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Old 10-10-2007, 02:53 PM
 
1,094 posts, read 2,590,353 times
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Not sure if this is in the right area or not, but...

I recently went through the mall and looked at where the majority of our items are made. I knew there was a lot coming from China, Indonesia, etc, but I REALLY HAD NO IDEA it was this bad. Seriously about the only things I saw made in US were food and laundry soap. Ok, here's my question.

Who's fault do you think it is? I understand the whole out-sourcing thing, and that yes, companies are entitled to make a buck. However, when American's can't get a decent job, and companies are getting everything in one of these lesser developed countries where they can pay their workers a dollar a day.
( They are definitely NOT passing on the savings to us!!) Who's to balme? Us as consumer's ignoring the working conditions of the people working in these places? Or the companies ignoring how their worker's are being treated half way around the world? And, could it be the worker's to blame?! I don't think it's the workers fault, but that's just my opinion.

More importantly, what can be done about it?!!

Last edited by happeemommee; 10-10-2007 at 02:54 PM.. Reason: grammatical error
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Old 10-10-2007, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,438 posts, read 24,222,225 times
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You're right, it's scary.

I try to buy things made in the US but sometimes it's hard. I google things I want to buy and look in advance. It's probably everyone's fault from the government to the workers to the consumers. I do know if we quit buying things would change.
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Old 10-10-2007, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
2,408 posts, read 9,667,371 times
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Why do you assume imports from China, Indonesia, etc. are made in sweat shops? Are you saying that every item manufactured outside the United States is made in a sweat shop? And every manufacturer within the United States complies with all the international safety laws? C'mon give me a break!

You are stating that simply because the items are made outside the US, they simply must have been manufactured in horrible degrading working conditions and with workers being treated poorly, when in reality you've only identified a dearth of consumer goods manufactured here and sold in your suburban mall.

I think it's quite prejudicial to use such a loaded word to support your anti-import political stance. Write your congressperson and simply stop purchasing items manufactured in countries that you don't wish to support. Fine, you'll probably put many Americans (whose livelihood depends on importing) out of business and probably force some into bankruptcy, but hey, vote with your dollars.

It's a big world, and simply adopting an isolationist view is not going to be healthy for our economy.
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Old 10-10-2007, 09:37 PM
 
Location: California
3,432 posts, read 2,160,565 times
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Thats what happens when we want things cheap!
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Old 10-11-2007, 08:36 AM
 
3,698 posts, read 9,988,164 times
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Whose fault is it? You can blame the American consumer for associating prosperity with owning more crap they don't really need. You can blame Madison Avenue for brainwashing us into thinking that we will fail unless we have a motorized tie rack or the latest gaming console for our house. You can blame the stockholders for demanding ever increasing returns on their money instead of steady, constant returns. You can blame the people who run the companies for focusing solely on shareholder value at the expense of long-term health.
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Old 10-11-2007, 02:57 PM
 
7,099 posts, read 23,900,925 times
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And didn't we just pass a new minimum wage bill???

That means that anything made in the US, or any service we pay someone for, just about anything, is going to cost us more. We have raised our standard of living up so high, that we have priced ourselves out of the manufacturing business.

I don't think we'll ever be a major player in the manufactured goods industry again.

What's the solution? I have no idea.
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Old 10-11-2007, 03:12 PM
 
Location: Weston, FL and Vero Beach, Fl
2,945 posts, read 11,940,966 times
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We are all at fault in this and in particular corporate America. If every single one of us stopped buying imported goods ... well stop and consider what that would mean? Even our Shrimp come from Vietnam. Scary isn't it?

Our payments are processed in China
Our tech support is in India
Our clothes are assembled in Asia or elsewhere
Our Italian shoes are now being made in China
Our food comes from Mexico, South Africa, Vietnam.
Anyone remember when we only ate fruits and veggies in season?

I agree that we won't ever be a major player in manufactured goods in this country again. Even though there is considerable resistence to globalization. In the end, it's all about the money. Now I am really depressed. :-(
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Old 10-11-2007, 06:09 PM
 
1,094 posts, read 2,590,353 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jinxor View Post
Why do you assume imports from China, Indonesia, etc. are made in sweat shops? Are you saying that every item manufactured outside the United States is made in a sweat shop? And every manufacturer within the United States complies with all the international safety laws? C'mon give me a break!

You are stating that simply because the items are made outside the US, they simply must have been manufactured in horrible degrading working conditions and with workers being treated poorly, when in reality you've only identified a dearth of consumer goods manufactured here and sold in your suburban mall.

I think it's quite prejudicial to use such a loaded word to support your anti-import political stance. Write your congressperson and simply stop purchasing items manufactured in countries that you don't wish to support. Fine, you'll probably put many Americans (whose livelihood depends on importing) out of business and probably force some into bankruptcy, but hey, vote with your dollars.

It's a big world, and simply adopting an isolationist view is not going to be healthy for our economy.
Ok, first of all I never said that everything made outside of the US was made in sweat shops. I was indeed asking about sweat shops, however, nowhere in my post did I say all imports. I also never claimed that all American companies are complying with safety regs. I will make the assumption, though, that in MOST US companies, the conditions are better. I am aware that there are also sweat shops in America, those are also deplorable and unacceptable!

You mention the jobs that Americans would lose if we stopped importing, what about American jobs that were lost due to out-sourcing and yes! items that are now being made in sweat shops? Just for the record though, I do not believe that we can stop importing everything or even that we should. I am addressing the topic of sweat shops and what should be done about them.

Do I believe that we as Americans should try and buy American products? YES! Do I believe that sweat shops are wrong and injust? YES! However, I am not an isolationist. I believe that importing / exporting is an essential part of not only America's economy, but of the economy world wide. However, when it comes to taking jobs out of America and sending them to some lesser developed country, and then paying those worker's maybe a dollar a day, in un air conditioned buildings that are 114 degrees, working 24 hour shifts with maybe two five minutes breaks, THERE IS A PROBLEM! I don't want to support THOSE companies. I started this post because I think that is we, as Americans, got together and tried to do something about this problem, we could accomplish it. I think, rather than calling me an isolationist, you should call me, gasp , an optimist.
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Old 10-15-2007, 01:44 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
2,408 posts, read 9,667,371 times
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Thanks for your clarification. I suppose I was confused a bit by your statements. Let's look at them again.
Quote:
Sweat Shops
Not sure if this is in the right area or not, but...

I recently went through the mall and looked at where the majority of our items are made. I knew there was a lot coming from China, Indonesia, etc, but I REALLY HAD NO IDEA it was this bad. Seriously about the only things I saw made in US were food and laundry soap. Ok, here's my question.
OK. So titled your post, sweat shots. In your first paragraph you noted that most items at the mall came from China and Indonesia and implied that this situation was really bad. You made your point clear by your second statement, "Seriously about the only things I saw made in US were food and laundry soap." I am probably confused here but you made the following assertions on the topic of sweat shops:
- items at the mall were imported from china and indonesia
- the situation is really bad.
- the only thing made in the US is food and laundry soap.
Quote:
Who's fault do you think it is? I understand the whole out-sourcing thing, and that yes, companies are entitled to make a buck. However, when American's can't get a decent job, and companies are getting everything in one of these lesser developed countries where they can pay their workers a dollar a day.
( They are definitely NOT passing on the savings to us!!) Who's to balme? Us as consumer's ignoring the working conditions of the people working in these places? Or the companies ignoring how their worker's are being treated half way around the world? And, could it be the worker's to blame?! I don't think it's the workers fault, but that's just my opinion.
Who's at fault for what? Exactly problem are we trying to solve here?

The fact the the US makes soap and food? The fact that most stuff comes from China and Indonesia, which you apparently think has gotten REALLY BAD.

You further state:
- Americans can't get a decent job.
- Companies are getting everything in one of those lesser developed counties where they can pay their workers a dollar a day.
- We as consumers are ignoring the working conditions of the people working in these places.
- Companies ignore how their workers are being treated.
- Workers themselves may be to blame.

I may be missing part of the logic here.

Quote:
However, when it comes to taking jobs out of America and sending them to some lesser developed country, and then paying those worker's maybe a dollar a day, in un air conditioned buildings that are 114 degrees, working 24 hour shifts with maybe two five minutes breaks, THERE IS A PROBLEM! I don't want to support THOSE companies.
Why would a company want to take jobs out of America and send them to a lesser developed country unless there were economic advantage. I think you are exaggerating the conditions of these sweat shops, which you've conveniently linked to China and Indonesia in your first paragraph.

I'd pose this question: What proof do you have that these sweat shops exist? Why would workers work for maybe a dollar a day in unairconditioned buildings working 24 hour shifts with maybe two five minute breaks? Why wouldn't they just quit and find a different job?

Secondly, if you choose to only purchase American products (which apparently aren't produced in sweat shops), aren't you now taking jobs away from those poor workers?


Let's shut down the sweat shops. So now, instead of a job at the factory, you take that worker who is gainfully employed and put them out of work. Yes, that is certainly improving someone's quality of life here. That sounds like a winner to me. Yes, if we rally together, we Americans can put these small foreign factories out of business!
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Old 10-15-2007, 02:09 PM
 
1,094 posts, read 2,590,353 times
Reputation: 723
Yes, I did go through my mall and I did see that the majority of the items were made out of the US, are you arguing with that? Again, I was not implying that all items made somewhere other than US are made in sweat shops. I also said that imports / exports are a part of this economy and should remain so. I don't see you quoting that or commenting on that subject.

YOU said that Americans would lose jobs if we stopped out-sourcing. You didn't reply to the question about those American's that lost jobs DUE to out-sourcing.

The problem I was originally addressing was that of sweat shops, and what we as Americans could do about it. Do you own a sweat shop? Why are you jumping down so hard on me and trying to pick apart everything that I said? I do believe there is a problem with people working in sweat shops, whether they be in the US or out of the US. I would prefer to buy American, do I always 100% ONLY buy American, NO! Do I wish that more things were made in the US? YES! So what? I would think that most Americans would agree with that. Do I think people should work long hours in buildings without windows or A/C, without breaks? NO!

I do think that we as Americans can be unaware of what's going on in these sweat shops. I do think that some companies are choosing to ignore the conditions of some of its workers. I also said I DID NOT BELIEVE THE WORKERS WERE TO BLAME. That's you twisting my words.

Also, again, I am positive that companies are having their items produced in a lesser developed country to make more money. Is that savings being passed on? I don't think so. And just to be clear, I would rather pay a little more so that the working conditions could be improved.

You asked did I have proof that sweat shops exist. Do you have proof that they don't? Have you watched any of the news shows / documentaries or read any of the info put out about these places? It's this kind of attitude that keeps the sweat shops in business.
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