Imagine that every year or so a shoe manufacturer releases a slightly different shoe in that it’s slightly different because there’s like totally new shoelaces and that pattern on the sole is slightly different and despite that you absolutely need to have that newest pair even if the pair you have on right now is just fine, because hey look at those different laces and reworked sole and did we mention they’re made in some inhumane factory in China? Gotta have those new shoes.
Yeah, that’s a bit of a dramatic oversimplification, kind of the exact opposite of Apple’s presentation of its products.
Yes, the new iPhone is pretty much an iterative upgrade and not truly “the best thing to happen to iPhone since iPhone.” But it’s not merely a new pair of shoes. It’s an upgrade just like any other technology upgrade: faster processor, better specs, shinier package.
It’s more like a newly introduced shoe using better leathers, a higher quality non-marking sole, with a slightly different fit and sizing. It is an improved, new shoe, but yes, it’s still just a shoe.
As for the factory conditions… Yes, true, but you’d have to change the culture of the entire industry to make any real progress there. (And Apple can do that if they just would.)
We’ve been hearing a lot about the war on women, which is real enough. But there’s also a war on the young, which is just as real even if it’s better disguised. And it’s doing immense harm, not just to the young, but to the nation’s future.
Let’s start with some advice Mitt Romney gave to college students during an appearance last week. After denouncing President Obama’s “divisiveness,” the candidate told his audience, “Take a shot, go for it, take a risk, get the education, borrow money if you have to from your parents, start a business.”
The first thing you notice here is, of course, the Romney touch — the distinctive lack of empathy for those who weren’t born into affluent families, who can’t rely on the Bank of Mom and Dad to finance their ambitions. But the rest of the remark is just as bad in its own way.
I mean, “get the education”? And pay for it how? Tuition at public colleges and universities has soared, in part thanks to sharp reductions in state aid. Mr. Romney isn’t proposing anything that would fix that; he is, however, a strong supporter of the Ryan budget plan, which would drastically cut federal student aid, causing roughly a million students to lose their Pell grants.
So how, exactly, are young people from cash-strapped families supposed to “get the education”? Back in March Mr. Romney had the answer: Find the college “that has a little lower price where you can get a good education.” Good luck with that. But I guess it’s divisive to point out that Mr. Romney’s prescriptions are useless for Americans who weren’t born with his advantages.
… What should we do to help America’s young? Basically, the opposite of what Mr. Romney and his friends want. We should be expanding student aid, not slashing it. And we should reverse the de facto austerity policies that are holding back the U.S. economy — the unprecedented cutbacks at the state and local level, which have been hitting education especially hard.
Yes, such a policy reversal would cost money. But refusing to spend that money is foolish and shortsighted even in purely fiscal terms. Remember, the young aren’t just America’s future; they’re the future of the tax base, too.
A mind is a terrible thing to waste; wasting the minds of a whole generation is even more terrible. Let’s stop doing it.
Go read the whole d***ed thing.
I feel the same way about local levies that the taxpayers vote against, with a slogan of “Hard Times? Vote No”. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
It all reminds me of Steve Jobs, circa 1998, as he returned to the helm of Apple as “interim” CEO. When asked how Apple was going to handle the public recession and teh company’s own need to become profitable again, he said they were going to invest _more_ in research & development, focus the product line, and put out great products. This is the *exact* opposite of what this nation has done and what we are doing to our educational system.
Get a frickin’ clue, people.
Rick Santorum - making a mockery of his Christian faith on a daily basis. What cruel and inhumane thing will he say next?
You buy an iPad once. You buy medication every fucking month, asshole, this is a ridiculous conclusion to draw that has no basis in reality. Never mind that health care is something we should all get without having to pay for it. Because it’s a human right. I honestly think I might not hate anything more than a fake, situational, self-absorbed evangelical. I really don’t.
This life-saving medication costs about as much as a luxury item only people over a certain income level can afford to buy once? I don’t see the problem.
I can’t afford an iPad. Can I have healthcare now, Rick?
(j/k, thanks to Obamacare I have health insurance, BOOSH)
Hey, you know what doesn’t cost $900? Googling Santorum.
Besides all of the above, the iPad starts at $499. The highest price, for the 64 GB with WiFi & 3G, is $829. I just saved $71!! Maybe that will go towards the gas to get to the drug store to pick up my prescription.
“In the last decade, Apple has become one of the mightiest, richest and most successful companies in the world, in part by mastering global manufacturing. Apple and its high-technology peers — as well as dozens of other American industries — have achieved a pace of innovation nearly unmatched in modern history. However, the workers assembling iPhones, iPads and other devices often labor in harsh conditions, according to employees inside those plants, worker advocates and documents published by companies themselves. Problems are as varied as onerous work environments and serious — sometimes deadly — safety problems. Employees work excessive overtime, in some cases seven days a week, and live in crowded dorms. Some say they stand so long that their legs swell until they can hardly walk. Under-age workers have helped build Apple’s products, and the company’s suppliers have improperly disposed of hazardous waste and falsified records, according to company reports and advocacy groups that, within China, are often considered reliable, independent monitors. More troubling, the groups say, is some suppliers’ disregard for workers’ health. Two years ago, 137 workers at an Apple supplier in eastern China were injured after they were ordered to use a poisonous chemical to clean iPhone screens. Within seven months last year, two explosions at iPad factories, including in Chengdu, killed four people and injured 77. Before those blasts, Apple had been alerted to hazardous conditions inside the Chengdu plant, according to a Chinese group that published that warning. “If Apple was warned, and didn’t act, that’s reprehensible,” said Nicholas Ashford, a former chairman of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health, a group that advises the United States Labor Department. “But what’s morally repugnant in one country is accepted business practices in another, and companies take advantage of that.” Apple is not the only electronics company doing business within a troubling supply system. Bleak working conditions have been documented at factories manufacturing products for Dell, Hewlett-Packard, I.B.M., Lenovo, Motorola, Nokia, Sony, Toshiba and others.” — The New York Times, “In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad”
I have been an Apple fanboy for over 20 years now, and it shocks me that Apple, supposedly a socially conscious company, would allow such things. But, in the end, it’s about profit, not people, I guess.