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Would you pay $10 more for an “ethically produced” IPhone or IPAD? A story that will break your heart…

by Aaron McCormack on January 9, 2012

This American Life is one of the truly great radio shows in the world and THIS EPISODE reinforces why that is.

This is not a tech story.  It is a human rights story.  It is a story about dignity or the lack of it.  It is a story that challenges our notions of economic development, wealth creation and human rights.

We probably all know the stories and rumors about Foxconn, the Chinese company that makes Apple products, amongst others.

Here, an enterprising journalist and storyteller goes to China to see first hand how the industrial boom fueled by the success of these devices is playing out.

It plays like a story from the mills of Lancashire in the 1800s or the Triangle collar factory in Manhattan in the 1900s.

It is hard, from such a distance, to work out if Chinese factory workers are better off in this work than in the fields they may have inhabited if this development was not taking place.

But what is impossible to dispute is that a few simple changes at small incremental cost would make a huge difference in the dignity of these peoples’ lives, with barely a dent in the profits of those all along the value chain.

Would you pay $10 more for an “ethically-produced” IPod or IPhone?

Do you think that it is acceptable that we allow Apple, and Apple allows Foxconn, to behave like this?

Take the time to listen to this fascinating and well-told story and decide for yourself.

 

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