Should We Feel Bad About Working Conditions in China?

In my earlier post about the retraction by This American Life of their show Mr Daisey and the Apple Factory,  I referred briefly to the question of whether we should feel bad about working conditions in China when we use products made there.

In the ‘Retraction’ show, Charles Duhigg outlines that the fictional account in the earlier broadcast,  while being based on factual events, connected and exaggerated the facts in a way that was way beyond the standards of journalistic reporting.  Ira Glass, the show’s host, asks Duhigg the question “Should we still feel bad about working conditions in China?”   …

read more

Retraction: A Place for Truth and for Fiction

I posted this blog last week introducing the similarities between The Jungle by Upton Sinclair and a This American Life show broadcast in January,  purportedly about the Foxconn factories that make Apple products in China.

The very next day, on March 16th, in this show, This American Life retracted the January show because the main report upon which it was based contained numerous fabrications.

I had planned to write a follow up post this week identifying the many similarities between This American Life’s report and The Jungle; migrant workers, poverty traps, collusion between government and industry, …

read more

What are the Obligations of a Global Company ?

A two page article starting on the front cover of the main section of Sunday’s New York Times addresses why the US lost out on the assembly work for Apple’s iPhone. The article raises some important questions about corporate responsibility, starting with the implied responsibility of a company to create jobs in its home country. In responding to the jobs going to China,  Betsey Stevenson, the chief economist at the US Labor Department until last September is quoted as saying

 

“Companies once felt an obligation to support American workers, even when it wasn’t the best financial choice.

read more