Imagine that there's a mad scientist living on an island surrounded by treacherous, shark-infested waters. When ships are wrecked on the hidden rocks, the survivors swim to the island to escape the sharks, where they become prisoners of the mad scientist, who subjects them to bizarre experiments for his own amusement. When people point out to him that he's a monster, the scientist disagrees, saying, "Hey, those people were going to be eaten by sharks!" That's pretty much New York Times technology writer David Pogue's defense of Apple and its treatment of workers at Foxconn (NYTimes.com, 2/23/12).
James Traub seemed a little bummed in a Sunday New York Times op-ed ("The End of American Intervention?," 2/18/10), that military cuts and changing priorities will mean fewer humanitarian interventions in America's future. So we must accept, if uneasily, the future which now seems to lie before us: We will do less good in the world, but also less harm. A leading advocate of "humanitarian intervention," Traub doesn't waste many words on the "harm" produced the by two decades of them, but he seems pretty sure about the "good." For instance, he writes that the post-Cold War period "raised the [...]
With all the recent critical attention to Apple's manufacturing policies, it was perhaps only a matter of time before the company decided to push back.One way Apple might do this is by granting an "exclusive" to a media outlet that might put out a different kind of story than the one that people have encountered via the New York Times (1/25/12) or This American Life (1/6/12). So here we have the news that ABC has been granted "exclusive" access to the massive Foxconn facility that has been at epicenter of the controversy over Apple's labor practices. Why ABC? Forbes contributor [...]
If Arthur Brisbane wants the Times to consider becoming factchecking 'truth vigilantes," this is hopefully not what he had in mind. At last night's Republican debate (1/19/12), CNN host John King asked the candidates how they would convince a corporation like Apple to employ more workers in the United States: It employs about 500,000 people in China. It is based in the United States, has some employees here, about 40-something thousand, I think 46,000. Most of them in retail stores and at the headquarters. 500,000 of them are in China. As a president of the United States, what do you [...]