Almost everything that I own is made in China. Why? Good question. With more than 1.3 billion people in just one country, China’s workforce shows no signs of stopping. Limited regulation on working standards and cheap wages sweeten the deal.
In “China Makes, the World Takes,” James Fallow explains that China is cheap, but it’s also fast. Chinese factories tend to be more flexible because their major labor force is people. Liam Casey in the piece states: “People are the most adaptable machines.” I do agree with this statement: human brains are possibly the most sophisticated and versatile computers available. However, (maybe this is because of the number of people within China) I feel that though Casey does not directly say this in his statement, he considers these mortal machines to be dispensable. Like batteries. Sure, the workers are paid and are given housing and dining, but only the essentials: each bed is about the size of a coffin. Companies surely do not need to worry about empty positions; the next batch is waiting in a near-by village, eager to quit their local jobs.
If these workers were making life-changing products, I may be less ashamed. Cheese hats, Royal Wedding merchandise, and other unnecessary objects that only acts as dust catchers in the corners of our attic cause people to be treated like machines, like batteries. People should be treated like people. I understand that if conditions may rise, companies may migrate their business somewhere else. But still…
Do we really need that shirt that says, “I’m a people person?”
Surely, you aren’t if you think of the people behind the shirt.