Why lie about a factory? Mike Daisey’s fabrication of his visit to the Foxconn factory in China was largely exaggerated and it included fabrications that Daisey apparently thought would make his story better. But why lie? The conditions within the Foxconn factory in China were still bad enough to hopefully make the average consumer angry; Daisey didn’t need to add these extra lies. Was it because Apple is such an easy target? Any multinational conglomerate is an easy target for such allegations, especially one with such a popular following as Apple. Daisey’s lies don’t really make a difference though, as the conditions within these factories are still something that should be shamed.
For me the real dilemma that arises is when you consider the question of whether or not Apple owes its customers “guilt-free” products or if there is some technology, like blood mined from war-torn areas of Africa, “bloody”? I personally believe that Apple should be able to provide consumers with a product that is guilt free, but I don’t think they owe it to the consumer to do so. In order to provide a guilt free product Apple, and many other large corporations as well, would need to take a massive hit to their profits in order to produce their goods in a socially acceptable manner. This is something that companies are unwilling to do as they care about profits, but consumers may also resist these changes. These changes would potentially require that prices be raised in order to cover new costs, and consumers want to buy a product at its lowest possible price. We have gotten to a point in everyday life that we really don’t think too much about where our products are coming from, I know I really don’t think about it. Sometimes it even just comes down to convenience, it is potentially harder to buy products that are sourced responsibly.
Do Apple and other corporations owe us as consumers products that are sourced and produced responsibility? No, but it is possible. I believe that this can only be achieved with compromises on both sides and pressure from consumers. Corporations need to potentially take profit margin hits and expend time and energy into making sure that their production facilities are up to an adequate standard. Consumers also need to realize that if they want a product that is ethically sourced that they may have to pay more and give up some convenience for it. The question is do consumers really care enough to demand change?