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Is coverage for preexisting conditions welfare?
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5479

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel that maybe I need to add a perspective this Apple issue. What I did during my working career was buy fab-to-spec products from subcontractors on a national, and often international scale. The products were very high tech in nature, and some involved working with dangerous materials or processing techniques. Were these subcontractors regularly subject to a lot control and interference by my company? In reality, no. Of course, we had to be all over those who failed to meet delivery commitments or produced sub-standard quality, but that's expected. That's not to say that we didn't value safety and fairness in the workplace, especially given the fact it was a huge area of focus and concern in our own facilities.

I guess there are rational limits in working with other private subcontractors, just as there are working or living with individuals in the private community around you. I'm not suggesting that Apple should ignore what's happening at their subcontractors overseas, but we have to remember there can be vast differences in the culture and the practices in foreign lands, and we can't necessarily change things based on our ideas and values about what is right. In reality, we need to have a proper perspective on the issue. Just looking at the phrase in the Human Rights First link, "addressing abuses at Apple facilities in China", sends the false message that Foxconn is an Apple owned and controlled facility. We have to be aware our limits, especially these days where the majority of goods being made today are manufactured overseas in countries much different than ours.
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mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 2449

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I completely disagree. A well run company with a substantial subcontractor relationship will exercise rigid oversight of that subcontractor. It will be intimately familiar with the subs practices, controls etc. to ensure that they aligned with its own. Extensive performance measures will be in place and will be rigorously monitored; it may well have company personnel permanently on site. Example.....ExxonMobil will have it's own experts on subcontractor rigs at all times; they will make any difficult decisions. When the BP CEO said that the recent explosion and subsequent spill were Transocean's fault he was wrong. The responsibility lies squarely with BP. Likewise, this is Apple's problem and they need to fix it or walk away from the relationship.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5479

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's be frank mrgybe, the circumstances involved in a subcontractor relationship can be quite different, and I think you're smart enough to understand the differences. If a subcontractor is working on site on your project, it's a whole lot different then a subcontractor making you a design-to-spec widget at their facility. What you're suggesting in your argument is specious relative to Apple's situation.

What you're trying to do is instill a political argument into Apple's business relationship. It assumes that Apple has the power, like a nation, to enforce your idea of what's fundamentally right and wrong in another country. The US has significant difficulty doing it as the "most powerful nation in the world" internationally, so it's no simple matter.

Of course, Apple could elect to take their business elsewhere, but you must realize that idea can make no sense at all, especially in an environment where the facilities and proven potential might not exist. Business does revolve around those that are arguably capable, and more importantly, have the finances, credentials and history to prove that they can do it. One's power in negotiations is limited to the realities involved.

Would I be willing to pay more for a product? The answer is yes. Personally, I paid much more to buy an Apple laptop. Of course, they make them offshore, and as a result, they have profited hugely. However, in the big picture, I'm thinking that they could make them here, and still make a reasonable profit. Whether they would do that will depend on the competition that could be offered here by a US company, given the idea that Americans will require that. Yet practicably speaking, that's an awfully tall order, bordering on the impossible.
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boggsman1



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 3331
Location: at a computer

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Then Mr gybe..are you prepared to shut down Walmart, Costco, Toys r Us, all the big box retailers, nike, all the apparel makers, and all of tech? Basically all of the US economy? You love to isolate Apple, but thats disengenuous at best...maybe because it worth almost 50% more than Exxon. do you have the same scorn for the beloved right wing supermarket...Walmart?
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 4673

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrgybe only hates businesses that don't hate Obama.
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boggsman1



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 3331
Location: at a computer

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mac wrote:
mrgybe only hates businesses that don't hate Obama.

I dont blame him...Liberals love the techies, conservatives like the oil patch. Techie execs, and VC's are often liberal, and the fat and happy oily guys like Aubrey McClendon, and Kenny Lay(rip) are conservatives. I dont deny my bias', I just wish my good friend in Virgina wouldnt.
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mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 2449

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm astonished at your reaction to my comments. You are all in favor of government regulation to avoid employee abuse, but you rebel at the the thought of companies exercising oversight to achieve the same end. My comments apply to any company in any sphere of activity including the oil industry. If you are OK with buying cheap stuff on the back of a horribly exploited workforce, that is your choice. I am not. And yes, I would close down Costco, Walmart and Toys R Us if their profits result from abusing their employees. This has absolutely nothing to do with with politics......it is about what is right.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5479

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please share with me mrgybe, how do you avoid buying products made elsewhere? These days, it's pretty tough to do, whether you like it or not.
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feuser



Joined: 29 Oct 2002
Posts: 1387

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually agree with mrgybe - especially a company that has such leverage over their suppliers has the responsibility to set and enforce labor standards that are well within the limits of local law and in compliance with their corporate ethics.

Like so:
http://www.apple.com/supplierresponsibility/code-of-conduct/labor-and-human-rights.html


Apple's premium product prices are a completely separate matter, swchandler. They are squarely aimed at the maximum the consumer is willing to pay and in most cases already incorporate a significant margin.

I think that now that the ethics issue is on the map, we will begin to see the next phase for Apple and their competitors, where the 'feel-good' factor becomes an integral part of the product.

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florian - ny22

http://www.windsurfing.kasail.com/
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feuser



Joined: 29 Oct 2002
Posts: 1387

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back on topic:
Here's one of the authors of the individual mandate (part of the conservative alternative to 'Hillarycare') flip-flopping wildly:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2012-02-03/health-individual-mandate-reform-heritage/52951140/1

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florian - ny22

http://www.windsurfing.kasail.com/
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