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What you should do if you had ALL the money?
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Doc HM
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Jan 28, 2015, 07:02 AM
 
So effectively apple has all the money. In brief that's 178$billion in the bank and continuing revenue of 70 odd billion $ every 3 months. That's quite a lot of cash. They make over 30% margin on every iPhone and the rest of their stuff isn't too far being that. In short they are as they say, cash rich.

Now, over in china the people making Apples stuff are paid the standard wage, I guess since they actually work for Foxconn they get paid the same when they are nailing together iPhones as they do when they make Samsung tablets etc. But I'm guessing Apple have some hefty leverage, even if recent documentaries have shown that they only impose this in a patchy and haphazard way. While I would say that Apple is amongst the better companies for worker rights etc, in reality it's still not stellar.

So, what's to stop them talking some action, and thinking different about this? If they were to commandeer (i.e. pay) to take over entire facilities in china and, say, pay their workers double, really get into working conditions, have properly committed worker education programmes and health care etc. Would that hurt their bottom line materially. I would guess not.

Should they do this? If you can materially lift up thousands of people, treat them with the same respect you give to the hipster employees segwaying to the company juice lounge in Cupertino, should you?
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BadKosh
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Jan 28, 2015, 08:15 AM
 
Pay and respect are too different things.
     
osiris
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Jan 28, 2015, 09:28 AM
 
Apple should buy Microsoft then completely dissolve it, everything - desks, water coolers... leave millions of MS users out in the cold.

As for the workers in China - I agree with a better quality of life and increased pay for them - it's a shithole there and I've seen it for myself. But do realize that Apple is a business and is obligated to stockholders to make more money than it did in the previous quarter.

If you increase cost of manufacturing/benefits for the workers, that cost difference will either come out of profits (never going to happen) or increased prices (then the hipsters and everyone else will whine).

My solution: send all the hipsters to China, make them work.
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Doc HM  (op)
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Jan 28, 2015, 09:41 AM
 
My feeling is it should come out of profits. It's the human thing to do and to have it enshrined in law as it is in the U.S., that a company's first and only legal obligation to its shareholders is to maximise profits is inhuman and leads to inhuman behavior.

I realise I live in a fantasy world here.
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smacintush
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Jan 28, 2015, 10:37 AM
 
I don't think that Apple is under any moral obligation to do anything. The workers at Foxconn and similar places have been given a choice where none had existed before. Without these jobs they are back on the farm living in real poverty. People flock to the cities to work for a reason.
     
osiris
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Jan 28, 2015, 10:40 AM
 
Your feelings are true to the heart, but...
A negative/positive of capitalism is that you don't have to give anything to anyone except the tax man - and even that is somewhat negotiable.

But nothing is preventing Apple from dumping 10 billion to better the lives of people. It's a nice idea, and I agree in spirit - I'd prefer to see this applied to all children of the world, not just workers in China. Then the sick adults, etc... then the workers could be given care packages.
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Cap'n Tightpants
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Jan 28, 2015, 10:46 AM
 
Changing the world around you doesn't start with a company doing more with their profits (though that is nice when it happens), it's starts with you doing all that you can with what you have. Moral behavior isn't measured by how much others give to those in need, it's measured by what you do with what you have, because that changes you and your perceptions in fundamental ways. The "fantasy world" you live in starts to turn into reality very quickly.
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osiris
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Jan 28, 2015, 10:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
I don't think that Apple is under any moral obligation to do anything. The workers at Foxconn and similar places have been given a choice where none had existed before. Without these jobs they are back on the farm living in real poverty. People flock to the cities to work for a reason.
I agree... These huge factories provide an opportunity to escape utter poverty. Our idea of poor is utter luxury compared to the average Chinese citizen. Unless you've been there, you can't imagine what it's like.

Communism is a horrid and failed system, spending time in mainland China will reveal how poor the country really is. The commie leaders who made the deals with the west profit, yet leave their own to suffer. Odd.
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smacintush
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Jan 28, 2015, 11:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by osiris View Post
Your feelings are true to the heart, but...
A negative/positive of capitalism is that you don't have to give anything to anyone except the tax man - and even that is somewhat negotiable.

But nothing is preventing Apple from dumping 10 billion to better the lives of people. It's a nice idea, and I agree in spirit - I'd prefer to see this applied to all children of the world, not just workers in China. Then the sick adults, etc... then the workers could be given care packages.
None of that would make a dent. All projects like that do is give short term relief to a relative few people and assuage some unearned guilt on the part of the benefactor.

What the people of China need is an idealogical education that eventually frees them from state control.
     
osiris
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Jan 28, 2015, 11:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
None of that would make a dent. All projects like that do is give short term relief to a relative few people and assuage some unearned guilt on the part of the benefactor.
Very true.

Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
What the people of China need is an idealogical education that eventually frees them from state control.
The truth sets you free... China is ripe for a revolution, peaceful or otherwise.
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subego
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Jan 28, 2015, 11:36 AM
 
How many hours a week does a Foxconn line worker put in, and do they get overtime?
     
Doc HM  (op)
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Jan 28, 2015, 11:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
I don't think that Apple is under any moral obligation to do anything. The workers at Foxconn and similar places have been given a choice where none had existed before. Without these jobs they are back on the farm living in real poverty. People flock to the cities to work for a reason.
While that's true the choice between poverty and near poverty is a hard one. Of course in that position you would choose near poverty. However, when your direct employer is sitting on the kind of money that apple is then what do you do. They pay Tim Cook so well as a way of expressing his value to Apple. Surely the same should be true of the workers who put the product together.

The second track on this is Apple's lip service to the idea of worker welfare. Yes I know they do better than some, but they have the recourses to to much much better. Their attention to worker conditions is really only the minimum that they feel they need to do, they could do so, so much better and can afford to.

Back in the 1920's the Ford company was famous for paying it's workers way above the average for manual labour. Ford saw the benefit in turning his workers into customers. What worked for him should work for apple.
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subego
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Jan 28, 2015, 11:55 AM
 
Is Apple expressing value, or did Cook earn it?

There's only so much value you can provide as a line worker in an oversaturated labor market.
     
Doc HM  (op)
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Jan 28, 2015, 12:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by osiris View Post
The commie leaders who made the deals with the west profit, yet leave their own to suffer. Odd.
and yet strangely common the world over
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ort888
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Jan 28, 2015, 12:43 PM
 
It would be nice if they lowered some of their prices as well. I get that they are a premium product and can charge premium prices, but it would be great if they could cut the BS.

Why can't the cheap iMac be outfitted with a larger hard drive? Why does that larger hard drive cost twice as much as an aftermarket larger hard drive?

Why an upgrade of 16 gigs of flash ram $100? Why is your RAM so expensive? Stop bleeding us in these lame ways Apple.

You now have more money than some small countries. You don't need to pull these lame blatant cash grabs anymore.


EDIT: Actually, I just checked and it looks like you actually CAN now upgrade the Hard Drive in the cheaper iMac. So something changed. That's good. It used to be that if you wanted a big hard drive, you had to get the iMac with the better processor and video card. You couldn't even upgrade it unless you stepped up to the upper tier. It was hella lame.

Still, a lot of my point remains. BTO options are way overpriced.

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osiris
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Jan 28, 2015, 02:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
and yet strangely common the world over
I think you're on to something there.
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boy8cookie
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Jan 28, 2015, 04:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
It would be nice if they lowered some of their prices as well. I get that they are a premium product and can charge premium prices, but it would be great if they could cut the BS.

Why can't the cheap iMac be outfitted with a larger hard drive? Why does that larger hard drive cost twice as much as an aftermarket larger hard drive?

Why an upgrade of 16 gigs of flash ram $100? Why is your RAM so expensive? Stop bleeding us in these lame ways Apple.

You now have more money than some small countries. You don't need to pull these lame blatant cash grabs anymore.


EDIT: Actually, I just checked and it looks like you actually CAN now upgrade the Hard Drive in the cheaper iMac. So something changed. That's good. It used to be that if you wanted a big hard drive, you had to get the iMac with the better processor and video card. You couldn't even upgrade it unless you stepped up to the upper tier. It was hella lame.

Still, a lot of my point remains. BTO options are way overpriced.
They have to pay people to install the BTO options, vs you doing it yourself. There's justification for it costing more. But it is too much more.
     
Jawbone54
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Jan 29, 2015, 11:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
It would be nice if they lowered some of their prices as well. I get that they are a premium product and can charge premium prices, but it would be great if they could cut the BS.

Why can't the cheap iMac be outfitted with a larger hard drive? Why does that larger hard drive cost twice as much as an aftermarket larger hard drive?

Why an upgrade of 16 gigs of flash ram $100? Why is your RAM so expensive? Stop bleeding us in these lame ways Apple.

You now have more money than some small countries. You don't need to pull these lame blatant cash grabs anymore.
You realize that these small issues are partly responsible for their massive war chest.

If people are willing to pay the Apple premium, then what possible incentive would a corporation have to cut everyone a better deal?
     
el chupacabra
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Jan 29, 2015, 02:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
I don't think that Apple is under any moral obligation to do anything. The workers at Foxconn and similar places have been given a choice where none had existed before. Without these jobs they are back on the farm living in real poverty. People flock to the cities to work for a reason.
That's the romanticized story we're told in the west so we can pat ourselves on the back for saving these poor people from farming, like they've been doing for 1000's of years.
I lived in China for a few years. Many of China's city workers were people who were happily living on their family/community farms until they were kicked off and forced to live in the city against their will. No choice given. They may not have been making much if any money on the farm but they didn't need to, as it's self sustaining lifestyle. That kind of independence from government is something China government can't stand.

But you're right as far as Apple not being under moral obligation. Apple's job is to make money. Nobody's going to rescue Apple from poverty if somehow they become financially strapped in the future. If people disagree with how Apple treats employees they can vote by how they spend (or dont spend) their money.
     
   
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