Political Correction

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - March 6, 2011

March 07, 2011 10:06 am ET

For the first time in weeks, the Sunday political shows didn't touch on GOP union-busting efforts in Wisconsin and elsewhere, choosing instead to focus on national economic issues. That meant a series of tired talking points from familiar Republican faces. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) implied Democrats have raised taxes, when in fact they've cut taxes by hundreds of billions. Reps. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Michele Bachmann (R-MN) ignored economic growth and 1.5 million new private sector jobs in the past year to attack President Obama's economic policies. Bachmann also misled NBC viewers about the Affordable Care Act and the partisan nature of the Tea Party. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) claimed the administration has protected government workers at the expense of private sector jobs. On less familiar topics, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) dishonestly insisted American Muslims don't cooperate with law enforcement despite much evidence to the contrary, and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) foolishly claimed that Apple electronics are manufactured in America. Somebody should tell that to the Chinese factory workers who built your iPhone.

State of the Union

CLAIM: Sen. Alexander Suggested The Obama Administration Has Raised Numerous Taxes

SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R-TN): So I fully expect that our nominee will be the one who does the best job of saying of President Obama and the Democratic Congress look, you've had too many taxes, you've made it too hard to create private sector jobs, you haven't enacted the trade agreements, you've proposed expensive energy, you wanna take the secret ballot away in union elections, we're gonna make it easier to create jobs.

FACT: Democrats Passed Hundreds Of Billions Of Dollars In Tax Relief Measures In 2009-10 Over Republican Objections

PolitiFact: $288 Billion In Tax Relief In Recovery Act Were "Nearly A Third" Of The Spending. According to PolitiFact.com: "Nearly a third of the cost of the stimulus, $288 billion, comes via tax breaks to individuals and businesses. The tax cuts include a refundable credit of up to $400 per individual and $800 for married couples; a temporary increase of the earned income tax credit for disadvantaged families; and an extension of a program that allows businesses to recover the costs of capital expenditures faster than usual. The tax cuts aren't so much spending as money the government won't get -- so it can stay in the economy. Of that $288 billion, the stimulus has resulted in $119 billion worth of tax breaks so far." [PolitiFact.com, 2/17/10]

Under the stimulus bill, single workers got $400, and working couples got $800. The Internal Revenue Service issued new guidelines to reduce withholdings for income tax, so many workers saw a small increase in their checks in April 2009.

The tax cut was part of Obama's campaign promises. During the campaign, Obama said he wanted $500 for each worker and $1,000 for working couples. Since the final number was a bit less than he promised, we rated his promise a Compromise on our Obameter, where we rate Obama's campaign promises for fulfillment. 

During the campaign, the independent Tax Policy Center researched how Obama's tax proposals would affect workers. It concluded 94.3 percent of workers would receive a tax cut under Obama's plan based on the tax credit to offset payroll taxes. According to the analysis, the people who wouldn't get a tax cut are those who make more than $250,000 for couples or $200,000 for a single person. [PolitiFact.com, 1/27/10]

HIRE Act Provided $8.5 Billion In Tax Credits To Job Creators. According to CNNMoney.com: "Businesses have hired an estimated 4.5 million Americans who have been jobless for at least eight weeks, making these firms eligible for approximately $8.5 billion in tax credits, according to a Treasury report released Monday. The tax credits are part of the $13 billion Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act, which Congress passed in March. Under the act, employers who hire workers who have been jobless for at least 60 days are exempt from the 6.2% payroll tax charged per worker -- for the rest year. In addition, companies can claim a tax credit of up to $1,000 for each employee who stays at least a year." [Money.CNN.com, 7/12/10, emphasis added]

House Passed Small Business Aid Bill In Mid-June On Party Lines. According to Reuters: "The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved a small business lending program sought by President Barack Obama to boost economic growth and encourage job creation. The House voted 241-182, mostly along party lines, for a bill which would authorize a $30 billion fund the Treasury Department would use to provide capital to small community banks, allowing increased lending to small businesses...[T]he $30 billion fund could be leveraged into as much as $300 billion in new credit to small businesses. The legislation is being combined with another bill earlier passed by the House that would provide $3.5 billion in small business tax breaks before it is sent over to the Senate for a vote." [Reuters, 6/17/10, emphasis added]

PolitiFact: "True" That "Democrats Passed 25 Tax Cuts [In 2009] Without The Help Of Republicans." PolitiFact.com analyzed a claim by senior White House adviser David Axelrod that Democrats passed 25 tax cuts in 2009 without Republican help:

We were intrigued by the claim that Democrats passed 25 tax cuts last year, so we contacted the White House press office and asked for a list. And they gave us one, all from the economic stimulus package championed by Obama and signed on Feb. 17, 2009.

We checked them out, provided sections and page numbers in the stimulus for reference, and added a brief explainer for some. If your eyes glaze over midway through, feel free to skip ahead to the bottom of the list where we'll pick up our analysis.[...]

Each of the tax provisions in the stimulus could have been broken into separate bills, said Bob Williams, also of the Tax Policy Center, and on their own could have rightly been billed as separate tax cuts.

"They packed an awful lot into that bill," Williams said. "I think it's fair to say that various tax provisions in the stimulus could be considered tax cuts. I don't think that's being deceptive."

We agree. 

But there's one other element of Axelrod's claim, that the tax cuts were passed without the help of Republicans.

The stimulus passed the House with nary a Republican vote. And it passed the Senate with just three (though we note that one of them, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, is now a Democrat).

So it's certainly fair to say the stimulus passed without the help of the Republican caucus. We find Axelrod's statement True. [PolitiFact.com, 1/31/10]

CLAIM: Rep. Peter King Claimed That Muslims Do Not Cooperate With Law Enforcement

CANDY CROWLEY (HOST): There was a Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security report backed by some prestigious universities which found that since 9/11, of the cases that we know about that law enforcement is telling us about, that were thwarted, there were 120 thwarted, 48 of those -- about a third -- came out of tips from the Muslim-American community. So doesn't that tell you there is cooperation there?

REP. PETER KING (R-NY): No. I'm aware of a number of cases in New York where the community has not been cooperative. We have, for instance, Vinas who was captured in Afghanistan. He went to two mosques in Suffolk County in Long Island, said he wanted to engage in jihad. They said we don't do it, but never told the police. And then he went off to Afghanistan. So there's just one example. I can give others.

FACT: As CNN's Crowley Rightly Pointed Out, An Expert Study Of Thwarted Terrorist Plots Since 9/11 Found That Law Enforcement Received Help From Muslim Community In Over One-Third Of The Cases

Triangle Center On Terrorism And Homeland Security Study: Tips From Muslim Americans Are "Largest Single Source Of Initial Information" In Disrupting Muslim-American Terrorism Plots. In a paper for the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, a joint research effort between Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and RTI International, UNC professor Charles Kurzman wrote:

How are Muslim-American terrorism plots being disrupted? The initial source of information that brought suspects to the attention of U.S. government authorities has not been publicly disclosed in 25 of 161 cases (see Figure 6). In an additional 16 cases, it appears that U.S. authorities learned about the plots only from the execution of a terrorist attack. For the remaining 120 individuals, the largest single source of initial information (48 of 120 cases) involved tips from the Muslim-American community. (This figure does not include information delivered by government questioning of Muslim-American terrorism suspects.)

In some cases, family members reported that the suspects were missing overseas -- for example, Omar Hammami, who traveled to Somalia and joined al Shabaab in 2006; the Somali-Americans in Minnesota who left for Somalia in 2007 and 2008; and five young men from Northern Virginia who traveled to Pakistan in 2009. In other cases, members of the Muslim-American community reported suspicious activities. For example, an anonymous letter from a Yemeni-American led authorities to investigate the Lackawanna Six in 2001 (they were arrested in 2002). Farooque Ahmed in Virginia "came to the attention of American authorities in April [2010] when he told associates that he wanted to engage in jihad, [an unnamed federal] official said. This information was passed on to law enforcement agencies, which began to monitor him." The FBI began to investigate Antonio Martinez in Maryland after a Muslim Facebook friend called about his violent postings.

In some communities, Muslim-Americans have been so concerned about extremists in their midst that they have turned in people who turned out to be undercover informants, including Craig Monteilh in Orange County, California, and Darren Griffin in Toledo, Ohio. [Triangle Center, "Muslim-American Terrorism Since 9/11: An Accounting," 2/2/11, emphasis added]

MPAC Report: Muslim Cooperation Has Been Involved In The Foiling Of Nearly 40 Percent Of Al Qaeda-Related Terror Attacks In U.S. Since 9/11. According to a study by the Muslim Public Affairs Council: "[T]here have been 17 total instances of Muslims voluntarily seeking to help law enforcement prevent Al Qaeda-related terror activities threatening the United States since 9/11. Th[at] represents almost ... 4 out of 10 (37.7%) such cases." [Muslim Public Affairs Council, "Data on Post-9/11 Terrorism in the United States," January 2011, emphasis in original]

MPAC Report: "8 Out Of The Last 12 Plots Were Foiled With The Assistance Of Muslims." From the MPAC study: "Furthermore, 8 out of the last 12 plots were foiled with the assistance of Muslims. In other words, since the "Virginia Five" arrest in December 2009, Muslim communities have helped law enforcement apprehend suspects in three-quarters of subsequent plots. This is an important counter-trend to the recent spike of arrests." [Muslim Public Affairs Council, "Data on Post-9/11 Terrorism in the United States," January 2011, emphasis in original]

Fox News Sunday

CLAIM: Rep. Hensarling Claimed Democratic Policies Cause Unemployment

REP. JEB HENSARLING (R-TX): There's still millions of our fellow Americans who are out of work due to the economic policies of his party and President Obama.

FACT: When President Obama Took Office The Economy Was Shedding Hundreds Of Thousands Of Jobs Per Month

The Economy Shed Almost 8 Million Jobs Under Republican Policies Before The Recovery Act Could Affect The Economy. According to economist Robert J. Shapiro:

From December 2007 to July 2009 - the last year of the Bush second term and the first six months of the Obama presidency, before his policies could affect the economy - private sector employment crashed from 115,574,000 jobs to 107,778,000 jobs. Employment continued to fall, however, for the next six months, reaching a low of 107,107,000 jobs in December of 2009. So, out of 8,467,000 private sector jobs lost in this dismal cycle, 7,796,000 of those jobs or 92 percent were lost on the Republicans' watch or under the sway of their policies. Some 671,000 additional jobs were lost as the stimulus and other moves by the administration kicked in, but 630,000 jobs then came back in the following six months. The tally, to date: Mr. Obama can be held accountable for the net loss of 41,000 jobs (671,000 - 630,000), while the Republicans should be held responsible for the net losses of 7,796,000 jobs. [Sonecon.com, 8/10/10, emphasis added]

Based on Shapiro's research, the Washington Post's Ezra Klein created the following chart showing net job losses before and after the Recovery Act was enacted:

[Washington Post8/12/10]

From January 2008 Through July 2009, Economy Lost Nearly 400,000 Private Sector Jobs Per Month On Average. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data on monthly gains and losses in private sector jobs, the private sector added 4,000 jobs in January 2008. In July 2009, the sixth full month of the Obama presidency, the private sector shed 287,000 jobs. Over that 19-month span, the private sector shed 395,950 jobs per month on average, the data show.

Jan 08

4,000

Feb 08

-128,000

Mar 08

-87,000

Apr 08

-186,000

May 08

-240,000

Jun 08

-217,000

Jul 08

-265,000

Aug 08

-317,000

Sep 08

-434,000

Oct 08

-491,000

Nov 08

-787,000

Dec 08

-636,000

Jan 09

-841,000

Feb 09

-721,000

Mar 09

-787,000

Apr 09

-773,000

May 09

-326,000

Jun 09

-438,000

Jul 09

-287,000

AVG

    -395,950

[BLS.gov, accessed 1/25/11]

PolitiFact: "True" That "Most Job Losses" Happened Before Obama Policies Took Effect. According to PolitiFact.com's analysis of President Obama's statement that "most of the jobs that we lost were lost before the economic policies we put in place had any effect": "Looking at BLS data on seasonally adjusted non-farm employment from December 2007, when the recession officially began, to January 2009, the month before the stimulus was enacted (a 25-month period), the jobs number declined by 4.4 million. ... When [Obama] refers to his economic policies, we presume he is referring to his main economic stimulus, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It passed in February 2009, but it took several months before the impact of its spending was felt in the economy. Job loss didn't stop, but Obama is right that it slowed down. In the 19 months from February 2009 through September 2010, the month of the most recent preliminary data, the overall job decline in the private and public sectors was 2.6 million. And the number of jobs lost per month has declined from around 700,000 a month at the beginning of the administration to months in which there were small net gains. ... 'I watched the president on Stewart's show last night, and I thought his basic point about the timing of the employment losses was correct and ought to be noncontroversial,' Gary Burtless, a labor markets expert at the centrist-to-liberal Brookings Institution said in an e-mail." [PolitiFact.com, 10/27/10, emphasis added]

FACT: Since President Obama's Policies Took Effect, The Job Market Has Turned Around

Since July 2009, Private Sector Has Moved Steadily From Monthly Job Losses To Monthly Job Gains. Below is a chart of Bureau of Labor Statistics data prepared by Political Correction showing monthly job gains and losses in the private sector, shaded blue for months after Recovery Act spending began to impact the economy, purple for months after President Obama's inauguration but before his policies could affect the economy, and red for months of job losses under Bush-era policies.

CBO: The Recovery Act Created Jobs, Lowered Unemployment, And Boosted GDP. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office:

CBO estimates that ARRA's policies had the following effects in the third quarter of calendar year 2010:

February 2011: Private Sector Added 222,000 Jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy added 222,000 private sector jobs in February. [BLS.gov, accessed 3/6/11]

Meet the Press

CLAIM: Rep. Bachmann Claimed The Affordable Care Act Is Causing Increases In Health Care Premiums

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN): Again, from the very beginning it has been said that Obamacare is a crime against democracy. It has been a deception from the beginning. ... We were also told that our premiums would go down $2,500 and instead, they're spiking up by 20 and 40 percent.

FACT: Premiums Were Rising Sharply Before The Law Passed, And It Will Slow The Growth Of Health Care Spending Over Time

FactCheck.org: "Premiums Have Been Rising Well Before The Law, And Were Expected To Rise Without It." According to the nonpartisan FactCheck.org: "As we've written before, rising medical costs are the primary driver of increasing premiums, and that's according to insurance companies and state insurance commissions. In fact, the CBO has said the law won't have much of an impact on premium costs for most Americans, compared with what premiums would have been without the law. (Premiums have been rising well before the law, and were expected to rise without it.) Those on the individual market - persons who buy their own insurance - will see an average increase of 10 percent to 13 percent, but more than half of those individuals will get subsidies that reduce their out-of-pocket costs substantially. And the increase in premiums will be due to an increase in benefits in those plans." [FactCheck.org, 1/27/11]

Affordable Care Act Insures 34 Million New People With 1 Percent Health Care Spending Increase. According to the Washington Post's Ezra Klein:

First, be clear about what's being estimated. The Congressional Budget Office's estimates look at the deficit. CMS is looking at total national health expenditures. This often confuses people into thinking that there's conflict between the two sets of numbers when there isn't: CBO says that federal spending is going to go up to pay for the coverage expansion, but that savings and revenue will go up by even more, leading to a net reduction in the federal deficit. CMS is looking only at the spending side. And here's what it finds: In 2019, implementation of the Affordable Care Act will reduce the ranks of the uninsured by 34 million people and increase nation health expenditures by 1 percent. One percent... So that's the bottom line of the report: We're covering 34 million people and come 2019, spending is expected to be one percentage point -- and falling - above what it would've been if we'd done nothing. [Washington Post4/23/10, emphasis added]

After One-Time Spending Increase In 2014, Costs Grow More Slowly Than They Would Without Reform. According to the Washington Post's Ezra Klein:

[W]e're covering about 10 percent of the country and increasing spending growth by 0.2 percent. Seems like a good deal to me. But it's actually a better deal than that. Here's what the cost curve -- or maybe I should say cost line -- looks like:

What you're seeing here isn't the cost curve bending up. It's a one-time increase in the level of spending. That's the big jump in 2014, the year the exchanges and subsidies come online. So when you compare 2014 to 2013, spending growth seems like it's gone up a bunch. But by 2016, we're back to normal. In fact, we're better than normal [according to a September CMS report]: "For 2015-19, national health spending is now projected to increase 6.7 percent per year, on average -- slightly less than the 6.8 percent average annual growth rate projected in February 2010."

In other words, 2014 is a one-time increase in spending level as we get 30 million new people covered. After 2014, costs grow more slowly than they would without the health-care reform bill. [Washington Post9/10/10, emphasis added]

CLAIM: Rep. Bachmann Claimed The Tea Party Does Not Have A Partisan Bent

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN): You know, I think that the political left has been very afraid of the Tea Party movement because it is not necessarily political. It's not Democrats or Republicans. It's made up of a very broad-based coalition.

FACT: Polling Shows Tea Party Activists Are Overwhelmingly Republican

Spring 2010 Gallup Polling: Tea Party Is 79 Percent Republican, 15 Percent Democrat. In a report on polling from March, May and June of 2010, Gallup published this chart:

[Gallup.com, 7/2/10]

April 2010 CBS/New York Times Poll: Tea Party Supporters Are 54 Percent Republican, 5 Percent Democrat, 66 Percent "Usually" Or "Always" Vote Republican. According to the New York Times:

Supporters of the Tea Party movement are more likely to be men, over the age of 45, white, married, and either employed or retired. Few are unemployed. They are more affluent and more educated than most Americans. Almost all said they are registered to vote, and most are Republicans.

[...]

[New York Times, 4/14/10]

March 2010 Quinnipiac Poll: 74 Percent Of Tea Party Supporters Identify With GOP. In a report on polling done in March, the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute wrote:

Looking at voters who consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement:

[Quinnipiac.edu, 3/24/10]

Gallup: "Tea Party Movement Is More A Rebranding Of Core Republicanism Than A New...Entity On The American Political Scene." In a summary of polling from March, May and June, Gallup's Frank Newport wrote: "There is significant overlap between Americans who identify as supporters of the Tea Party movement and those who identify as conservative Republicans. Their similar ideological makeup and views suggest that the Tea Party movement is more a rebranding of core Republicanism than a new or distinct entity on the American political scene... Conservative Republicans outnumber moderate/liberal Republicans in the general population by about a 2-to-1 margin; among Tea Party supporters, the ratio is well more than 3 to 1. More generally, almost 8 out of 10 Tea Party supporters are Republicans, compared with 44% of all national adults." [Gallup.com, 7/2/10]

FACT: Tea Party Activists Are Far More Conservative Than America At Large

March Gallup Poll: Tea Party Is Much More Conservative Than American Adult Population. According to Gallup:

Tea Party supporters are decidedly Republican and conservative in their leanings. Also, compared with average Americans, supporters are slightly more likely to be male and less likely to be lower-income.

[Gallup.com, 4/5/10]

CLAIM: Rep. Bachmann Claimed That "The Economy Is Simply Not Improving"

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN): I don't believe that Barack Obama has done a good job as president of the United States.  I think that's beared out statistically on everything from anemic job creation to the out of control spending and deficits.  The economy is simply not improving.

FACT: Yes It Is, According To Job And GDP Growth Numbers

The Private Sector Has Added 1.5 Million Jobs Over 12 Consecutive Months Of Job Growth. Minority Leader Pelosi's office prepared a chart based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data for monthly private sector job gains and losses:

[DemocraticLeader.gov, 3/4/11]

GDP Grew 2.8 Percent In 2010 After Shrinking 2.6 Percent In 2009. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis: "Real GDP increased 2.8 percent in 2010 (that is, from the 2009 annual level to the 2010 annual level), in contrast to a decrease of 2.6 percent in 2009. The increase in real GDP in 2010 primarily reflected positive contributions from private inventory investment, exports, PCE, nonresidential fixed investment, and federal government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased. The upturn in real GDP primarily reflected upturns in exports, in nonresidential fixed investment, in PCE, and in private inventory investment and a smaller decrease in residential fixed investment that were partly offset by an upturn in imports." [BEA.gov, 2/25/11, emphasis added]

TradingEconomics.com prepared a graph of quarterly GDP growth rates since the beginning of 2007:

[TradingEconomics.com, accessed 3/6/11]

Face the Nation

CLAIM: Sen. McConnell Implied That The Obama Administration Favors Government Workers Over Private Sector Jobs

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): You step back and look at what this administration's done, they've sorta pumped up the government. Bob, you'd be interested to know that unemployment among government workers is half what it is among private sector workers, and most of those unemployed workers are state and local workers who've been laid off. The federal government's in fact added 100,000 jobs in the course of this administration while the American people have shed millions of jobs. Our priorities are out of whack.

FACT: After 1.5 Million New Jobs In 12 Months, Private Sector Shows Net Gain Of 381,000 Jobs In Obama Era While Public Sector Shrank By 364,000 Jobs

President Obama's Policies Began Affecting The Economy After July 2009. According to economist Robert J. Shapiro: "From December 2007 to July 2009 - the last year of the Bush second term and the first six months of the Obama presidency, before his policies could affect the economy - private sector employment crashed from 115,574,000 jobs to 107,778,000 jobs." [Sonecon.com, 8/10/10, emphasis added]

Since July 2009, The Private Sector Has Seen Net Gain Of 649,000 Jobs. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, there were 107,649,000 private sector jobs in July 2009. As of February 2011, the most recent report available, the data show that private sector employment is up to 108,298,000 — a net gain of 649,000 jobs in the private sector. [BLS.gov, accessed 3/6/11]

Government Employment Is DOWN 327,000 Jobs Since July 2009. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, there were 22,544,000 jobs in the government sector in July 2009. As of February 2011, the most recent report available, the data show 22,217,000 government jobs — a net loss of 327,000. [BLS.gov, accessed 3/6/11]

This Week

CLAIM: Sen. McCain Claimed Apple Electronics Are Manufactured In America

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ): But I would also point out that, if you'd emptied that house, if you'd left a computer there or an iPad or an iPhone, those are built in the United States of America.

FACT: Apple Products Are Manufactured In China And Other Countries

Apple: We Have Manufacturing Facilities In China, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand And Other Countries. In its 2011 report on worker conditions at factories in its supply chain, Apple wrote: "Each year, we audit more factories across our supply base. Apple audits all final assembly manufacturers every year. We select other suppliers based on risk factors - such as conditions in the country where a facility is located and the facility's past audit performance - enabling us to focus our efforts where we can have the greatest impact. As of December 2010, Apple has audited 288 facilities located in China, the Czech Republic, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United States." ["Apple Supplier Responsibility 2011 Progress Report" via Apple.com, accessed 3/6/11, emphasis added]

Components Of Apple Products Are Manufactured In China And Taiwan. As reported by Texyt.com: "Then there are the unknowns, each of which plays a small but vital role. Ever heard of Balda AG? Chinese factories owned by this German firm make the touch sensitive modules which are fixed onto the iPhone's LCD to make its innovative multi-touch control possible. It's also Balda's technology which allowed Apple to switch to a tough scratch-resistant glass screen, to avoid the complaints over scratching that tainted the iPod Nano launch. [...] While these chips are designed in Europe or the US, most of them aren't made there. Instead they are rolling off production lines in Asia, from companies like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), undoubtedly the world's biggest unknown chip maker, or its slightly smaller rival, United Microelectronic Corp (UMC) - both companies are based in Taiwan. The distinctive aluminum and stainless steel iPhone case is also made by a Taiwanese firm, Catcher Technology, according to analysts in Taiwan." [Texyt.com, 6/29/07, emphasis added]

Chinese Company Foxconn Makes Apple's Touchscreens. As reported by the New York Times: "SUZHOU, China - Last week, when Apple released its annual review of labor conditions at its global suppliers, one startling revelation stood out: 137 workers at a factory here had been seriously injured by a toxic chemical used in making the signature slick glass screens of the iPhone. [...] According to Wintek, doctors later discovered that the factory's workers, scores of them, were suffering from heavy exposure to n-hexane, a toxic agent the factory had begun using to clean the sophisticated touch-screen glass panels it makes for the Apple iPhone." [New York Times, 2/22/11, emphasis added]

Reuters: Foxconn International Runs "Industrial Fortress" That Is "A Major Supplier For Apple Inc." As reported by Reuters: "The massive manufacturing complex in the South China city of Longhua resembles an industrial fortress. To enter the facility, workers swipe security cards at the gate. Guards check the occupants of each vehicle with fingerprint recognition scanners. Container trucks and fork lifts rumble nonstop across the sprawling compound, serving a grid of factories that churn out electronics goods for top global brands around the clock. Inside the walled city -- one of several compounds run by Foxconn International, a major supplier for Apple Inc -- employees are provided with most of their daily needs. There are dormitories, canteens, recreation facilities, even banks, post offices and bakeries. The rank-and-file within the compound have little reason to venture outside. That reduces the likelihood of leaks, which in turn lessens the risk of incurring the wrath of Apple and its chief executive, Steve Jobs, whose product launches have turned into long-running, tightly controlled media spectacles. Many of Apple's finished gadgets, from iPods to iPads, are assembled at industrial compounds like the one in Longhua. And when it comes to guarding Apple's secrets, Foxconn, a unit of Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry, and other suppliers throughout the region leave little to chance." [Reuters, 1/17/10, emphasis added]

Foxconn Is "One Of Apple's Biggest Suppliers In China." According to the New York Times: "This year's review was particularly sensitive because it was the first since several suicides last year among workers at Foxconn Technologies, one of Apple's biggest suppliers in China." [New York Times, 2/22/11]

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