I read No Logo years ago and remember being swayed by its arguments.
This is an article about Foxconn, which is clearly intended as an ‘exposé’ of a sweatshop in China. Would I choose to work in such a factory? Probably not. Why? Because I’m lucky enough to have better alternatives.
If you lift the facts out of the story, it’s not so sexy:
They live in dormitories, their supervisors get angry when productivity is hampered, a poor kid killed himself a week after he quit (relevant?), his family is sad.
The amazing parts of this story are completely ignored:
1. This factory employs FOUR HUNDRED AND TWENTY THOUSAND PEOPLE. Yep, you read that right. That’s amazing.
2. People choose to work in conditions we would scoff at. Why is that? BECAUSE THEY’RE BETTER OFF.
3. A job working in such a factory would be unbelievably prestigious here. Building ipods? Tell me you wouldn’t think that’s cool.
4. These people are genuinely making our lives better. International trade, man. Win-win in the long term.