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Bill Maher dissing Apple and Foxconn with "The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs" creator

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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It seems that Foxconn and the working conditions there are getting to be quite the focus of attention, with accusations flying to one of Hon Hai's largest customers - Apple - that it could do more with the $100 billion pile of cash it has amassed to crack down on the exploitation of he working class in China.

Of course, when there's a controversy, there's always Bill Maher's take on it. The famed HBO "Real Time" talk show host invited the actor Mike Daisey for his latest episode, and had a brief discussion about Apple, Foxconn, and Mike's one-man performance on Broadway.

This one-man show is called "The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs", and consists of the actor's collective impressions from his trips to Shenzhen and the Foxconn factories. Watch Bill Maher's questions to Mike Daisey in the video below, he has some interesting stories for 34-hour shifts to tell.

As if to prove that everything is business as usual for the flamboyant Hon Hai CEO Terry Gou, who recently stopped just short of directly calling his million-strong army of workers "animals", the last recruitment fair for Foxconn was apparently a raging success. Still, Terry Gou probably feels that the robots can't come soon enough to replace the whining humans.



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posted on 07 Feb 2012, 04:52 3

1. XiphiasGladius (Posts: 813; Member since: 21 Aug 2011)


This Just piss me off more, How could they ignore that kind of sh** while they're enjoying their hundreds of billions of profit, I dont care If they don't give back any of those sh** cash that they have, at least they could demand foxconn fo improve the working conditions of the workers and to think they have that power to demand it whenever they can. >.

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 09:29

9. bigdawg23 (Posts: 455; Member since: 25 May 2011)


You need to remember this company operates under the Communist law. Is it necessarily right? No but the fact is they are functioning with in the China Law's. Outside of the US factories are total different. This type of scene is common over there. I deal with company in the US that the owner is from China. He shows us pictures of the factor and says he does treat people better than most companies despite not having to. In fact he has received threats over it. He has taken over the US factor conditions to China.

In the end if you don't like what Apple is doing then people will stop buying the products.

posted on 08 Feb 2012, 06:42

62. XiphiasGladius (Posts: 813; Member since: 21 Aug 2011)


Yes In china that's to be expected but to be abused like that is already different. But knowing this just pissis me off that's all. I know I sound like a moral hygienist or something but that's just my point of view.

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 05:43 2

2. PAPINYC (banned) (Posts: 2315; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)


It's what I've always said: these aren't just the traditional "sweatshops", these are the new and more horrific "iSweatshops". The old American sweatshops were guilty of 12 to 14 hour shifts. iSweatshops = 30+ hour shifts × iSuiCiDes (x³); that's the Apple formula for production and profit.

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 06:37 2

3. tedkord (Posts: 12222; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Be fair, its hardly just Apple that takes advantage of the slave-like Chinese labor market. Most major manufacturers source from China, then turn a blind eye to both the working conditions and the environmental abuses.

And, its unamerican of every US company that dies so, not just for the plight of the workers they allow, but for the harm they do to this country by moving good paying jobs there, solely to make their own jobs higher paying.

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 07:03 6

4. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


that is true. a lot of companies do it. but this isnt a shoe site, so we dont hear about Nike. This is a tech site. The bulk of tech manufacturing goes through Foxconn. Foxconn themselves said that the working conditions are set by the client and that no 2 factories are the same. According to foxconn themselves, Apple's plants are the worst of the worst with working conditions.
And do you know who was involved with controlling suppliers while SJ was alive? Cook.. the man that now is CEO of the empire. Does anyone really think anything is going to change other than some feel good emails?? Nope.

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 08:11 1

6. tedkord (Posts: 12222; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


I'm not trying to absolve Apple, they're as guilty as any Ameican company that ships jobs to China. I just wanted to point out they're just a part of the problem, not the whole problem.

I do agree that since they profit SO much from the slave-like labor, they could be the public face of the problem. With as high as their profit margin is on these products, they should throw much more of that money to the workers.

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 12:41 1

16. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4857; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Apple has the money to set the president on the issue. Other companies go to China because they have no money & need the cheap labor to survive. Apple just looks very sick in how they are treating their employees. In 2012 there is no reason for this, ESPECIALLY an American company who is aware of the labor laws & has the moral obligation to keep those same standards even if they are in another country. Apple has 100 billion in the bank, make good to the people whose blood sweat & tears helped make you those billions. I am not saying that the other companies are good to exploit their workers because they have no money, all I am saying is that Apple can make a difference & are choosing not to. Some of the other companies are not in the position of Apple, that is why Apple looks worse than the other companies that are doing the same thing.

Apple is very successful & with all the money they have, they owe it to the people that put them on the map in the first place, at least with some decent hours/shifts, & some decent pay. 35 hour shifts is not work it's OPRESSION it’s a way to kill someone very slowly. The human body is not made for that type of endurance. Even if you don’t die, you are cutting the life expectance of that individual drastically.

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 12:24 2

13. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4857; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Yeah they only thing you can compare an iPhone to describe how bad & putrid the working conditions are is to describe it to blood diamonds.

People love diamonds & really don't care how they get them. The same could be said of iPhones & other Apple products. Also let’s not forget the other companies that are doing the same thing across all different markets.

Apple looks REAL bad in all of this because they have the resources to give these people decent wages & decent hours. Plus the insensitive comments by those Apple leaders are very, very disheartening & just plain disgusting.

All life is precious & all life feels pain. The smallest bug will run a fight because it feels pain on order to survive, what Apple is doing to other HUMANS is just plain unacceptable. With 100 BILLON in the bank Apple can fix things in Foxconn OVER night, & make more profit in the long run.

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 07:15 2

5. PAPINYC (banned) (Posts: 2315; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)


You are so right but, 'remixfa' above is even more right!! Besides, Foxxconn employees working on Apple products are so delirious that I've even seen documented reports of workers attempting iSuiCiDe via iToones; now that's serious.

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 09:19 2

7. cellphonator (Posts: 298; Member since: 29 Oct 2011)


Import taxes on China products?

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 09:24

8. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Are you ready to pay double for an iDevice?

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 10:13 2

10. cellphonator (Posts: 298; Member since: 29 Oct 2011)


Our system is collapsing, there are no jobs and EVERYTHING is Made in China. Are you ready to sink with your $200 iDevice?

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 11:43 1

12. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


thats a misnomer. It doesnt HAVE to cost more. Apple rakes over 70% profit per device. The industry average is like 10-25% Samsung already makes many chips here in the USA. In fact they just had a grand opening of another plant in texas. You get more bang for your buck techwise with samsung products as it is, and they cost the same or less than an iphone UNSUBSIDIZED... which is the important part.

What people are missing is Apple is too greedy (and anyone that knows me knows i dont like to use that word with businesses) to come off their sky high profit margins in order to give Americans jobs... not even to make Chinese working conditions better. Until people start boycotting apple products until they have better working conditions, like I have, It will never change.

Why would they voluntarily give up 20-30% profit margin if no one cares? Its on the consumers to push the market, thats how a free market works.

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 13:46

21. cellphonator (Posts: 298; Member since: 29 Oct 2011)


That's very interesting what you're saying about 70% profit against 10-25% of the rest. What's the source of this info?
So once more, import taxes on made in China?

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 14:37

24. thephoneguy92 (Posts: 191; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


If you look at how much Apple makes off one iPhone sold, you will see the remixfa is right, or at least very close. Carriers have to pay extremely high fees to apple to sell their products, and Apple gets back something like $400-$500 back for an iPhone sale. I could be wrong on the exact price, but it's something similar. And I don't necessarily see putting import taxes on products made in China solving the problem. Companies will still make huge amounts of profits from their products, whether it's from hiking up their prices, or some other way. Boycotting their products is the best way to send a message in my opinion. Only problem is most people don't know/care that this is going on, so it won't happen, and I lost faith for most of the world as I typed that last sentence out. Unreal.

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 14:55 2

26. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


the answer isn't to punish, the answer is to entice. we have the 2nd highest corperte taxes in the prime world by just a smidge. and we wonder why business run to places with much much lower taxes. refine our tax code to make businesses want to more here instead of china and it will fix the working conditions and our economy at the same time

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 16:27

42. cellphonator (Posts: 298; Member since: 29 Oct 2011)


@remixfa Thumb all the way up.

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 16:59

48. gallitoking (Posts: 4720; Member since: 17 May 2011)


i also agree but I dont thumb up/down..

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 10:40

11. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)


At least someone talks trash bout Apple n Foxxcon

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 12:32

14. gallitoking (Posts: 4720; Member since: 17 May 2011)


look i dont see how al this is Apple .. Americans dont want to do this job without all sort of demands.. so companies takes their business elsewhere.. is not about right or wrong,.... is life.. and life is not fair so get over it.. I buy product that I want .. is not my problem how many cows suffer for me to eat my whopper... or working conditions in China for me to have the iphone... is the goverment of China for allowing this... Apple is just taking advantage of a loop in the system... we all have done it even you remix.. so dont play saint here... I am not going to say not to buy Apple products because all the haters here already dont... so...but realized that the clothes you were, the food you eat.. maybe even the car you drive... were made by individuals that were probably exploited in some way...

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 13:20 1

17. thnkthru3 (Posts: 73; Member since: 25 Dec 2011)


Once we become aware of the situation...I think it does become our responsibility.

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 13:30

18. gallitoking (Posts: 4720; Member since: 17 May 2011)


go save the world then.. because you must know of world hunger.. what have you done to precent it.. just to named an example.. we like to to say that we can make a change.. and only a few actually do.. if you are of the few.. well congrats,. if not... take that towel cape and sit down

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 14:59

27. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


my car was built in America... by hyundai. my computer was built in India. I have since gone out of my way to not buy foxconn made products since learning about it. do I have their products? yes, we all do. but unlike you I understand that my dollar is a vote. a vote to continue in the same path by buying those products .. or a vote to change the system by boycotting. as long as you keep voting to continue, the majority will rule and people will continue to die for your apathy

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 15:05

29. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


the extra crappy part about your attitude is that it wouldn't even take that long. a couple of bad quarters with people saying they are boycotting for human rights and they will change. if apple changes first the rest of the tech industry will follow. Samsung has already moved industry back to the states. they are opening new plants in Texas while apple opens new plants in china.

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 15:34

31. gallitoking (Posts: 4720; Member since: 17 May 2011)


please remix get Samsung out of you a** you gain nothing out of it.. and Apple also recently open the Apple store in NY and plan to remodeled the Cupertino HQ that will employ more people.. please.. Apple are no saint.. but neither is Copy cat Samsung,

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 15:54

33. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


I'm not talking about a retail store with 10 employees or a redesigned corperate HQ.. I'm talking about the actual chip manufacturing .. dumb nuts. all the crap that apple has Chinese slaves do, Samsung does in America.

sorry the comparison just shows your favorite fruit is even more rotten than u wish to acknowledge.

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 16:08

39. gallitoking (Posts: 4720; Member since: 17 May 2011)


I never said that what Apple does is correct dumbs*t.. I only stated that lots of companies do it. and that will stuff will never change,, there is too much money involved here... that's is being realistic...

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 16:45

45. cellphonator (Posts: 298; Member since: 29 Oct 2011)


Let me get this straight, Samsung builds the chip here in US and the rest is produced and assembled in S. Korea?
Who else builds here besides Samsung? I'm lo

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 16:49

46. cellphonator (Posts: 298; Member since: 29 Oct 2011)


Let me get this straight, Samsung builds the chip here in US and the rest is produced and assembled in S. Korea?
Who else builds here? I'm looking to buy a new phone in a couple of months...

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