Bucknell’s Got Talent

The performance was a very good way depicting Mike Daisey’s performance. It also did a interesting job of inflating the story, a way of poking fun of the lies that Daisey created. The performance became confusing at several points but it all was part of the necessary delivery of the play. What I took most from this performance was Professor Zhu’s’ speech. His description of what those jobs meant to those people in China helped me to realize we are looking at everything with a very narrow western lenses. To us, those people are being taken advantage of, which may be true in some parts, but to them, it is a an opportunity to make better for themselves. Isn’t it the same thing as the working poor in America? The people who work the jobs most of us turn our noses up at in order to create a better living for them and their families can equally compared to the work done by those in China. You must really ask how much different is Apple than to the Hilton or these lavish restaurants who use cheap labor to run their business.

Having read this week David Shipler’s: The Working Poor, it opened my eyes to the fact that this is not an issue specifically with just Apple. The overall problem comes from a lack of opportunities for people to advance into better socio-economic conditions. These people in China are essentially forced to accept the conditions and treatment they receive because there is simply no other way for them to make some type of income. While we can blame corporations for exploiting these workers, underneath it all it is still serving some good. I am in no way justifying their actions, but i do understand that without these businesses, many of these families would have much less than they have.

By riley246 Posted in Blog 4

7 comments on “Bucknell’s Got Talent

  1. I agree with you. Apple should not be justified for their actions abroad, but some of these factory employees are better off than they would be without a job. I believe economically speaking, these transnational corporations offer opportunities for people to work, who otherwise may not be employed. Although they are not getting paid a substantial amount, some income is better than none.

  2. Who determines the overall balance of how much workers earn versus how much is captured by the firm? Is it a purely “natural” market process in which neither workers, management, nor governments have any control?

    I would like to know more about the Shipley book. Are the working poor very similar in China and the USA? Overall, mobility in the USA is LESS than it used to be and it is also LESS then what we like to promote as the American Dream.

    I think we undervalue work in the US both in terms of letting wages stagnate AND culturally. Many middle and upper class look down on manual labor. Does racism towards Blacks or Hispanics exacerbate this?

    • Shipley makes it clear that the working poor in the U.S are much different from those in Asia. He even gives an example comparing children from the slums in LA who still have a gaming system for their entertainment, compared to the children in Asian slums who are using rusty rims and sticks to invent their own games. For a person in the U.S, it is much easier to climb the social ladder than say someone in China. Michael Harrington explains that China and the U.S ” are dispossessed in terms of what society could provide” and what one bowl rice means in one country, can mean something completely different in another. So for example, while welfare maybe seen as a sign of financial struggles in the U.S, it could be seen as a luxury in a country like China.

    • When I say ‘luxury’ i use the term loosely. I mean rather that Americans have access to such programs in comparison to say a person in China. The simple ability to have access is more than what others may have to things such as health benefits. A program that provides some of a populations social needs is better than one that doesn’t.

      • I see. I thought you meant quite literally that what we would call welfare they would see as a luxury, which could make sense if it is tied to being powerful enough to have local connections.

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