Re: Made in China

From: Brian D Williams (
Date: Wed Apr 18 2001 - 08:17:35 MDT

From: Chris Rasch <>

>I think that unions serve a very important purpose by increasing
>the bargaining power of individuals whose bargaining power alone
>is too weak to change bad employment practices. I also admire the
>courage that many union leaders have shown when forming unions.

I thought it a good thing when the AMA voted to unionize to battle
the HMO's.

>I'm also happy to see that the AFL-CIO is beginning to call for
>"...the repeal of employer sanctions, for a new amnesty for the
>undocumented, and for a broad new program to educate immigrant
>workers about their rights....." (
>). Prior to this new position, it struck me as odd that unions
>work to make it more difficult for sweatshop workers to escape to
>an environment where better pay and working conditions are

Valuble new recruits.

>The median annual income in the U.S. is roughly $30,000 dollars;
>the median annual world income is about $8,000 dollars. If one
>were concerned about the suffering of the working poor, then
>wouldn't it be better to buy from someone making $8 K/year than
>$30 K/year? (Assuming that they're not working under "sweatshop"

As long as they are paid a fair "local wage", I'm open, if they're
Union even better. I have a strong tendency toward community, it's
important that my neighbors are working first, before I go

I dropped my car (Buick Riveria) off at the local Firestone dealer
this morning, the manager is African/American, most of the
mechanics are Hispanic/Latino, my cleaners are Korean, most of my
favorite local restaurants are Greek.

I can support vast cultures in my own neighborhood.

>Yes, I agree. I think that you got tarred with the "jingoist"
>because you mentioned that you wanted to start a "Made in the USA"
>store. Your criteria for purchasing goods seemed to be based
>primarily on the happenstance of location, rather than what would
>actually help the working class the most.

Actually I was just following the Extropian spiral (that thing
really needs a name!) starting with myself, family, neighbors, etc,

>It seems to me that it would help more workers improve their
>standard of living if you started a "Sweatshop Free" store
>that purchased goods from companies that employed workers from
>poor countries, but who treated their workers well. (as, for
>example, The Body Shop appears to do)

I think this is a good idea, you could have a store within my
stores ;) How about a store that only sells Union made goods from
whatever country?

Actually I first had this idea after reading an ecology based
socialist novel, Ernest Callenbach's "Ecotopia". They had these
core stores that sold basic goods that were simple and inexpensive.
I thought it was a terrific idea.

Personnally I working more towards "Extropia".

>It's also unclear to me that boycotting companies who employ
>children working under sweatshop conditions will necessarily
>improve the lot of those children. Let's assume that the boycott
>is successful, and the company goes out of business. What happens
>next? What do you expect will replace the income (pittance that
>it was) that the child earned?

This if course is a bigger tougher issue. The very least any
company can do in my opinion is make sure it's factories follow
basic human decency.

Child labor here would never be permitted under these
circumstances, and people from here should not permit it elsewhere.

Invoking the Golden rule.


Extropy Institute,
Adler Planetarium
Life Extension Foundation,
National Rifle Association,, 1.800.672.3888
Ameritech Data Center Chicago, IL, Local 134 I.B.E.W

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