Danger of the Mono-Culture

The problem with the media is not outright bias, but an intellectual mono-culture that fails to exercise the most basic skepticism when stories fit their narrative.

By the way, I find it likely that there are factories in China making products with household names for western markets that have practices from wildly unsafe to outright slavery that deserve shaming and boycotts, as a minimum, when discovered.

But I often find the discourse around "sweatshops" to be colored by weterners' middle class notions of what our own personal alternatives are.  "I would never work for a $1 a day..."  Sure, but your alternative is not 15 hours a day in a rice paddy with the constant threat of outright death and starvation for your entire family if one years' crops fail.

  • Roark

    Foxconn hourly wage - $1.78 per hour
    Tim Cook's 2011 compensation - $400 million
    Apple's cash on hand - $100 billion
    Cheap toys for the Coyote - priceless!

  • LoneSnark

    As China industrializes and these workers develop better alternatives, these workers and their now educated children will negotiate significantly higher wages. Coyote will cheer them on the whole way regardless of the impact it has on cheap toy manufacturing.

  • BlogDog

    They could make everything right if they changed the show name to "This American Lie."

  • Sam L.

    Howzabout early child labor in mines and factories? I've read it was better than working all day on the farm, and paid better.

    Got to consider the alternatives available at the time.

    Yeah, silly me. It sounds reasonable, rather than the favored "outraged".

  • IGotBupkis, Noter of the Obvious

    >>>> But I often find the discourse around “sweatshops” to be colored by weterners’ middle class notions of what our own personal alternatives are. ”I would never work for a $1 a day…” Sure, but your alternative is not 15 hours a day in a rice paddy with the constant threat of outright death and starvation for your entire family if one years’ crops fail.

    This tends to color ALL libtard positions, judgement of anything and everything, by modern, liberal-American standards without any consideration whatsoever of the economic context, the social mileau, any historical norms, etc.

    This is why Amerikkka is unacceptable for having had slavery, though it's much more the norm than the non-norm. I concur, in an ideal world, we should never have had it, but this ain't that place.

    This is why so-called "racism" in the USA is horrifying, even though Most of the nations of the Orient are far more racist all around, and that most other nations DON'T have a substantial racial mix. (Not in any way to suggest that real, true racism is **OK** -- it's just that no other nation is held to such insane standards).

    This is why the USA isn't allowed to police its borders, or to reject immigrants, even though EVERY other nation in the world does so routinely, most particularly including all the Democracies of Europe, who never ever get so much as a disapproving glance.

    And so on.

  • Dan Rather, Noted Journalist

    .

    Daisey, however, stands by his original storyline. "It uses a combination of fact, memoir, and dramatic license to tell its story, and I believe it does so with integrity,"

    See? Fake but True! What's important is the story! Not the facts!

    .

  • Not Sure

    "It uses a combination of fact, memoir, and dramatic license to tell its story, and I believe it does so with integrity..."

    Well, if you're going to make shit up (waitaminute... I meant to say "use dramatic license"... yeah, that's it), there's nothing better than doing it with integrity, I always say.

  • BJ

    Many in the media fancy themselves as such morally superior creatures that think they are in a position to judge others! I find this to be quite interesting, since the mainstream media is a cadre of hypocrites that truly have no real grasp of morality based in anything other than their own self serving values. I believe self aggrandizing megalomaniacs with superiority complexes would be a rather good definition of who they really are! They should really worry less about the spec in the eye of another and be more concerned with the 2x4 jetting out of their own.

  • IGotBupkis, Climate Change Denier and Proud Of It.

    BJ, you would find back articles from Dr. Sanity of interest.

    Try this link
    NARCISSISM AND SOCIETY

    The Doc was the mission psychiatrist on the Challenger mission, so when she talks about psychological stuff, she's not making shit up.

    That links you to a 3-part series on the Left's political narcissism.

    These links may also be of interest:
    Shame Culture
    I believe this (without stating it) shows an interesting link between the Left and Islam, in that both are shame cultures, not guilt cultures (see the article. Christianity and most of the USA outside of Lefties are a part of a guilt culture).

    I argue this since The Left acts constantly as though The Truth ties to what is said, not to what is done. This is a shame culture, not a guilt culture. It's much more primitive, repressive, and, on the whole, immature in general.

  • Doug

    @Roarke: for starters, Cook did NOT earn $400M in 2011. Cook was granted RSUs of 1 million shares, half of which vest in 2016, the other half in 2012. Cook did NOT see "$400M" on his 2011 W-2, you doofus. He has to stick around at Apple until 2016 to see 500k shares, and until 2012 to see the other half, after which the federal government will steal 35% of it and the state of California will steal another 12% of it. Why government feels entitled to so much of what anyone earns, I have never understood. If you want to look at "thieves and crooks," look no further than government, which sees itself as partners in whatever money we can make.

    SInce you're obviously ignorant about how stock options and RSUs work: they are designed to lock you in to a company because for whatever reason, the company really, really, REALLY wants to keep you around for a long time. In this case, for 10 years. Why? Because it irritates Roarke? Or because past performance indicates "this guy knows what he's doing ... let's do what we can to keep him here"?

    Your depth of ignorance is breathtaking. I would love to know which brand of Chinese-made PC you're using to send your screed to this blog, and how badly YOU feel about the ultra-cheap price YOU paid for it. Any guilt, pal?

    For my money, Cook is worth every penny of 1M shares of Apple stock. Put me in charge of the board, and I'd double it.

    Now if you want to whine and moan about conditions in China, tell me this: what's a gallon of milk cost in China? How about a gallon of gasoline? Or a months rent on an apartment? Please explain to me why you think someone living in China faces the exact living costs that you do in the USA. Come on ... I'm waiting.

  • Doug

    I forgot to add: $400M? Nonsense! At today's prices, it's $585M! The idea is for Cook to do what he can to drive up Apple's stock price. As an Apple stock holder, I want the price to be $1,000 per share, at which point Cook's RSUs are worth a full $1B. Go, Tim, go! As Cook does well, I (shareholder) do well! I hope Cook's RSUs are eventually worth $2B because it makes me that much richer!

    See how this works, Roarke? Now go back to sitting in the lobby of a BofA branch and bitch about how The Man is screwing you.

  • Doug

    Correction to my first entry: "... the other half in 2021." Dyslexia strikes again.

  • Bart Hall (Kansas, USA)

    By the same logic, people in Zurich would condemn the US for forcing its people to work at an appalling CHF 8 per hour. After all a cup of good coffee (or a dozen eggs) cost at least CHF 6, and a tiny one-bedroom apartment rents for at least CHF 1.700

  • Hasdrubal

    I would love to see a documentary that bounces back and forth between the sweatshops and the places where the workers came from (without romanticizing walking behind an ox pushing a plow.) Also, take a random sample of factory workers, not just the ones who complain the loudest. You can always find people to complain about their job, I work with people pulling in 70K a year who constantly complain that their $500 chair makes their back hurt; of course you can find people working 12 hour days in a sweatshop that have legitimate complaints about their job. I'm much more interested in seeing what the average sweat shop worker thinks about their job and how it compares to the alternate.

  • caseyboy

    Dan Rather, it is so good to hear from you. Why it makes me happier then a horny toad eating up a june bug on a hot Midland TX night.

  • Mark2

    I agree that we look at the world through our upper middle class lenses. Even looking at the poor in the US, the upper middle class types assume that all people are motivated the same way they are.

    But for these poor people in poor countries, when we get all righteous and tell them that their kids are not allowed to work in the factory until 14 - well what is the child / family suppose to do? Let the child starve to death so that some yuppie in America can feel good? In most of the world people still have to make very stark choices, and do not have the luxury to get that Engineering degree, or wait until 23, after the BS, and MS degree, and a year traveling through Europe until their children start to work. It is much more life and death for them.

  • Mark2

    You know what would get me really mad at America, if I were a subsistence farmer in 'Nam, and tried to get my 10 year old in the factory earning $1 a day - or even earning himself a bowl or rice to eat twice a day, but some good nick American stopped this because we can't have child labor,

    And then one or more of my family members starved to death. And we wonder why so many third world nations hate us.

    - Recent example: What do you mean stop growing poppies, what should I do to feed my family - are you giving me any profitable alternatives? No? Get out of here you Arrogant POS.

  • Doug

    Fact: the #1 complaint among Foxconn workers is that they don't get to work as many overtime hours as they want to. And with all of this attention, they are going to get even less of those hours. Too many lazy Americans (think "unions") think EVERYONE should be limited to 8 hours per day. Much of the world is content with a 10-16 hour workday, whether they like it or not.

  • Mark2

    @Doug, I get paid hourly, and I am kind of mad at my current contract assignment because they decided to stop all overtime this year. 16 hours days is a bit much, but 10 - 11, is OK for me.

  • Doug

    @Mark2: which is my point. Why can't you work yourself until you drop, if that's what you want to do? As Coyote says in his post, if it takes 15 hours in a rice paddy to survive, then so be it. American laborers are spoiled rotten, demanding that THEIR conditions be EVERYONE'S conditions, which is precisely why US manufacturers have fled the country. Others around the world are willing to work for far less and are quite happy doing it. For most of the people working on Apple products at Foxconn, they are making more money per month than their parents make in a year. As far as they're concerned, it's heaven!

    I'm salaried and paid a very good wage. But every now and then, we have to give up a weekend to meet schedules. This is all "off the books" hours, but given our very handsome salary + bennies, we're all perfectly happy doing it. No one complains. No one demands union representation. When my employer does well, we employees do well. I love my employer and do what I have to to make him succeed. Why can't others understand this?

  • Roark

    @Douge: OK, you've made yourself clear. The only thing that matters to you is how much you can stuff in your pockets. Fair enough. I'm sure you understand that this is what gives capitalism a bad name, and leads more people to embrace collectivism.

  • Not Sure

    "I’m sure you understand that this is what gives capitalism a bad name, and leads more people to embrace collectivism."

    You mean like where you steal the stuff from other guys' pockets that you want, but don't want to work for yourself? Because "it's only fair"? That kind of collectivism?

  • Doug

    @Roark: yes, as long as guns and bayonets aren't involved, that IS all I care about: me. It's called self-preservation, although the commie left calls it "greed." Greed is how we all stay alive, looking after #1.

    And exactly how did I "steal" anything? Stealing involves force. Capitalism means two parties agreeing on a product and a price. None of those Foxconn workers are FORCED to work there, as much as you like to pretend they are. Thousands stand in line every Monday morning begging to be put on the payroll, trying to replace the few hundred workers who voluntarily quit the week before. Where are the guns in this process?

    Please tell us all how these workers are being "stolen from"? I repeat: the biggest complaint these Foxconn workers have is that they don't get enough overtime hours. They think Americans like you are soft (I've actually talked to some). How'd you like it if Chinese activists were demanding that American workers weren't working hard enough and should be required to put in 10 hour days? What gives YOU the right to stick YOUR nose into THEIR business arrangements?

    The poor, unfortunate Foxconn workers are making more per week than their parents make all year down there at your beloved rice farm collective.

  • IGotBupkis, Climate Change Denier and Proud Of It.

    >>> I work with people pulling in 70K a year who constantly complain that their $500 chair makes their back hurt

    Someone's making 70k a year and their chair is crappy? Go buy a freaking chair of your own and bring it to work. Unless the company won't let them do that, they've got little to really complain about.

    >>> Let the child starve to death so that some yuppie in America can feel good?

    Yes, Mark, that IS the answer. I SH** you not. All that matters is that some dumbass narcissistic POS boomer "feels good" about themselves. There was an ABC 20/20 show a decade or more ago, there was some teacher had the bright idea to have her class collect money to buy the freedom of slaves in Africa. A casual consideration with any grasp of economics would tell you what resulted: The increased demand increased the number of people captured and sold as slaves. No misery was lessened, it was increased instead as more people were enslaved and mistreated prior tom being manumitted. Now, at this point, I'm not all that miffed about this, it's the sort of "good intentioned stupidity" that everyone can be guilty of some times when they don't think things through. BUT.... BUT... The news program tracked the enslaved people and showed the results to the teacher. When asked what she would do with regards to the program, she said -- I SH** YOU NOT -- "Well, it makes the kids feel good about themselves and what they are doing, so I guess we'll continue it." I just wanted to reach through the TV and bitch slap the stupid ho into next Tuesday. >:-/

    So, in answer to your question -- to an asshole liberal ephwit, making asshole libtards feel good about themselves is VASTLY more important than the enduring misery of a wretched foreign national.

    >>> I love my employer and do what I have to to make him succeed. Why can’t others understand this?

    Two words: Union Mindset.
    Two more words: Economic Cluelessness.

    >>> The only thing that matters to you is how much you can stuff in your pockets. Fair enough. I’m sure you understand that this is what gives capitalism a bad name, and leads more people to embrace collectivism.
    Roarke:
    HEAD {---------} ASS
    More separation is called for. Direct contact is no way to go through life.

    You don't want to work hard, that's fine. Take an easier job with lower pay. That's FINE.

    But:
    a) Don't whine then about other people who ARE willing to bust their asses getting paid more.
    b) Don't claim the right to take what they get simply because they have more, on the basis that you or anyone else "has less", when you're making that choice.

    A shame they've stopped teaching Aesop's Fables in school any more. Things that people used to inherently understand about the world are now amazingly unobvious.

  • Roark

    @Doug: In the conflict between collectivism, capitalism and the coming caliphate, only capitalism based upon values can compete. I know you can't see it, and I don't expect to convince you, but a corporation like Apple, accumulating $100B cash, paying workers $1.78 per hour, while relying on Communist enforcers to keep the wheels turning smoothly is wrong. Take the red pill, Doug.

  • Doug

    @Roark: Good lord. There are all sorts of government goons in this country who enforce USA rules to keep our wheels turning smoothly, too. This blog is littered with Coyote's tails of jumping through hoops to please endless government enforcers. Show me one "Communist enforcer" manning the Foxconn gates. You astound me in the things you see that aren't there.

    China has no national minimum wage. It's set by local governments. You can check it out here: http://tinyurl.com/3wt9534 Just about all of China's minimum wage is in the $110/mo range, or $.64/hour. Note that Shenzhen, where Foxconn is located, has a minimum wage of about $1.20/hour, substantially higher than any other local government, which is unquestionably due to Apple's presence. By your own admission, Apple is paying $1.78/hour, 50% above the local minimum wage, and about 3x the rest of the country! You want to try convincing me that the Apple/Foxconn relationship is bad for the locals? These are truly unskilled workers we're talking about, making about 3x the national average wage! Many straight off the farm, and a lot of still-unskilled college students. They are doing quite well. There's no wonder they beat down the gates for these jobs. It would be the equivalent of someone as dumb as you being paid about $25/hour in this country. And you're appalled at this?

    That $100B of Apple's is burning a hole in YOUR pocket, ain't it?

    Do you at least agree that your original post, screaming that "Tim Cook's 2011 compensation of $400M" is completely wrong?