A Series of Unanswered Questions

Before I dive into my opinions on the podcast and the thought provoking ideas behind it, I just wanted to point out that I thought it was extremely engaging. I think Mike Daisey told the stories beautifully and didn’t lose my attention once throughout it. I had never heard of him nor his play that will be playing in NYC before this podcast and it definitely made me interested for more.

As far as the content is concerned though, I personally was extremely informed, but not very surprised. I have never really researched to a great extent the working conditions in China. I most likely had the same basic knowledge as most people: that the conditions were not nearly up to par with most of the western world and that wages were extremely low.

The stories and descriptions from Mr. Daisey were horrible and really opened up my eyes to the labor situation in China. Like I said though, as horrible as they were, the stories did not surprise me. In a country as strict and rigid as China, one would expect factory conditions to be below standard, wages to be extremely low, and child labor to be present. I don’t believe Mr. Daisey tried to sway the facts to prove his own personal opinion, but was merely telling it how it was.

The thing about the entire story/podcast that bothered me the most were the unanswered questions. Such as:

  • Exactly how much knowledge of these conditions did/does Apple posses?
  • If these conditions and suicides are common knowledge then why aren’t more western companies trying to put an end to them?
  • If the inspectors are aware of the fact that some factories try to fool them, why don’t they have more thorough inspections?

Many of these questions were asked by Mr. Daisey himself and I completely stand by his curiosities. It’s amazing where the United States is today and what we have gone through to get there. It seems to me though that many companies believe that the rights and freedoms in America don’t apply to affiliations in other countries. These Apple products are being enjoyed all around the world…why shouldn’t the workers that are supplying this enjoyment be rewarded just as factory workers in America are?

In short, the story was shocking, yet not surprising. I do believe though that there are are things going on behind the scenes, whether within Apple or in China that are being witheld from the public. I personally would like to know more details about each one of those questions.


3 responses to “A Series of Unanswered Questions

  1. I do agree with you in the sense that the podcast was very interesting, but I would like to see much more evidence before I start getting too upset. The author may have alternative motives to exaggerate the accounts of his visit to China and I just think that a multi-national company sitting on such a large pile of cash (like Apple) would be more aware/caring of the conditions the workers who make their products are facing. Also, regarding your comment about the US and “where we are today” there are still many companies that have workers in very poor conditions, being paid minimum wage, and are, at times, not even citizens. I think we need to focus on what is going on in our own home country before we start trying to “change the world”.

    • I completely agree with your statement on the working conditions in the United States. After thinking about it some more, I do realize that we have plenty of companies with poor working conditions, awful pay and horrendous hours.

      I am also all for focusing on what is going on in our home country, but believe that it should be dealt with side by side with “changing the world”.

      I believe that if we as a country are consciously making the decision to have our products and jobs being outsourced internationally, then we should do the same with our labor policies. Whatever we want to improve within our own country should follow suit to any other location across the world. We should be setting an example for generations to come.

  2. Like you, I really thought that the podcast opened my eyes to the labor situation in China. I knew that working conditions were horrible, but now I know how horrible and I have many of the same questions remaining as you do. Specifically with Apple, I’m really curious as to how much knowledge they have about these conditions and if they do, how long they have known about them.

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