Steve Jobs – Not the genius people claim him to be

RIP Steve Jobs.

Though you may have changed my small, self-centered world for the better, you have not created a better life for others.  I don’t wish to have my own little iWorld created by you, and consuming products made by people who are being treated as less thans. I wish for a world of equality, and as long as sweatshop workers continue to create products for me and my selfish ways, in inhumane conditions I can’t see it fit to praise you as a genius, or “the greatest CEO of all time.”

A company should be judged by how it treats its lowliest workers.

Here is a report from a worker who managed to sneak in to an apple sweatshop factory in China:

With the complex at peak production, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week to meet the global demand for Apple phones and computers, a typical day begins with the Chinese national anthem being played over loudspeakers, with the words: ‘Arise, arise, arise, millions of hearts with one mind.’

As part of this Orwellian control, the public address system constantly relays propaganda, such as how many products have been made; how a new basketball court has been built for the workers; and why workers should ‘value efficiency every minute, every second’.

With other company slogans painted on workshop walls – including exhortations to ‘achieve goals unless the sun no longer rises’ and to ‘gather all of the elite and Foxconn will get stronger and stronger’ – the employees work up to 15-hour shifts.

Down narrow, prison-like corridors, they sleep in cramped rooms in triple-decked bunk beds to save space, with simple bamboo mats for mattresses.

Despite summer temperatures hitting 95 degrees, with 90 per cent humidity, there is no air-conditioning. Workers say some dormitories house more than 40 people and are infested with ants and cockroaches, with the noise and stench making it difficult to sleep.

I believe a company should be judged by how it treats its lowliest workers, and as the CEO, I don’t believe that Apple is treating it’s lowliest, anywhere near how it’s treating the highest on the ladder.

I don’t admire that.

…also with a net worth of over $7 billion dollars, and to have not donated a cent of that to charitable organizations, I find that utterly selfish. Personally, knowing that Steve Jobs is adopted, and that so many hands played a role in allowing you to have a safe and loving family, and thus getting him to his eventual platform, and knowing that social workers and adoption agencies are non-profit and don’t bring in money aside from donations. I think you’ve slapped the very organizations that helped you become who you are, in the face.

But, to be clear – RIP Mr. Jobs. It always saddens me to see people die. No matter if they are powerful, influential and amazing, or impoverished, unfairly treated sweatshop workers.  A death is a death. It’s a loss.


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