Do We Really Care?

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?


6 thoughts on “Do We Really Care?

  1. Like you said, it is pretty puzzling as to why Daisey felt the need to fabricate things in his story when the reality already seems bad enough to generate a rally for the cause. His credibility will now take a hit and his original goal of exposing Apple is now slightly compromised. On another note, Apple can afford to take some slight cuts in margins. Like someone said in class the other day, Apple is the type of company that has the resources necessary to be able to change the standard for businesses across the globe. If they made wholesale changes and really stood up for these issues, who knows how quickly progress could be made.


    1. Something that I think really hurts Apple’s ability to promote change is its leadership and corporate structure. In society we place large emphasis on profitability, as the saying goes “cash is king”, and the change that consumers potentially want to see in large companies like Apple would require heavy investments. As you said, if there were to make wholesale changes, who knows how quickly progress could be made.


  2. Ian, you raise a great point about whether Apple “owes” customers a guilt-free product, and I believe they do not. People are so quick to jump to the negatives about outsourcing manufacturing, but Apple would not be nearly as profitable if they did not cut costs. Though manufacturing comes at the expense of social welfare, it has become a norm in corporations to outsource their labor and drastically reduce expenses. Also, I agree with your statement of consumers not really caring about where or how their products were made once in their hands. I believe that Apple should make changes to ensure the health and safety of workers. Ultimately, Daisey’s monologue exposed and educated others of the working conditions, though most material was fabricated.


    1. Like you said, his monologue exposed and educated others, but most of his material was fabricated. This makes me wonder about his intentions, mainly about whether or not he truly cares about this issue. I think that perhaps Daisey got caught up in trying to educate the public, and through a moral slip decided that the best was to do so was to inflate his monologue with misguided facts. But thats purely speculation.


  3. I agree that it is not entirely Apple’s fault that the working conditions are so bad. It is because it is their job to sell their product and convince people to buy it. Right now that is what they are really good at doing. There is rarely a person that I run into who doesnt have some sort of Apple product. People almost aren’t ready to hear anything bad about the precious Apple. This lie is just another example of that, nobody wants to accept that Apple isn’t perfect.


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