Apple: Great Sweatshop Or Greatest Sweatshop?

And on the seventh day, God created unlimited data...

Apple Corp - We love you so much we just sent another sext to the icloud to thank you for your courageous stand against the U.S. government.

In case you haven't been paying attention or don't have any obnoxious Libertarian facebook friends, Apple is being lauded for fighting the FBI's requests for the company to unlock the iphone of one of the San Bernadino killers with some techy "backdoor" shenanigans. The FBI thinks this is really important since there's no way these monsters were Lone Wolf Bad Apples because they weren't caucasian mass murderers. We have to get to the bottom of this savage massacre and do everything possible to root out a connection to the leaders at the top of the ISIS shit crust and probably Benghazi.

Apple proclaims that they need to protect the privacy of their customers. And since all of the GOP candidates are siding with the Feds in this dispute, it's pretty clear that Apple sits on the right side of this issue. If you compromise your customers' security and privacy in this case, when will it end? (It ends with you giving your mom lessons on how to do an Instagram).

Also, if phone security is so easily circumvented, perhaps your device becomes less appealing and Apple has to knock the price of that phone down to a practically-giving-it-away cost of $600. But this is definitely about a Corporate Person's principled stand against government overreach and not at all a public relations maneuver aimed at strengthening the #brand.

Apple, you're possibly our most beloved corporate behemoth. The kids love you. The middles love you. Even the olds have reaped the benefits of Apple's Dow Jones ascendance and awkward facetime conversations. But before we start massaging your touch screen over this fight with the FBI, it's fair to ask, "What else do you stand for?"

Apple still meaning to get around to those pesky labor abuses

[contextly_sidebar id="2gfqMPtZnXlvBs31HXyXuiauAuCpLBmn"]We recently brought you a story about Congo's mines, where tiny hands of tiny child slaves scratch and claw for the life-giving minerals necessary to maintain decent battery capability for our most cherished gadgets. While Apple "couldn't be certain" about whether these conflict minerals made it into their iDevices, they're still having problems shoring up the workplace issues at their Chinese manufacturers.

Shanghai's Pegatron Corp. employs 70,000 workers putting together the iPhones we believe in. A recent investigation by China Labor Watch found that over seventy percent of Pegatron pay stubs collected last October showed employees exceeding Apple’s self-imposed (and highly publicized) 60-hour limit. Maybe all their iWatches were just having a bad week.

China Labor Watch also said the factory violates China’s overtime regulations: Chinese law caps the number of maximum overtime hours to 36 per month, but just 1 percent of Pegatron workers’ monthly overtime hours fell below that limit. The pay stubs themselves do not account for mandatory 15-minute breaks before and after shifts, the report also found.

Yes, that's an Apple subcontractor that somehow manages to violate even Chinese labor laws. We thought that might be UNPOSSIBLE. But don't these people want the OT? What's the big deal if they're working through their breaks? We're sure the price is right.

Apple is arguably the most profitable country in history. And as we mentioned above, they got there by sticking to their principles -- like shitty wages and shitty working conditions. Why else would the average factory wage be $1.82/hour? Principle over profit every time but also profit every time.

Pfizer Pfucking the American taxpayers out of $35 billion

Speaking of selling stuff over here so we can pay low taxes over there, Pfizer is moving forward on its merger with Irish drug company Allergan. And a recent report by Americans for Tax Fairness sheds some light on just how many benefits will be at the end of the rainbow.

U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is trying to dodge an estimated $35 billion in taxes by merging with Ireland-based rival Allergan and shifting its headquarters overseas...Pfizer is pursuing the Allergan deal in the wake of raising the prices of dozens of prescription drugs by at least 10 times the rate of inflation since 2012, the coalition contended.

[contextly_sidebar id="3T1Bzp4CjBQ3hf8sjKTePZNzAJywh5l3"]Wow, that's a lot of profits to squeeze out of the American market! You're not going to want to pay all these American taxes on these American sales to American pill poppers. And it’s not just about the cushy 5% effective Irish Corporate O'Tax rate. Pfizer has been stashing all the penis pill billions overseas for years, and like a big stack of green Roman Polanskis, those dollars have stayed overseas out of fear of American consequences:

The drugmaker had as much as $148 billion in profits held overseas, untaxed by the U.S., at the end of 2014. The funds consists in permanently reinvested earnings and other foreign profits, the report said.

Well at least they left us plenty of Lipitor.

The More You Know: Don’t Talc Your Undercarriage!

Blue Chip goliath Johnson & Johnson is the corporate person hiding in all of our medicine cabinets. But J&J is in a little bit of a pickle after a Missouri jury ordered it to pay $72 million in damages to the family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer after using J&J's talc-based Baby Powder and Shower to Shower.

Jacqueline Fox, who died in October, used the feminine hygiene products for 35 years, unaware of negative health risks associated with the talcum based agents. You know who was aware of ovarian cancer risks for a good chunk of that time? According to the court, Johnson & Johnson. Jurors found the company liable for fraud, negligence and conspiracy, with knowledge of possible cancer causation dating back to the 1980s.

J&J products were previously held to be a contributing factor in the death of a South Dakota woman, but no damages were levied against the company. Strange how that works sometimes.

J&J maintains that their products are safe and will appeal. That’s all nice and comforting. But Ladies, just to be safe: If you have to choose between not-so-fresh and cancer, just own your animal being for a little while. I mean, this guy won’t like it, but guys are scumbags who might not be there when you’re laid up with terrible lady part cancer anyway. Dudes, stop powdering your balls. Do it for your kids, current and future. Or do it for all the dick pics yet to be sent.


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