Made in China.

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Wotan31, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. Wotan31 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Take a stroll through Wal-Mart or Best-Buy or any other "big box" store. Notice the country of origin on literally *everything* in the store. "Made in China" it says on the packaging. Even Apple is guilty of this. All current Apple products from iPods to Macbooks to iMac's to you name it. All Made in China.

    China is a communist nation with an abysmal human rights record. The Chinese government is responsible for the death of millions of lives. Big Business in this country is moving all manufacturing to China, and in the process, moving $Billions of dollars out of the US economy (during a recession, no less) and into China. [Additionally, who do you think is buying all the loans that the US gov't is taking right now? You guessed it. China.] What are your thoughts on this? :apple:

    Further, this mass exodus of manufacturing and industry from the US is doing the future generations here a real disservice. It's literally destroying the blue collar middle class working folks. Remember the Industrial Revolution? The US's rise to being a world super power is due in part to its manufacturing capabilities. The US used to manufacture everything under the sun - this provided not only ample domestic jobs in industry and manufacturing - but it also provided a huge inflow of cash from all the other countries who bought these goods. The only thing made in USA these days is crappy cars, pharmaceuticals, and tobacco. Textiles are all from central & south America. Electronics are from China. And what do we have to show for it? A bunch of CEO's basking in their Billions because moving manufacturing out of the country saved them a buck and caused their stock price to go up 10 cents. What are your thoughts on this? :apple:
     
  2. kavika411 macrumors 6502a

    kavika411

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    #2
    I don't like it, but I like tariffs and protectionist laws less.
     
  3. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #3
    When did you start giving a hoot about human rights?

    The choices are pretty easy to make.

    We can print our books in the U.S. for about $18.00 a copy.

    China?

    $5.50

    In this economy it was the difference between laying off half the staff or keeping them.
     
  4. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #4
    Free market and capitalism at work. I thought you liked that.

    I'm personally not happy that we are losing manufacturing capabilities, and the regime in China is evil IMHO.
     
  5. iPhone 62S macrumors 6502a

    iPhone 62S

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    #5
    Business must put profit first, and when manufacturing is done in China profit goes up. Simple as that.

    Do I like it? Well, as a consumer, there are also benefits. When companies have competition between each other, they can put their prices down more.

    Yes the government there is evil, but so is Scientology and if you've ever seen a Tom Cruise or John Travolta film you've given money to them. All governments do dodgy things too, don't think that just because it's not publicised the US and UK governments arn't guilty of anything.
     
  6. Wotan31 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Ok, so basically exactly what I just said in my original post. I suspect a lot of folks feel the same way too. So what are YOU doing about it? Personally, I'm reading the country of origin when I go shopping, and buying products that are not made in China. Usually that means paying quite a bit more. In fact, it's been nearly a year since I purchased anything that was made in China. In that time, I've bought clothes, shoes, a DVD player, a new stereo system, car parts, sofa, chairs, coffee maker, loads of things. And none of it came from China.

    This is one of those problems that voting with your dollars can solve. Sadly though, this seems like an issue that people will gladly stand up and say "I don't like it!!" but then quietly look the other way when it comes time to put their money where their mouth is. :(
    LMAO if only it were that simple. Dumping toxic chemicals into the rivers and oceans instead of properly disposing of them also improves corporate profits. Sweat-shops and slave labor improve corporate profits pretty well too.

    Hitler was evil too. So is the Pan Am flight 103 bomber, and the 9/11 hijackers too. How is this at all relevant LOL? :confused:
     
  7. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #7
    Once China's economy is powerful enough businesses will find somewhere else to go as it will be expensive to manufacture once again, by that time our economy will be so weak we will probably have countries who want to do business in our country instead of the other way around.
     
  8. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #8
    It is about the labor market. Labor in the US is very costly.

    The other factor is in the US people do not want to do those jobs. Every year enrollment in trade schools goes down. No one wants to do it.

    I know the oil industry better than other manufacturers because of my father but it works here.

    The operators at chemical planets and refineries require a 2 year degree now days and those people make 60-70k a year easy. Starting wage is $20-25 an hour working 12 hour days/ 180 days a year. Want to hear the average age of these operators you will be surprised to find out it 46-50 year old. They are starting to have to pay big bucks to keep the older guys from retiring because there is just not enough people coming up to replace them. In todays world no one tells people about those jobs because my god it does not require a college degree.

    labor in the US is very costly because no one wants to the jobs like that. Everyone wants the college degree jobs. Hell even if the company is willing to pay US labor rates the problem comes in that there just simply are not enough people out there willing to do that level of work. Manual labor in this country is no longer cared about.
     
  9. cleanup macrumors 68030

    cleanup

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    #9
    So where are you buying from? If you're not buying from China, it'll be Bangladesh. If you're not buying from Bangladesh, it'll be Cambodia. If not Cambodia, then Thailand. If not Thailand, then India. If not India, then Hungary or Turkey.

    You'll be hard-pressed to buy absolutely everything from home-grown companies. You could just shop at American Apparel for the rest of your life I suppose.

    Besides that, I think that China's human rights records is only as bad as, if not better than, those of Cambodia, Thailand, India, and Bangladesh. In these countries, if you have money, you will be taken care of and you have little to worry about. If you don't, you're SOL. Funnily enough, that aspect is not radically different from the U.S.

    If you want to look at it from a I-live-in-a-bubble optimist sort of view, foreign manufacturing is a good thing. It means that the standard of living in the States is rather high; people go to school and have careers, not to work and have jobs. Surely the phasing out of blue-collar shows some sort of educational, technological or social progress in a weird, isolationist sort of way. Let the rest of the world handle that stuff.
     
  10. Wotan31 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    You make some great points there, although I fail to see your connection between standard of living and manufacturing employment. Tons of folks in desk jobs making barely 50k a year (or less), while folks in industrial and manufacturing positions are making more. Way more. See post #8 above. Heck, construction and shipping crane operators can make $100k+. Experienced auto mechanics can make $100k+. Experienced machinists and welders too. "Blue collar" jobs do not equate to lower standard of living.

    To answer your question, here's where some of my recent purchases have come from (and the manufacturer):

    1. CD Player: United Kingdom (Arcam)
    2. Stereo speakers: USA (Tyler Acoustics)
    3. Coffee Maker: Germany (Bodum)
    4. Wrist Watch: Japan (Seiko)
    5. Chairs: Hungary (Ikea)
    6. Table: Italy (DWR)
    7. Car Parts: Germany (Mercedes)
    8. Shoes: USA (New Balance)
    9. Hand Tools: USA (Lisle and Craftsman)

    I just think it's sad that you have to really look and pay attention, and put some effort into buying products that are not Chinese. :(
     
  11. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

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    #11
    This explains some of my concerns better than I can:

    You can't always avoid products from China even if you're diligent. The labeling doesn't list where the raw materials came from. Remember the tainted Heparin that killed people? The toxic raw material came from China. The FDA believes that fraud was probable in this case.

    Remember the lethal pet food? The toxic raw material came from China.

    I have always boycotted Walmart because they started the China trend. Here's some interesting background.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/walmart/secrets/wmchina.html
     
  12. iPhone 62S macrumors 6502a

    iPhone 62S

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    #12
    The point I was making is that loads of money we spend ends up in the wrong hands. Ever bought a CD or legal download? Then you've given money to the RIAA who are trying to censer the Internet and sue single mums for millions. The point is loads of our money goes towards bad things and to bad people, it's unavoidable unfortunately.
     
  13. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #13
    Hmmm....

    I'm at work right now, but I have a couple of things around here:

    1. Arc'teryx backpack: Vietnam
    2. Timberland Boots: United States.
    3. Polo shirt: Turkey.
    4. Fossil Watch: United States. Although, parts made be in China.
    5. Jeans: United States.
    6. Nikon D80: Japan
    7. Nikon 18-55 kit lens, 55-200 lens: Japan.
    8. Apple MacBook Pro: China.
    9. Apple iPhone: China.
     
  14. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #14
    Ironically, they used to be the champions of "Buy American". Then Sam Walton passed and the company went to rhino poop.
     
  15. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

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    #15
    Buy American only if it was profitable for Walton. A quote from the article I linked previously:

     
  16. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #16
    I have always shopped at walmart because they give me lower prices from China. There is no reason we need to be messing around with low level manufacturing when we could be doing higher level jobs using the inputs and/or concentrating on something more advanced altogether.
     
  17. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

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    #17
    I've heard your argument a lot. Eliminate most manufacturing in the U.S. Unskilled labor could be doing higher level jobs.

    Does this concern you at all?

    Not to mention all their environmental issues.
     
  18. rasmasyean macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    There’s also stuff made right across our borders in Mexico. If things start becoming peaceful soon, you will likely get some stuff make in Iraq and a little in Afghanistan as well. In general it’s easier to get people here to do dangerous and dull jobs (and in dirty environments) because it’s better than starving or robbing each other.

    As the US (and other “advanced civilizations”) become more well…advanced…the domestic work becomes more “skilled”. This often also translates to more “intellectual” (vs. manual). So if that’s what you mean by “blue-collar” jobs then yes, perhaps they are disappearing. But one can say that it’s “shifting”. The new blue-collar is moving towards the desk jobs. Back in the day, being a “mechanic” or other “artisan” is like a highly skilled job. But now they are like the jobs you get if you don’t want to go to too much school because of advancements of tools and technology decrease the skill requirements. It has even got to the point when you might have heard that the new bachelors is the masters.

    Financial services produces absolutely nothing if you are going to just count something you can touch as “goods”. Yet this is a huge industry employing lots and some of the best minds as well. Just because it’s not a physical product doesn’t mean it doesn’t count. What’s Microsoft if they don’t even make the CD’s and boxes? What’s Facebook? …though I guess this one can be argued about its worth, but you get the idea.

    There are many industries that make actual “things” that 3rd world countries can’t…yet. High-end semiconductors has been a staple product of the US. And as these get slowly transferred to “China”, guess who makes the machines that make the chips? This is equivalent to making advanced technology that enables a reduce skill requirement to perform a past job. The rapidly evolving IT industry is one good example. You used to need to know “mathematics” pretty good to work in “IBM” and such to use computers. Now you just need to know how to click on settings and memorize some flowcharts. Programming is much easier too because tools abstract a lot of the guts. Tools actually suggest and type stuff for you so you don’t have to memorize that many commands. You can think of it like this…HTML used to be typed by hand and you would need some skill and understanding of how the Web and browsers works. Now you can make a web page in MS Word and upload it into limbo via some hoster for cheap. There are even web 2.0 site packages you can buy for a lay person to make interactive business sites. While the pioneers just a decade ago did it by hand with some novel programming concepts never seen before in command line Linux machines prolly in this software called the “vi editor”. Those who have used…sorry to cause nightmarish flashbacks! :p
     
  19. Shivetya macrumors 65816

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    #19
    You obviously never got to experience Slovakia or Romania before or shortly after the fall of communist domination. The environment to them was something to be used and dumped on. We were actually warned to NOT walk by the river. Dead trees abounded with soot covered buildings that looked like they were from movie made in the 30s.

    The damage done in the name of the "state" is far greater than any corporation or group thereof could ever attain. Hell Chernobyl is another great example of the state's effect on the economy. I am quite sure the abuses in China as nearly as bad if not worse in some areas.
     
  20. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #20
    I don't have a link, but I once read that it costs a Japanese car company about $42.00 an hour to employ a U.S. factory worker, while it costs about $65.00 an hour for an American car company to employ the same worker.

    The big difference? The power of unions.

    The GM plant in Arlington, TX shut down for 3 months earlier this year. The workers were all boo-hooing about it, and it made the local news.

    What they didn't want to acknowledge is that those employees were earning 90% of their pay to sit at home and not lift a finger.

    Go to one of these unions and suggest that they disband and quit offering these kinds of benefits, in the interest of keeping America competitive in the labor market. You'll be run out with torches and pitchforks.
     
  21. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #21
    The unions are the main reason that American cars won't be competitive anytime in the near future. You get half the car for twice the money.
     
  22. iPhone 62S macrumors 6502a

    iPhone 62S

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    #22
    Though American cars arn't known for good build quality, they generally are worth what you pay for them AFAIK.
     
  23. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #23
    There, I corrected it for you. One of Detroit's biggest problems is it's roller coaster hiring practices. Rather than jobs for life like in Japan or long term employment like in Germany, Detroit decided earlier on that it was more important to reward short term minded share holders than build a viable business model. So, they fired and hired without regard for the future. Their short attention span to viability is also reflected in their product offerings and constantly changing brands and models.

    Another American industry that also followed this model is the airline industry.

    Germany's and Japan's unions are extremely strong and rather than take an adversarial approach, shareholders recognized it was in their BEST INTERESTS to work with the unions rather than fight them.

    American business has a serious case of ADHD.
     
  24. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #24
    You've gotta be kidding me. Auto workers in the unions are untouchable; it's next to impossible to fire someone. Those people are lifers, and they're reaping benefits most of us can only dream about, thanks to the unions.

    Health care costs have nothing to do with it; industries all over the country are doing just fine providing health care benefits to their employees; the difference is that, unlike Detroit, most of those industries aren't unionized.
     
  25. yojitani macrumors 68000

    yojitani

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    #25
    this is how it should be in more industries IMHO. Is it really so bad that auto workers have great benefits? They are human beings, not statistics. Incidentally, not all autoworkers, or rather people in the auto production industry, have the same protections.

    As for the OP. We as a family try to avoid products made in China as much as possible. It's not always possible. As indicated above, I am a staunch unionist so I try to buy union made products as much as possible. It's not at all easy to do. The one area where my family refused to budge, however, is on perishable products made in/grown in China. If it's from China, we simply don't buy it because it seems that food safety laws are too easily bypassed in China.
     

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