Alan Sands Entertainment

 

2012 January 26. If you haven’t already seen it, you should check out this New York Times article, which I posted to Facebook today: In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad .

Apple, along with most other computer companies, now assemble and manufacture everything in China because China can do it for less than $10 a unit. How do they do it? China operates sweat shops that keep workers at the factory for 12 hour shifts to meet the high demand Apple has for its products at the cheapest price. ...

Chinese factory where Apple products are made

China has a really high suicide rate at these sweat shop factories. These people have no quality of life; if they are injured, they are put out to pasture. Meanwhile, Apple now has close to 100 billion dollars in cash and liquidable assets. Apple makes over $400,000 per employee (those they call employees). So I am asking: When will Apple going be socially responsible and bring jobs back to the people who buy their products? When will they be socially responsible and stop supporting slave labor?

I think most of us can picture in some way what $400,000 per Apple Employee looks like. After all, if you make $40,000 in a year, you know what it took to earn that amount of money; now multiply that by 10 years. I do not think, however, that anyone of us has a clear image of what $97 billion dollars looks like. Let me try and give you an image to grasp.

Currently I am attempting to collect one million pull tabs from aluminum cans. At 1,000 a month, it will take me 83 years to reach my goal. I am doing a little better than that; I currently have about 70,000 and it has taken me 2-1/2 years to get this many (a few more than 2,300 per month). At this rate, it will take me only 13-1/2 years to reach one million.

Once I have one million pop tops, I will show them at fairs. The volume will be close to filling the back of my pick-up truck and, I think, the entire camper shell as well. But this doesn't mean much really as I want you to understand what 97 billion is, and these two numbers are no where close to each other.

Imagine 1,000 pick-up trucks, each filled with 1,000,000 (one million) pop tops. This totals only one billion. So, to really grasp this you have to imagine 97,000 pick up trucks, each filled with one million pop tops. This is how much CASH and liquid assets Apple computer has on hand, readily available at this moment.

In 2010, Disneyworld had 47 million visitors to its four theme parks combined. If each of those visitors spent over $2,000 each, this is how much cash and liquid assets Apple has available—today.

But back to the pop tops. Imagine, if you will, Disneyworld’s Parking lot. It is the largest flat, ground level parking lot in the world. Here there are over 23,000 parking spaces between Epcot Center and The Magic Kingdom. Epcot’s parking lot, the larger of the two, measures 160 acres (7 million square feet), the equivalent of 140 NFL football fields.

Now, place a pick-up truck filled with one million pop tops in each of those 23,000 parking spaces and you will have 23,000,000,000 (billion) pop tops. Apple has 97 billion dollars in cash assets!

You may debate my number $97 billion. I can’t find where I got that figure at the moment; I read it earlier this week, and that was before the stock market explosion over this quarter’s profits were announced two days ago. But this is what I just found in an article from July 2011*:

"...the U.S. Treasury...the government had an operating cash balance of $73.8 billion...Apple’s last earnings report showed that the company had $76.2 billion in cash and marketable securities at the end of June [2011]. In other words, the world’s largest tech company has more cash than the world’s largest sovereign government."

 

NYT Video: Made In ChinaMy point is: How do we get Apple to become socially conscious? How do we make Apple either (1) bring the jobs back to the USA where the consumer of the product is, now that they are financially more stable than over 100 nations in the world, or (2) at least be socially responsible enough to increase the standards of living in China for their laborers and give them a quality of life that makes these people proud of what they do, how they do it and why they do it?

 


*Business Insider, 2011:

Apple Now Has More Cash Than the U.S. Government

Mind-Melting Facts about Apple’s June 2011 Quarter

background