After experiencing This American Life episode #454, entitled “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory” my views towards major company’s like Apple and Dell are more skeptical. It is important to note that I am posting from my Apple computer as I listen to my Apple iPhone. I found the podcast to be amusing; Mr. Daisey’s sarcastic tone and the crowds laughter made the story more personal and humorous. The sarcastic tone reinforced the fact that Foxcon is treating its workers so inhumanely. For instance, Mr. Daisey jokes about how the worker may have cleaned his actual iPhone and then brings up the fact that the worker is only 13 years old. The listener is comfortable hearing that the worker is joking and happy. Then the listener is hit hard when they find out that the worker is a child. Mr. Daisey was able to deliver several compelling points to showcase the bad conditions at Foxcon while entertaining his audience which made the story more enjoyable for me.
The story of Mr. Daisey’s travels to Foxcon leads me to question my dependence on electronics and the importation of everyday products. I like to think that if a company is producing a “well-made, popular product,” then that company practices good solid business ethics and treats its employees properly. I previously and still think Apple is one of the “best” companies in the world, that Apple builds the best products and produces them in the most correct way possible. In my mind Apple is the best, but they even produce their products in shady ways. It makes me wonder about the companies competing with Apple who are looking to cut the corners in hopes to make a quick buck. There are many more Apple competitors than there are Apple’s. It makes me more product conscious. How do the products that I buy influence the treatment of employees in other nations.
I want to know how Foxcon compares to other manufacturing plants. Mr. Daisey mentioned the suicide rate at Foxcon, that it is actually lower than the countries average. I wonder how Foxcon which manufactures Apple and Dell products compares to a competitors manufacturing plant. For all I know, Foxcon might not be that bad in comparison!