Join the Movement and Stand Up


Bully

The day we were given this assignment, I was met with an all too familiar Buzzfeed about the consequences of cyberbullying, the title being “That Dead Girl”.  Unfortunately, this article is not the first in which a young child has committed suicide due to cyberbullying and/or bullying in general.  The a quick Google search on bullying, I was met with the following statistics: Continue reading

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Because I am a Champion


katy-perry-600For this weeks music blog, I chose the over-played Katy Perry song Roar.  This song is more than just a song on the radio, a song you hear in the bar, or hear blasting among friends in rooms, this song has put smiles on peoples faces across the country and brought people together.  For me this song speaks to the chronic bullying that goes on today in our school systems: Continue reading

Always Low Prices, Always Low Wages


Around the world, even in the twenty-first century, countries are still facing violations of labor ethics, and sadly enough, we are seeing it still today in the United States.  The same country that is suppose to have high ideals and provide its citizens the ‘American dream”.  The United States unemployment rate is 7.3 percent[1], and even of those employed, 20 percent are living below the poverty line.[2]  How is this possible?  Under the federal law the United States provides a minimum wage of $7.25 [3]yet this wage has not been changed for numerous years, therefore it doesn’t account for inflation over the past years.  This has caused many people to be unable to support themselves, let alone a family.  The largest employer in the US is Wal-Mart providing 2.2 million jobs to our citizens, and is one of the wealthiest companies in the world; yet even a company like Wal-Mart is paying most of their employees a minimum wage salary.  These wages cause hundreds of thousands of Wal-Mart employees to be unable to provide for their families, forcing them to turn to public assistance. In this paper I will discuss the labor issues Wal-Mart employees are facing, and their impact on the millions of their employees. Continue reading

Making Global Labor Fair


Recently I have been finding an overlap between my human resource management class discussions and business, government and society.  That being said, HRM was a key factor in my decision in writing about Wal-Mart for my paper 2.  My HRM professor has expressed multiple times her pure hatred towards Wal-Mart due to their work ethics and morals (or shall I say, lack there of).  As I just recently read Raising the Global Floor for my HRM class which discusses labor laws across countries, and reading books on Wal-Marts culture behind closed doors, I typed in labor ethics into the search tab on TED.com.

The first result that appeared was “Auret van Heerdan: Making Global Labor Fair”.  Auret van Heerdan is the President and CEO of Fair Labor Association, with an extensive background in international labor rights. Continue reading

Welfare-Mart


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For paper 2 I have chosen to discuss the ethics behind shopping at Walmart.  Walmart has been faced with many class action law suits due to the way they treat their employees.   As this has been in the news a lot recently, I want to attack the question of whether or not shopping at Wal-Mart in turn becomes unethical as you are ‘feeding’ their behaviors. Continue reading

May the ‘Death Panel’ Be Ever in Your Favor


deathpanel

Obamacare is something that gets thrown around pretty readily today in the news.  For the past few years, this act has caused a great deal of controversy behind the doors of the government officials.  Yes, it may be all over the news and many citizens have taken a side but the real question is how many people TRULY, understand what the hell this even entails.  After taking the quiz, I can easily sit here and tell you I am well informed after receiving a 7 out of 10.  But that wouldn’t be fair to say, as I based my answers off of preconceived ideas of the government and what I would just ‘assume’ the answer to be.

The question that caught my eye and really left me looking for more answers was the following, Continue reading

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The Government is NOT too Big to Fail


Shut down

October 1, 2013

To start I have to admit I didn’t think there was such a thing as the government shutting down, so much for the “too big to fail”.  Yes, this isn’t a failure it is just due to the government parties’ inability to meet each other half way and make up their minds.  This isn’t like the common situation in many households of what to eat tonight for dinner.  The typical back and forth, can’t come to agreement and each family member just decided to do their own thing.  No this is real life, real people losing money as they wait for the congress to make a decision on funding.  Not to mention these people who also work for government and are the reason why some people in America for the past 3 days haven’t been getting paid, ARE getting paid.  Well that seems weird doesn’t it?  The government is not grasping that there are people waiting to go back to work, to bring home money to feed their families.  Similar to Lehman Brothers and Enron, not thinking of the ‘smaller’ people who will be affected. Continue reading

FaceTime to China


Screen shot 2013-10-07 at 2.48.18 PMThere must be some oxymoron when you find yourself sitting waiting on your Apple Iphone to FaceTime your Chinese teacher, in China, all the while getting questions prepared to discuss the controversial issues in which this exact device you are currently holding is made in.  Is that wrong?   Is it wrong that I didn’t even think twice about the fact that I’d be using Apple’s products to hold the interview? Continue reading

Blog 2 Council Feedback


Hey Everyone! Welcome to our class’s first blog counsel feedback! We put a lot of time and thought into this with going through each classmates blog, and discussing them with Jordi.  We enjoyed everyone’s ideas and thank you all! We hope this helps you with writing your next blog!

Everyone shared his or her interesting ideas and opinions on blog 2. We were impressed since it was one of the first blogs we have had. However we have a few suggestions for the future.

•            The majority of the titles were “Mr. Daisey and Apple.” Next time try to be more creative with

creating your title to catch the audience’s attention.

•            Try to use media and or images within your post to support your ideas.

•            When commenting, don’t be afraid to use some back and forth commentary to create a

discussion and better understand each other’s ideas.

•            Utilize the “like” button on comments.

•            Add a gravatar to your profile (a picture of yourself!)

While reading through everyone’s post we noticed some common themes and reactions that were mentioned a few times.

•            Feeling a sense of guilt since we purchase and use Apple electronics.

•            Feeling far removed as a consumer and ignoring what happens on the production line.

•            Feeling hopeless and powerless to make a significant change.

•            A continued desire to buy these Apple products.

•            Blaming the culture for these common factory conditions.

•            Surprised the electronics are made by people’s hands, rather than machines.

•            Feelings disconnected from China. We try to avoid the truth of what happens in these factories.

•            Concerns about the high suicide rates, hours, working conditions and worker’s injuries.

•            We felt the podcast was sickening, disgusting, unfathomable, horrifying, graphic and disturbing.

We were shocked and saddened.

While reviewing everyone’s blogs, we also paid attention to commentary.  As stated above, we want the use of commentary to go a little more in depth and begin to stray from the basic, “yes I agree”, “well said” type of comments. A good example is the commentary on John Miller’s blog.

  • Back and forth discussion
  • Challenge the writer, bring up counter facts
  • Ask questions
  • Refine their thinking
  • Rate blogs
  • Thumbs up, or down comments
  • Feel free to add your own thoughts to a classmates comment

Title Winners! We realize this is the first blog, but we went to emphasize creativity on titles.  After reading everyone’s blogs it can become hard to remember who wrote which when they all have the same, or similar titles.  Titles that stood out are:

  • Bridget Wilcoxà The Great Wall of Secrets
  • Kelly Pontecorvoà Conflicting Cultures

Overall winners! These blogs were filled with interesting points of views, eye-catching quotes

  • The first we would like to acknowledge to is Tom Romanowski’sblog. We, blog counsel, really enjoyed the connection made between 1984, a horror film, and Daisey’s monologue.  It was a unique way to looking at the information we were given, and caught our eyes.
  • Next we would like to give a shout out to Chelsea Lodato’s opening paragraph.  We all agreed that it expressed great imagery. She compared the nets at the factories to the nets for acrobats at a circus.
  • We appreciated the question Matt Haller raised since it was thought provoking. “Does our social responsibility stretch to other nations — or have we only developed this care for our own people and land?”
  • Haley’s blog did a great job questioning what our generation has been taught about business. She states “ students, as people who may one day be practitioners in the world of business, should work on defining the purpose of business for ourselves”
  • Chris McCree had some interesting points, one of them being “the aura of Apple makes us believe everything about the company must be great”.

True or False, Does it Matter Now?


When growing up you’re told to always tell a lie but as you get older you are exposed to the theory of a ‘white lie’, a fabricated story of the truth to either make your listener not mad, or to persuade them into agreeing with whatever you may be discussing.  In the retraction podcast, I felt that this is a prime example of a ‘white lie’ gone wrong.  Daisey comes off in the retraction podcast as an innocent guy who just wanted to grab the attention of his audience, and believed the plain truth wouldn’t be a good enough hook.  Does this make it not as bad ? Was it truly a complete lie or an exaggeration of the truth?

Personally, I felt lied to, deceived, fooled, and ashamed.  I just got back from living in China for 6 months, and I was so quick to believe everything Daisey said was true and not even question some of his most moving stories until listening to Rob (the Chinese correspondent) point out all the faulty statements.  Starting with the guards holding guns, factory workers going to Starbucks for a meeting in which highly controversial topics were discussed, to the blacklist document not having a government seal.  I can tell you now the only time I saw a gun was in the subway station when they would be refilling the ATM machines; I never once saw a factory worker in a Starbucks, they were always foreigners or businessmen in a suit and tie; and lastly, working for two months in China I can tell you that NO document whether by the government or any company, is official if it does not have a red seal on it.   I feel ashamed as I recall all of this information that I didn’t think twice to find Daisey’s story the slightest bit faulty.

That all being said, I can’t say that I believe the entire account to be false.  I can’t deny that there are probably tons of safety and labor violations occurring behind the gates, or that people have killed themselves due to these circumstances, or that Apple does not know about these conditions.  But even as I hear the recant of the original podcast we listened to, and knowing many things were false, how do you possibly wipe your memory from remembering those horrific stories?  How can you go back to being able to look at your Ipad, Iphone, or MacBook and not think of those individuals personally putting together your gadgets? Was that Daisey’s true goal? Even though he did admit to a few ‘white lies’ did he still succeed in changing the views of Apple consumers?  Was he successful in the end, after the retraction podcast?

For me, the answer is yes.  Whether fully true, more false than true, Daisey got the point of across.  He made people listen, he made the factory workers ‘real’ people, he made you question the products they buy, and most importantly he made you think twice.

Behind the Gates


This podcast was very moving for me after studying abroad in China for six months.  Before arriving in China, I didn’t know much about the country besides the fact the most of my clothing tags said ‘made in China’.   I believed I would see more or hear more about all these factories that must exist since all my products said ‘made in China’.  To my surprise, I did not once hear anyone discuss this issue, or see any sign of a factory. Granted I lived in Beijing and Shanghai, which are huge cities not fit for a factory, but they are the headquarters of these major companies so wouldn’t you think there would be some talk amongst locals that I would come across?

Listening to this podcast really hit ‘home’.  I could imagine myself as Mike Daisey talking to these workers, hearing their side of the story ‘behind the gates’.  Sadly, I was not shocked to hear that horrible stories of suicides, government and higher-ups denying facts, and the poor treatment of the workers.  It is a terrible fact but to me not a surprising one.

You would hope there would be a way to avoid or change this situation that is happening in ShenZhen but to me there’s little hope.  We can look to Apple as an example, and ask why or how they can ‘not’ know about what’s going on, but from my experience in China, I can tell you, it’s pretty easy, just think of the reaction of Mike Daisey’s translator.

Google


A company that came to mind after reading about the four managerial problems in Ed’s article is Google. From my prospective the four managerial problems all stemmed from the employee not feeling that their work was meaningful. From this stemmed the disconnect between self and work which causes conflict with business ethics.
At Google headquarters, they are constantly trying to improve the environment. The executives want to make you feel welcomed and home, along with letting you know they care about your family. This setting enables their employees to feel their work is meaningful, that they are supported and truly wanted. If Ed were to look into the company dynamic he would see how Google is working hard to counter act the common four managerial problems that so easily occur in corporations.

http://www.google.com/about/jobs/lifeatgoogle/benefits/