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Best of the Blogs: Inside the Walls of Foxconn


Minyanville's daily roundup of some of the best financial commentary from around the Web.

This column highlights the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary from around the Web each day. Use our comments section to post your own suggestions for blog content that you've read or written.
Wired: Epicenter
"Much has been written about conditions at Foxconn, the embattled Chinese manufacturer for Apple and a host of other hardware companies. But only a couple of reporters have had access to one of the sprawling company's factory floors: Joel Johnson wrote Wired's March 2011 cover story, "1 Million Workers. 90 Million iPhones. 17 Suicides. Who's to Blame?" after visiting the Foxconn plant in Shenzhen. Now Rob Schmitz, Shanghai Bureau Chief of American Public Media's Marketplace, has also visited the Longhua facility in that city, spoke to dozens of workers and came back with a video that includes shots of the iPad assembly line and hoards of prospective employees lining up outside to get a job. Schmitz's reporting is neither glowing nor inflammatory but does add to the minuscule first-hand information about Foxconn from disinterested sources. And - no surprise here - he was clearly taken by the scale of the facility." (Also Read Latest Foxconn Controversy: The Apple Supplier Exploits Student Interns.)
Real Time Economics
Link: Incentives Where Workers Pay Taxes to the Boss
"There's a long and continuing debate about how many jobs are created by the host of grants and tax breaks states give to companies in hopes of developing their economies. A report from Good Jobs First, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit research group that is often critical of tax subsidies for large corporations, is sure to add fuel by outlining various incentives in which employees are more or less paying income taxes to their employer."
China Real Time Report
"Over the past five years, the ranks of Chinese students sitting for the GMAT, the examination typically used to gain entry to management schools around the world, has ballooned by over 200% with young women driving that trend, says a new report from the nonprofit Graduate Management Admission Council. 'The Chinese numbers are growing exponentially,' says Julia Herries, Asia-Pacific regional director for GMAC, which runs the English-language Graduate Management Admission Test. (For related content, see Infographic: Which Countries Are Best for Women in Business?)
"The banks' actions led directly to an increase in government debt, which in turn has made the reduction of that debt by "cutting runaway spending" a centerpiece of the Republican presidential campaign to date. As a result of this pressure, Medicare now stands on the brink of being eliminated as a viable form of social insurance. Yet the executives who lead these banks – and the politicians with whom they work closely – will not be held accountable this election season. How is this possible?" (Also Read In Health Care, Behaviors if Not Attitudes Signal Life Will Go On.)
All Things D
"Sony is giving its Dick Tracy impersonation another try. On Thursday, the Japanese electronics giant is announcing the SmartWatch, its second souped-up timepiece....The newest incarnation adds the latest version of Bluetooth, an OLED screen with multitouch capability and support for mini-application widgets. The SmartWatch has a number of features, but nearly all depend on a strong connection to a nearby phone. Remove the phone, or its Internet connection, and you basically have an expensive digital watch."
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