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Fair Labor Association Finds Foxconn Factory "First Class," Says Labor Watchdog

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the versus-what-is-the-right-question dept.

Businesses 219

Richard.Tao writes "The Fair Labor Association found that Apple's plant where iPhones and iPads are far better than those at garment factories or other facilities elsewhere in the country. A quote: 'The lead investigator stated "The facilities are first-class; the physical conditions are way, way above average of the norm."' Which leaves the question, what is the acceptable norm?"

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219 comments

Foxconn and Apple (5, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39083791)

The Fair Labor Association found that Apple's plant...

It's not Apple's plant. They're the biggest electronics factory in the world and make products for Dell, HP, Nintendo, Microsoft, Google, and more. Seems like a Greenpeace situation [slashdot.org] where Apple gets singled out because it generates more media coverage. Apple has actually been cited as the most proactive when it comes to monitoring work conditions in the factories they contract with.

Re:Foxconn and Apple (5, Insightful)

ericdano (113424) | more than 2 years ago | (#39083861)

Why is this -1?

Why don't we examine some of the OTHER factories in China that do business with like, oh I dunno, WALMART? Or Sears? Or JC Penny? Or the GAP? Wonder how proactive Walmart is about working conditions where it gets its products from...

Re:Foxconn and Apple (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39083905)

Why is this -1?

Because this is Slashdot.

Where anyone not seething with blind hatred for Apple is marked as a "Fanboi." Who cares if Foxconn makes parts for other companies? Your facts and your logic matter not here.

Posting anonymously because raging Slashdotters would mod me down to -2 if they could.

Re:Foxconn and Apple (5, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084193)

No, it's because between we few honest commenters there are an active few corporate interests. It is what it is, because /. is free and open to all - even shills.

I wouldn't change it. If you like heavily edited well censored pap there are lots of sources for that. /. almost stands alone as a place where we can get our troll or truth on - as we prefer. In my experience there's a lot to be learned from both the honest folk and the trolls - and /. is the place to watch to see where the attempts at memes are going.

Re:Foxconn and Apple (1)

outsider007 (115534) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084073)

Have you been in a Walmart? People already equate them with large scale human suffering. Apple on the other hand has some real reputation to protect and that's good news for Foxconn workers.

Suppliers (5, Insightful)

phorm (591458) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084241)

Those aren't great examples.

The companies you've listed aren't really "product line" companies. Yes, they have some of their own (rebranded) lines, but their primary business is selling other people's products (Nike, Reebok, Guess, Apple, Nintendo, whatever).

That being said, I once knew somebody who worked as the middleman between a U.S. brand corp and Chinese manufacturers. Their contacts in the U.S. were ruthless and in many cases absolute dickheads. For whatever reason they could find, they'd slam the Chinese manufacturers with extra fees, penalties, etc. It became obvious fairly quickly that they considered the Chinese manufacturers a sort of sub-class... and the workers at said manufacturer weren't even considered at all.

It's not just Apple, or even Foxconn, it's big business in the west overall. Given the way the corporatocracy treats locals as an inferior subspecies, it's not exactly unexpected. So long as the majority of consumers buy their products with no consideration to how they end up here, that's the way it will be.

Don't weep for Apple. It's about time *somebody* noticed this sort of shit going all and asked their favoured corp an important question: "why?"
One can only hope that it will result in some improvement, and - as Apple is currently a market leader - that it will eventually push other companies to follow.

Re:Foxconn and Apple (4, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084275)

Others do worse, it's true. The measure of a moral man isn't that he hurt others better or worse than his peers did. It's that he did the Right Thing of the choices afforded him.

Re:Foxconn and Apple (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084105)

Sorry, but apple gets singled out because it has 50% margins and makes more money off that plant than any other company in the world.

When you want change you look to the most influential.

Re:Foxconn and Apple (4, Insightful)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084119)

They get singled out because they are by far and away the most profitable company and much of that profit is directly manufactured in that plant giving Apple far more influence over the running of that plant than any other company in the world. Apple has a huge margin they can play with and Foxconn would basically do anything to keep sucking in the profit that apple generates for them.

Re:Foxconn and Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084211)

Apple is notable and attracting attention. The Foxconn workers could use some better working and living conditions.

But this is China. The rules are different there. Applying your rules to a place they don't fit is going to seriously fuck some shit up.

Re:Foxconn and Apple (5, Interesting)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084249)

Oh, please. They get singled out because some guy with a better haircut than you said he loves his phone.

Deny it if you like but this 'they have the highest margins' rationale only came up recently, curiously around the time it came out that the workers working on iProducts are treated better.

Re:Foxconn and Apple (5, Insightful)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084259)

It's not Apple's plant.

True, but Apple gives them most of their business, like when Apple bought Samsung's entire supply of ram, almost half of the world's supply of NAND Flash RAM, for the 3GS. [appleinsider.com]

If Apple said "Pay them more, give them less hours and more time off or we'll go elsewhere" Foxconn would, in a heartbeat, because they have no choice, Apple is the majority of Foxconn's business.

I love my iPhone, but this whole mess really has me thinking twice about my next phone. If there was another smartphone that ran IOS and had a more "ethical" factory I'd probably purchase that rather than another iPhone, even if it was a bit more (10%? 20%?).

So, the employees are literate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39083803)

Over three weeks, some 35,000 workers will be interviewed about 30 at a time to answer questions anonymously, entering their responses onto Apple iPads.

They are literate and the best job available is a factory job?
Thats worse than India

Re:So, the employees are literate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39083855)

They are literate and the best job available is a factory job?
Thats worse than India

North Korea boasts one of the highest literacy rates in the world. Any idiot can get through secondary schooling, but that won't help them at all if they live in a shit country to begin with.

Re:So, the employees are literate? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084107)

In India, which is worse off than both China and Korea, if you are literate (secondary school pass), you can get a call center job, or a secretarial lob atleast.
No need to slog like slaves
If you are illiterate however, you are screwed and work in worse conditions than most of the Chinese/Korean workers

Re:So, the employees are literate? (1)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084413)

In India, which is worse off than both China and Korea, if you are literate (secondary school pass), you can get a call center job, or a secretarial lob atleast.
No need to slog like slaves

A lot of factory work is not too hard. In Australia, if you can get a call center job with no qualification other than literacy I could pretty much guarantee I could get a factory job with ok work conditions and higher pay from doing shift work. Probably more pleasant than dealing with angry customers over the phone too.

Re:So, the employees are literate? (2)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084231)

They are literate and the best job available is a factory job?
Thats worse than India

You expect something better than a factory job because your most marketable skill is your ability to read and write? Hate to tell you, but that rocket scientist job with NASA requires a bit more.

Re:So, the employees are literate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084285)

He/She's probably a slashdotter who has difficulty reading and writing properly and complains about grammar and spelling nazis...

Re:So, the employees are literate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084335)

You expect something better than a factory job because your most marketable skill is your ability to read and write? Hate to tell you, but that rocket scientist job with NASA requires a bit more.

but not the BPO and call center jobs
all they require is a basic understanding of English

Re:So, the employees are literate? (4, Insightful)

rossdee (243626) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084415)

"Hate to tell you, but that rocket scientist job with NASA requires a bit more."

I think the rocket scientists will have to move to China if they want to keep doibng rocket science. NASA won't exist much longer.

No way! (1, Flamebait)

Flyerman (1728812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39083811)

Is anyone actually surprised by this? Did anyone actually think they might say the factory is a pile of shit?

Re:No way! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39083849)

Is anyone actually surprised by this? Did anyone actually think they might say the factory is a pile of shit?

Well lets face it that thieving scumbag company apple is involved they could be up to their necks in shite and still be in good working conditions according to apple apple crappl shite .

This article is for Apple-haters (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39083877)

There's little of substance to the story. It was posted so that Apple haters could rush in, out of breath, and bash Apple for "slave labor" and other goofy crap. Slashdot is a Google/Linux advocacy site, and Apple is one of their competitors.

Re:This article is for Apple-haters (4, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084151)

There's little of substance to the story. It was posted so that Apple haters could rush in, out of breath, and bash Apple for "slave labor" and other goofy crap. Slashdot is a Google/Linux advocacy site, and Apple is one of their competitors.

I don't get how this is an article for Apple haters? An independent organization said that workers at factories that Appler uses have better working conditions than other factories and that the worst problem employees there face is boredom. How is that anti-Apple? I'm no Apple fan-boy, but the article validated what I thought all along - that working conditions in Apple's factories are no worse and probably better than in other factories.

Re:No way! (1)

JabrTheHut (640719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39083937)

Oh, dear, the fandroids have started early. I for one am very surprised about this. Apparently the conditions are very good for China, as opposed to places like clothing factories and toy factories. Which sound like hell-holes. But I digress. Down with Apple! I'd much rather buy a Motorolla or Samsung device made in the same factory!

Re:No way! (3, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39083955)

The outcome was known as soon as the study was announced.

This group is a industry created and funded "watch dog" group trotted out when any of the funding members need some independent *cough* observers to come in and put on a media show.

Re:No way! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084361)

The outcome was known as soon as the study was announced.

This group is a industry created and funded "watch dog" group trotted out when any of the funding members need some independent *cough* observers to come in and put on a media show.

Industry needs to up its funding if it wants to receive the kind of whitewashing you're suggesting the FLA provides.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-17/foxconn-auditor-finds-tons-of-issues-.html

"The Fair Labor Association, a watchdog monitoring working conditions at makers of Apple Inc. products, has uncovered “tons of issues” that need to be addressed at a Foxconn Technology Group plant in Shenzhen, China, FLA Chief Executive Officer Auret van Heerden said."

It seems more likely that we have two issues to address before we can draw conclusions. Is this a media frenzy, playing on confirmation bias, or is it the FLA being clumsy in how it addresses the public?

Re:No way! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084079)

Damned if they do, damned if they don't. Are you for real, or role playing in the popular MMO World of False Dichotomies? What do you want? The FLA to report finding a box full of baby skulls being ground up to make power buttons?

Jesus Loves Me, This I Know! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39083817)

Memorable quotes for
Looker (1981)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082677/quotes [imdb.com] [imdb.com]

"John Reston: Television can control public opinion more effectively than armies of secret police, because television is entirely voluntary. The American government forces our children to attend school, but nobody forces them to watch T.V. Americans of all ages *submit* to television. Television is the American ideal. Persuasion without coercion. Nobody makes us watch. Who could have predicted that a *free* people would voluntarily spend one fifth of their lives sitting in front of a *box* with pictures? Fifteen years sitting in prison is punishment. But 15 years sitting in front of a television set is entertainment. And the average American now spends more than one and a half years of his life just watching television commercials. Fifty minutes, every day of his life, watching commercials. Now, that's power. "

"The United States has it's own propaganda, but it's very effective because people don't realize that it's propaganda. And it's subtle, but it's actually a much stronger propaganda machine than the Nazis had but it's funded in a different way. With the Nazis it was funded by the government, but in the United States, it's funded by corporations and corporations they only want things to happen that will make people want to buy stuff. So whatever that is, then that is considered okay and good, but that doesn't necessarily mean it really serves people's thinking - it can stupify and make not very good things happen."
-- Crispin Glover: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000417/bio [imdb.com] [imdb.com]

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, CIA Director

"It's only logical to assume that conspiracies are everywhere, because that's what people do. They conspire. If you can't get the message, get the man.'' -- Mel Gibson

[1967] Jim Garrison Interview "In a very real and terrifying sense, our Government is the CIA and the Pentagon, with Congress reduced to a debating society. Of course, you can't spot this trend to fascism by casually looking around. You can't look for such familiar signs as the swastika, because they won't be there. We won't build Dachaus and Auschwitzes; the clever manipulation of the mass media is creating a concentration camp of the mind that promises to be far more effective in keeping the populace in line. We're not going to wake up one morning and suddenly find ourselves in gray uniforms goose-stepping off to work. But this isn't the test. The test is: What happens to the individual who dissents? In Nazi Germany, he was physically destroyed; here, the process is more subtle, but the end results can be the same. I've learned enough about the machinations of the CIA in the past year to know that this is no longer the dreamworld America I once believed in. The imperatives of the population explosion, which almost inevitably will lessen our belief in the sanctity of the individual human life, combined with the awesome power of the CIA and the defense establishment, seem destined to seal the fate of the America I knew as a child and bring us into a new Orwellian world where the citizen exists for the state and where raw power justifies any and every immoral act. I've always had a kind of knee-jerk trust in my Government's basic integrity, whatever political blunders it may make. But I've come to realize that in Washington, deceiving and manipulating the public are viewed by some as the natural prerogatives of office. Huey Long once said, "Fascism will come to America in the name of anti-fascism." I'm afraid, based on my own experience, that fascism will come to America in the name of national security."

Fair Labor Assoc. == Apple Shill group (-1, Flamebait)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39083821)

"The Fair Labor Association found that Apple's plant where iPhones and iPads are far better than those at garment factories or other facilities elsewhere in the country. A quote: 'The lead investigator stated "The facilities are first-class; the physical conditions are way, way above average of the norm."' Which leaves the question, what is the acceptable norm?"

Translation:
So the manacles are in better condition, they're punished with lifetime imprisonment versus death in other places, and the slaves are kept in slightly better conditions - but are still slaves given that one risks imprisonment or death if you speak out against Foxconn or the like.

So this organization is only a whitewash group for Apple.

Re:Fair Labor Assoc. == Apple Shill group (1, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39083865)

To be honest, your post comes off as over-the-top and fantastical. What are you talking about that they risk imprisonment or death if they speak out against Foxconn? Employees have been interviewed before. Their biggest gripes were the low pay and pressure to work overtime.

Re:Fair Labor Assoc. == Apple Shill group (2, Insightful)

WaywardGeek (1480513) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084025)

If any of them talk to each other about the possibility of starting a union, they serve 12 years in jail. I heard this from the source that started this whole Apple Foxconn thing... the John Stewart show. The reason we're picking on Apple is because John picked on Apple, and because they really do have the margins to increase worker wages, unlike say Dell or HP. Actually, it was a terrific show, one of the best he's done, IMO. The whole point was of course bashing Republicans on the campaign trail as usual. This time he was highlighting the common theme about making America a more "business friendly" place for corporations, something Mitt talks a lot about. So, he said let's take a look at the world's most business friendly economy - China! His point was if you take the business friendly logic to it's natural extreme, you wind up with a near dictatorship oppressing the people for the good of big business.

Re:Fair Labor Assoc. == Apple Shill group (5, Informative)

mariasama16 (1895136) | more than 2 years ago | (#39083871)

"The Fair Labor Association found that Apple's plant where iPhones and iPads are far better than those at garment factories or other facilities elsewhere in the country. A quote: 'The lead investigator stated "The facilities are first-class; the physical conditions are way, way above average of the norm."' Which leaves the question, what is the acceptable norm?"

Translation: So the manacles are in better condition, they're punished with lifetime imprisonment versus death in other places, and the slaves are kept in slightly better conditions - but are still slaves given that one risks imprisonment or death if you speak out against Foxconn or the like.

So this organization is only a whitewash group for Apple.

Not so. /. has the older story of the initial impressions by the FLA. The new one today (reported on by Bloomberg), instead says:

“We’re finding tons of issues,” van Heerden said en route to a meeting where FLA inspectors were scheduled to present preliminary findings to Foxconn management. “I believe we’re going to see some very significant announcements in the near future.”

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-17/foxconn-auditor-finds-tons-of-issues-.html [bloomberg.com]

Re:Fair Labor Assoc. == Apple Shill group (4, Insightful)

jamesh (87723) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084003)

So this organization is only a whitewash group for Apple.

It may turn out that that is the case, but if the only evidence you have is "I don't like their findings" then you might as well be talking about the fairies at the bottom of the garden.

Feel free to post evidence...

Re:Fair Labor Assoc. == Apple Shill group (2)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084143)

Naturally I say something bad about Apple, and someone modbombs it. My point was that Foxconn is a lesser evil - in that they only practice a subset of the things other factories would put upon their workers. Despite this, Foxconn still treats their workers with disrespect and distrust; going against the company is lifetime-shortening move as opposed to a career limiting move in the places that formerly did such work (e.g. the US).

One can find a ton of issues but they get swept under the rug when it comes to the final report.

Re:Fair Labor Assoc. == Apple Shill group (2, Insightful)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084263)

Thanks for translating. I'm presuming that you're aware of the manufacturing pedigree of the computer on which you're typing your comment, and that every component has come from a factory where workers have Western-style rights, working conditions, pay, sick leave, vacation etc..

I'm pleased to hear that Apple products come from factories where conditions are far better than the norm in the prevailing culture. I hope that standards can be raised in all factories. I'm pretty sure that none of the workers are slaves.

Yes I am, and it's less PRC than you think. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084349)

Some of my computers are old enough to where they do have the Made in the US label(circa 2000, at that). Same with the great deal of my components such as the keyboard.

It's not as if there isn't the capacity to manufacture in the US. As an example, look up the TAA (Trade Act) compliant models of IBM-era Thinkpads, where they were made to the same degree in the US that the Foxconn-built bits were made in the PRC. They stretch from when there was actual US manufacturing up to about 5-6 years ago(e.g. T42's, T60(?)'s).

What, already? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39083829)

They inspected them for less than a week.

Yeah, alright. That's one swell job you guys have done.

How about some surprise inspections over the course of the next 6 months at least?

Re:What, already? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084051)

This is slashdot. It's reporting 'news' from 3 fucking days ago because the editors gave up the freshness war a long time ago. This is something the guy said just as the inspections were kicking off. It's been attributed to prior experience with Foxconn and Apple.

Doesn't matter (4, Insightful)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 2 years ago | (#39083835)

I make no judgement on these factories. I have no doubt that I'd never, ever work in one, or let anyone I cared about work in one. At the same time, I'm not convinced they're not a big step up for the average Chinese person. Remember your history lessons? In this country (USA), we know something about horrible working conditions. Foxconn doesn't sound as bad as Triangle Shirtwaist Company, or any of the mine towns with the company store and wage-slavery. And people voluntarily went there just as people are voluntarily working at Foxconn.

The average work conditions have a lot to do with the environment. Sustenance farming was pretty miserable - is still pretty miserable, it's still around. There are still a huge number of people who would work in terrible conditions just for the privilege of a steady source of food (as opposed to fickle harvests).

This isn't to say we should get complacent - the moment we as a people declare the status quo "good enough", we've lost.

Having said that, there's a lot of people (many who will be posting in this article, I'm sure) that are convinced these factories are some sort of prison with forced-labor and the evil specter of Steve Jobs himself whipping workers until they're forced to jump. And that seems less productive than, you know, thinking.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39083935)

... these factories are some sort of prison with forced-labor and the evil specter of Steve Jobs himself whipping workers ...

I have never seen that S&M porn site. Are the workers cute naked chicks, rubbing iPhones and iPads over their well-oiled bodies during production? Please post a link.

Actually, a whip-wielding Steve Jobs video clip would be a good screen saver app. I don't think the Apple iPhone Store folks would let it in, though.

Re:Doesn't matter (0)

skine (1524819) | more than 2 years ago | (#39083957)

I'll agree with you that they could be suffering even worse working conditions. However, as you've already admitted, they could easily be better.

The problem with focusing on the fact that they are better than they could be is that you can justify practically any working conditions, so long as you can imagine something that's worse.

Instead, why not ask whether these working conditions are acceptable, or whether it's acceptable for the US to allow our companies to use factories with labor conditions that would be considered unacceptable if they operated within the US?

Personally, this article doesn't make me feel better about the conditions that the Foxconn workers endure on a daily basis. Rather, it makes it even more obvious that we need to answer the questions above.

Re:Doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39083975)

Just because the working conditions are "better" than most in that country, that doesn't mean they're good.
Nobody is forcing them to work there, but you're totally missing the point. These investigations aren't made to close factories, and make jobless people, they're to improve working conditions, because, regardless what you might think those workers are people, just like the workers from the western states.

Besides, there's one thing that everyone seems to forget, China is a communist country, a totalitarian regime. Whatever Foxconn might say or do, it's because some government official dictates them to do it.

Taking things out of context, will put them in a different light, but won't change them.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084045)

The average work conditions have a lot to do with the environment. Sustenance farming was pretty miserable - is still pretty miserable, it's still around. There are still a huge number of people who would work in terrible conditions just for the privilege of a steady source of food (as opposed to fickle harvests).

None so terrible a condition as those who work in the butchering of others. Have a guess as to what you might taste like, then consider than some farmers need not farm at all if they only decide to live off the fat of the land.

Re:Doesn't matter (2)

Tom (822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084093)

This isn't to say we should get complacent - the moment we as a people declare the status quo "good enough", we've lost.

Misery follows if you are unable to follow the status quo as "good enough for now".

Nobody said this would be the status quo forever. But change takes time, and the faster you move something big, the more friction you create. And if you move a country too fast, you can destroy it. Unrest, civil war, massive unemployment, runaway inflation, etc. etc.

It's easy to talk about change on /. - when you are responsible for more than a billion people, you ought to be a lot more careful.

Re:Doesn't matter (2, Insightful)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084185)

Foxconn doesn't sound as bad as Triangle Shirtwaist Company, or any of the mine towns with the company store and wage-slavery. And people voluntarily went there just as people are voluntarily working at Foxconn.

For having family in mining towns, and being two generations from one myself(on both sides), I'd say that Foxconn is worse. In mining towns of today, I'm not followed by representatives of the mining company's security company for entering the town, lawyers can openly practice against the mining company without fear of death or intimidation, the mining company isn't going to prosecute people that talk about their company, and people can buy things without having to be indebted to the company (such as with Foxconn).

The worst practices by mining companies in the US are saintly in comparison to any company operating in the People's Republic of China. That, and people in those mining towns are treated with a lot more respect.

Don't be fooled by the title. (3, Insightful)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39083841)

This article doesn't present any findings, and it's pretty clear the FLA in being interviewed only meant to explain who they are and how they will be investigating the working conditions at Apple's suppliers. The thing about working conditions is just a sound bite, no doubt taken out of context, to draw readers to what is really a pretty boring article.

Contradictory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39083903)

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-17/foxconn-auditor-finds-tons-of-issues-.html?cmpid=sfc

How does that jive?

Re:Contradictory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39083929)

How does that jive?

If you don't apply the same standard to both statements. "Way above average of the norm" in terms of what a Chinese manufacturer is doing probably still leaves plenty of ground for the rest of us to find something wrong.

Fuck this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39083939)

I bet its written by jews and chinks

Perspective, People (4, Insightful)

tsj5j (1159013) | more than 2 years ago | (#39083947)

Most people commenting about Foxconn have lost all perspective because they allow themselves to be blinded by Apple hate.

Let me explain why bashing Apple and Foxconn about this is so, so foolish.

1.) Poorer working conditions aren't exclusive to Apple's factories, or even Foxconn.
If you're trying to uphold your ideal working conditions on workers who create products you use, please take a step back and stop buying any product from any store. I can confidently tell you that all the products you use: your computer, tech gadgets, electronics, shoes, clothes, etc. are all made by workers in poor conditions, often even poorer than that of Foxconn. Instead of protesting against Apple/Foxconn, vote with your wallet instead of bitching in an online forum and feeling self-righteous after doing so.

2.) Workers are -happy- about their job and working conditions. It's you who feel unhappy about them.
Many workers are happy about their job and working conditions, in Foxconn and other such factories. These factories provide a lot of things (not just money) that they would never be able to dream of: a shelter over their head, varied meals, water, electricity, and more. Many of these people are uneducated and would be jobless otherwise. They need and are happy about these jobs. Your protesting will NOT IMPROVE THEIR LIVES. You will render them jobless (as you boycott these products and companies pull out of these countries) and effectively kill off their means of living.

3.) Progress takes time.
Most Americans have forgotten their past when there were still slaves, often in FAR worse conditions than that of China. It's been proven that a country needs time to develop, and attempting to shortcut the process will lead to disastrous results. 10 years ago, these people whom you claim to be working in "poor conditions" were starving because a drought wiped out their crops. Their lives have improved, and will improve as long as they have jobs.

Re:Perspective, People (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084039)

Workers are -happy- about their job and working conditions.

Yes, that's why they keep committing suicide - because working conditions are SO good they just can't bear it.

Do try to be at least partially honest.

Re:Perspective, People (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084131)

I'm pretty sure I remember reading they were committing suicide because their life insurance had such a good payout, and it would have been better for their families to do so. That was a while back now, I think I remember reading another story suggesting they were changing the policy such that they didn't get paid for suicides or something and that stopped quite a bit of them.

Re:Perspective, People (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084293)

As the saying goes - there's none so blind as them that will not see.

Re:Perspective, People (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084383)

It is you who are being dishonest. The suicide rate for foxconn workers is lower than that of China on average.

Re:Perspective, People (2)

molog (110171) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084061)

It still remains that the work conditions would be illegal were they done in the United States, and absolutely all of Europe. They are a step up over lots of shops in that country, but that doesn't change the fact that the hours the employees work, the benefits, and overall conditions are not acceptable. So they are the best of a crumy lot. I have the firm belief that any product that is sold in this country, I mean the US, must have been produced in working conditions that are of the same, or better, as mandated here in the states. And that includes work hours.

Re:Perspective, People (5, Interesting)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084175)

You make an extremely important argument.

The work that gets done now in China for Apple (or the other tech giants) used to be done in America, under American labor laws. Then the jobs moved to China, but they are equivalent jobs for American markets, so they should still be done under American labor laws.

Of course China has different laws, but American money from American consumers who pay for nominally American products should always get products made under American labor laws, regardless.

That leaves only two moral choices: either Chinese factories must raise their standards to American standards ASAP, or else Apple needs to be penalized (in America) for not following American labor laws while producing nominally American products.

Re:Perspective, People (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084353)

How many iPhones are sold in America? I suspect tha China is already a bigger market than USA for Apple.
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2012/01/iphone-sales-in-china-could-jump-500-in-coming-years-analyst-says.html

Re:Perspective, People (3, Insightful)

u38cg (607297) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084481)

And in the meantime the children of the third world can go die on a rubbish dump? Fuck you.

Re:Perspective, People (5, Interesting)

WaywardGeek (1480513) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084115)

The John Stewart show that started this whole thing stated some pretty ugly figures about suicide rates. Workers get a bunk in a small room with seven other workers they don't even know. Around high places where you could jump to your death, they've installed nets to catch jumpers. If you talk to other employees about forming a group to negotiate for better wages or working conditions, you get 12 years in jail.

China has people to spare, and not enough resources to go around. That's one reason why labor is cheap and may remain that way for generations. Here in the US, we have resources to burn but not enough people to make use of them. That's one reason labor here is expensive, and why some politicians want to make children of illegal immigrants non-citizens: this would create a whole new class of non-Americans, living for generations in the US with no rights, ripe for exploitation as cheap labor, just like their illegal immigrant ancestors. We're not alone in the world in wanting a large population of near slave laborers to do the hard work for us (seen any Americans picking strawberries lately?). Qatar, for example, allows citizens to "sponsor" foreign workers, who once in the country aren't even allowed to leave without their employer's permission, or change jobs or complain about working conditions or wages... Remember all those black Africans trapped in Libya when war broke out? This is typical of what happens around the world when bad governments allow exploitation of the weak.

If we can make a small difference through educating Americans about working conditions in the factories where our stuff is made, I think it's an effort well worth pursuing.

Re:Perspective, People (2)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084169)

If we can make a small difference through educating Americans about working conditions in the factories where our stuff is made, I think it's an effort well worth pursuing.

But when manufacturing costs rise in China, that just means that the jobs will move to a country where workers cheaper and the Chinese factory workers will move from crappy factory jobs to no jobs at all. Which is worse?

Though I guess I can't think of any other country where wages are cheaper while still having the infrastructure to support factories.

Re:Perspective, People (3, Insightful)

outsider007 (115534) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084537)

If you think the "John Stewart show" started this whole thing, then you too are part of the problem. This kind of pervasive ignorance of how the world works only happens in America.

Re:Perspective, People (4, Insightful)

Ardeaem (625311) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084125)

1.) Poorer working conditions aren't exclusive to Apple's factories, or even Foxconn.

Irrelevant. "Joe may have killed someone, but Frank did too, so don't complain about Joe!" Being inconsistent in your calls for better treatment is much better than never calling for better treatment at all.

2.) Workers are -happy- about their job and working conditions. It's you who feel unhappy about them. Your protesting will NOT IMPROVE THEIR LIVES. You will render them jobless (as you boycott these products and companies pull out of these countries) and effectively kill off their means of living.

The whole point of exerting economic pressure through a boycott is to make it reasonable for a company to change their behavior to get you to buy their products again. Nobody, including people protesting, want to put anyone out of business. Also, and you might be surprised by this, but China is an authoritarian country. There can be dire consequences for protesting, and so you think they are happy, but really, they are forced by the government to be "content" with their lot. We know that conditions at Foxconn's factories have been bad in the past. There's no sense in saying "Oh, but those Chinese, their HAPPY about it!"

3.) Progress takes time. Most Americans have forgotten their past when there were still slaves, often in FAR worse conditions than that of China.

Time is not the cause of anything. Progress takes time, but that's because there's stuff that happens in time, like protests, political pressure, inspections, etc. You think slavery just ceased to exist because we gave it enough time? That shows a tremendous lack of historical understanding.

Justifying evil by relative comparison? (0)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084199)

Many workers are happy about their job and working conditions, in Foxconn and other such factories. These factories provide a lot of things (not just money) that they would never be able to dream of: a shelter over their head, varied meals, water, electricity, and more. Many of these people are uneducated and would be jobless otherwise.

That doesn't preclude making conditions good from the start, and not simply good compared to the surrounding countryside.

They need and are happy about these jobs. Your protesting will NOT IMPROVE THEIR LIVES. You will render them jobless (as you boycott these products and companies pull out of these countries) and effectively kill off their means of living.

The same argument that was used to justify slavery. It got abolished, and peoples lives improved

Re:Perspective, People (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084223)

>2.) Workers are -happy- about their job and working conditions. It's you who feel unhappy about them.

Yeah, and they happily commit suicide. Probably other workers also commit suicide, but this is what we hear about.

Re:Perspective, People (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084581)

1) You are right that Apple isn't the only one responsible, but Apple has the money to make a difference. Just because you buy only the stuff that's made under horrible circumstances, doesn't mean we all do, so stop talking as if we all are like you. I'll give you one example (but there are plenty more). In The Netherlands all major stores agreed to stop selling cheap chocolate letters for Sinterklaas and have them all agree they would only sell chocolate letters from fair trade chocolate. http://www.oxfamnovib.nl/pure-chocolade.html
Don't forget that companies like Nike and Adidas have been pressured to keep an eye on their factories, so campaigning can make a difference.

2) You sound like factory owner from a hundred years ago. It has been a hard struggle to form unions and improve the circumstances for the people in factories. Our protesting can actually improve their lives, but the growth of China might slow down a bit. There's no real need for China to grow like crazy, no matter what the human cost.

3) Progress takes time, but that doesn't mean that they have to make the same mistakes again. When the industrial revolution started, we didn't have any examples and we didn't know where we were heading, or where we wanted to go. I would assume the Chinese could have looked abroad and see examples and know where they want to go. Their lives have improved from a money point a view, but are they really happier now? Judging from the people that jumped from the roofs, it's not so clear. When people die because of natural disaster, that's very sad. When people die because of suicide, I think there's something wrong.

White Opinions on Taiwanese Factory in Guangdong (5, Insightful)

retroworks (652802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39083961)

Have been there. This factory is way beyond garment factories in terms of attractiveness. The Shenzhen campus, which has about 600k employees, makes not just Apple but HTC, Sony, Panasonic, you-name-it. They are owned by Taiwan, employ management from Hong Kong, employ Cantonese labor , and are governed by Mandarin communist party staff. They are ISO certified. There are so many reasons to run this factory right, it's kind of surprising that activists who are really concerned would pick on a factory like this in the first place, as opposed to say the garment industry in Guangdong. http://www.greenpeace.org/eastasia/press/releases/toxics/2010/textile-industrial-pollution/ [greenpeace.org] My theory is that White People have their own "ju ju" words. Like Cameroonians who are scared to death of owls, environmentalists have an exaggerated sense of risk when something is technological and involves anything with toxics. A lot of cognitive risk dissonance over high tech and brown people. Personally, I think it's kind of cool that the Taiwanese, Hong Kong, Japanese, Communists, etc. get along here and run a factory that produces the coolest gadgets ever produced by humans. At the rate they have grown, I'm sure the auditor will find lots of violations. But the headline is accurate... the auditor knows within a few hours that they are NOT in the textile hell-hole up the river, or the smelter, or the copper mine.

Re:White Opinions on Taiwanese Factory in Guangdon (1)

superflit (1193931) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084127)

No.... That is not the reason they pick apple to slur...

The real reason is because the 'labor' people and NGO will start to CHARGE apple and others to have some 'certification'.

It is like a Mafia....

'If you do not pay us....people will think bad things about you....'

That is the main reason...

Not that they care about someone in a third world country.

Re:White Opinions on Taiwanese Factory in Guangdon (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084297)

They are owned by Taiwan, employ management from Hong Kong, employ Cantonese labor , and are governed by Mandarin communist party staff.

Makes it easy for the mainlanders to be divided against each other, much like how their military brought in troops from the countryside for the 1989 massacre.

Re:White Opinions on Taiwanese Factory in Guangdon (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084463)

environmentalists have an exaggerated sense of risk when something is technological and involves anything with toxics

Yeah, those poor little stupid environmentalists. We real men on the other hand know that toxins are good for you and me and all news about them is alarmism and socialism. Our pure and shiny gadgets must not be related to anything naughty...

Labor (2)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 2 years ago | (#39083971)

Everything has been better when trade unions existed and they had power and really were protecting labors rights.
And that is socialism. But after the capitalism came, they have been hunted down or limited their power so corporations can rip everyone off as much as they want and because competition the products quality has gone down as well while amount of workers kept minimum.

In China, so many such strong trade unions did not exist. And same problem is on many other countries, so no wonder capitalistic corporations goes where they can hijack peoples rights and possibilities better.

Re:Labor (2)

u38cg (607297) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084501)

*really?* I remember what industry used to look like - in the first world - back in the heyday of the trade union. Health and safety didn't exist. Good luck if you were black, or Jewish, or gay, or female. If you fell out with the union rep, you were on your own. And in the meantime, you were being tapped for union dues that went to fund a party espousing some of the most fucked-up economic policies the UK ever saw.

What creates better conditions for workers is economic progress, so that workers don't have to go and work in a paper mill where they lose fingers as a matter of routine, or a shipyard where workers fell from gantries every week.

Can we check our sources, please? (1, Informative)

j_f_chamblee (253315) | more than 2 years ago | (#39083985)

The Reuters article is just one of a couple following the F.L.A.'s inspection of the Foxconn Plant. There is a slightly longer, but much more critical article by the New York Times [nytimes.com]. Looks as if /. editor's are doing is some editorializing of their own, too. From the "what-is-the-right-question" department, eh? How about from the "now-we-are-shilling-for-apple" department?

Re:Can we check our sources, please? (1)

arose (644256) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084453)

“I was very surprised when I walked onto the floor at Foxconn, how tranquil it is compared with a garment factory,” Mr. van Heerden said, according to the Reuters report.

You would expect that in a place where things are assembled completely by hand and the employees aren't allowed to talk. Whether that makes it a good environment is a different question.

Mike Daisey in China, talking about working life (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084047)

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/454/mr-daisey-and-the-apple-factory [thisamericanlife.org]
An on topic story of working, the factory, what you can have made and the reality of the production lines .
Many cheap hands are cheaper than robots.

Re:Mike Daisey in China, talking about working lif (2)

retroworks (652802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084109)

But why then is Foxconn converting to robots? REUTERS "Foxconn to rely more on robots; could use 1 million in 3 years" http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/01/us-foxconn-robots-idUSTRE77016B20110801 [reuters.com]

Re:Mike Daisey in China, talking about working lif (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084543)

Listen to the show, its a simple reason why you use human hands :) - cost.
As the work becomes more complex and the cost per unit goes up, robots will be needed, until then that tech device will be done by humans in many very small, fine steps.
China gets export cash and pays its locals in its own currency - just enough for food, some basic shelter and a few extras.
So at this time the cost of local humans vs importing robots may not add up. If China can make its own robots and use them with less cash flowing out to import older production lines, expensive skills and long term more imported parts - that will be interesting.
Why waste cash until the products get extra complex or human hands get too expensive in China.

Suicide nets vs. suicide booths? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084103)

One of these options is painless, which one did Foxconn choose?

turd sniffing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084165)

Oh, this one is much better than the others.

Nobody Cares (1)

Mr. Lwanga (872401) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084209)

Apple isn't going to lean to hard on its suppliers, its all about the bottom line. After this drops off the news cycle, people will go back to 'Thinking Different' and not caring where their bright and shiny gadgets come from. Shareholders only care about profitability, not human welfare. As long as Apple keeps on producing the next iWant, workers in the cheap labor producing countries are out of luck.

The Fair Labor Assn is anything but (5, Informative)

RandCraw (1047302) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084219)

CNN has a nice article that puts "The Fair Labor Association" in proper perspective:

"Apple's major move has been to announce that it has joined an organization called the Fair Labor Association, which will "audit" Apple's factories. According to Apple, the Fair Labor Association is an independent watchdog that will work tenaciously to hold Apple and its suppliers accountable.

Unfortunately, while there are some fine people at the association, the organization is not the independent watchdog Apple claims it to be. Indeed, most of its money -- millions of dollars per year -- comes from the very companies whose labor practices it is supposed to scrutinize. Although Apple has not disclosed its financial relationship with the Fair Labor Association, it is likely now the organization's largest funder. Moreover, on the association's board of directors sit executives of major corporations such as Nike, Adidas and agribusiness giant Syngenta. The job of these executives is to represent the interests of other member companies, such as Apple. Under the Fair Labor Association's rules, the company representatives on the board exercise veto power over major decisions."

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/02/17/opinion/nova-apple-foxconn/index.html/ [cnn.com]

Re:The Fair Labor Assn is anything but (2)

jdogalt (961241) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084337)

this link might work better-

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/02/17/opinion/nova-apple-foxconn/ [cnn.com]

Also, my $0.02 on the China government apologists- it's all about the free speech/press. Without that, any corporate working condition reporting lacks credibility. I.e. the above comment 'now how about random inspections over a period of 6 months'. Though I went to the trouble of posting the fixed link because that piece covers that issue pretty well (see aluminum dust explosion issue).

I'm certainly guilty of being a Foxconn/Apple hater, and agree that propogandists like myself are only singling that pair out due to the predicted higher effectiveness of that tactic, versus going after clothing companies, that people gave up caring much about long long ago. But with apple's high profile ipad success, and Jon Stewart's highlighting the Foxconn suicide net issue repeatedly, and it is clear that as unfairly unrepresentative as this example is, it is the one that is resonating with the public the best. To be honest, it's probably all about the Foxconn suicide nets. Nothing makes one look as evil as a slaver, as putting suicide nets outside your factory. Argue your bizarre, and perhaps even correct ethics you want, but that's not going to let up, until I suspect they take down the suicide nets, perhaps after more fully securing all the windows and roof access.

Apple's fraud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084251)

This audit was done by a company Apple hired to whitewash their PR problems. This is not an independent audit.

Superior working conditions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084283)

Instead of the industry standard 4 hours of sleep Foxconn employees get 5 or 6 hours of sleep on Chinese New Years and Mao's birthday. They also receive two bowls of rice instead of one. If they are awoken early they get an extra cup of tea and biscuit before working an extra 12 hour shift.

The point is being better than the rest doesn't mean good. It's like the line out of the Two Jakes where he says "in this town I'm the leper with the most fingers".

The acceptable norm is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084289)

Whatever they'll allow themselves to be whipped for. If it's abuse they should revolt. If it's agreed-upon business they should continue and rejoice that the machine is leading them toward their ends.

Obviously, that's what free market does (0, Flamebait)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084291)

Government regulations and laws do the opposite of what free market does. Free market improves everybody's conditions, government deteriorates everybody's conditions.

Free market makes everybody wealthier by providing products, services that people WANT to pay for enough that it creates profit. Free market provides investment opportunities, wages and even taxes.

Government does not provide products and services that people WANT to pay for, it take upon itself to IMPOSE various ideas on what products and services should be forced onto people with the threat of violence. Government is theoretically 'non-profit', but there are plenty of individuals and corporations that make huge profits by using government violence. Government TAKES taxes, government DESTROYS investment opportunities.

Free market pulls the average living standard up but in doing so it allows some people to get WAY above average - thus income inequality will always be there with free market but so will increase of wealth.

Government pulls the average living standard down, it pretends that in doing so it will create 'income equality', while in reality the only equality that is created is equality of poverty and the real change is that the people who still get huge disproportionate income are not those who produce products and services that market wants to buy, but instead those, who are the most connected to the government and can STEAL THE MOST with government threat of violence.

Re:Obviously, that's what free market does (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084363)

Another Ayn Rand victim.

Re:Obviously, that's what free market does (0, Troll)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084439)

First: what an "argument"!

Second: I just read [slashdot.org] Rand's [slashdot.org] work [slashdot.org], started a couple of weeks ago and posted the reviews (thus those links).

I've been posting here, on /., for about 11 maybe 12 years. I don't think I need to dig out 12 years worth of various comments [slashdot.org], all one needs to do is look at my journal to understand that I never needed Rand's books to think what I think.

I am not a 'victim of Ayn Rand', I am a product of the world. The world, that is ran by stupid people.

You see, it is stupidity that runs the world. When Ponzi ran his scam, it was stupidity, gullibility, the wrong type of greed as well, that let people buy into his scam and then those very stupid people that lost their money (but it's a tiny fraction of all people) pushed for more 'regulations' and 'laws', and thus more distortion of the economy by threat of violence from government, which always helps government to grow some more and steal some more.

Stupidity rules the world and as long as it happens, there will be real con artists, and they will not be in free market, where con artists are eventually found out, their scams eventually fall apart and people stop wasting their money.

Government ponzi scams are found out, but it doesn't mean that the scam stops, because there is threat of government violence that keeps the scam going. The government mandates that the scam must go on, and that's how it works, be it in SS [slashdot.org] or money itself [slashdot.org].

Re:Obviously, that's what free market does (1)

starworks5 (139327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084513)

your so completely full of shit, you should go to school and learn something about economics, instead of spouting off that laissez faire nonsense. It's kind of your fault that you listen to such rhetoric, which often appeals to idealistic notions, but lacks the rigor of a proper education.

more specifically look up "externalities", or "hoover dam".

"he who has the gold makes the rules", power creates money money creates power. money can even create governments, like the late 19th century mining towns or saudi royal family.

capitalism runs off of a positive feedback loops, until the feedback loop destroys itself, which is why regulation is required.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZ7LzE3u7Bw

if you have a EDU account, look up some agent based computational economics, (agents with resource mobility and foresight win) (distributed networks less efficient at the calculation problem than centralized systems)

anyways, im up late because im in pain, from having had an ulcer today, otherwise i would go into more depth. But please stop pretending your an expert on this , until you've decided to spend a few years learning and practicing it.

Re:Obviously, that's what free market does (2)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084545)

your so completely full of shit, you should go to school and learn something about economics, instead of spouting off that laissez faire nonsense. It's kind of your fault that you listen to such rhetoric, which often appeals to idealistic notions, but lacks the rigor of a proper education.

- excellent "argument". ...

anyways, im up late because im in pain, from having had an ulcer today, otherwise i would go into more depth. But please stop pretending your an expert on this , until you've decided to spend a few years learning and practicing it.

- more excellent argument.

What can I say, you are full of excellent argument.

--

By the way, I took this course on being more 'social' with people, they taught me this one thing: when I want to say that somebody is an "uneducated piece of retarded shill, who knows not of what he speaks", I instead must say: "excellent argument".

Re:Obviously, that's what free market does (2)

tukang (1209392) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084565)

Property laws are the most basic form of government regulation. If someone beats you over the head with a bat and takes your wallet, who's to say that he didn't just "earn" your wallet? Should the government use force to protect people's property or should it simply let the fittest people survive on their own? By providing law and order, the government allows for an environment where productivity (as opposed to brute force) is rewarded most ... and if you agree with property laws then you're not advocating for a truly free market, so where do you draw the line? If you say you're only in favor of laws that increase productivity then you're of the same opinion as those who support gov't regulation in general - you just have a different opinion of which laws work and which ones don't but you both agree that the law should be used to boost productivity.

Re:Obviously, that's what free market does (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084601)

I suppose you didn't participate [slashdot.org] in that 'end copyrights and patents' discussion, where I specifically said that I don't believe in gov't policing of private property either. It's none of government's business to police private property.

The entire premise that gov't must be there to protect one individual from actions of another individual is wrong [slashdot.org].

Government is there to occupy the space that is always reserved for somebody who will govern, and as such, it is inherently evil, and as such, it must exist only with the law above it (Constitution) ensuring that the only thing that government exists for and does is to protect individuals from government itself. That's why government that breaks the chains of the law, the chains imposed by it by the real contract between government and people - Constitution, is so important.

Now, local matters are local, at least there is competition among localities. But just saying that Constitution does not grant authority to the federal government to take away powers from State governments, does NOT imply that State governments automatically get those powers. It just means it is up to the people in the State to decide how those power are allocated, and the best way is to deny the State government most powers as well.

Having government ensuring border security and judging in cases of contract law is one thing.

Having government running police force to threaten individuals with violence in order to beat them into submission, while pretending that this is for their own good, is another thing altogether. Individuals are capable of handling their affairs with other individuals without government interference.

Re:Obviously, that's what free market does (1)

Aviation Pete (252403) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084571)

Government regulations and laws do the opposite of what free market does. Free market improves everybody's conditions, government deteriorates everybody's conditions.

Please don't forget that you need a strong and active government to keep the market free. Otherways, you might end up with the sort of oligopoly and near monopoly that is prevalent in many US sectors now. Please note also that I am not talking about the kind of strong government which is burdening Russia today. A better example would be Norway. Or New Zealand. There are enough in this world to prove my point, just look around!

In the end it takes both: Free markets and benign government intervention.

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