Freshly Squeezed OpEd: Peaceful, Uneasy Feeling

Oct 22, 2012 | OpEd | 0 comments

It’s been slightly over a week since SNL aired its skit with a panel of ‘high-profile bloggers’ facing three Foxconn workers.
The first time I viewed it, I was doubled over. It was one the funniest, yet most pointed pieces of writing to come out of SNL in years.
‘Oh! You want to go to Starbucks and end up at Dunkin’ Donuts? That must be so disappointing for you.’
‘Oh, my brother, he has a handbag, Government cut off his hand and he carry it in a bag until he can save up to have it reattached.’
I must’ve watched the video at least a half-dozen times. But with each consecutive viewing, I found myself going slowly from laughter to feeling embarrassed.
You see, in the big global picture, complaining about the ineptness of iOS 6’s Maps or how easily the case scratches is petty and trite. All of our moaning and whining is for a device that we ‘desire,’ not something that we ‘need.’ The people that assemble these devices we crave, are strugging to meet their ‘needs.’ Forget about ‘desires‘ … altogether.

Now, by no means, am I laying this all at the feet of Apple. Many of the top names in electronics use the Foxconn plant to assemble their products, like Samsung for instance. But there is one undeniable difference – Apple is the elephant in the room.

What am I suggesting? I’m suggesting that Apple has enough money (read: clout) that they could make a difference in changing the working conditions and compensation for these people. And I’d love to see Apple lead the way.

Someone needs to make the first move, and Apple has the clout to do it. For example, Apple just won $1 billion from the Samsung lawsuit. Why can’t that money, instead of being stashed in Apple’s coffers, be used to provide the workers with safe working conditions and reasonable pay.

And while I’m at it, why not bring some of those jobs back onshore? But won’t that result in higher wages, passed onto the consumer in the form of higher prices? Most likely.

But I think that the time has arrived for consumers to stop using Machiavellian measures to provide themselves with low-priced, high-end gadgets for their pleasure.

Apple  has forever changed the way that electronic devices play a major role in our daily lives. Maybe they can also now be a catalyst to change the way we intersect with other people who make our lives better.

©2012 Frank Petrie /


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