“Shifts ran 24 hours a day, and the factory was always bright. At any moment, there were thousands of workers standing on assembly lines or sitting in backless chairs, crouching next to large machinery, or jogging between loading bays. Some workers’ legs swelled so much they waddled.  “It’s hard to stand all day,” said Zhao Sheng, a plant worker.”

Reading this excerpt, save for the word ‘bright’, one would think that they were reading about the horrible working conditions that existed in factories in Western Europe during the Industrial Revolution. But lo and behold, this is an excerpt from the article “In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad” that ran in the New York Times on January 25th 2012 detailing the horrible working conditions in a Foxconn factory in Chengdu, China. Foxconn is one of Apple’s largest suppliers, assembling iPads and other electronics. Like its 18th century predecessors, Apple has mastered the art of capitalism, milking every last bit of value out of labor in the pursuit of higher profits.
Continue reading “iSlave”

#OccupyWallStreet (TM)

If it existed, I would imagine that official Occupy Wall Street merchandise would be the new I <3 NY – at least for a while. Everyone would have to have a t-shirt or a mug – the protesters, tourists and the people who stand in solidarity with the protesters because it’s always trendy to be anti-establishment. But doesn’t it seem strange that someone would be able to profit off of a movement started because of unfair moneymaking games?

Some people have sold merchandise online for the purpose of raising money for the movement. But one Long Island couple paid almost $1,000 to file a trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last week for the phrase “Occupy Wall St” for their own business purposes. Additionally, Fer-Eng Investments, LCC filed an application with the USPTO  for Occupy Wall Street phrases. Fer-Eng trade is a sort of shell corporation for Vincent Ferraro, current VP for Kodak and former VP for Hewlett-Packard. (Most certainly part of the 1 percent) The couple, the Marescas, consider themselves to be part of the 99 percent, but wanting to use the protest as a (probably successful) business model is fishy. Continue reading “#OccupyWallStreet (TM)”