconn. I know its no walk in the park. But do I make the rules? No. Did I build that massive factory compound? No.

You say sarcastically “Its me against Apple. Who do you think is going to win?” You say this as if you are good and Apple is evil. If you are so good, Mr. Daisy, then why no call to arms for your listeners? Why not put more effort into making a change rather than just making a statement. By packaging, performing, and selling this little monologue act of yours based on their working conditions, you are profiting from those Foxconn workers just as much as I am.