Mike Daisy on Steve Jobs and China on Q&A Cspan – Transcribed.


Like China is where you know?  It’s like the Wild West and I suppose many, many uhm businessmen who make a living going back and forth between Hong Kong and mainland China.


They make their fortunes there ah talking about it like it feels like the Wild West that fortunes can be won in this, this grand expanse.


What isn’t talked about you know?  In the positive view or in the easy view, is the fact that it’s a Fascist country run by thugs.  No one wants to talk about that part, but it’s true.



Brian Lamb:  A big surprise to me was it was a Taiwanese company.



Mike Daisey:  Yeah.



Brian Lamb:  $60 billion dollar a year Taiwanese company in mainland China



Mike Daisey:  Oh yes, yes and I think that’s part of the conditions that are in placed at the factories.   The relationship between the Taiwanese and the mainland Chinese you know?


Is ah, it’s not good this to say the least. It’s the fact that the company comes from Taiwan.


I think it makes it easier for the people running the company, and people and supervisor positions to uhm, treat the workers as sub-human.


I think it makes it easier for them to work them that way.



Brian Lamb:  Why, do you use Apple products yourself?



Mike Daisey:  I do, I do.  One of the reasons I did the show.  One of the central reasons is that I ah, I have been an Apple user my entire life.


They’ve defined my entire life with technology.  I love Apple products.



Brian Lamb:  So you went to the Foxconn factory that has how many employees?



Mike Daisey:  430,000.



Brian Lamb:  How many buildings there?



Mike Daisey:  I don’t even know but they stretch to the horizon.  Like when you try to drive around the factory uhm, it’s so large that it’s like trying to circumnavigate or circumambulate a city. It’s, it’s huge.



Brian Lamb:  And then, what did you do once you got there?



Mike Daisey:  I uhm did the uhm, the thing that I told all these journalists I was going to do.  Who they really were clear that it’s the stupidest thing they ever heard.


I went to the main gate and I stood there with my translator, and then I just talked to anybody who wanted to talk to me who came out of the gates, just the workers.



Brian Lamb:  How many talked to you?



Mike Daisey:  Hundreds. I talked to hundreds of workers.



Brian Lamb:  How long were you there?



Mike Daisey:  Uhm I was there for hours, hours and hours, and I went back multiple times, and ah each time I spoke with hundreds of workers.


Brian Lamb:  How did you capture what they said?  You write it down or did you record it?



Mike Daisey:  No I captured it with my hearing, in my mind.  I’m a monologist. This is my job.



Brian Lamb:  And what did you began to hear from them?


Mike Daisey:  Well, you know it’s really fascinating the patterns uhm.  We talked a lot about the things that you’d expect.


You know where in China they came from. How ah how long have they been working at Foxconn.  What they do in the factory.


Heard a lot about the minutia of what it’s like to work in the factory and then you know?   Stories start to come out from people, you know?


I mean I was critically struck and I think this is a very ah, this is a surprise to me.  I didn’t, I didn’t know how things worked on the ground that uhm, I would ask them what seems to be innocuous question.


Which was uhm, if you can change anything at Foxconn what would you change?


And people would react as though a bee has flown into their faces.  They would go argh, argh and they would say something to my translator.

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