It always matters, Cabe. It's just how willing are we to recognize that human rights apply to all people in all places and to do something about it regardless of the hit to our pocketbooks. But then, Jesus was betrayed for thirty pieces of silver so what can we expect when millions are at stake - it seems the thirst for money will always be the downfall of man.
Interesting article, Ann. I found the quote regarding Chinese manufacturing "Of course some companies will consider moving their manufacturing overseas, but it's easier said than done when the supply chain is here" highly ironic...what a shift from the past - and Mexico?!
How tragic about the suicides that have been occurring. But is it really Foxconn's desire to move asssembly line workers into R&D and other innovative positions which is what the article mentions is their goal with the advent of robots? Not every worker aspires to get off the line and what any employee wants is a safe work place and a fair wage. Another question also comes to mind - will there even enough positions for the soon to be displaced workers?
Bringing work back home may never happen. The USA fought hard for human/worker rights. People died over it. Now, those same corporations who fought against those rights, ship jobs off to places were abuse is fine. At home, consumers expect a low price of good, that only labor abuse can bring.
Foxconn, or whoever, can unionize, they will just find another place where the work is cheap. Other parts of Asia, then India, back to Mexico. When everyone fights back, they will industrialize places like the Congo.
I agree Ann, especially when it comes to exchanges. While buying online is often tempting, the product often arrives damaged or is subpar for some other reason - then you have the additional hassle and expense of shipping returns. However, some items are just hard to find locally and in that event, it is a blessing to have the online option...
Nancy, I'm more likely to research online and then buy locally, when possible, for the reasons you mention. Paying a bit more is not a problem in my mind. And it's not always more, anyhow, when you include the cost of shipping for online purchases. Then there's customer service. If I can get it locally, that's usually a better option, in my experience.
I hate to be a pessimist, Charles - but it looks like it is a move to satisfy those looking in, without real substance. I hope I'm wrong...some of the conditions I have heard from colleagues visiting factories there are terrible.
It also mentioned that Foxconn said it plans to manufacture some Macs here in the U.S. - That would be interesting to follow and see if it really comes to fruition - that indeed would be manufacturing coming home.
Along with Cabe's comment, I try to keep sourcing in the US. Recently I ordered some blank boards from a company in Wisconsin, but the parts arrived via China Post. The Wisconsin address is just a front-end for web ordering at a Chinese board house.
I wonder how much of that difference might be due not only to lower labor costs (which we, of course have continued to subsidize by sending our business there) but also to a different business model. I'm hypothesizing like crazy here, but I wonder if US machine shops and material suppliers that are used to supplying large companies simply aren't set up for pick and place and shipping, etc. in small quantities to individuals such as yourself. And if companies in China are, for several reasons I can imagine along the way from manufacturing to shipping.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.