On the same day that Apple was declared "World's Most Admired Company" by Fortune magazine, it launched its own internal investigation into the labor practices of Foxconn, the company in China responsible for assembling iPhone and iPad devices.
Currently, Apple has nearly a 100 billion--that's BILLION--dollars in its bank account. That's cold, hard cash. It's been well earned by Apple. They've given us a device that we care deeply about, can't live without. But at the same time, they earned it off the backs of the workers in the Foxcomm factory, and others like it. Workers who at the very least have been grossly underpaid, and at worst were treated like little more than slaves.
Did Apple know this? Maybe, maybe not. It doesn't really matter. What does matter is that Apple has a very easy solution to this troublesome problem.
Shareholders want Apple to issue a dividend, repay the investors for the shares they bought. UPDATE: Apple announced today that's exactly what they will do. But we all know if there's this much profit, there must be some hair in the soup. Someone's getting screwed. And in this case maybe its that assembly line worker. The point is, pay him. Pay him a decent wage. You'll still make billions. And maybe you'll change the world too. Because when those workers in China owe their jobs to an American business, the world gets that much more connected. And it becomes a little bit harder to tear us all apart.
Apple has a decision to make. Do they spend their money helping the rich get richer? Or do they use their enormous wealth to make the world a better place for everybody--beyond just giving us new devices on which to play Angry Birds?