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Author Topic: Avoiding "Made in China"  (Read 12533 times)
Pyperlie
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« Reply #30: July 04, 2007, 06:58:02 pm »


I have no clue what the men do, but this might explain what's so demeaning about factory work.
http://comment.independent.co.uk/columnists_a_l/johann_hari/article2504611.ece

I still don't see where it's demeaning.  It's exploitative and dangerous and unhealthy and unfair and all kinds of bad things...but it's not demeaning to work for asshats.  It's just the reality of non-farmwork in China.  Call me cynical, but it sounds to me like the men think it's okay for women to die or be crippled or exploited, but they [men] deserve better just because they are men.  It sounds to me like sexist bullshit at the heart of it, and if I'm right about that, I have no sympathy whatsoever for the men who then find themselves doing "demeaning" women's work.

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« Reply #31: July 04, 2007, 09:05:29 pm »

I still don't see where it's demeaning.  It's exploitative and dangerous and unhealthy and unfair and all kinds of bad things...but it's not demeaning to work for asshats.  It's just the reality of non-farmwork in China.  Call me cynical, but it sounds to me like the men think it's okay for women to die or be crippled or exploited, but they [men] deserve better just because they are men.  It sounds to me like sexist bullshit at the heart of it, and if I'm right about that, I have no sympathy whatsoever for the men who then find themselves doing "demeaning" women's work.

   ~~~Pyperlie<^>

UM yeah, that's why the girls do the plowing in places with minefields, the cows and the boys are too valuable.  According to my nurse colleague from South Korea, it still happens.
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« Reply #32: July 04, 2007, 10:07:33 pm »


UM yeah, that's why the girls do the plowing in places with minefields, the cows and the boys are too valuable.  According to my nurse colleague from South Korea, it still happens.

I know, but really...*

*Going for a Kirk in Trouble w/Tribbles tone here
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« Reply #33: July 04, 2007, 11:32:41 pm »

And as long as we, the consumers, just gobble up the cheap products from the slave labor,

Ok, I have to object to the phrase "gobble up." This makes it sound as if consumers are buying these products out of no other motivation than "quantity over quality" materialistic greed. How many people do you think buy this stuff because they simply can't afford to do anything else? People on social security, people on minimum wage, students, and so on. Would you blame them for trying to make ends meet?

Oh, and who's "we"? I don't shop at Wal-mart, not because of any social concerns, but because their stuff is crap.

Quote
As far as whether the workers will suffer more when the corporations pull out?  That really is a tough call.  But you can't just let a demeaning and terrible work condition persist because you're afraid it might get a little tougher.  That's the thing about revolution or even just change.  You have to take that chance to make things better.  And sometimes it might get a little worse before it gets better, but at least you are on your way to making things better.

As I said before, I think the situation in these countries is more complicated than "Corporations are Teh Evil." Their behavior could even be seen partly as a symptom, rather than a root problem: they couldn't get away with it if the local economies weren't already that hard up. If you are serious about improving the lives of the workers, I hope you are also supporting aid organizations that help third-world citizens get jobs, start businesses and so on. Human rights lobby groups. Whatever.

Seriously: does anyone know of any programs/initiatives aimed at helping these people besides boycotting the multinationals?

Quote
It looks like there's a few workers in factories who are revolting.  I think they are ready for a change.

More power to them, then.

It's not that I don't care about these people or wish them ill. It's just that I can't work myself up to feeling personal guilt over the economic state of a whole country.
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« Reply #34: July 04, 2007, 11:52:18 pm »



Seriously: does anyone know of any programs/initiatives aimed at helping these people besides boycotting the multinationals?

More power to them, then.

It's not that I don't care about these people or wish them ill. It's just that I can't work myself up to feeling personal guilt over the economic state of a whole country.

http://transfairusa.org/

http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:P-2M60oAnxoJ:www.sweatfree.org/docs/MCCCShoppingGuide2005+fair+trade+shoes&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&client=safari
look up fiar trade anything.

the main problem is price and access.  For us it's a  case of just buying less, we don't have to choose.  it but it ain't easy no matter what.
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« Reply #35: July 05, 2007, 08:46:51 am »

Ok, I have to object to the phrase "gobble up." This makes it sound as if consumers are buying these products out of no other motivation than "quantity over quality" materialistic greed.
I do know people who do "gobble up" cheap items because they are cheap.  There are a lot of people here in America that furnish their homes with un-nessecary items because they feel they are entitled to and because they have credit.  A lot of those items are made by near slave labor.

Quote
How many people do you think buy this stuff because they simply can't afford to do anything else? People on social security, people on minimum wage, students, and so on. Would you blame them for trying to make ends meet?
I'm not talking about these people.  I may not have mentioned it in this discussion thread, but I do What I Can.  I don't make a ton of money.  Therefore, sometimes I have to make a sacrifice and purchase what I can afford.  But I try as often as I can to wait until I can afford the better choice.  A second motivation for that is that often times American Made items are just flat out better quality.

Quote
Oh, and who's "we"? I don't shop at Wal-mart, not because of any social concerns, but because their stuff is crap.
  "We" is anyone who cares about human rights, I think.  If you don't care, then you don't care, I'm probably not going to convince you.  I'm not pointing fingers at you.  I'm just trying to state my piece and do my part.

Quote
As I said before, I think the situation in these countries is more complicated than "Corporations are Teh Evil." Their behavior could even be seen partly as a symptom, rather than a root problem: they couldn't get away with it if the local economies weren't already that hard up. If you are serious about improving the lives of the workers, I hope you are also supporting aid organizations that help third-world citizens get jobs, start businesses and so on. Human rights lobby groups. Whatever.
You are correct.  This is why I blame the Government of these countries just as much as I blame the corporations.  I thought I made that point earlier when I said that China doesn't give a crap about its workers.  Right now I support Equality Now, which is an International Women's Rights Advocacy Group.  Sure it's not specifically a Human Rights and Workers Rights group, but I can only do so much with what little time and resources I have and the sale (or handing over) of girls to a factory falls under the category of this group.

Quote
It's not that I don't care about these people or wish them ill. It's just that I can't work myself up to feeling personal guilt over the economic state of a whole country.
  I don't feel personal guilt.  I feel that as a person who has means and a voice and buying power, I can lend a hand and so I will. 

*edited to add the item in parenthesis.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2007, 08:50:45 am by Guenthecat » Logged

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« Reply #36: July 05, 2007, 01:44:07 pm »

I gave up trying to boycott China made goods, other than foods, long ago. I try to go organic as much as possible....but even then I am skeptical of the store brands and cheaper priced orgainics sources. So, I try to stay with brands I know.

*nodding and agreeing with the whole post*

I also find myself being skeptical of discount-priced organics, just because I have been told that in places like Brazil, for example, organic farms aren't being checked as thoroughly as they're supposed to be.

But on the boycotting of China's goods, I just can't.  Why?  Because if I'm basing it on principles of how things are done there, I would also have to boycott every other country that does things which go against my personal ethics.  And I can't think of a single industrialized country that is free of some form of bad behaviour, as it were.  That would leave me hungry and naked.  And I don't like being hungry. Wink
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« Reply #37: July 05, 2007, 01:49:32 pm »

*nodding and agreeing with the whole post*

I also find myself being skeptical of discount-priced organics, just because I have been told that in places like Brazil, for example, organic farms aren't being checked as thoroughly as they're supposed to be.

But on the boycotting of China's goods, I just can't.  Why?  Because if I'm basing it on principles of how things are done there, I would also have to boycott every other country that does things which go against my personal ethics.  And I can't think of a single industrialized country that is free of some form of bad behaviour, as it were.  That would leave me hungry and naked.  And I don't like being hungry. Wink


So it basically comes down to do the best you can with what you have.  And unfortuneately for us, that means alot of research to see who's doing what while we're at it.

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« Reply #38: July 05, 2007, 02:57:38 pm »

*nodding and agreeing with the whole post*

I also find myself being skeptical of discount-priced organics, just because I have been told that in places like Brazil, for example, organic farms aren't being checked as thoroughly as they're supposed to be.

But on the boycotting of China's goods, I just can't.  Why?  Because if I'm basing it on principles of how things are done there, I would also have to boycott every other country that does things which go against my personal ethics.  And I can't think of a single industrialized country that is free of some form of bad behaviour, as it were.  That would leave me hungry and naked.  And I don't like being hungry. Wink


Yeah, that's pretty much how I was beforehand.  I think what put me over the edge was the Pet Food thing.  At that point, I just pretty much decided to say "Eff it"  and just go ahead and do it.  And I know that a total boycott is just about impossible, but at least I can educate myself with better choices. 

The good thing is that it has become a starting point for me to think about other countries' practices as well, so I can try to make better across the board choices.  It's kind of like when I cut out nearly all of the processed foods in my diet.  The process was long and hard, but the things I learned during the process were even sometimes more valuable than the actual initial purpose of the change.
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« Reply #39: July 05, 2007, 04:30:04 pm »

(My thinking is that it's damn near impossible.)

What to do when everything is ‘Made in China?’
A one-week attempt to avoid products from there meets with little success

U.S. shoppers may be forgiven if they are becoming leery of Chinese-made goods and are trying to fill their shopping carts with products free of ingredients from that country.

The trouble is, that may be almost impossible.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19508453/

Nearly imposible is right.   

Here we go again........ MSNBC 94 Dead in Panama from Tainted Chinese Medicine July 5, 2007
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19611858

Tainted products shipped to Spain, then sold to Panama.

Anyone ever hear anymore on the recalled Wal-Mart Acetaminophen from about a year ago? Wouldn't surprise me if the wire bits found in the product could be traced to Chinese supplier of ingredients.

« Last Edit: July 05, 2007, 05:23:51 pm by Star, Reason: Fixing link » Logged
Pyperlie
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« Reply #40: July 06, 2007, 01:05:20 pm »


But on the boycotting of China's goods, I just can't.  Why?  Because if I'm basing it on principles of how things are done there, I would also have to boycott every other country that does things which go against my personal ethics.  And I can't think of a single industrialized country that is free of some form of bad behaviour, as it were.  That would leave me hungry and naked.  And I don't like being hungry.

Of course you can't boycott every country and company that does things that piss you off; personally, I'd have to live in the woods wearing a moss-and-leaves ensemble if I did that.   Cheesy

What you can do, however, is try to lessen your total impact.  I tried to completely boycott China, but I've come to realize (now that the rage has simmered down to a more zen-like anger) that it's impossible.  So, rather than just say "piss on it, I can't boycott them completely (sp?), so why bother at all?", I avoid Chinese products as much as possible.  I either buy a slightly more expensive version from another 2nd or 3rd world country that's NOT China, or go without, most often.  If I can't avoid it, I suck it up and buy the Chinese product, but I've managed to only buy about a dozen things from there (to my knowledge, anyway  Angry ) since the dog-murder incident.  Which, while not perfect by any stretch, is still pretty damn good IMO, in a country as dependent upon Chinese goods as this country. (Btw, anyone else trying to avoid Chinese goods; they've gotten to a point where they sometimes put "Made in PRC" (People's Republic of China) on the tag/box instead of "Made in China", so don't let them trick you.)

I also try to buy from 1st world countries with good labour policies.  F'ex, I will need shoes again, in another 6 months to a year (that's what happens when you have cheap-ass made in China shoes), so I'm saving my money, a little at a time, for Birkenstocks, which are made in Germany.  I only ever buy Okabashi sandals, partly becase they're super comfy, and also because they're made in the US (GA, specifically).  Fruit of the Loom is made in the US, too, so it's only the outer layer I can't really find a 1st world alternative for.

I gave up rubber and plush duckies to boycott China.  I am making sacrifices!  Cry  Cheesy
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« Reply #41: July 07, 2007, 06:05:01 am »

Reply to thread in general:

If you guys are interested there is a company selling organic hemp and cotton clothes, linens, etc. that are grown and made in Europe or the US, sustainable and sweatshop free. It's here: http://www.rawganique.com/

It's very $$, especially the bedding, but I'm told hemp lasts forever. Wardrobe basics don't seem that expensive to me but I'm used to Danish prices now. They also have footwear, some of which is glue and chemical free.

KH,
Thistle
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« Reply #42: July 07, 2007, 07:23:27 am »

   I'm not pointing fingers at you.  I'm just trying to state my piece and do my part.

Eh, "consumer" is one of those over-generalizations that punches my buttons. It was the same in design class when I heard things on the order of "if you create an add according to x principle, consumers will find it irresistible".  Tongue

Quote
"We" is anyone who cares about human rights, I think.  If you don't care, then you don't care, I'm probably not going to convince you.

To the extent that I do care about the welfare of others, I'm more likely to donate to my local food bank or shelter. ::shrug:: This all seems to me to be a large amount of mental and emotional effort for a mostly abstract and statistical result. I never was the type that could get excited over this kind of "global issue". More power to all of you involved in this; I'll go back to stacking cans.  Smiley
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« Reply #43: July 07, 2007, 08:13:16 am »

Wardrobe basics don't seem that expensive to me but I'm used to Danish prices now.

They seem a little on the expensive side to me, but:  1.  If you're going to go better-quality and more natural, that's usually going to mean more expense as a matter of course, and 2.  I'm that kind of person who hates spending money on clothes anyway, so quite often even "normal" US prices seem "a little on the expensive side" to me.  So I may not be the best judge here.
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« Reply #44: July 07, 2007, 10:14:28 pm »

If you guys are interested there is a company selling organic hemp and cotton clothes, linens, etc. that are grown and made in Europe or the US, sustainable and sweatshop free. It's here: http://www.rawganique.com/

That's a really neat site! I reckon I'm gonna have to start saving me pennies so that I can find some wonderful clothes that, hopefully, will last forever. 

Or at least longer than some of the stuff I'm getting now.  Undecided

Thanks for the site, Thistle.  Wink
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