Thursday, February 16, 2012

Via Naked Capitalism

For a long time I've been willfully ignorant about the activities of western companies who manufacture in Asia and in particular China. My ignorance served me well as I enjoy the products (and prices) of these companies, I own stock in many, directly or through mutual funds and Kim & Co accrues benefits from such relationships. Ignorance has been replaced by denial, with guilt gnawing at me.

I fully expect Greece to default and leave the Euro zone. There will be enormous dislocation, but the end result will be better for Greece and the EMU. Greece should never have joined the EMU, it is a beautiful country and Greeks are wonderful people but it is not a 21st Century economy, in fact it is more of a 19th Century economy. With regard to Greece, I've made a substantial (for me) financial bet, it will be expensive if I'm wrong.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if you can see the video from ABC Nightline where you are but Apple had Foxconn let a reporter and crew in. Few points:

1. Thousands line up to get jobs there. They show this: a literal rush to get in line to swipe your national ID card.
2. The average age is late teens, early 20's because they make much more, save it and go home, usually to a village or small town.
3. The work is done by hand with many supervisors. This means raising wages quickly and toward western standards will pressure Foxconn et al to automate, which will cost jobs, hurt the rural areas, etc. There is a limit to do-gooderism.
4. The suicide nets were placed there because Apple hired consultants to devise a way and they decided this visual reminder was the best way to reach a despondent worker. Remember, these are kids from other places working long hours with people they may not know. It can be lonely.
5. This video made me feel bad about the other manufacturers because the Apple plants are the best for workers.

5:07 PM  

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