The Town Scryer is a mixed bag of humor, socio-political observations and ephemera from the perspective of a eclectic Pagan veteran of the counter-culture.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Free Market Economics Special


Fourteen employees of Apple Computer's Chinese supplier Foxconn have killed themselves in the last 16 months. The company's solution? Force employees to sign written promises not to kill themselves. Not only that, but they also have to promise that if they do their families will only seek minimum compensation for damages.

     The wave of suicides came as worldwide demand for iPhones and iPads rocketed, forcing staff to put in up to 98 hours of overtime a month almost three times the limit in Chinese law.
Foxconn insist they had to break the law to hit targets, even though excessive overtime is banned by international law and Apples own code of conduct.
The computer giant founded by Steve Jobs netted s3.5billion profit in the first quarter of this year alone.
But the basic pay for Chinese workers is as little as $5 a day.

     One executive accused victims of committing suicide to win compensation payouts for relatives.


     Meanwhile in Taiwan, another fine example of entrepreneurial initiative worthy of a late night infomercial:
     Police in Taiwan are investigating a self-proclaimed prophet whose doomsday warnings on a blog have caused panic. The man, identifying himself as Teacher Wang, said Taiwan would be struck by a magnitude-14 earthquake and 170m (560ft) high tsunami on 11 May. 

He suggested people live in shipping containers to survive the disaster, which would kill millions of people and split the island in half. 

Police said they were investigating if the blogger had conspired with a container business to defraud people. The containers cost about $5,500 (£3,300) each, once water and electricity are included.

The police have not been able to trace "Teacher Wang", who had touted his theory to TV reporters but insisted his face not be shown.

     Be seeing you.

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