I have even observed the Panopticism theory in modern offices in downtown San Francisco. Figure 2 below shows an exact layout of an engineering companies office I actually worked at. The hierarchal reward being that of a view, the higher up the ladder, the better the view. The manager and worker layout directly modeling the Panopticon and the Asian facilities.
Now, in September 2012, our researchers revisited Foxconn’s plants in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China, whose sole product is the iPhone. Most of the 60 interviewees who SACOM talked to are new workers recruited by the government. The high turnover rate and the government’s need to recruit workers and take other special steps to smooth production implicitly suggest that job satisfaction is not high. More than that, SACOM’s new investigation finds that Foxconn workers in Zhengzhou are still facing deplorably harsh working conditions. It is disappointing that no matter how advanced the technology introduced by Apple is, the old problems in working conditions remain at its major supplier Foxconn.” (3- 2)
Foxconn demands for workers is insatiable. A constant cycle of recruitment and termination. At the Peak Season (preceding a new Apple IPhone launch) up to 500,000 workers are employed at Foxconn and living in its barracks. The average age is 19 yrs. old.
China has sacrificed its young, its environment, all to make iPhones. And unlike Henry Ford’s $5-dollar day, the Foxconn worker cannot afford to buy the product they make. It seems to me to be an incredible waste resources, energy and youth.
Figure 1: Layout of a typical Asian Manufacturing Facility
Figure 2: Layout of Western Office Facility