back to article Big Apple fake Apple stores agree to rat out suppliers

A New York gadget shop called Apple Story has agreed to change its name, hand over any counterfeit stock bearing Apple logos or slogans, and name its dodgy suppliers as part of a court settlement with the fruity tech giant. Apple Story and another store, Fun Zone, were taken to court last July by Apple for trademark …

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FAIL

I reckon...

...that with the margins that Apple make and the profits they hold, that they could manufacturer their products in America, employ Americans to do the work, make a patriotic contribution to the country, and screw China. After all, China is really biting the hand that is feeding it here and if Apple did this, then China would be getting what it deserved.

But what would I know, my phone's a dying Nokia and my tablet is taken twice a day with water.

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Apple, like Ford, buys parts from suppliers to make their products. If there were suppliers still in the US, they might use them.

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Perhaps...

you were downvoted because after this... "that with the margins that Apple make and the profits they hold, that they could manufacturer their products in America, employ Americans to do the work, make a patriotic contribution to the country"

Your moralistic stance became a dig a China. China or the Chinese people deserve nothing less or more than the respect we ourselves deserve.

I agree with the first half of your rant ;-) If corporates (not just Apple) and their shareholders were not such greedy ******* in the first place, then the manufacturing infrastructure of the west would still exist. There would be less unemployment and the wealth generated from the sale of consumer do dads could be nicely shared amongst us all. This would still make the providers of the do dads rich beyond necessity, if not rich beyond obscenity, which unfortunately seems to be what they mostly strive for.

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Facepalm

obvious idiocy is obvious

Even if that wasn't dumb for dozens of reasons to do with wages, and healthcare costs, and supply chains, and stuff, it's obviously counterproductive ...

Apple: Hi China, it's Apple.

China: Oh Hi, Apple

Apple: We've identified some new manufacturers of counterfeit goods and we were wondering if you'd close them down for us.

China: Oh sure, wait - didn't you just move your manufacturing to the US as a patriotic contribution and in order to screw us?

Apple: Um yes

.....

Apple: China? You still there buddy? Dammit did I hold my phone wrong?

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Anonymous Coward

And how much do you think the products would cost if they were made by a Merkin worker, on Merkin worker's wages?

Want to pay $900 for an iPad?

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Megaphone

But why?

It's because we have as a society abandoned our principals that people should have safe working conditions and be paid a livable wage. Apple, WalMart and similar companies are at the hear of this loss of morals. We don't allow people to be slave workers here in America, because even though out-right slaves are a economically better means of production, treating humans that way is reprehensible to us. The UK has the moral high ground here as they banned slavery long before the US (though were happy to buy our cheap cotton, etc in a very similar fashion to this).

We let our politicians and Walmart Apple, etc trick us all into accepting child labor, rape, and sub livable wages as long as it isn't happening in our face. That is the only reason that there are not manufacturers here in the US and UK anymore. And the joke will really be on us when the next major armed conflict breaks out. It was the manufacturing strength of the US that made the difference in us winning the WWII, and even though the next war won't necessarily be with Big Steel machines, the fact that our PC's, chips and technology is produced in China/Asia will come back to haunt/kill the western world.

Honda, for example got the right idea, they make parts in the US with US factory workers, so that Honda can now claim to have a more American car than GM/Ford/Dodge can.

The ONLY way to reverse this awful trend is to suck it up and not be lured in by the very high moral cost of these salve wage prices. But from local suppliers, or from manufactures that have the country YOU LIVE IN stamped on them, anything else makes you a traitor in my eyes.

And I'm not a Nazi, you may have to buy that one device for your kid, or for work... but if you make a moral and conscious decision to avoid this slave labor WHEREVER YOU CAN.. it really would collectively make a difference. It's not that the US and UK can't compete with China etc, I fully believe we can make better products than they can...its just that honest business can compete with slavery, corruption and theft.

Double middle finger to Apple, because they don't even pass on any of the savings to their customers (evil as they are WalMart is at least cheap) Instead Apple has used cheap Chinese slave labor AND high prices to become the richest (most highly capitalized along with Exxon) company in the world. They didn't get rich by making great products, they got rich from abuse and shameful morals!!

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Buddy

I don't think Chinese people say buddy.

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Well

As our right wing capitalistic friends say (until it bites them on the backside) "The Market has spoken". Apparently we want cheaper things made in the third world rather than a good strong local economy.

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Facepalm

spelling errors

OK so this topic touched a nerve and I submitted before checking spelling....a few corrections

"Apple, WalMart and similar companies are at the hear of this loss of morals"

Should read "at the HEART of" (not hear)

"But from local suppliers"

Should read "BUY from local suppliers" (not but)

And the worse mistake:

"its just that honest business can compete"

Should read "CAN'T Compete

While I am back to ranting... you know we used to have tariffs and taxes that made this a more even economical situation... Our governments and businesses tricked us all into abandoning these in the pursuit of the global market, and world trade. These are really both just wolves in sheep's clothing.... abandoning these cruelty punishing fees has just allowed human abuse to really be behind the globalization and world economy the western world is enjoying now!

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Silver badge

Given that nobody else seems to be able to make a fondleslab of similar quality to the iPad and sell it for less than the iPad retails at, I'm not actually sure the margins are that huge.

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Boffin

I disagree $600 - $300 equals a lot of profit

Speculation on the Touchpad and Ipad place the actual cost of materials somewhere around the $250-$350 range. I would tend to bet that apple with its "30% or the highway" mentality for all apps, has brokered some pretty mean business deals in their favor. Also large size touchscreens area a somewhat limited resource now, and apple (despite my ire for them), did predict right that these would sell, and probably bought up massive quantities in advance for heavily discounted prices. Combine their phone, PC and touch business and they are probably getting Flash, RAM etc at prices close to cost.

Amazon is going to prove or disprove that a $250 tab can be made. What people keep leaning on is that Apple is the only one who can do this. I am pretty sure that HP, Samsung etc COULD sell a tablet at the $300-400 range and still make a profit, but they have been greedy and are stupidly stuck at pricing them in the overpriced range that Apple sells for, mainly due to its religious like fanbase, that the rest of the market just wont settle for. That and there are very FEW touchpads that DONT have Android on them, and there is a large market out there for people who want a touchpad that ISNT Apple or Android.

The Asus transformer seems like a neat device that a lot of people were interested in, and is selling well. The HP touchpad @ $300 would sell much better than at $600 which was greedy and unreasonable. If Leo apocalypse had any brains he would have slashed the cost of these things in half, and raised the revenue that HP gets as its cut from the WebOS app store. They could take 15-20%, still be making a killing in license fees on other companies work, and STILL be beating out the next competitive solution (apple appstore) by a 10% or more margin.

And for what its worth.. (no M$ fan here BTW) . I know how much people trash M$ previous attempts at touch pads... but remember that the folly was trying to make a portable PC/Laptop, that was missing the keyboard. It had all the weight etc, of a laptop, and only added the benefit of a touchscreen, which in reality was NO benefit, because the software wasn't designed for it.

If M$ pulled an Apple, and released a Gnome/Unity shell that was catered to run on LInux/ARM They could sell a hell of a lot of touchpads, just by porting a few key programs like Office/Outlook to it. Hell, they should be able to sell a lot of touchpads just by running Windows 7 on a decent low wattage AMD fusion CPU(or IvyBridge, but you'd loose out on games graphics) ... The hardware, in both screens and batter have come a long way since their last failed attempts ... I guess M$ is filled with too many greedy uncreative types these days, with their King monkey boy as prime example, so I don't expect a whole lot from M$.

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Anonymous Coward

Worst, surely?

Typo != Spelling error.

Personally I blame windoze for losing characters that are actualy typed.

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Silver badge

Corpoprations behave to maximise their profit

Moralizing is pointless. As long as the current taxation systems stand stuff will be manufactured in China, IPR will be stolen and knockoffs will be produced.

If you _WANT_ stuff to be manufactured locally you should give your MP, Senator or whatever other "political critter" represent you a couple of soviet block books on taxation. No, I am not joking here. They had one point kind-a right there (they just took the idea too much to the extreme). The best way to shorten a supply chain and force it to be semi-local is to use turnover tax instead of VAT.

VAT naturally creates long multi-step supply chains which naturally lead to the lowest cost labour and resource. That used to be penalized by import duties, however most of them got removed as a part of the WTO and as a matter of fact they were being ineffective even before that.

The truth is somewhere in-between. If VAT is complemented by a TURNOVER tax which is collected at each step in the food chain and is cumulative (no refund) and ALWAYS collected on import half of these 30+ step supply chains will dissolve overnight to be replaced by in-country (or at least in-economic-area) verticals which will also be more product driven rather than supply-at-lowest-from-third-world driven. Overall, this will be a good thing and it is a pity that there is no way in hell it can happen any time soon...

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Silver badge
Meh

U.S. slave labor?

I didn't think that prisoners in the U.S. worked for the IT industry but looking up "prisoners" and "slave labor" implies that I guessed wrong, e.g.

http://www.workers.org/2011/us/pentagon_0616/ (yeah, probably)

"Major corporations profiting from the slave labor of prisoners include Motorola, Compaq, Honeywell, Microsoft, Boeing, Revlon, Chevron, TWA, Victoria’s Secret and Eddie Bauer.

"IBM, Texas Instruments and Dell get circuit boards made by Texas prisoners."

...Compaq?

All right, though, prisoners can, in fact, refuse to work. (They're also technically paid, but, well, if instead they were out on the street mugging you for the same money, every day, you wouldn't be particularly upset.)

Like their ancestors could refuse to work when they were brought to the U.S. from Africa.

And, yes, not all prisoners in the U.S. are black.

There are also Hispanics.

Here's where the prisoners have the last laugh though, when they get old in prison they can't claim Medicare and Medicaid. (I don't know if President Obama is changing this.)

But I don't know if they still have to work. Maybe the joke is still on them, after all.

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Anonymous Coward

I agree with most of what you said though I must point out that we didn't outlaw slavery until last year! We sort of assumed at no one still did it until the plod came across some human traffic cases and found that they could really do with a law explicitly prohibiting this.

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FAIL

Armando 123

"Apple, like Ford, buys parts from suppliers to make their products. If there were suppliers still in the US, they might use them."

Er no, Apple do not "buy parts from suppliers". The entire phone is built in China and is in fact *imported* when sold in America - thus contributing to the US' trade-balance problems.

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Anonymous Coward

Oh Brill!

Say, I am really liking that "M$" thing that you use! It's a really biting commentary on a company that insists on making money, as opposed to all the other companies in the IT world, all of which are charitable organizations, run at a loss and staffed by volunteers who actually make good the companies' operating losses OUT OF THEIR OWN POCKETS and who, obviously, do not accept a salary or pay of any kind! And bless all those investors who having put their money in those companies do not expect, or even want, any kind of return; they are well satisfied with losing money at a rate no more than twice the rate of inflation!

Yes the little satiric monogram you have thought up gives us all food for thought!

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Flame

UK not treating workers like slaves....pull the other one.

How many employers quite happily put "3% or higher absence will initiate a disciplinary process which may result in dismissal or other punitive measures", no "non medically sanctioned absence" or "absence without reason" its ANY absence, boiling down to essentially "get your arse back here now or your fired, sickness / injury is not an excuse" not far from chattel slavery.

Of course all that is supported by HMG who also see the sick and disabled as scroungers and give regular soundbites to the meeja outlining that viewpoint, then denying they are whooping up a firestorm of hatred against the disabled...wonder how long it will be before someone gets killed for being a "scrounging cripple"??

Also how many employers, especially at lower levels hire staff on part time contracts 12 to 25 hours a week, then have them do constant overtime, just to avoid having to pay them proper holiday pay or redundancy pay etc...loads....the supermarkets especially being prime offenders for that trick and the 3% absence trick, especially so as they base absence on your "contracted" not your regular hours, so for some, one day off with food poisoning takes them over 5% and headed for serious hassle.

Seems we are heading rapidly back towards the workhouse and worse..........

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Or rather

"on Merkin worker's wages"

That should be "on Merkin worker's taxes". Did you know Connecticut is the most expensive place in the world to do business in terms of business taxes?

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Anonymous Coward

"Want to pay $900 for an iPad?"

You can if you come to Australia!

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Anonymous Coward

Apple - The new new york mafia...

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Anonymous Coward

Right..................

So you think it's perfectly okay for fake products to be produced and sold as legitimate then do you? I suppose that goes for anything else too, like foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, etc.? Think about stuff first eh? Instead of seeing the word 'Apple' and instantly assuming that they're doing something that goes against your insignificant sensibilities.

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Coat

Could be interesting

Given how much manufacturing we've handed over to China, a nation not historically or currently known to value things like property rights and intellectual property, this is not surprising and we in the west are somewhat hoist by our own collective petard by this. I wonder when/if enough things change sufficiently that manufacturing moves back to the US.

Mine's the one with the union label (not)

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Stop

Soon....

We won't be allowed to eat Apples without being sued. I might switch to Oranges (oh hang on a minute...)

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Anonymous Coward

This comment is beneath contempt.

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Pics, details etc

What sort of stuff were they selling? Random gizmos with apple stickers applied or exact knockoffs of kit like headphone cables etc? Anything big, like a MBA? Was the software hacked versions of Apples or skinned something else? How does the counterfeit stuff compare with the real?

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Anonymous Coward

LOL

You forgot to mention... "anyone know where can I still get one?"

:P

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Joke

"Cupertino representatives entered and seized products at the two stores in Queens, NY, on the same day Apple's lawyers launched the legal action."

They were all dressed as Judge Dredd screaming "I am the law..."

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Silver badge

They did it once in SF. Came in a searched some one's home .

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Christ on a bike

I agree with Apple on something. 'Apple Story' really is taking the piss.

I wonder how they thought they were going to get away with it?

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But...

....what if it was a store that sold stories about apples?

Would Apple's actions have been justified then?

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Silver badge

Or indeed a store that sold records. No in that case Apple's actions would not be justified because they don't own a trademark in that field of business. The Beetles own the Apple trademark in the record selling business which is why the iTunes store has no mention of the word Apple anywhere, even in the company name.

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I read elsewhere that one of the complaints was that the knock-off kit had the same 'Designed in California, Made in China' text on them. Well, factually that struck me as correct. Okay, so not /authorised/ by Apple, but it didn't say that...

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Anonymous Coward

Zis move by ze Apple...

....we could say eet ees a "pomme deter", non?

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Optional

"Fun Zone and Apple Story have agreed to hand over to Apple all material listed in their inventory with the word Apple: that includes headphones, cases, labels, signs, prints, packages, wrappers, pouches, receptacles and advertising matter."

And the shop assistants packed lunch?

Hell, I'd chuck a granny smith into the box just for the giggle.

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Silver badge
Pirate

What is baffling is that Apple has the biggest profit margin, is one of the most successful gadget companies and yet Foxconn that make it are making a loss?

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Unhappy

Sucide prevention

see they had existing thin margin agreements in place.

When Foxconn had to shell out extra $$ for the nets to catch jumpers, and raise wages by a few pennies it cut into their slave labor business model too much.

Besides, that is just what is on the books.

I would bet my life that Foxconn has unreported night shifts cranking out the exact same devices for illegal sale in China and Asian markets that keeps the owners/investors making plenty of $$ profit - minus the local thug and politician bribes of course... in a military dictatorship those in power always make sure to get their "fair" cut.

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Terminator

not baffling at all

Thats why Apple are so profitable, if they paid true market value so everyone made a living then to keep the margin your iShiny would be even more expensive.

No different to dairy farming in the UK really.

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Silver badge

@Dobs

I wouldn't bet so easily if I were you. I am sure Apple has thought about it, and found a way to stop that... Like having some essential piece added only later.

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Well

If Foxconn are tendering below their real cost, that isnt apples fault - thats poor management by Foxconn.

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Anonymous Coward

Global economics

I have tried to find people in UK and Europe to build software for my company.

The prices offered (while fair for the work involved and relative to the cost of living) mean that the price for the client is more than they want to pay.

As a result I have to look to Asia to get work done for less so that i can get clients in the UK.

It is pretty simple economics - people in your country (UK, US whatever) want to get stuff for a price that does not allow the people producing it to be paid enough to live in that country.

This is why we have no manufacturing in the UK and the financial services (with its high rewards) is about the only industry left. This applies to pretty much all well developed countries and is causing all sorts of problems...... and my iPhone STILL costs a few hundred quid.

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"Cupertino representatives entered and seized products at the two stores in Queens, NY, on the same day Apple's lawyers launched the legal action."

This is by far the most disturbing part of the story, and requires further detail. Did they have a court order, were they escorted by law enforcement? Or, did they enter a business and steal private property? Did they take by force, or did they "request" the merchandise be turned over?

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Silver badge
Pirate

Product seizure

May have been Customs officials (US equivalent). If the goods were falsely declared for import this is SERIOUS quite separate from copy right issues.

Customs and Excise in England for centuries have had the most draconian powers of entry, search and seizure.

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Anonymous Coward

On the other hand. . .

"Customs and Excise in England for centuries have had the most draconian powers of entry, search and seizure."

Here, the most draconian powers belong to "bail enforcement agent" (bounty hunters, to you and me). (That's actually truer than you might think. I believe that certain types of animal control officers also have quite broad powers too but I am not really sure.)

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Alert

None dare call it fascism

That's the section of the story that clicked for me, too.

The legal way would be for a law enforcement agency to go to a court for a warrant. Apple employees/agents would then be deputized to accompany law enforcement, for the purpose of identifying the contraband for law enforcement to seize.

This isn't an isolated incident. Apple has done this at least once before. Moreover, employees/agents of a certain GMO firm are trespassing on and seizing crops from private farms, without following legal requirements.

Corporations are behaving as law enforcement agencies. The USA has become a corporatocracy.

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"Here, the most draconian powers belong to "bail enforcement agent" (bounty hunters, to you and me). (That's actually truer than you might think. I believe that certain types of animal control officers also have quite broad powers too but I am not really sure.)"

These people frequently get in deep shit by either ignoring the laws that govern their behavior, or violating them out of ignorance. The laws regulating bail enforcement agents vary from state to state. Entering an American home without permission can be a dangerous proposition.

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Slx
Silver badge
Pirate

Globalisation going too far? Time to introduce balancing tariffs, standards etc?

There's no way that the US, the EU, Canada, Australia, Japan, South Korea or any developed country can compete with Chinese, Indian and other very low labour cost markets.

If I am operating a business in the EU, there are vastly more costs than in China and huge amounts of regulatory requirements for environmental protection, workers' rights protection, health and safety protection, pensions, contributions to the social welfare system and healthcare system / insurance etc

The US and EU are the two largest markets for Chinese goods, taking roughly 50:50 share of the Chinese export market.

We need to exert our position of power as the world's biggest consumers. There should be a set of balancing tariffs which calculate the difference between costs in China or elsewhere and costs in the EU or the US.

Also, to protect the planet and people, EU or US environmental laws and human rights laws should be required to be complied with by any company exporting to those markets.

As it stands, we're in a race to the bottom. There will be no manufacturing or even design jobs left in the "west" before long and we'll spiral into a complete collapse. We're already on our way there with the financial crisis i.e. there's nothing much going on in the west anymore except speculative industries like banking.

I think there's a terrible arrogance in the deeply flawed logic that Western countries can be the designers and the far east and other developing areas of the world can be the factory floors. We are no more intelligent and no more qualified than our Chinese or Indian counterparts. What exactly will stop them from just doing the whole job there?

Our large corporations are all multinational. There's no such thing really as a US, British, German, Japanese or whatever company anymore. They're bigger than the countries that they originated in, they're often owned by anonymous, very aggressive stock market funds who care nothing about where they come from or what level of loyalty to their home town / home state they show. All they want to see is quarterly profits.

I think we have entered a situation where corporations are getting more powerful than they should ever have been and countries are being left behind.

When China gets too expensive, these guys will be off to the next source of cheap labour and outsourcing Chinese jobs there.

I really think it's time that we reconsidered this whole notion of totally unfettered globalization. Whose agenda does it suit other than shareholders of major corporations?

I have no problems with countries competing for jobs, but the gulf in costs and basic standards between China (and some other places) and the West is just ridiculous. It's pure market distortion and abuse and nothing else.

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Anonymous Coward

Manufacturing in the US?

Import tarriffs went bye-bye

Taxes, fees, hoops to be jumped through, litigation costs.....

Global warming paranoia, environmental over-regulation, greenies...

4. UNIONS!!!!

The highschool dropout on the assembly line who pounds the rubber doorstop into the doorframe of my econobox automobile is paid $50/hr because he is "entitled" to a fair wage so he can live in a 6 bedroom home with a pool, have a 70" 3D bigscreen TV, drive a luxury car, and send his kids to private school.

We are scroomed.

(and I'm a moderate libertarian)

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