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Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Real Price of Made in China

Having grown wealthy and comfortable, we're used to being entertained and catered to without having to ask the price. Want a pair of Nikes? Buy a Made in China pair and don't ask or think about how they were made by child labor. Want an iPod, run through the same routine and don't pay any attention to allegations that they were made by workers who were underpaid and abused. You can even get a red one to show how socially conscious you are.

The Beijing Olympics are also Made in China to the same set of standards and catering to the same set of people who want to be entertained but don't care about the cost. The set of people who will say, "Yes there are a lot of people in prison, but wouldn't they be there anyway, might as well enjoy the fireworks". Those are people who don't like to look too close at the human cost of what it takes to make their omelets, before or after the Olympics.

But at the same time there is something ugly about an inside look at just how hard the Chinese government worked on the Olympics spectacle. Whether it's something like this

And on Friday, state media said the nearly 900 soldiers operating the huge scroll that formed the centrepiece of last week's show had to stay hidden under the structure for up to seven hours, wearing nappies because they were not allowed toilet breaks.

or this

Thousands of young Chinese women applicants for the 200 jobs to lead each country's athletes into the National Stadium for last week's opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games had to be at least 1.66 metres tall, have a pretty face - and strip naked for the job recruiters. During the selection process, the women were required to strip so teachers judging whether they were qualified could measure their body proportions, The Beijing News said.

These aren't the worst human rights violations in the world or even in the Beijing Olympics. But they're a look inside at what it takes to make that omelet and the spectacle of the Olympics themselves. And they make you ask, is it really worth it? Can you still enjoy those Nikes as much when you know who has to make them? Or that iPod? Or that 2008 Olympics?

Because it isn't fun or happy. Not really. It's the facade of happy and fun where every act and every scene is paid for in human misery and degradation. The huddled men defecating in diapers and the women stripping naked in a room are the real face of the Beijing Olympics. Just as much as the people murdered and evicted to make room for the 2008 Games so Coca Cola could stamp a logo on its bottles.

That's the high price of Made in China. Next time you read another Olympic headline or watch another event, think of them for a moment. Because they sure as hell are thinking of you.

And the real price of Made in China doesn't end at the Chinese border. It never does when you rely on slave labor. Relying on Made in China has shipped American jobs and American industries to China by the boatload. As the trade deficit has ballooned, a number of things have happened.

First of all America has found itself losing jobs and even entire industries to China. This is a process that perpetuates itself because once a single company finds it can cut costs and sell products cheaper by moving to China, other companies are forced to follow suit, if only because cost cutting chain retailers such as Wal-Mart will squeeze manufacturers for the lowest cost products.

Second of all, once companies begin moving their production to another country, sooner or later they cease being Americans and the locals not only take over production, they take over the product line. IBM computers today are now Chinese Lenovo computers. Range Rovers and Jaguars are going Indian. In the end production is the heart of a company, take that away and all you have left is advertising and marketing and sales divisions, which anyone can handle. So pretty soon instead of outsourcing American production to China, what will soon be happening is that Chinese companies will simply be outsourcing their sales divisions to America.

Third of all, economic dependency. With the spike in the price of gas and the fall of the dollar, Americans are suddenly feeling much poorer and staples have shot up. When fuel is cheap and the dollar is high, outsourcing is cheap. When they aren't, Americans quickly discover that they're now the Third World because their comfortable lifestyle was built on cheap foreign production that stops being cheap and starts being horribly expensive when the economic climate changes. The cost of Made in China includes a lack of self-sufficiency.

Fourth, the cost of Made in China is that you're simply buying bullets for the guns that will be shooting at you. China aims to be a world power. The Olympics are a public show of China's greatness, a spectacle based on deceits, lies and human misery-- exactly the same as the Russian or German Olympics displays with the same basic ideas embodied in Triumph of the Will. We don't have to actually be at war with China to find ourselves paying the price, though we may yet come to that over Taiwan or North Korea. China is pushing chaos and conflict in the name of profit and power politics in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. While Chinese weapons and foreign interventions aren't on a par with Russia's yet, they will be. The trade deficit created by Made in China is nothing more than a payday for an enemy nation.

Fifth, China's prosperity diminishes our own. Chinese demand for wheat and milk have helped hike the prices of basic staples in the United States. Funneling money into China drives prosperity toward the East. As China's economic power grows, ours diminishes. As both countries compete, we provide China with an advantage by maintaining a trade deficit that hits us twice over.

Sixth, any nation riding an economic boom based on slave labor is riding for a fall, whether domestic slaves or foreign slaves. In the United States alone the wounds of slavery continue to fester to this day and continue to exact a horrifying economic toll, particularly when you look at social services. And if you count illegal Mexican aliens as the new form of slave labor and the cost they carry, the toll gets uglier. Morally and economically slave labor is destructive, it breeds contempt for human life, dependency and in the end collapse. The search for cheap labor is what has brought Europe to its knees with Muslim immigration, it has gravely wounded the United States and may yet destroy it, whether in domestic problems or in the form of funding foreign Capitalist Tyrannies that will sell us the rope with which they will hang us.

Those are the real costs of Made in China, and a time when the country turns its eyes toward the Beijing Olympics, a spectacle based on oppression and lies, it is time to take a long hard look at the real cost of Made in China.

5 comments:

Lemon said...

The games are a disgrace.
Anyone who can be there will people languish in prison has no conscience.
The Olympics are pagan worship ceremonies which never come to any good.

Magdeburger Joe said...

You said it well. Every time we shop we are voting. You gave us a good picture of what you are voting for when you vote Chinese

Udiyah said...

Funny, after I read your article, I wondered about China as I do very frequently. Their human rights/animal rights violations, poisoned products and shoddy workmanship are in the news every day. There are few countries that are more barbaric, primitive and cruel to ALL of G-d's creation than China where most it seems are immune to the cry of pain and suffering. What's equally disgusting is the way the world turns it's face away from it and all the injustice inflicted of the helpless unless their is some reward in noticing. I admit I've prayed for Hashem to destroy this hellhole -- to please end this cruelty. I hope I'm not punished for it.

I can proudly say I haven't watched one seccond of the Olympics and I do not buy Chinese made products, which is very difficult when you go to a place like Costco and almost 100% of ALL product are made n China.

When I read about their mobile execution vans it chilled me to the bone and reminded me of the tactics of the Nazis: http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/03/12/1047431092598.html


And the millions of late term abortions and the abandonment of infants on the side of the road in the name of "family planning." http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5094395.html

And the cruel practice of enslaving people and working them literally to death in the name of PROGRESS: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-06/15/content_6247454.htm

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article1938288.ece

And the bazaar, moronic ways they draw people to their business. There seems to be no limit to their cruel imagination:
http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_2855526.html

And The murder of truth:
Chinese blogger beaten to death :
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/01/11/china.blogger/index.html

And the heartless beating of dogs to prevent rabies: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14139027/

And the sickening Chinese blood sport for children's entertainment:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=506153&in_page_id=1811


I hate China.

Keli Ata said...

China is the exception to the rule about having only one bite at the apple. They have they typical communist bite and the economic captialist bite.

When I saw those tiny Chinese gymnasts standing on the podom after winning the gold and NBC announcer Bob Costas saying they look like sisters...something so rare in Chinese culture...that turned the Olympics for me. I thought, "Don't they SEE what's happening?"

And the heartbroken little seven year old who sang off stage while a more "flawless" child lipsynched. It's disgusting.

AS for the Olympics themselves a show on PBS turned me off on them for good. Apparently when they first started with the Greeks they the men fought in the nude with no sense of fiar sportsmenship. If it took blood and broken bones to defeat the opponent they did.

They were blood battles.

And no silver or bronze medals, only gold. The goal of the original Olympics was to see who was most godlike.

Lemon is right. It's pagan in origin and still pagan--and evil.

The US and Israel should have pulled out this year.

Lemon said...

Pulling out require strong morality something America and Israel are short on lately.

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