What I'm Reading Sunday, January 22, 2012

Politics

Politics — Newt Gingrich

Politics — Mitt Romney

Economics & The Economny

  • Should Apple Make Its Products In The U.S.? | Cult of Mac
  • Apple, America and a Squeezed Middle Class – NYTimes.com

    …“Companies once felt an obligation to support American workers, even when it wasn’t the best financial choice,” said Betsey Stevenson, the chief economist at the Labor Department until last September. “That’s disappeared. Profits and efficiency have trumped generosity.”Companies and other economists say that notion is naïve. Though Americans are among the most educated workers in the world, the nation has stopped training enough people in the mid-level skills that factories need, executives say.

    [...]

    For Mr. Cook, the focus on Asia “came down to two things,” said one former high-ranking Apple executive. Factories in Asia “can scale up and down faster” and “Asian supply chains have surpassed what’s in the U.S.” The result is that “we can’t compete at this point,” the executive said.

    [...]

    An eight-hour drive from that glass factory is a complex, known informally as Foxconn City, where the iPhone is assembled. To Apple executives, Foxconn City was further evidence that China could deliver workers — and diligence — that outpaced their American counterparts.

    That’s because nothing like Foxconn City exists in the United States.

    The facility has 230,000 employees, many working six days a week, often spending up to 12 hours a day at the plant. Over a quarter of Foxconn’s work force lives in company barracks and many workers earn less than $17 a day. When one Apple executive arrived during a shift change, his car was stuck in a river of employees streaming past. “The scale is unimaginable,” he said.

    Foxconn employs nearly 300 guards to direct foot traffic so workers are not crushed in doorway bottlenecks. The facility’s central kitchen cooks an average of three tons of pork and 13 tons of rice a day. While factories are spotless, the air inside nearby teahouses is hazy with the smoke and stench of cigarettes.

    Foxconn Technology has dozens of facilities in Asia and Eastern Europe, and in Mexico and Brazil, and it assembles an estimated 40 percent of the world’s consumer electronics for customers like Amazon, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, Nintendo, Nokia, Samsung and Sony.

    “They could hire 3,000 people overnight,” said Jennifer Rigoni, who was Apple’s worldwide supply demand manager until 2010, but declined to discuss specifics of her work. “What U.S. plant can find 3,000 people overnight and convince them to live in dorms?”

    [...]

  • China Makes, The World Takes – Magazine – The Atlantic

Science

  • You Got Your Politics in My Science | Almost Diamonds
  • A Teacher, a Student and a Church-State Dispute | Neil deGrasse Tyson

    People cited violation of the First Amendment when a New Jersey schoolteacher asserted that evolution and the Big Bang are not scientific and that Noah’s ark carried dinosaurs. This case is not about the need to separate church and state; it’s about the need to separate ignorant, scientifically illiterate people from the ranks of teachers.

  • Eyewitness | Alethian Worldview

     In short, eyewitness testimony is the category of evidence that is THE most likely to be influenced and/or modified in the presence of stress, peer pressure, the power of suggestion, and so on. This is why it is important to make a distinction, in historical research, between “independent” accounts that arise via collaboration in a context of shared religious fervor and perceived persecution, versus accounts that are truly independent (i.e. that arise without any collaboration, religious identification, shared goals, etc., between the parties). It is especially significant, then, that William Lane Craig consistently fails to make any such distinction in his own historical “research.”

Sports

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