Pages

Trouble at home

Every once in a while, I get on a rant. It’s not delicate of me I realize, but sometimes it’s the only way to engage in conversation with people about things because they often don’t comment on my more sensitive, homey posts.

For months I have been thinking about things in China. By things I mean the actual things that are produced there, like cell phone and computer components, light fixtures, and clothing.

Employees in China have been staging strikes against their employers to improve their earnings. If you think stuff is cheap in North America and that can also mean people in China make a decent living wage, think again. So, people there have been staging strikes, and the news of these strikes gets spread via cell phones, because it’s not getting allowed to be carried on the news. Before you get riled, please know I firmly believe that people in China deserve fair wages, just like we do here.

What do these strikes mean to us here in North America? To start with, the price you pay for stuff is going to go up, assuming that salaries increase in China, even marginally. As prices go up, my hope is that it will stimulate some development here at home so that we return to manufacturing more goods again. Opening manufacturing plants in poorer regions of Canada and the United States makes a lot more sense to me than welfare. It’s not like we have to look to China for clothing, shoes or cell phone components; we just do because it’s so inexpensive and convenient. Let’s stop shipping stuff half way around the world and wasting energy on transportation; use the expertise that we have to make things over here.

This is a similar argument to Ezra Levant, who wrote Ethical Oil. If we don’t sell oil from Alberta’s oilsands to the US, then the US will go do what they did before, which was to import it from Saudi Arabia. Let’s face it folks, it’s not as though we have a better idea or access to other technologies yet that will eliminate our reliance on oil. And the way that Canadian’s process it (whether you believe it or not) is a whole lot cleaner and friendlier than other places use. Can we improve? Of course. Do we have an alternative? No, not yet.

Right now we’ll got major building projects delayed (including a brand new school cafeteria that was supposed to be ready at the beginning of September), because China cannot provide the parts for the light fixtures, and China is now the sole supplier of these pieces to North America. What does it take for people to realize that relying on China to keep us supplied is not a solution?

Start looking at your labels, think about where your stuff comes from and what you can do about it. Buying goods in China might be easier on your wallet for now, but it’s not going to make things any easier in the future.

For more information on Ezra Levant’s opinion, have a look here:


http://www.torontosun.com/comment/columnists/2010/08/30/15191206.html

or visit http://www.exralevant.com

2 comments:

Sans Pantaloons said...

I don't have any answers to capitalism and the exploitation it engenders. My best analogy is that we are all socks; or pick the laundry garment of choice, caught up in the spin cycle that lasts three score and ten, wondering how we got here, and who the heck is presssing the buttons.
Sans the cynical curmudgeon.
Nice to meet you Pam. :¬)

Pam Robertson said...

Nice to meet you too Andy - and thanks for your visit. =)