22.1.12

Good luck, American factory workers.

Apple executives say that going overseas, at this point, is their only option. One former executive described how the company relied upon a Chinese factory to revamp iPhonemanufacturing just weeks before the device was due on shelves. Apple had redesigned the iPhone’s screen at the last minute, forcing an assembly line overhaul. New screens began arriving at the plant near midnight.
A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day.
“The speed and flexibility is breathtaking,” the executive said. “There’s no American plant that can match that.”
How will the American labour unions match that? Is it a good business decision to set up a plant in America, these days? Are you entitled to government protection, or should you have to compete? At what point do you start getting concerned about underage labour, "unfair" wages and how companies and governments overseas treat their workers in what kinds of conditions?

There has to be a baseline for human rights and the rights of workers to affect the political decision-making process. After that, I'd rather see free, fair, transparent and open competition with special interest groups like the American auto-lobby, the American agri-business, Japanese rice-farmers and pompous French traditionalists taking a backseat. Don't even get me started on the Common Agricultural Policy. And let's not pretend that China doesn't do everything it possibly can to promote Chinese industrial hegemony, both within and outside China's borders (which in themselves are a source of massive disputes, particularly some very dangerous expansionist claims in the South China Sea). But the fact remains that you'd be a fool to set up an average industrial operation in the US right now. Flexibility. Regulations. The sense of entitlement. Costs per worker.

7.1.12

2012 Republican candidates rundown.

I wikipedia'd and looked through Google News for stupid dumb stuff. The wikipedia pages seem to be scoured of anything remotely negative about the candidates - I'm guessing the campaigns are fairly up these days on having small-time editors able to massage the text on a wiki page to make sure little things like, say, sending a man to his execution when there's very credible and rather obvious scientific evidence available that he didn't kill his children. Check out Rick Perry's wikipedia page editing history. That part about CTW mysteriously shrunk over a period of a few weeks. The tide of people editing to smooth that stuff over was just too great. Now check the CTW page and come back to compare. Looks like positive things stick, negative things less so, unless it's particularly huge in the media.
  1. Newt Gingrich - bit of an arse to his women, ethics issues, dumb "invented people" idea.
  2. Ron Paul - nutcase re: gov't agencies, extremist anti-abortion views (?), but other than that - okay, and would be fun to watch in a trainwreck/fireworks kind of way.
  3. Rick Santorum - extremely anti-gay, anti-abortion, pro-settler, money ethics issues (?). I kind of dislike the rude google-bombing, though.
  4. Rick Perry - sent an innocent man to be executed, extremist religious.
  5. Mitt Romney - a bit too religiously motivated for my taste (no more G.W.-ish "crusaders", please), pro-settler.
  6. Jon Huntsman - drawing a blank on stuff that makes me dislike the others. Is he even a serious candidate?
Ref: I don't really care if you smoke weed, and would rather it be taxed than send a bunch of cash and guns south. I don't really care if you want to kill unborn babies as long as they're not viable outside the mother without massive medical intervention. I don't really care if you want to execute people, as long as they're actually guilty and you don't ignore sound science saying they're not. I don't really care if you want to change the definition of marriage in one state here or there, or every one. 1967 borders (or one state heh) and let's not support dictatorships or long-term occupation or torture or indefinite detention. Disabled veteran. Immigrant from Sweden.