Friday, February 17, 2012

Tim Worstall has returned, briefly, to speak about labor conditions at Foxconn.

Frequent readers of the site may remember Mr. Worstall from when I called him on the carpet for
this, which he then decided to defend here, whereupon I utterly demolished all of his arguments here.

There was no further response from Mr. Worstall. Presumably he has been licking his wounds and skulking awkwardly—he's had weeks to respond to the thrashing I gave them, but it a fit of wisdom he has let it go.

Today Mr. Worstall links to
this Reuters story, about Foxconn's announcement that they will be raising wages in his piece.

He repeats an error in the Reuters story and in much of the coverage—this is not the third wage increase the workers have received. The wage increase in 2010 was really just a reallocation of how workers were paid—by breaking out their housing and food allowances they made it look as though pay was rising, but it did not appreciably change.
SACOM's reports from the fall of 2010 cover this.

He writes:

I’m not quite a Marxist, in the sense that I don’t believe that everything is about economics. But I would certainly plump for an economic rather than political reason for these pay rises.

I'm inclined to agree with him on the broad strokes—but really, the timing? They just happen to announce the raises now? That timing really seems completely disconnected from what's happening with Apple and Foxconn at this moment?

To think, it's Mr. Worstall who has been so fond of calling
me naive.