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Monday, January 9, 2012

China, Liberty, and the Products We Love

When Steve Jobs passed away, I commented:

The 5 iPods, 3 iPhones, iPad, and 2 Macs currently in my home attest to the fact that I believe Steve Jobs' was brilliant. And at times he was more than a "computer guy" and truly inspirational.
On the flip side of Apple's success, I want to link to an extremely powerful This American Life podcast, Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory, that shares how Apple products (and most electronics from China) come to be. Specifically how China allows corporations (corporations that American corporations outsource jobs to) to use their citizens like (almost) zero-cost depreciating assets. The portion I won't forget (definitely more powerful in context of the broader story):
How often do we wish more things were hand made? Oh, we talk about that all the time don't we? I wish it was like the old days. I wish things had that human touch. But that's not true. There are more hand made things now than there have ever been in the history of the world. Everything is hand made. I know. I have been there. I have seen the workers laying in parts thinner than human hair. One. After another. After another. Everything is hand made.
How can we compete with that?

Source: This American Life