New Foxconn Factory Jobs Draw Huge Crowds in China



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I really don't think anything quite makes my point like this article.

Being alive in China, for a vast majority of the Chinese, just plain sucks. Most are subsistence farmers and are lucky if they can break even and feed their families at the end of the year. If they make $500 a YEAR, that is considered good. If you work on an assembly line like Foxconn's, you can earn $20 a week. That is serious income for most Chinese. This $250 a month that Foxconn is offering? Absolutely astronomical, considering that the alternative is farming land you don't own for 18 hours a day so you can HOPEFULLY break even.

The beauty of China is that if someone doesn't want a factory or assembly line job, there are hundreds of millions of desperately poor Chinese that would love to give up their brutal lives as subsistence farmers for the relative security of a boring factory job. Even with the terrible conditions in some factories (of which I think Foxconn is not the worst offender...) people are desperate for these jobs.

Life for many in China is just awful. Foxconn is not a model employer, but they are probably one of the better in China. A bad job sucks, but it is probably the overall quality of life in China that is making workers kill themselves, not just a bad day at work.



It would be helpful for people inclined to criticize Foxconn and other companies that operate 3rd world factories out of concern for the welfare of the workers, to consider why people would voluntarily line up for jobs like this (Or why people flock to Wal-Mart to apply for jobs for that matter). The key question to ask yourself is, "Compared to what?"

Many of these workers voluntarily descend upon Foxconn looking work because the alternative they face is a life of subsistence farming. Working in a factory assembling iPhones isn't work your average 1st world individual would find pleasant, but the alternatives they face aren't similar to subsistence farming either.



You're right. Life for migrant Chinese workers can also be really hard too. It's amazing how much discrimination they are exposed to. They're like the illegal Mexican workers of the U.S. but they are citizens of rural China but they're treated like outcasts and paid meager wages.

An interesting three part series for those who have the time:

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