If you’re like me, you’re currently sitting within arm’s reach of an iPhone, an iPad, and a MacBook (the device on which I am typing this post). Excessive? Perhaps, but I absolutely love Apple products. They make my life easier and more enjoyable.
This is precisely why I was so disturbed last week read an article in the New York Times on the horrid conditions faced by the workers who build Apple devices in China, and company’s apparent disregard for its workers troubles. According to Thane Rosenbaum, the Times expose should make people like me think twice about supporting Apple going forward:
Apple shareholders and aficionados are now faced with a moral dilemma—revel in the company’s stock price and whisper sweet words of indifference to Siri, the virtual personal assistant in the iPhone4S, all the while remaining silent about the grim workplace conditions of Apple’s suppliers?
Yet I can’t help but wonder: why such a close focus on Apple fans? Isn’t Rosenbaum’s argument applicable across lines? Aren’t many, or even most, of our electronic devices built in foreign countries by people working in what we might deem poor conditions? Or, for that matter, aren’t most of the products we buy generally built in such situations? Should Americans boycott every company that outsources the construction of its goods? Is that realistic? Would it do any good? Or are there other, better options to get companies to change their ways?
These are the questions I pose to you. Now, back to my iPad …