Image courtesy of http://www.themadeinamericamovement.com/
Yes, they are cheap. Yes, I know; they help the economy by driving consumer sales. But I still have no love for foreign imports. Whether it be cars, or kitchen appliances, or cell phones, or toys. It’s all junk in my view. And buying it causes me to become a participant in the foreign labor market. Where people have no rights in many places. Where people are treated like animals and paid horribly low wages for hard, dangerous, and dirty work.
That is one of the reasons that I discriminate against foreign imported goods. The way they are made is an affront to decent human dignity and decency in many cases. Consider the scandals of labor relations that have occurred in Asia. The linked article only details four different times and places where people have been treated like dirt. Where they were discriminated against despite trying to do honest work and earn a living wage.
And this excerpt from Salon.com. Americans have reason to cringe over the sad conditions forced on Cambodian clothing makers. The United States is the top destination for “Made in Cambodia” clothes. Major brands such as Gap, Marks & Spencer and Adidas all rely on Cambodians to stitch their clothing.
Outlets such as H&M can sell hoodies for as little as $25 because Cambodian women (almost all the workers are women) will sew for roughly 50 cents per hour.
Cambodia’s clothing factories are notoriously unpleasant. They’re hot and loud. Workers routinely flop on the floor in mass fainting episodes. Last year, strikes for better pay were crushed by authorities who shot dozens dead.
But of course it goes beyond how foreign workers are treated in many cases. It goes to quality as well. Who has not thought to themselves after some widget broke or failed, “Chinese piece of excrement.” ? And the funny thing is that although now most of the consumer goods that we purchase are made in China, this is the second or third time around for this phenomena; although it used to be Japanese goods or Mexican goods.
What is the bottom line? If it is made somewhere other than America, it is likely to bring either labor relations problems or quality problems with it. So buy American when you can, because at least that way you know the people who made it won’t get killed for going on strike and if you don’t like the way it works, you can complain to someone who speaks the same language you do.