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November 29, 2008

Boycotts hurt working people

I agree with Jean M. Kaiser (11/23, Letters) that the forced abortion case in China is barbaric and unbelievable.

Unfortunately, I have to disagree with her stance on boycotting Chinese products. It is natural to want to lash out in protest to this unfair and unethical practice. And there have been plenty of good reasons to avoid certain products from China over the last couple of years.

But who are you hurting when you boycott something? First of all, it would take a whole lot of people to put a dent in China’s manufacturing empire. But say we could hurt their economy. Would the detestable government officials feel the effects? Or would it just affect the overworked and underpaid citizens?

The socioeconomic impact might remove the need for the government-forced abortions, because more people would make that difficult choice based on their own poverty.

I think that with all sovereign nations, as Buddhists might say, change must come from within.

Chris Fischer

Blue Springs

Comments

Pub 17

whispering--you miss the exchange rate thing. The Chinese at home don't pay in dollars, they pay in renminbin. They only have to pay in dollars (conceptually) for foreign goods denominated in dollars. That's why the U.S. is rightfully p.o.'d that the Chinese government's artificially holding down the value of the renminbin; it keeps U.S. goods artificially high in price in China, and keeps China's b-o-t artificially high. You're welcome.

whispering_to_kc

The labor costs built into Chinese made Nike shoes are something around $1/pair.

The same shoes made in the USA (there is at least one manufacturer still making shoes like that in the USA) have less than $10/pair in labor costs built in.

The shoes sell side by side and both will retail for $100/pair. Purchasing that $100 pair of shoes might be within reach for the American building them and making $10/hr but the Chinese making between $1 and 0.50/hr will find them out of reach.

I worked with a female Chinese immigrant. Before we parted ways, she used three sex harassment lawsuits (or the threat of same) for three raises/promotions. She did very well for herself. On our last day "working" together, she approached my desk and asked for a hug. Realizing I was about to become "sexual harassment lawsuit No. 4" as she left the building, I declined and shook her hand instead.

"The Asian culture instills components we do not."

The Chinese are products of their environment just like we are but free of it, they quickly adapt to our culture. I prefer ours and once here, our new Chinese friends usually do to.

Pub 17

Knock it off, Nice Guy. You can't find one non-Asian American who's going to accuse Asians of getting some kind of handout or cheap break.

Also, what the hail did Nike ever do to you? You're off on Nike the way used to be off on your ex.

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

Of course when Chinese or any Asian starts a business in the U.S.A people still remain ignorant thinking they somehow got a break Americans do not get. The Asian culture instills components we do not. Diligent and efficient work habits, shame and modesty.
As a society we are quite the opposite.
Any product that is of poor qulaity, Chinese or otherwise should be boycotted.
Obama should have legislation passed that prohibits UAW or ANY union member from purchasing ANY product regardless of availability in the market that is not union "made". No more Nike, no more cell phones, no more electronics.

mianotkia

Chris, put the joint down! You have inhaled enough, go get some Ding Dongs......

Art Chick

Good point, Chris. I never thought of it that way.

 
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