BERC ALERT: What does your cell phone have to do with mass exploitation?

Hello again, BERC again!

Hello again, BERC again!

Another new BERC blog, for you soul. I know you wanted it; here it is for you.

This BERC op-ed I wrote came from a simple question: Where does your cell phone come from? How about your laptop? Your tablet?

How about this question: What impact does the electronics industry have on the world? The answer, in fact, isn’t pretty.

I remember a conversation I was having with a young brother about this very conflict. The electronics industry is one of the fastest growing industries on the world, both in the Global North and the South. At the same time, the externalities of such an immense market have become fuel to devastate the community of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Source: Google and Creative Commons

Source: Google and Creative Commons

This example unfortunately is one of many. Check out the Three Gorges Dam, now the largest hydroelectric dam in the world, and its impact on the Chinese villages in the area. Consider the sweatshop industry. Consider the fossil fuel industry. It begs a larger question: can immense growth due to capitalism ever live apart from externalized exploitation of groups without political or monetary power?

Possibly, but I’m just posing the topic. To make it possible, first we have to make such issues known. I try to do so, very briefly, in this article.

Without further adieu, check out Electronic Exploitation: The Hidden Cost of the Electronics Boom.

Talk to me about your thoughts! Share it Around! What do you think about these issues?


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