Gilbert B. Kaplan: Apple iPad – Foxconn = Jobs For Americans!

Gilbert B. Kaplan, Acting Assistant Secretary of the United States Department of Commerce.

How can I not respond to the “former Deputy Assistant and Acting Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce“? From Harvard no less!

Via the Huffington Post:

Let’s Move the iPad Back to America

by Gilbert B. Kaplan

Corporate citizens like Apple have a greater responsibility than just making money for their shareholders. They have a responsibility to the future of this country. Given the problems that are occurring at the Foxconn plant where they have been subcontracting iPad production, they should fulfill their responsibilities and move the production of the iPad back to the United States.

Note: You may want to read Gilbert’s article entirely at least once before diving into my responses below.

Right off the bat, we’ve humanized a corporation into a “corporate citizen” that has a responsibility to its country of citizenship and “the future” of that country. What responsibility? The responsibility to provide jobs manufacturing the iPad to the United States. Since there happen to be some problems at Foxconn in the news right now, it is especially a good time for Apple to bring those jobs back home to America, and fulfill “their responsibilities”.

I have no qualms with humanizing companies, organizations, or governments. They are made of people and people make their decisions, so I’m totally fine with that. Like others, I just enjoy pointing out how humanizing or dehumanizing something can manipulate people’s receptivity to subsequent suggestions about that thing. It’s easier to agree that someone owes you something when you see them as supposedly being one of your own, who should be on your side, who should share your interests.

Do I have an issue with what corporations owe their shareholders or home countries? Not really. I do want to ask people to imagine how differently — if at all — they’d feel if this were written by a Chinese government official about a Chinese company and what responsibilities that company owes the future of their home country. Would any of you decry the political and nationalistic overtones?

What role do the recent Foxconn “problems” play here? Looking at how that sentence is written, should Apple fulfill its “responsibilities” because of them? Or should Apple fulfill them anyway, regardless of them?

Let’s first look at what’s gone wrong at Foxconn, the sprawling subcontracting plant where iPads and other high tech products are made in Shenzhen, north of Hong Kong. Let’s look at the most fundamental point first, at least as it relates to the United States. That is that the workers at Foxconn’s plant are paid $130 a month. Assuming that they work four fifty hour weeks a month, this translates to a wage of 65 cents an hour. […]

Come on, Gilbert, you’re the “Acting Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce”!

The United States Department of Commerce, Herbert C. Hoover building.

This is where Gilbert B. Kaplan works. Maybe.

Don’t tell me you don’t understand differences in wages and cost of living across different markets. Are you serious? Are you really going down this route?

That is basically a slave labor wage, […]

Oh my god, yes, you are.

[…] at least as compared to the wages in western markets where the iPad is sold. […]

Yeah, no shit, right? What is this? A pre-emptive “yes, I know the cost of living is different there for a reason, but I’m just comparing them to us here in the West anyway. Who cares if the comparison is inappropriate, right?”

How can we continue to tolerate a trading system that not only allows this, but in fact encourages it? […]

Uh, because that’s the free-trade capitalism the United States of America is founded upon?

[…] It is true that workers in China seem to want these jobs because the alternative is even worse, but even that conclusion has now been thrown into doubt. If it’s such an ideal career path, why have ten workers thrown themselves off buildings at the Foxconn plant (nine died and the other suffered severe injuries), why have their been reports of security guards abusing workers, and why has the work been described as relentless, as “making people numb,” as turning them into machines?

No, it is true that many workers in China want these jobs because the alternative is even worse just as it is true that some don’t. No valid or reasonable conclusion has been thrown into doubt, now or ever. You’re just suggesting a false conclusion. No one ever said it was “an ideal career path“. Since no one did, there shouldn’t be any surprise that some workers (a dozen out of about 450,000) have thrown themselves off buildings, that there are reports of abuse, and that the work has been described as “relentless, as ‘making people numb,’ as turning them into machines”.

Foxconn workers.

It is true that Gilbert B. Kaplan seems to be making a tone of disingenuous arguments here.

It is a scandal that this is where the high tech goods that people across America are enjoying are being made. […]

I am shocked! Shocked, I tell you!

[…] And Apple does not need to make them there. The classic economic argument that the very low wages are economically necessary for a product like the iPad simply makes no sense at all. […]

Wait, what? That’s not the OR a classic economic argument at all. You work for the American Department of Commerce?!?

A classic economic argument for Apple making the iPad in any place that offers lower costs is that doing so allows the iPad to be sold at cheaper prices. A class economic argument for Apple making the iPad at a cheaper cost to sell at a cheaper price is that doing so allows more people to purchase it and increase Apple’s revenues and profits. A classic economic argument is that society’s demand for ever-cheaper goods make it a competitive strategy for producers to seek ever-lower costs. The classic economic argument is that prices will always gravitate towards what the market will bear.

[…] iSuppli, a well respected international economics firm, estimates that the cost of manufacturing including labor in the iPad, is about $10 in a product that retails for about $600, in other words less than 2% of the price. And the profit Apple makes on the iPad is over $300 an item. […]

That’s clever. The iPad cost breakdown estimate by iSuppli does indeed estimate the manufacturing cost (which excludes the prices of the components) as being $10 to $11.20.  However, does Apple make over $300 in profit per item? As explicitly cautioned by iSuppli:

Please note these cost estimates account only for hardware and manufacturing costs and do not include other expenses such as software, royalties and licensing fees.

These estimates also do not include the costs of Apple being Apple, of all the R&D behind dreaming up, designing, prototyping, developing, marketing, advertising, and servicing a product like the iPad.

Steve Jobs unveiling the Apple iPad.

Back to you, Gilbert…

[…] Even if this $10 manufacturing cost (which includes such other things as factory overhead and energy costs) were doubled or tripled or quadrupled by paying a U.S. worker a reasonable wage and helping restore the U.S. economy, Apple’s profits would still be enormous.

Maybe, but maybe not enormous enough for them and their shareholders. Moreover, Gilbert, have you stopped to wonder how all those components that make up most of the costs broken down by iSuppli, are so cheap? Have you ever wondered why the A4 computer processor costs only 17 bucks? How much do you spend on lunch on average?

And what’s a “reasonable wage” anyway? Do you have any ideas? Can we get some input from the manufacturing unions? Will this reasonable wage include benefits like health insurance?

Foxconn pays their assembly line workers a base monthly wage of 900 RMB, or about 132 USD. Granted, these people work tons of overtime to make more money to save and send home, with the oft-toted figure being 2000 RMB total per month after adding overtime pay. That’s 294 USD. Without calculating in the fact that Foxconn provides room and board for their employees, let’s quadruple that to a round 1,200 USD per month. Is $1,200 per month for 80 hours a week a “reasonable wage” for Americans?

Will there be 450,000 Americans chomping at the bit to do such assembly line work? Will there be 450,000 Americans willing to meet the productivity of the Chinese worker in this regard, working as much overtime as necessary to earn that $1,200? Will they accept such a wage as long as they get daily meals and a dorm bed to crash in each night? How much will the land for the factory in America cost? The energy an maintenance costs for the factory? The costs of recruiting those 450,000 workers1? Let’s say American workers are far more productive than their Chinese counterparts because, you know, they’re Americans. Let’s say we’d only need 1/4th of the labor force to make just as many iPads and whatever other widgets Apple has Foxconn making for it. What are the costs and probabilities of recruiting 112,500 Americans to do the job?

2009 Unemployment Rate for Rural & Exurban Counties.

Maybe it could work?

Come on, Gilbert, don’t just tell us it would work, show us how it would work.

About 100 years ago Henry Ford realized you cannot have a sustained industrial economy if the people who make goods don’t have enough money to buy them. So he paid his workers enough money that over time they could buy his cars, buy their homes and move into the middle class. […]

100 years ago, we didn’t have the globalized economy we have today. In fact, the globalized economy we have today is largely thanks to Henry Ford, who popularized the shared components, division of labor, and assembly line manufacturing required for mass industrial production. He paid his workers more money than was common at the time only in part so they could one day afford his cars but buying homes and social mobility was not on his “profit-sharing” agenda. Gilbert, you do remember Henry Ford was against unions, right? You also know that it is entirely possible for the Chinese Foxconn workers to afford the iPad with their wages over time as well, right? Apple’s own employees definitely make enough to buy their own products.

Ford assembly line, circa 1913.

A Ford assembly line, circa 1913.

Yes, I know your point is to say workers should be paid more, but my point is to chafe at the horrible and horribly exploitative and misleading arguments you’re making.

[…] Apple, now the largest technology company in America, is trying to squeeze every penny it can out of the U.S. consumers, and give nothing back, not even a manufacturing job in Silicon Valley or somewhere else in the United States for people making the iPad. […]

Oh come now, you’re just being dramatic here. Squeezing every penny? So what should Apple do? Pay Foxconn more so Foxconn can pay its workers an amount that isn’t a “slave labor wage”? No, wait, they should bring those jobs back home to America for American workers, right? And pay them a “reasonable wage”? Which probably isn’t $1200 a month, right? Increase the prices of their products to accommodate their now increased costs? But wait, that’s still “squeezing every penny” out of American consumers, right? So it should soak up the costs and accept a profit margin smaller than the $300 profits it doesn’t make on each iPad?

On one hand, you’re griping about Apple paying too little to its workers. On the other, you’re accusing them of fleecing its customers. Sure, they’re not mutually exclusive, but you’re still somewhat sending mixed messages, encouraging people to pay more but also demand to pay less.

And really now, Apple gives plenty back to U.S. consumers! It is both revolutionizing entire markets, and creating them. It is challenging and competing with other computer, technology, and consumer electronics giants, driving innovation. If nothing else, Apple is giving immeasurable amounts of smug hipness to all of its consumers. How do you put a price on “cool“?

[…] 65 cents an hour is a better wage from their point of view. I’m a lawyer and I like to make a good income. I guess I should try and figure out how to pay my employees 65 cents an hour too.

Or you can stop trying to squeeze every penny you can out of U.S. consumers. See how that works?

One of the saddest footnotes, to me, in the whole Foxconn suicide story came from a nonchalant comment made by one of the Foxconn employees who an AP reporter interviewed next to the company swimming pool. The pool was supposedly built for the workers. But the worker commented that the pool closes at 9 pm, and she gets off too late to ever use it. It was sad both because this is just part of the whole Foxconn picture, unending routine, depersonalization, and migrant workers coming to Shenzhen with no way out. But it was also sad because it appears that Foxconn has built a Potemkin village, a fake façade, to appeal to U. S. outsourcers and U. S. journalists, and until recently, we all bought it.

No, you idiot, she couldn’t use the pool because she chooses to work overtime shifts to make more money because making more money is worth more to her than a dip in that pool. She can forgo a shift and a few dozen RMB if she really wants to take a swim. It’s up to her. To the extent that she feels compelled to work rather than swim, it sucks that the Chinese market for unskilled labor is so competitive but that’s life. Who do you want to blame? The government for not mandating higher minimum wages? The international globalized economy for making higher minimum wages a competitive disadvantage? The over-consuming Westerners who believe they are entitled to such over-consumption? All of them? Take your pick.

Map of Hon Hai/Foxconn's factory city in Shenzhen, China.

Foxconn didn’t build a Potemkin village, they built what you wanted to see. Let’s drop your fake facade, your feigned ignorance, your false outrage of what manufacturing at such a low price point is like. You have only bought what you wanted to buy. Neither you nor U.S. outsourcers and U.S. journalists were tricked or deceived. You either turned a blind eye because you didn’t care or you’re playing stupid.

Now, I have to ask: Are you really this stupid or are you simply dumbing down your message so much in an effort to please your target audience that you only “seem” to be this stupid to anyone with a modicum of critical thinking?

Everyone, I get it that Gilbert here is the consummate politician, playing to the American constituent, pandering to their self-interests, their ignorance, their emotions with this sort of fake heart-to-heart, everyman “straight talk”. Hell, even as a lawyer, I know it’s all about convincing your audience of your message, not about having the “right” message, position, facts or truth. I get it.

He’s still a dick for contributing to both American and global stupidity. There are problems in this world, problems that can be improved upon, even solved…but not with this kind of opportunistic stupidity.


  1. I know, not all 450,000 workers are involved in manufacturing for Apple. []


33 Comments

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  1. He is a protectionist

    五毛党

    • Simon Ningbo

      Exactly, the US is really going downhill if it has to fight for jobs with the lowest added value in the entire product chain.. (10USD out of a 600USD product)
      What an idiotic argument, from every angle, Apple wouldn’t have provided thousands of very well paid jobs to Americans if it weren’t for the cheap production elsewhere, as is the case obviously for all technology company. It’s pathetic really, instead of encouraging Apple and other high tech companies, engineers, etc. in the US, they want the factory line jobs back..What about educating your population instead ? I think it’d pay for the US to head over to Germany and see how you can pay your workers 2000USD/M and still be globally competitive.

  2. hm

    That’s on the Huffington Post???

    HE’S SECRETARY OF US DEPT. OF COMMERCE?!!?

    Hm, is he a teapartier?

    Maybe he had a bit too much ‘tea’ and thought he was back in the late 1800s and early 1900s…

    • hm

      Sorry for my mistake, let me correct myself…
      He is the ACTING ASSISTANT secretary of US Dept. of Commerce.

      i like that. acting assistant.

  3. B-real

    Although I agree with your argument against his argument. But im also all for bringing the shit back home or charge less for the products they make as of today. Or better yet have a plant in each nation you plan to sell to and Charge accordingly. Here’s is something that bothers me, if the product is manufactured and or assembled in China shouldn’t it cost allot less in China? Why do does foreign brands cost way more here in China when it never left logistically. Why does the brand get taxed and tariffs imposed when its home grown?

    Sorry to say it but his argument hits it right on the money. I wish they would stop throwing Apple under the bus and just come out and say all manufactured US goods should think about at least keeping something back home and supplement the demand and stimulate the home nation.
    My company is guilty of the same pleasures of outsourcing, but the demand for our services is high in the US we have to keep our operations up and running.

    Even if manufacturing was brought back to the US people would still be left out of the loop. It would be mostly automated. People are liabilities, and inefficient money vacuums. Unions are a thorn and in today’s time irrelevant, educated people are pain in the ass and always think they are worth more than others, laziness and incompetence are diseases wasting time and money , throw in the insurance, taxes, fucking lawsuits, and it becomes a big burden to make money threw manufacturing in the US.

    I maybe wrong but on the China side this problem has to be fixed and figured out what the real cause of these suicides. 1 of my subordinates got the bawls to ask me why do the Chinese get paid way less than the foreigners. I give them a smart ass answer like “talk to Wen Jiaobo and ask him to raise minimum wages to international standards.” But then he answered his own question, “if minimum wage went up that much foreign firm would not come to china?” They can’t put all the blame on Companies that have no control on societal issues of a country. Its far more competitive in China and its too many people going after the same goal at the same time and the future for most is not too bright.

    • Fenqing

      “Or bet­ter yet have a plant in each nation you plan to sell to and Charge accord­ingly.” — you cannot B-real, can you?

      – Fenqing + 五毛党

  4. Bin Wang

    Live by the sword, die by the sword.

    For years, globalization and free trade has been the American mantra. We can’t have it both ways. We can’t demand access to Chinese markets, yet be protected from Chinese competition from the massive Chinese workforce. Apple is a corporation, it’s not running a charity. This is what we wanted, now we have it, and we’re pissing and moaning about it. We kept drooling at the positives of it all, imagining only if a business could make a single penny for each Chinese citizen … and never thought about the negatives. The sacrifice of US jobs, assuming the now recession-humbled American workforce would take such jobs, for shareholder profits, in the long run, is no more than a redistribution of wealth from the poor to the wealthy. And now you think these shareholders are going to sacrifice returns to create jobs on Mainstreet?

    Oh, FYI, it seems this fellow missed the latest issue of Fortune magazine:

    http://money.cnn.com/2010/05/06/news/international/china_america_full.fortune/

    For all the bandwagon-jumping folks who shout boycott Chinese goods, you gotta ask yourself, if you buy Apple, but boycott Haier … are you really accomplishing your goals? :-)

    • Lolz

      Exactly. Btw, the anti china backlash did convince some companies to pull out of china. But instead of opening more plants in the us, shoe companies like new balance moved their operations to Indonesia. I think a lot of people who are upset at china will soon realize that enemy is not china but capitalism itself.

  5. Lolz

    If you look at Kaplan’s piece as an opinion as opposed to a news item then there is really nothing wrong other than the fact that his arguments are not convincing at all.

    Businesses will do whatever they can to get things done at the right price. They should. As an apple shareholder I do care if apples earnings decrease because I don’t want to see my own hard earned savings decrease. Now people like Kaplan who is already wealthy can ride their moral highhoese all they want but most if not all apple shareholders would be very upset if jobs decided that he should forfeit 50percent profit margin to manufacture in the us. That’s not how things work.

    Personally I think the us government should do sa lot more to encourage companies to stay local, like the Chinese government. But the America is strong because of it’s pro business policies. Americans are brought up against Big government and anything socialistic. So in some ways Americans deserve what is happening as local companies outsource.

    • Right, like most HuffPo pieces, its pretty clearly an opinion piece and not a news item. What’s wrong, in my opinion, is that his arguments aren’t convincing AND he’s a dick for being willfully stupid. I refuse to believe someone from Harvard, passed the BAR exam, and serves in the DOC is genuinely stupid enough to believe this rhetoric. But I’m willing to believe someone of that caliber is evil enough to employ such rhetoric.

  6. qwer

    Thanks for ESWN for referring to this article, but its headline was so vague that I didn’t take the time to read through the entire article.

    If you believe that your blogs have anything to offer as far as news goes, please take some time to make them appear professional.

    This piece presents itself as unedited garbage. There is no subject; there is no tone or obvious opinion. Did the writer ever go to university?

  7. Jones

    What did we tell you about reading the Huffington Post? It’s half a step up from Faux News. Basically shooting fish in a slightly larger barrel.

    However, I would absolutely LOVE an assembly-line manufacturing job here, as I’m still a student and those things generally pay pretty nice full-time paychecks with benefits. So, as much as I [don’t] hate to say it: I’m all for that factory abandoning Shenzhen and setting up shop here.

    • Huffington Post is fine. Every publication has its good and its bad. The point is less about HuffPo and what it publishes and more about who is actually writing this stuff.

  8. Jones

    “…and all our jobs are going to CHINA. Now if I were president, the only thing going to China would be MISSILES!”

  9. Goodness

    No Kai you don’t get it. Kaplan is the president of U.S. Trade Law Group.

    http://www.kslaw.com/portal/server.pt?space=KSPublicRedirect&control=KSPublicRedirect&PressReleaseId=4090
    This is the second and third paragraph in the link.

    “I think this is a tremendous opportunity and I appreciate CSUSTL’s confidence in giving me the position of president,” Kaplan said. “It is now more important than ever to have strong trade laws in this country. We have lost millions of jobs due to unfair trade and we need to have the ability to fight back and rebuild our economy.”

    CSUSTL’s members span all sectors, including manufacturing, technology, agriculture, mining and energy and services. The organization is dedicated to ensuring that the unfair trade laws are not weakened through legislation or policy decisions in Washington, D.C., in international negotiations, or through dispute settlements at the World Trade Organization and elsewhere.

    It’s his job is to help promote fair trade. Calling on corporate citizenship is a means to that end.

    Kai said:

    Uh, because that’s the free-trade capitalism the United States of America is founded upon?

    All kinds of wrong. Follow the link below and read CAREFULLY under the title “The United States and free trade”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_trade

    Kai wrote:

    No, it is true that many workers in China want these jobs because the alternative is even worse just as it is true that some don’t. No valid or reasonable conclusion has been thrown into doubt, now or ever. You’re just suggesting a false conclusion. No one ever said it was “an ideal career path”. Since no one did, there shouldn’t be any surprise that some workers (a dozen out of about 450,000) have thrown themselves off buildings, that there are reports of abuse, and that the work has been described as “relentless, as ‘making people numb,’ as turning them into machines”

    I can’t tell if this is hogwash or comedy gold.

    When Kaplan said:

    If it’s such an ideal career path, why have ten workers thrown themselves off buildings at the Foxconn plant

    he was speaking sarcastic.

    For example: If your so smart, how could you miss that?

    He never made a straw man argument, but you did. What makes it great is that you provided a wiki link but obviously didn’t read the entry.

    100 years ago, we didn’t have the globalized economy we have today. In fact, the globalized economy we have today is largely thanks to Henry Ford, who popularized the shared components, division of labor, and assembly line manufacturing required for mass industrial production. He paid his workers more money than was common at the time only in part so they could one day afford his cars but buying homes and social mobility was not on his “profit-sharing” agenda. Gilbert, you do remember Henry Ford was against unions, right? You also know that it is entirely possible for the Chinese Foxconn workers to afford the iPad with their wages over time as well, right? Apple’s own employees definitely make enough to buy their own products.

    Crediting Henry Ford with the global economy because of his manufacturing innovations is like blaming China for western colonialism because they created gunpowder. You don’t need unions if the company compensates its employees fairly. Look at Google, Microsoft, IBM, to name a few they have no unions and I’ve heard no complaints.

    • Goodness

      Oops I meant.
      When Kaplan said:

      If it’s such an ideal career path, why have ten work­ers thrown them­selves off build­ings at the Fox­conn plant

      he was speak­ing sarcastically.

    • Goodness,

      It’s his job is to help pro­mote fair trade. Call­ing on cor­po­rate cit­i­zen­ship is a means to that end.

      1. I gave the links to his bio. I’m familiar with his background and I think I recognize that he has his motives in writing such a piece. That’s what the entire conclusion was about, that he’s writing what he’s writing for a reason. You call him calling on corporate citizenship as a means to an end. I call him calling on stupidity as a means to an end. This is not me “not getting” anything, this is me disagreeing with Gilbert’s means.

      All kinds of wrong. Fol­low the link below and read CAREFULLY under the title “The United States and free trade”

      You mean this part?

      “Since the end of World War II, in part due to industrial supremacy and the onset of the Cold War, the U.S. government has become one of the most consistent proponents of reduced tariff barriers and free trade,”

      Granted, you have a semantic argument (which you and I love to have), on “founded” but I would have hoped you’ve become familiar enough with my positions that you know I’m saying the United States doesn’t merely tolerate such a trade system, but actively encourages it…especially when it sees itself as benefiting from such.

      he was speak­ing sarcastic.

      For exam­ple: If your so smart, how could you miss that?

      Sure, but he was also employing a straw man argument.

      He never made a straw man argu­ment, but you did. What makes it great is that you pro­vided a wiki link but obvi­ously didn’t read the entry.

      When he suggests that working at Foxconn was seen as an “ideal career path” and then shows how it isn’t, that’s a straw man argument. Let me spell it out for you:

      “A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position.[1] To “attack a straw man” is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting a superficially similar yet weaker proposition (the “straw man”), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.[1][2]”

      Him suggesting that preferring to work at Foxconn rather than the alternative is seen as an “ideal career path” is a misrepresentation of the people who work at Foxconn. He creates the illusion of having refuted the proposition by showing how it isn’t an “ideal” career path (people jump off buildings, work is monotonous, etc.). The “superficially similar but weaker” is changing their “preference over the alternative” to “ideal” and then showing how it isn’t “ideal”. That’s the “straw man”. He never refuted the original proposition, which is that many people find working at Foxconn preferable over the alternative (i.e. staying on the farm).

      Cred­it­ing Henry Ford with the global econ­omy because of his man­u­fac­tur­ing inno­va­tions is like blam­ing China for west­ern colo­nial­ism because they cre­ated gun­pow­der. You don’t need unions if the com­pany com­pen­sates its employ­ees fairly. Look at Google, Microsoft, IBM, to name a few they have no unions and I’ve heard no complaints.

      My point was to temper his enthusiasm for Henry Ford. He cherry-picks something about Henry to support his argument. I broaden and show how Henry Ford’s not necessarily a good example for the extent of what he’s arguing.

      • Goodness

        Kai why do you keep trying to portray factual errors as semantic disagreements? There is a difference between factual and semantic. You do know that don’t you? The U.S. was founded way before WW2 yet you selectively pick out only the paragraph after WW2 as your proof. WW2 was over 150 years after Americas founding. That’s not semantics its accuracy.

        Actually Kai this is what I was referring to this:

        The 1st U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, advocated tariffs to help protect infant industries in his “Report on Manufactures.” This was a minority position, though the “Jeffersonians” strongly opposed for the most part. Later, in the 19th century, statesmen such as Senator Henry Clay continued Hamilton’s themes within the Whig Party under the name “American System.” The opposition Democratic Party contested several elections throughout the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s in part over the issue of the tariff and protection of industry. The Democratic Party favored moderate tariffs used for government revenue only, while the Whig’s favored higher protective tariffs to protect favored industries.

        There is also this:

        The fledgling Republican Party led by Abraham Lincoln, who called himself a “Henry Clay tariff Whig,” strongly opposed free trade and implemented at 44 percent tariff during the Civil War in part to pay for railroad subsidies, the war effort, and to protect favored industries.[8] President William McKinley stated the United States’ stance under the Republican Party (which won every election for President until 1912, except the two non-consecutive terms of Grover Cleveland) as thus:

        “Under free trade the trader is the master and the producer the slave. Protection is but the law of nature, the law of self-preservation, of self-development, of securing the highest and best destiny of the race of man. [It is said] that protection is immoral…. Why, if protection builds up and elevates 63,000,000 [the U.S. population] of people, the influence of those 63,000,000 of people elevates the rest of the world. We cannot take a step in the pathway of progress without benefitting mankind everywhere. Well, they say, ‘Buy where you can buy the cheapest’…. Of course, that applies to labor as to everything else. Let me give you a maxim that is a thousand times better than that, and it is the protection maxim: ‘Buy where you can pay the easiest.’ And that spot of earth is where labor wins its highest rewards.”

        As I wrote earlier Mr. Kaplan never made a straw man argument, he asked a sarcastic If/Then question. He never substituted anything. You then called it a straw man argument and instead of proving it, you just went on a rant about

        there shouldn’t be any sur­prise that some work­ers (a dozen out of about 450,000) have thrown them­selves off build­ings, that there are reports of abuse, and that the work has been described as “relent­less, as ‘mak­ing peo­ple numb,’ as turn­ing them into machines”

        That’s your straw man.
        What you wrote here is fraught with errors.

        Him sug­gest­ing that pre­fer­ring to work at Fox­conn rather than the alter­na­tive is seen as an “ideal career path” is a mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the peo­ple who work at Fox­conn.

        -No he sarcastically ASKED if working at Foxconn is so great then why are these people jumping off of buildings. Do you understand why he asked that?

        He cre­ates the illu­sion of hav­ing refuted the propo­si­tion by show­ing how it isn’t an “ideal” career path (peo­ple jump off build­ings, work is monot­o­nous, etc.). The “super­fi­cially sim­i­lar but weaker” is chang­ing their “pref­er­ence over the alter­na­tive” to “ideal” and then show­ing how it isn’t “ideal”. That’s the “straw man”. He never refuted the orig­i­nal propo­si­tion, which is that many peo­ple find work­ing at Fox­conn prefer­able over the alter­na­tive (i.e. stay­ing on the farm).

        Pure nonsense. He wrote:

        It is true that workers in China seem to want these jobs because the alternative is even worse, but even that conclusion has now been thrown into doubt

        That’s the sixth sentence in the second paragraph of the Huffington Post article. Your twisting yourself into knots trying to cover your mistakes.

        Kai wrote:

        My point was to tem­per his enthu­si­asm for Henry Ford. He cherry-picks some­thing about Henry to sup­port his argu­ment. I broaden and show how Henry Ford’s not nec­es­sar­ily a good exam­ple for the extent of what he’s arguing.

        He showed no enthusiasm for Ford, Kaplan merely pointed out correctly that:

        About 100 years ago Henry Ford real­ized you can­not have a sus­tained indus­trial econ­omy if the peo­ple who make goods don’t have enough money to buy them. So he paid his work­ers enough money that over time they could buy his cars, buy their homes and move into the mid­dle class.

        One single relevant point does not qualify as enthusiasm. You didn’t broaden anything, you extrapolated a bogus conclusion from some facts that weren’t even relevant to your original point.

        • Goodness,

          Kai why do you keep try­ing to por­tray fac­tual errors as seman­tic dis­agree­ments?

          Did I forget to link the definition of “founded” for you?

          I’m using the third definition. I don’t think I’ve made any factual error at all. It’s just that you refuse to accept my use of a word. That’s what makes it a “semantic” argument. We already went over this once before on chinaSMACK.

          As I wrote ear­lier Mr. Kaplan never made a straw man argu­ment, he asked a sar­cas­tic If/Then ques­tion. He never sub­sti­tuted any­thing. You then called it a straw man argu­ment and instead of prov­ing it, […]

          Sorry, you’re wrong, and I just proved it above.

          […] you just went on a rant about

          […]

          That’s your straw man.

          And instead of proving it, you went on to rant about…oh wait, that’d result in an infinite loop. Look, Goodness, you may want to try explaining how what I wrote meets the definition of a straw man argument, like how I showed Gilbert’s comments to do so.

          What you wrote here is fraught with errors.

          What errors?

          -No he sar­cas­ti­cally ASKED if work­ing at Fox­conn is so great then why are these peo­ple jump­ing off of build­ings. Do you under­stand why he asked that?

          The straw man is that no one suggested that working at Foxconn is so great, much less an “ideal career path”. The set up there is the straw man, Goodness. I provided you a link for a reason. Sarcasm is irrelevant. What is relevant is the substitution. The original proposition that he alludes to is that working at Foxconn is better than the alternative. That’s in the preceding sentence. He substitutes “better than alternative” with “ideal career path”. Then he proceeds to show how it is not ideal. He does not go on to show how it is not better than the alternative. Straw man.

          Pure non­sense. He wrote:

          It is true that work­ers in China seem to want these jobs because the alter­na­tive is even worse, but even that con­clu­sion has now been thrown into doubt

          That’s the sixth sen­tence in the sec­ond para­graph of the Huff­in­g­ton Post arti­cle. Your twist­ing your­self into knots try­ing to cover your mistakes.

          LoL, what mistakes? You’re trying to separate that sixth sentence in the second paragraph from its context, most importantly the following sentence:

          It is true that workers in China seem to want these jobs because the alternative is even worse, but even that conclusion has now been thrown into doubt. If it’s such an ideal career path, why have ten workers thrown themselves off buildings at the Foxconn plant (nine died and the other suffered severe injuries), why have their been reports of security guards abusing workers, and why has the work been described as relentless, as “making people numb,” as turning them into machines?

          “Yeah, people seem to believe X, but now even X has been thrown into doubt. If Y [a misrepresentation of X] is so great, then why does A, B, and C [which show Y to be unlikely] happen?”

          Gilbert tries to prove why X is now thrown into doubt by substituting it with Y and giving examples A, B, and C that disprove Y. That’s a straw man argument and you’re wrong for arguing that it isn’t.

          He showed no enthu­si­asm for Ford,

          If you say so but that’s how I interpreted him invoking Ford to advance the overall argument that manufacturers should pay their workers more. While I see Ford as an imperfect example to support his argument, I’m pretty sure he enthusiastically thought it was a great example.

          Kaplan merely pointed out cor­rectly that:

          I acknowledge where he is correct and point out where he is wrong. You do understand it is possible for a statement to have correct and incorrect parts, right?

          One sin­gle rel­e­vant point does not qual­ify as enthu­si­asm.

          What are you talking about?

          You didn’t broaden any­thing,

          I broadened his reference to Ford. He referenced Ford to support one of his arguments (that manufacturers ought to pay their workers more). He used one point about Ford that supported his argument. I pointed out how 2/3s of his point about Ford is historically and patently wrong. He paid workers more specifically so they could one day afford his cars, and generally out of a belief that it would help the economy. He did not, as Gilbert tries conflating, do so for workers to buy homes and move up into the middle class. Those are very specific concepts that are not attributable to Ford’s motivations. Why did Gilbert conflate them then? Because he knows how to appeal to his target audience, an American audience that believes home-ownership is an entitlement that employers should facilitate, that believes in the inherent greatness of a middle-class society. It’s a clever tactic by Gilbert, but its factually incorrect to attribute such notions to Ford.

          I broadened by including other points about Ford that arguably challenge the image of Henry Ford as champion of the workers, of home ownership, of class mobility by pitting him against another so-called champion of workers: unions. How you want to resolve that is up to you, but in showing how Henry Ford has aspects you may not agree with, I’m tempering how receptive you are to him being used by Gilbert as an example to support his larger argument.

          you extrap­o­lated a bogus con­clu­sion from some facts that weren’t even rel­e­vant to your orig­i­nal point.

          What’s my bogus conclusion? What facts weren’t relevant to my original point?

          • Goodness

            Your using this definition.

            Use as a basis for; grounded on.

            You wrote this:

            Uh, because that’s the free-trade cap­i­tal­ism the United States of Amer­ica is founded upon?

            So what your saying that free-trade cap­i­tal­ism is the basis of the United States of Amer­ica.
            or
            The United States of Amer­ica is grounded in free-trade cap­i­tal­ism.

            Either way your wrong. Something can’t exist BEFORE its basis (or what it is grounded on). The U.S. existed before it practiced free-trade. At times before WW2 the U.S. government practiced measures contrary to free-trade. The constitution is the basis for the U.S. government and its people. Your statement is factually incorrect.

            Kai wrote:

            Sorry, you’re wrong, and I just proved it above.

            No you didn’t prove anything. You just repeated your own mistake. Kaplan never said “its ideal career path” he never even hinted at it.

            It is true that workers in China seem to want these jobs because the alternative is even worse, but even that conclusion has now been thrown into doubt.

            This is Kaplans position.

            If it’s such an ideal career path, why have ten workers thrown themselves off buildings at the Foxconn plant (nine died and the other suffered severe injuries), why have their been reports of security guards abusing workers, and why has the work been described as relentless, as “making people numb,” as turning them into machines?

            -This is a rhetorical question nothing more. He is not changing his position. You once again just latched onto a few words “an ideal career path” took them out of context then spun yourself into an emotional tizzy.

            According to wiki

            The straw man fallacy occurs in the following pattern of argument:
            1. Person A has position X.
            2. Person B disregards certain key points of X and instead presents the superficially-similar position Y. Thus, Y is a resulting distorted version of X and can be set up in several ways,

            1-Kaplan – “It is true that workers in China seem to want these jobs because the alternative is even worse, but even that conclusion has now been thrown into doubt.

            2-Kai – “No, it is true that many work­ers in China want these jobs because the alter­na­tive is even worse just as it is true that some don’t. No valid or rea­son­able con­clu­sion has been thrown into doubt, now or ever. You’re just sug­gest­ing a false con­clu­sion. No one ever said it was “an ideal career path”

            -You completely distorted his comment. Look at numbers 1 and 2. That’s what you keep doing.

            1. Presenting a misrepresentation of the opponent’s position and then refuting it, thus giving the appearance that the opponent’s actual position has been refuted.[1]
            2. Quoting an opponent’s words out of context – i.e. choosing quotations that misrepresent the opponent’s actual intentions (see contextomy and quote mining).
            3. Presenting someone who defends a position poorly as the defender, then refuting that person’s arguments – thus giving the appearance that every upholder of that position (and thus the position itself) has been defeated.
            4. Inventing a fictitious persona with actions or beliefs which are then criticized, implying that the person represents a group of whom the speaker is critical.
            5. Oversimplifying an opponent’s argument, then attacking this oversimplified version.
            3. Person B attacks position Y, concluding that X is false/incorrect/flawed.

            What’s my bogus con­clu­sion? What facts weren’t rel­e­vant to my orig­i­nal point?

            Here’s one.

            In fact, the glob­al­ized econ­omy we have today is largely thanks to Henry Ford

            You attribute the glob­al­ized econ­omy we have today to some factory innovations meant to speed up production.

            My favorite one:

            He’s still a dick for con­tribut­ing to both Amer­i­can and global stu­pid­ity. There are prob­lems in this world, prob­lems that can be improved upon, even solved…but not with this kind of oppor­tunis­tic stupidity.

            LOL! How is he con­tribut­ing to both Amer­i­can and global stu­pid­ity?

            Your wrote:

            I broad­ened his ref­er­ence to Ford. He ref­er­enced Ford to sup­port one of his argu­ments (that man­u­fac­tur­ers ought to pay their work­ers more). He used one point about Ford that sup­ported his argu­ment. I pointed out how 2/3s of his point about Ford is his­tor­i­cally and patently wrong. He paid work­ers more specif­i­cally so they could one day afford his cars, and gen­er­ally out of a belief that it would help the econ­omy. He did not, as Gilbert tries con­flat­ing, do so for work­ers to buy homes and move up into the mid­dle class. Those are very spe­cific con­cepts that are not attrib­ut­able to Ford’s moti­va­tions. Why did Gilbert con­flate them then? Because he knows how to appeal to his tar­get audi­ence, an Amer­i­can audi­ence that believes home-ownership is an enti­tle­ment that employ­ers should facil­i­tate, that believes in the inher­ent great­ness of a middle-class soci­ety. It’s a clever tac­tic by Gilbert, but its fac­tu­ally incor­rect to attribute such notions to Ford.

            None of those things your wrote are relevant to the post but you just add them anyways. When you pile on irrelevant data you just cloud the issue. That whole last quote of yours is one big straw man. Good grief.

          • Goodness,

            You’re wrong and I’m no longer interested in arguing with you about something others understand but you refuse to. The point of my statement, as I already explicitly explained to you, is that Gilbert is asking a disingenuous question, a question he, as Acting Assistant Secretary of the United States Department of Commerce, already knows the answer to. He knows why the United States tolerates and encourages such a trade system but he’s pretending to be confounded, baffled. Why? Because he’s a politician seeking to exploit the ignorance and emotion of his target audience. I get it that he has his political reasons for doing so, I just don’t agree with it. It’s like understanding why Bush would lie about this or that but not agreeing with it anyway.

            No you didn’t prove any­thing. You just repeated your own mis­take. Kaplan never said “its ideal career path” he never even hinted at it.

            LoL, Gilbert never said “ideal career path” eh? Never even hinted at it? Dude…

            -This is a rhetor­i­cal ques­tion noth­ing more. He is not chang­ing his posi­tion. You once again just latched onto a few words “an ideal career path” took them out of con­text then spun your­self into an emo­tional tizzy.

            No one said he changed his position, Goodness. I said he distorted the original proposition of “the alternative is even worse” by substituting “if its such an ideal career path”. That’s a straw man argument. You can’t even accurately represent what I’ve said and you’re accusing me of taking things out of context and spinning myself into an emotional tizzy? LoL.

            Gilbert is guilty of examples 1, 2, and 5 in the Wikipedia entry.

            You attribute the glob­al­ized econ­omy we have today to some fac­tory inno­va­tions meant to speed up production.

            Sigh. “In fact, the United States of America we have today is largely thanks to its founding fathers.”

            LOL! How is he con­tribut­ing to both Amer­i­can and global stupidity?

            Because that’s what I think?

            Neither of those are bogus conclusions or irrelevant to my original point.

            Pointing out that Ford contributed to the development of the modern globalized industrial economy is directly relevant towards showing how his use of Ford for one aspect of his argument could hurt other aspects of his argument. It’s like someone saying the Chinese Communist Party looks out for the workers, and someone then saying, “yeah, but they also send you to the countryside for reeducation”. The point isn’t to disprove that they look out for workers, the point is to temper the enthusiasm for the Communist Party. Gilbert throws out Ford like “hey, he was such a great example of an industrialist/manufacturer/employer, look what he did” and I’m saying “kinda, but he not only contributed to the larger problem you appear to be railing against, he also wasn’t everything what you say he was.”

            Me judging his feigned ignorance, false outrage, and disingenuous arguments as him being a dick is my prerogative, just as it is your prerogative to arrive at the “bogus conclusion” that I’ve spun myself into an emotional tizzy. See how that works? He contributes to American and global stupidity, in my opinion, because he’s playing stupid to exploit ignorance and emotions. Him doing so on a widely disseminated platform such as the Huffington Post that is largely accessible worldwide is how he’s contributing his bit to “global” stupidity. Am I being dramatic? Of course, but that’s what I think. I don’t think he’s helping the world with what he’s doing, and I think he’s a dick because I suspect he knows it but doesn’t care. He’s a Harvard graduate who passed the BAR exam. I’m pretty certain his undergraduate and legal education weren’t inferior to mine. Yet he doesn’t care that his arguments are disingenuously or poorly made, he only cares the people he’s targeting react the way he wants them to. That’s his choice, he has his reasons, and I don’t agree with them. Nothing bogus or irrelevant about that.

            None of those things your wrote are rel­e­vant to the post but you just add them any­ways.

            See above. How can those things I wrote not be relevant to the post if they directly contradict what Gilbert explicitly wrote?

            That whole last quote of yours is one big straw man. Good grief.

            Dude, you do NOT know what a straw man is.

  10. Sam

    Since the Chinese workers are paid too low, just fire them all together – good point!

    • brother Sam NO!!
      RURU not a communist?
      or do you play Monopoly?
      when I pass “go”
      I collect 50c
      You are a “capitalist roader”
      you know what that means in chinese?
      think…..old school!

  11. Richard

    “That’s 294 USD. With­out calcuating in the fact that Fox­conn provides room and board for their employees, let’s quadruple that to a round 1,200 USD per month.”

    Sorry, that’s ridiculous. Urban college grads with several years work experience can be making 8200 RMB/month at large companies. Factory workers are not, no matter how you calculate compensation. There is simply no way wages + room and board adds up to 1200 USD per month.

    From the South China Morning Post:

    http://www.scmp.com/portal/site/SCMP/menuitem.2af62ecb329d3d7733492d9253a0a0a0/?vgnextoid=07927a1a125d8210VgnVCM100000360a0a0aRCRD&ss=&s=News

    “Foxconn provides three free meals totalling 11 yuan (HK$12.54) to workers every day – a 1.5 yuan breakfast, a 4.5 yuan lunch and a 5 yuan dinner.”

    So let’s call that 330 RMB a month (I have no idea if this includes weekends or not but let’s say it does). That’s about 50 USD per month. You think Foxconn pays another USD 856 per worker per month on housing and other amenities when they’ll only drop 50 bucks per worker on food? Come on.

    Let’s look at your USD 1200 figure. If you assume they have 450,000 workers, that means Foxconn is paying 540 million USD PER MONTH in compensation to factory workers. That’s over 6 billion USD per year in wages just to line workers, not management, R&D staff, engineers, etc. That’s patently absurd. And by your estimates, over 4 billion of that 6 billion USD is spent not on real wages but on “room and board”?

    Come on, let’s not cite classical economics in an argument without being able to crunch a few numbers…

    • Richard,

      I was not suggesting that factoring room and board to their base salary would quadruple their total compensation. I was building off of what Gilbert wrote here:

      Even if this $10 manufacturing cost (which includes such other things as factory overhead and energy costs) were doubled or tripled or quadrupled by paying a U.S. worker a reasonable wage and helping restore the U.S. economy, Apple’s profits would still be enormous.

      I think I crunched my numbers just fine. If you’ll reread what you quote, I explicitly said “With­out cal­cu­at­ing in the fact that Fox­conn pro­vides room and board for their employ­ees…”

      My classical economic arguments were just fine too.

      • Richard

        Thanks for your reply. I see you’re trying to say that under Gilbert’s model, workers in the U.S. would be paid 3-4x what the Chinese workers are paid (roughly USD300/month), and that adds up to USD1200/month, not a realistic wage in the U.S.

        That was not obvious to me in your original post. Thanks for the clarification.

        Your fundamental point is clear here: either Americans can pay a substantially higher price for a U.S.-made iPad or pay 600 USD for an iPad produced in a low-wage factory. However, one thing that’s missing from both sides of the argument is a discussion of manufacturing technology. Obviously, a U.S. factory isn’t going to employ 450,000 workers to make computers–that’s roughly .15% of the U.S. population, and a much higher proportion of the actual U.S. labor pool. A U.S. factory (or factory in any developed economy) will hire substantially less workers and employ automation and robotics throughout production to cut down on labor. In China, its cheaper to hire 450,000 people and put them on an assembly line than it is to purchase machinery and robotic equipment that can replace a huge portion of those workers. Many U.S. visitors to Chinese factories come away quite surprised at how many “high-tech” products are made by hand.

        So the real question is: what actually are Foxconn’s labor costs, and can a U.S. factory be competitive with those costs assuming that in the U.S., some portion of the equivalent labor costs is spent on automation? Let’s say Foxconn does spend 6 billion USD per year on labor; can a U.S. factory take 6 billion USD per year, invest some of it in labor and some of it in machinery (the cost of which is obviously amortized over time), and produce the same quality product? I don’t really know the answer to that. We always assume its cheaper to make things in China because of labor costs, but is it really cheaper over time?

        • Richard,

          Strictly, Gilbert was suggesting that Apple could afford a reasonable wage for American workers if it paid 2x, 3x, 4x the $10 manufacturing cost per unit. That’s actually different from quadrupling a Foxconn worker’s wage but I think my point is still made that he’s playing fast and loose with his arguments, engaging in some wishful thinking, and not really crunching the numbers he’s throwing out.

          The U.S. population is over 300 million. 450,000 would actually be 0.0015 (or 0.15%) of the population. Your point remains that the manufacturing process based in the U.S. to produce an equal number of iPad’s could be different, possibly involving fewer human labor and more automation. I think it is entirely possible to manufacture those iPads in America. I just think the costs would be much, much, much higher.

          Regarding your hypothetical question, it doesn’t account for the opportunity costs of switching suppliers, something Richard Brubaker and I mention in my previous Foxconn post. But for the sake of simplicity, let’s ignore that.

          The number we have is iSuppli’s estimation of manufacturing cost per unit, which Gilbert quoted as $10 per unit. The number we need now is how many iPads Foxconn is producing for Apple. We’d actually also need a delivery schedule too but let’s ignore that as well. We’d multiple the total number of units with the per unit manufacturing cost margin and then ask the prospective U.S. based manufacturers employing U.S. based labor (since the key for Gilbert here is to employ Americans instead of Chinese) if they could accomplish that. Apple would literally say, “can you do what Foxconn does (assembling the iPad with all the components it is designed with and sourced from other places) producing X number of iPads for $10-$11.20 per unit?”

          That cost would have to include all of the U.S. manufacturer’s expenses, including labor, tooling for automation, energy costs, overhead, profit, etc. We should also then ask how many Americans could they employ at that price.

          Doing this would be better than multiplying the number of Foxconn employees with their average wage because not all employees are assembling iPads or even Apple products. We need the number for just Apple alone, and then shop that number with American manufacturers. Without an idea of how many iPads Foxconn is contracted to make for Apple, we don’t have an idea of this number. I have a feeling it isn’t 6 billion USD though. We need to get this number, then 2x, 3x, or 4x it, shop it for manufacturing feasibility, and then see if Apple will accept it. As I suggest in my post, I think Gilbert is wrong about the 300 USD profit since he’s not accounting for Apple’s own operating costs.

          • Sam

            You only need to look at the clothing industry to figure out what would happen. Due to the clothing import quota many clothing factories have left China. But did they go back to the US? I checked my last laundry load: 5 Vietnam, 3 Cambodia, 4 Honduras, 1 India, 2 Salvador.

  12. So… echoes of arguements that started in Mexico and will probably be echoed again in Vietnam and elsewhere in the next few years. Sorry folks, companies will simply pull up stakes and go where the cheapest, most docile, labor can be had. Looks like P.R. China is starting to look less “docile”, much like Mexico.

  13. The cheap labor thing is nothing new. When my Hong Kong Chinese relatives came to visit us in the U.S. in the 80s, they complained that all the U.S.-themed souvenirs, like American flags, were made in China.

    Great. I wanted to buy my husband an iPad. Now it’s going to cost me a million dollars!

    • TP

      I’m from the US and I’m going to say I agree with Kai. What’s the obvious? The finance puppet stirs controversy between Americans and Chinese while business move to Cambodia, South America, and Vietnam. The US Government is creating subtle amnity between the american and chinese people of its government because something’s up.

      If it smells like s–t, its s–t.
      The average american is wasteful and ignorant, but hardworking, compassionate, and will usually give you the shirt off his/her own back. Lower class-Midclass citizen education sucks. 85% would read this article and say the chinese are trying to steal our jobs, because they don’t understand free trade or politics; therefault. Does your grandmother know how to use a computer? Education is saved for the royals and the rich. My parents made over 100,000 annually working on the line, but they lived paycheck to paycheck after tax, interest, Medical bills, and Million dollar marketing the above figure turns into a single mother raising children on less than 1500 a month. Less than 2% of americans have a 4-year college degree (equivelent to a HS diploma for those who refuse to take on the massive dept 80-100,000 in student loans.) The Government, Court, Banks. and big business hold the invisible whip, enslaving our children on sex, drugs, and video games. (Old Power) Multicolored Royal Families.
      (actors, gov employees, Divine lines) run everything. My mother huffed toxic chemicals in a plant for 35 years. People kill themselves all the time from work related stress. Americans are the hebrews of the past, unwittingly sacrificing babies for their levened** bread.. (Art of War).

      The dragon creates conflict to confuse the masses. Now that some of us are waking and his whore, the media is under the spotlight in trying times. What does slick do? He slips on the activist mask and reveals an old secret. He will credit a valent hero and bolster him in public. All the while, turning him into the medium for spreading his new lie. As events unfold, puppets will fall, but the man behind the rose will turn from eve to adam and the devil will be crusified. Not this time! Freedom is the ability to understand knowledge and finding a balance between two extremes and balance can only be found by suffering and indulging in the path. Those who survive have a strong heart and can’t be tempted by the dragons cave of jewels. be turned with all the gold in the world. The dragon has played this game too long.

Continuing the Discussion