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Ethical Cell Phone: The Discussion

By robo_dev ·
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There, I started it. Enjoy.

The question is, in a global economy based on capitalism, is it possible to create economic incentives to protect workers and/or disincentives or sanctions for mistreatment of workers?

While within developed countries, there are labor and wage laws and standards, how is it practical, possible, or even rational to impose similar standards on developing countries who may lack the infrastructure, governance, and even education to ensure workers are treated humanely?

Related issues include who decides what is fair, whether there is true freedom of expression and the press in developing countries, the role of government, etc, etc,

Thusly kicking the hornet's nest, I now run away....

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That's for me to decide...

by AnsuGisalas In reply to Ethical Cell Phone: The D ...

and you, and you.... and, not you - just kidding.
Only politicians are disqualified.
This is going to be a world-wide population-wide negotiation in this here twenty-first century.
At least, let's hope it's a century-scope thing, and not a third-millennium scope thing.

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Yes it is possible

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Ethical Cell Phone: The D ...

But it would require that the Free Enterprise System run by Accountants be overthrown and that companies be run by "Real People" who look at the entire picture as apposed to just the cost of Production.

When transferring manufacturing overseas was first started it was to save money and improve conditions in the countries that the production was moved to. Since then the sole aim of most companies has been to reduce manufacturing costs at every option and to wash their hands of their responsibilities for the factories that they cause to be built and manned for their express use.

Don't get me wrong while Apple is the Talk of the Town at the moment they are by no means the only offenders and to single them out for what is happening where their products are made is wrong. They are following "Normal Business Practices" and every major company and all the minor ones should be held to account for what is done in their name.

Just my 2 cents worth though.

Col

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Not just Normal Business Practices:

by AnsuGisalas In reply to Yes it is possible

Business Best Practices.
This is something that is actively encouraged, and boreds of directors are actively seeking the Lowest Cost at All Costs.

It all goes back to that religious idiot Adam Smith, who wrote into the definition of the free market that The free market is being Guided by God to the Greater Good, the result of that is that all sorts of idiots think that interference with the Market is Evil. Even idiots who are not religious idiots share this assumption, becase NOBODY HAS BOTHERED TO EXAMINE THE BASIS OF FREE MARKET THEORY!!!
AUGH!!!

Ok, ok, I'm getting a grip... getting a grip.
Phew.
So anyway, all these idiots are just going by a false assumption that Jesus liked the Merchants sooo much that he shoo-shoo'ed them out of the Temple in order to get them better locales. They probably think he helped them decorate, too.

Anyway; I consider myself a conservative, even though often people who proclaim themselves to be conservatives are the worst of these idiots.
I just don't subscribe to this idiocy that the market is somehow magical, with fairy dust shooting out its wazoo.
It's not.
It's a powerful vehicle.
Vehicles that cannot be steered tend to run over things and make quite a mess. This is 3-year-old-playing-with-legos stuff, people!

Now, the way the communists did it, they had a 500 lbs fat *** sit behind the wheel of a plastic kids' three-wheeler. They didn't even notice that the vehicle broke, since it promptly disappeared up the sundonshine of the "great steerer".

These are extremes. They are NOT examples to follow. This shouldn't be difficult to understand. They are examples of how NOT to do things.

Don't remove steering, while strapping the accelerator pedal down to the floor!
Don't enforce steering which outweighs the vehicle 100000%.
AUGH!


Sorry, I just needed to vent.

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I think there are two gross misunderstandings in neocon-omics

by NickNielsen In reply to Not just Normal Business ...

First, the instant some agency (be it guild or government) establishes a medium of exchange, the market is no longer 'free' in the sense envisioned by the neocons. It can only be regulated or unregulated.

Second, the 'Invisible hand' only works as Smith envisioned it in a regulated market. In an unregulated market, the invisible hand rapidly becomes a mailed fist wielded to crush all competition.

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Fire burns.

by AnsuGisalas In reply to I think there are two gro ...

Toddlers learn this quick.
Not so the rest of us.

We have spent two thousand years or more being enamored of Purity.
And Purity really burns. Purity is extremism. And purity is unnatural.
Nature doesn't abhor a vacuum, nature is chuck full of vacuum, actually.
Nature abhors purity. So should we.
For so long philosophers have developed all these silly notions of purity as good. It will take a lot of work to clear out that nonsense and replace it with an appreciation for the melange.
Curry, though, is a good place to start.
Come to think of it, water is the only thing that's better pure than unmixed... and even water improves by adding whisky to it

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In Defense of Adam Smith: he is often quoted out of context

by robo_dev In reply to Ethical Cell Phone: The D ...

The following is from wikipedia:

Everybody reads the first paragraph of The Wealth of Nations where he talks about how wonderful the division of labor is.

But not many people get to the point hundreds of pages later, where he says that division of labor will destroy human beings and turn people into creatures as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human being to be. And therefore in any civilized society the government is going to have to take some measures to prevent division of labor from proceeding to its limits.

Therefore, in 1776, when he wrote the book, he did have it right, but people have misinterpreted his message.

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What does the division of labor have to do with God?

by AnsuGisalas In reply to In Defense of Adam Smith ...

Adam Smith's theory isn't even false.
If Adam Smith was Darwin, Creationism would have already won.

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And that division of labor reached its limits

by NickNielsen In reply to In Defense of Adam Smith ...

In union contracts that prevented workers from taking simple actions they were perfectly capable of doing on their own, such as cleaning up their own workplaces. At that point, human nature kicked in and asked "Why should I care how it looks? I don't have to clean it up."

I have an acquaintance who is an industrial maintenance technician. If he determines that a machine won't run because it has no power, he can't reset the breaker himself, he has to call an electrician to do it, then ask him to stick around in case it needs to be reset again. So now, TWO people are tied up on one job, each waiting on the other, while factory costs rise and output falls. If such occurs often enough or continues long enough, it puts both jobs in jeopardy.

I've never understood the attitude that pushes for such contracts.

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Well it could very easily be

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to And that division of labo ...

If you can reset a Circuit Breaker you can rewire it and replace everything else that you are not qualified to do.

It wouldn't be the first time I've seen Management expect staff to just Fix it Now and to **** with the consequences.

I had a situation once upon a time where someone was killed by an Electric Shock in the work Place. I was found responsible because I left the job where it was possible to re-energize the equipment and I didn't make it safe. Didn't matter that the equipment in question was behind Temporary Fencing the Orange Plastic type or that I had removed all of the 3 Phase Plugs off the equipment. Some idiot cut the Temporary Fencing with a Box Knife and then replaced all of the 3 Phase Plugs with ones that I was officially told where not in the building. I don't know where they came from or when they where replaced all I do know is that at 10.00 PM when I left the place with the Removed Plugs in my Tool Box where they where at 2.00 AM 4 hours latter when I returned to help the police with their investigation.

The Coroner insisted that I should have also removed the Power Leads and when I asked where to draw the line as it was perfectly possible that all of the Power Leads could also be replaced he came to the conclusion that the only safe way to do Routine Service on the Main Frame was to completely remove the Hardware that was being Serviced.

That would have shut down the entire Processing Facility instead of just killing 20% of the capacity.

So Nick in answer to your suggestion that requiring 2 people to do a Job where one could easily do it all falls back to Legal Requirements no matter if it is brought about by a Union or Employer or Ruling by a Coroner.

Having being held responsible for a death is most defiantly not something you want to experience and I can personally Assure you of that.

Col

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Drawing the line...

by AnsuGisalas In reply to Well it could very easily ...

that's a convincing argument...
Now, if only the electrician's contract would read that they're not allowed to run a data cable or a cable to feed power to a computer without IT supervision, that'd save a lot of headaches.

What with all the power cables twisted around power lines for heavy machinery and all :)

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