I’m not “anti-china”

I’m always interested in where things are manufactured and go out of my way (sometimes well out of my way) to purchase items not made in China.  It isn’t because I’m “anti-China”, it is just that I don’t support the way they are running their country.  There is very little in the way of environmental regulation, they pay their workers pennies to the dollar and due to these two major factors they can undercut the price of manufacturing almost any product compared to anywhere else in the world.  This has made China into a manufacturing superpower.  Unfortunately, this also means that we (the consumer) have to deal with the lead-laced, poor quality, “only lasts a year” electronics and other products.

Or do we?

We can vote with our wallets and support companies that make products here in the US.  There are even electronics made here.  Two electronics companies off the top of my head are Google (Motorola Moto X) and Linear Logic (ScanGauge).  Even here in Maine we have major companies making products sold all over the world, like New Balance and Nyle.  Recently I had a good story about China come across my path that I’d like to share.

This is an excellent article speaking about the horrible air pollution in China and how it affected the health of a US family when they moved temporarily to China.  Of note, this hits home to me because a friend of mine just came back from a week long business trip in China and had the exact same things to say.  He had to get his suitcoat dry cleaned as soon as he came home because the stench of the Chinese air was so strong it had clung to the fabric with no signs of letting go.  Sometimes the tops of tall buildings were barely visible from the ground due to smog and you could see the particulate in the air even inside many buildings.

We (fellow American citizens) buy stuff from China that we can’t make here because it is deemed too dangerous to make due to chemicals and/or manufacturing process…but somehow it is ok for the Chinese?  I don’t think so.  The only reason China will do the job is because the government lets them, and lets their people get hurt and sick.  Then they make it so cheap that they can afford to ship it to the other side of the planet and still make a profit.  And they do this because we ask them to.  Because we as a country are more interested in saving a dollar than upholding a higher standard for our own (or others’) quality of life.

I feel bad for the citizens of China given their poorly regulated government, dirty air and water and overpopulated cities – it isn’t their fault, it is the people of power making these decisions.  Making their people suffer.

Ultimately we as consumers have the choice to purchase products that are developed and produced by companies that sustain and uphold our morals rather than finding the “best deal”.  This is what we do in my family.  This doesn’t make me “anti-China”, it makes me “pro-the-people”.

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