Friday, October 15, 2010

Apple, iPad, China, and Me

I was just about to buy Apple’s latest electronic wonder, the iPad. It tempted me most of all because I could use it to replace some newspapers to which I subscribe. They are becoming fatter and fatter and thus heavier and heavier to carry from the curb every day and then back for the weekly pickup.

But I hesitated. Should I also order any accessory beyond the thin case to protect the $499 i-Pad? What else?

Meantime, I read the latest news about Foxconn, the multinational that manufactures gadgets for Apple and other multinationals that outsource their production to China. I wrote a blog item about the news, titled “Silicon sweatshops in China exposed by academics in China.” (See my blog of Tuesday, October 12.)

I tussled with myself.

Deal or no deal? No deal. And no great sacrifice either. I can get electronic versions of those newspapers through other, cleaner sources. I’ll have to write a letter to Apple and another to President Obama. My little protest won’t trouble Apple.

Since free trade in its present form limits our choices, I have compromised my principles many times before, and may do so again. But not this time.

With the mid-term elections looming, I’ve gotten appeals signed by the President telling me, “Robert, I need you.” I emailed back; “Mr. President, we need you.”
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