[linux-elitists] Walmart $168.00 PC
Mon Jun 14 12:57:31 PDT 2004
>>>>> "JSJA" == John S J Anderson <email@example.com> writes:
JSJA> Just because you can't _stop_ it, doesn't mean that you
JSJA> shouldn't try to _minimize_ it. Yes, electronics
JSJA> manufacturing has a heavy environmental footprint. That's
JSJA> completely orthogonal to the point at hand, which was
JSJA> somebody buying a computer at Wal-Mart.
If it were just environmental, that'd be one thing. BUT it's terrible
in so many other ways.
1) Balance of trade. Computer hardware jobs fled the US and Europe
_years_ ago. Now they're fleeing parts of Asia to other
developing countries. It's a global economy, but nobody in
Indonesia is buying electronic equipment made in Milwaukee. The
balance is really skewed.
2) Labor standards. Most computer hardware, and especially
microcomputer hardware, is made and assembled in countries with
extremely low labor standards, and poor records of democracy to
correct those problems. Union-made computer hardware is
practically non-existent. (No matter how you feel about unions,
their existence in a country _does_ show that laborers have some
power to make decisions about their labor.)
3) Respect for small towns and local economies. When big computer
manufacturers _do_ set up shop in the US, they usually squeeze
huge tax concessions -- or even grants! -- from local
governments for the privilege of getting the headquarters
there. Since they're usually business ops or research centers,
they bring in people from out of town to work. The jobs they
create are menial, rather than semi-skilled technical work.
I'd love to buy a socially-conscious PC, but they just aren't out
there. I think it's great that people can get $200 PCs from Walmart,
since they can then get on the Internet and organize to change this
X-Quote: "As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others,
we should be glad to serve others by any invention of ours."
-- Ben Franklin
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