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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The China Syndrome

Saturday, January 7, I was driving home from Darlington and happened to catch This American Life on NPR (National Public Radio).  I used to subscribe to their pod cast and listen each week.  Lately, I haven't been able to get in the two other programs I download so I've been skipping This American Life.
Saturday's  program will be a life changer for me.  Mr. Daisey ended up touring many of China's factories and what he saw was astounding and terrible.  Children as young as eleven begin working in these factories, 16 hour days and seven day weeks are normal.  The workers are housed in 12 x 12 rooms with bunk beds 15 stories high with only enough room between the bed on top of the them to slip into their bunk.  Go to this link to learn more.

Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory

Mike Daisey was a self-described "worshipper in the cult of Mac." Then he saw some photos from a new iPhone, taken by workers at the factory where it was made. Mike wondered: Who makes all my crap? He traveled to China to find out.
I feel so sorry for the Chinese people forced to work in these factories.  Want something handmade?  According to Mr. Daisey, everything in China is hand made. 
I also feel guilty.  Why?  I don't own a factory here, there or anywhere.  But I am an American and we consume more than any other country or people on earth.  And we are never satisfied.  Got a flat screen tv?  You need an LCD!  Got an LCD? You need blue-ray or 3-D.  Have a 4G phone?  You NEED a 5G.  You get the picture.  And what is worse we are raising even bigger consumers in our homes.  New everything for them.  No more hand-me-down.  Certainly no hand-made by Mama clothes or curtains.
I am worried/ okay concerned to use the Christian euphanism.  Have all our US dollars gone to China? Do we owe them gagillions of dollars?  Are they going to foreclose and take our country/collateral.
It sure seems possible.
I've been mulling on this since Saturday.  Tonight at dinner I commented to least our food isn't made in China.  Then I looked at the jar of pears on the table.  "Product of China".  My heavens the USA used to be the "breadbasket of the world."  Our farmers could feed the world...and now we are buying food from China.  I astounded.
I am going to try not to buy any products from China.  I don't know if that is possible any more.  It may mean only buying older used products that were made back in the day when Americans made things.  It may mean making my own stuff.....clothes etc.... or paying more.....which will be hard for me because I am CHEAP and want the best buy for the money.  Hubs says I can keep my Taurus it is still made in the USA as far as we know.
I'll keep you posted.  Let me know how you feel about this and what you think.

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