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  •  Suicide rates (9+ / 0-)

    The main reports of suicides at Taiwanese-owned Foxconn was during the middle of last year. As of May 2010, 10 Foxconn employees committed suicide.

    That's tragic, and it sounds like a lot. However, Foxconn employs over 800,000 people.

    The average rate of suicide in China is 13 males and 14.5 females per 100,000 (according to the latest study, 1999, by WHO) . Taken as a company, the suicide rate for Foxconn would be 1.25 per 100,000. That's 1/12 China's national average. So it appears a person working at Foxconn is 12 times less likely to commit suicide than the rest of the population in general.

    What's interesting in the WHO report, suicide rates are higher in some unexpected countries. China ranked 26th, but Austria was 21st, France 18th, Switzerland 17th, Finland 14th, and Japan 5th.

    Just slightly below China is New Zealand 27th and Sweden 28th.

    Canada is 38th and the US is 41st with a rate of 11.1 per 100,000.

    Actually, if you're a man in the US, you are more at risk of committing suicide than if you're in China, male or female. The reported rate in 2003 was 17.1. The rate for women was less than 1/4th, 4.5.

    Maybe we should boycott anything made by men in the US.

    "Cannibals prefer those who have no spines." ~ Stanislaw Lem

    by BlogDog on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 03:43:55 PM PST

    •  This needs some qualification (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The number of suicides at FoxConn was the number we know about. I would expect the true figure to be higher. And with Chinese suicide rate figures in general, I would also expect them to be depressed by social factors, the desire not to lose face in a society that in many ways is much more traditional than ours, and certainly offers more opportunities to conceal information.

      Still, the general point is valid. The FoxConn suicide total was decontextualized and misused in ways that cast doubt on the fundamental honesty of some Apple critics.

      When we are no longer children, we are already dead. (Constantin Brancusi) And whoever gave it, thanks for the gift!

      by sagesource on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 06:34:54 PM PST

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      •  It's hard to know the numbers which don't exist (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Claudius Bombarnac

        After the initial reports of suicides at Foxconn in 2010, the company has be under intense worldwide scrutiny. I'd think it would be extremely difficult for them to hide any suicides since then.

        So what's happened since 2010? The suicide rate has dropped dramatically. There were 18 suicides at Foxconn facilities in 2010. During 2011 there were 4 reported suicides. One was apparently over a failed relationship.

        Four suicides isn't good news, but to put it in perspective, that's 4 out of 800,000 employees. That's a ratio of 0.5 out of 100,000.

        Not only is that rate still far below even the "safer" Chinese urban areas, the workers at Foxconn are at less of a suicide risk than someone living in any of the 50 states in the US.

        The state with the lowest suicide rate is DC with 6.1. The highest is Alaska, 21.8.

        So living in Alaska is about 40 times more dangerous than working at Foxconn. Who knew?

        Boycotting Apple in order to move jobs to the US would actually put more people at risk. Go figure.

        "Cannibals prefer those who have no spines." ~ Stanislaw Lem

        by BlogDog on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 04:57:22 AM PST

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    •  Completely refrained from adjusting for (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BradyB, joeshwingding

      age, severe mental illness, ect.

      I wonder why you did that...

      Oddly, we see the same thing with people trying to downplay military suicides in theater, too.  

      They also point out that the rate is lower than it is for the population in general, while refusing to make actual apples to apples comparisons.

      Fear is your only God.

      by JesseCW on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 07:15:59 PM PST

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      •  Conspiracy theory? (0+ / 0-)

        Not hardly.

        I did considerable searching and the WHO numbers were the best I could find. There were no numbers I could locate which broke suicide rates up into categories such as mental illness or the like.

        There were some studies which compared rates for men vs. women, rural vs. urban and groupings by age. The groupings by age were mostly for the US, I couldn't find any for worldwide studies.

        If you can locate better numbers which identify causes such as mental illness, please share them. I'd honestly like to see them.

        "Cannibals prefer those who have no spines." ~ Stanislaw Lem

        by BlogDog on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 05:05:23 AM PST

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