The on-site representatives of the slave traders in Africa were called 'factors' and the holding areas where they held slaves for sorting culling, processing were called 'factories'.
If the system (capitalism) forces lowest wage (cost) or failure, don't be surprised if the surviving CEO heads that way.
Who says that America no longer has slaves?? The only progress we've had in 100 years is to put them in factories, overseas. Out of sigh, out of mind. The people who outsource these jobs are modern-day Simon Legrees ...
It's the west's fault that this happens. we would throw our arms up in the air and scream and shout if the work practices of third world countries were practised in the US, or Europe, or Australia. But when the third world countries do it and sell the product - be it blue jeans or Ipads - to us then we turn a blind eye.
When is the west going to insist on decent, safe, documented, verifiable fair practices from its third world trading partners? Tha is the only way that cases like Jasmine's will be eradicated.
It would need to be phased in slowly to give the exporting countries time to catch up, but it would work.
The media follows reader interest. It's funny that a new formfactor (tablests) can get people excited about something that they've already been doing for 20 years. The desire to have the latest, coolest stuff has the short term effect of stimulating our economy. And that includes all aspects of the food chain, including marketing and media. So yes, that's what us greedy Americans read about. We should worry less about the plight "Jasmine" and start worrying about things closer to home.
The social consequences of electronics engineering has been well illustrated in IEEE's Society on Social Implications of Technology: http://www.ieeessit.org. (You can argue about its impact on the real world, but it exists). The pace at which work has increased to cover owners' expectations is accelerating by the day. Youngsters like Jasmine are being pulled into this "wheel of fortune" at a much too tender age because of circumstances impressed by lo-wage/hi profit margins of business in general. Electronics companies need to find their soul, and stop relying so much on the soles of teenagers.
Well said Rick. I agree that companies are loathe to acknowledge the "grunt work" turned in by so many in China and elsewhere. I suppose they are afraid of negative press generated by events such as the rash of suicides at Foxconn last year. But the bottom line is that without them our whole electronics industry would be dramatically different. Here's to the people toiling in the factories just to get by.
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