I hope you’re following the iEconomy series by New York Times.
The first article begins to answer a question by President Obama, “Why not manufacture in U.S.,” and the second article digs deep into troubled work environment witnessed in several factories in China, suppliers to many of the tech giants. On one hand, the ability to meet orders, as specified by the growing industry, scalability, and endless technical workforce add unparalleled value , but on other hand the uncomfortable revelations purport a picture as bleak and regretful as it gets.
For a mere spectator, the problem is hard to find, for everybody is happy. The global consumer is happy because the gadgets they ought to buy are cheaper, better and faster. The American companies are happy because demand for their product is surging high, and they find themselves capable to provide for those who wish to own. Also, extracting profits for the same by tightening the supply chain is manageable. The suppliers to these companies are happy because they have hands on never-ending human capital whom they can control. Finally, the workers at those factories are happy because they have a job way better than starvation.
But indeed, as is everywhere problems are many!
The problems however, are not with system, since the system is robust and profitable, bigger than ever, but with the various units that make this system. Isn’t that strange?
The system – Outsource work to a place that is capable enough, cheaper than existing, to fetch additional profits, and at the same time ensure quality product at reduced price or at same price with added value. Seems fair, doesn’t it!
Such a system though workable has repercussions, since jobs are going international which upsets national interests. Those affected no wonder are people, but more strikingly they have been both, the unemployed in U.S. and barely employed in China ( and other places as well).
Why are the two articles in iEconomy series relevant to U.S.?
Some genuine questions:
Why is Apple at the center of this whole contention?
Is it because Apple has the largest piggy-bank? Or is it because it has the largest profit margin? Is it because front-runners are expected to bring change? Does targeting Apple help one gain more publicity?
Is it the company responsible to U.S. and its people?
Are companies profit oriented or people oriented? Does Corporate Social Responsibility at all support or cover relocation to mainland? Companies are liable to consumers, should they engage in political and social debates? Isn’t that the Governments job?
Why insisting on bringing back corporate profits to U.S., tax-free, a bad idea?
Is it because back in 2004 when Washington let corporations brings offshore profits at a reduced rate of 5.25% instead of 35%, no jobs were created? Is it because companies would instead buy back their own shares strengthening shareholders and executives?
Well, answers are obvious, aren’t they!