A Chinese Christmas

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 12, 2010 7:18 AM GMT
    First, let me say that I am in no way bashing the chinese as a people. However, I was so angry to the point of laughter when a friend and I went to the Mall and some department stores today to do some Christmas shopping. It was incredible. In every store we went in, there was not a single item we looked at that did not read "MADE IN CHINA". Even a jelly belly candy machine reads "Jelly Bellies Made in America. Device Made In China".

    It is a known fact that China owns 51% of our debt and now our stores are overrun with products Made in China. I was beside myself and so was my friend.

    So the question is: Does it matter to you where your presents or anything you buy are made? Do you look at the labels to see?
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    Dec 12, 2010 8:38 AM GMT
    I look; I try to buy things made in Canada, America, Europe or even Mexico. The simple fact is that nearly everything is made in China (hell, even my new Kitchen Aid mixer arrived from China- and it was not cheap.) If it is not from the third world you need to go some place other than the mall and be willing to pay the prices asked.

    It does matter to me- and I do look prior to purchasing items. The problem is that for some things (like that mixer) you are out of luck finding anything produced in America. Sometimes you need to just suck it up and buy what you need regardless of it's origin.
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    Dec 12, 2010 8:47 AM GMT
    why be mad? they produce what the world wants cheaply. Just because North Americans feel entitled doesn't mean the rest of the world has sat back and agreed. The Chinese are very industrious and are in a position to dominate more and more. We will vilify them as they do so, one because they disregard current efforts at "green" practices and two, because it will be a wake-up call for the unionized manufacturing employees of the US. Knock Knock, youre not needed any more.

    "Buy American" the average person wants it cheap and readily available, people vote with their wallets, its the same mentality that allowed Wal-Mart to destroy the small business base of middle america. The pigs are at the trough and want their slop cheap, they don't care about where it comes from.
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    Dec 12, 2010 8:52 AM GMT
    Almost everything I buy is made in China... but then again, for me, that makes sense.

    Contrary to popular belief though, most of those things aren't necessarily cheaper over here. In fact SOME things (electronics for one) are MORE expensive in China, because the parts are made here, they're assembled elsewhere, and shipped back in. So you got double the tariff.

    But as for the other part of this thread... it's like telling people that Wal-mart is the devil. You can believe they're bad and we shouldn't support them, but the bottom line is that cheaper goods will always drive demand, and unless consumers at large "wise up" it will always be that way. Mom and Pop don't realize they drive themselves out of business everytime they buy that 99 cent paper towel roll.

    Back to my cheap noodles....
  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3161

    Dec 12, 2010 8:56 AM GMT
    tallcanuck saidwhy be mad? they produce what the world wants cheaply. Just because North Americans feel entitled doesn't mean the rest of the world has sat back and agreed. The Chinese are very industrious and are in a position to dominate more and more. We will vilify them as they do so, one because they disregard current efforts at "green" practices and two, because it will be a wake-up call for the unionized manufacturing employees of the US. Knock Knock, youre not needed any more.


    China is the world's factory. Especially in this economy, people want to buy things cheap, and China is in a position to produce everything at a fraction of what it costs to produce elsewhere. It's only logical that their products dominate the market.
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    Dec 12, 2010 12:16 PM GMT
    i had thought you were referring to spending christmas dinner in a chinese restaurant on christmas day (which i have done on several occasions when i was actually living in a civilized part of the country that actually has a chinatown; nothing says 'merry christmas' more than an all-night chinese joint surrounded by other chinese families who don't give a rat's ass about christian holidays; with a few good friends; deep authentic chinese cuisine; and wine, which makes this whole experience so full of win).

    i did not think this was about manufacturing origins of products. my bad.

    but for my two cents, for me right now, economics trumps politics. i can purchase basic necessities cheaper from places like wal-mart that carry a crapton of 'made-in-china' products, than i can buying from other stores. do i care and does it bother me? a bit, but i pick and chose my battles (something i learned from the chinese philosopher, sun tzu). manufacturing origin of products isn't one of them for now.

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    Dec 12, 2010 2:37 PM GMT



    Considering the state of both our countries' economies, many people shop at walmart because they have bills to pay - utilities are being ratcheted up, mortgages are due, wages and employment are down.

    We did a little investigating of the walmart up here.

    You want a loaf of flax bread? You can walmart it and get the brand-name product at $3.65 here or go to Safeway and pay $4.50. We're talking plain old Dempster's bread, nothing swank.

    Your problem isn't walmart, it's your labour laws. The one here pays greeters 10 dollars an hour. Customer service counter? 13.00 an hour. These are starting wages. Our minimum wage is 8 bucks. They get benefits as well.

    Safeway starts everyone as a temp worker at 8.25. Nice eh?

    As for buying Canadian or US, China has close-to-slave-labour at barely, barely livable wages, and US and Canadian companies are moving operations there or contracting out to them, and like West77 observed, his kitchenaid was still very expensive.
    Nothing like being charged as though someone local made it at a decent wage, eh?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 12, 2010 2:53 PM GMT
    Once again, MenInLove has hit the proverbial nail on it's head!!


    I vote they change their name to "MensaInLove"...icon_wink.gificon_lol.gif
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    Dec 12, 2010 3:21 PM GMT
    Who are you angry at, exactly? 'cause it's not like China forced American companies to move production to China...
  • DenveRyk

    Posts: 167

    Dec 12, 2010 3:48 PM GMT
    Meninlove was dead-on right. The problem isn't so much China; they are simply being good capitalists, although they treat their working class very poorly. The problem is with US policy--anti-labor politicians, no real tariffs, greedy corps who look only to the bottom line. We produce less because more can be produced for less elsewhere--but that doesn't mean it costs less to purchase. After all, when the reason you moved jobs to china was to save money on labor and environmental regulation costs, there is no point in charging less, because because people will still pay what you are asking if they want what you are selling. So more at the bottom-line and to hell with everything/everybody else.

    I try to be conscious of country of origin because, to the extent possible, everyone of my purchasing decisions makes a difference, no matter haw small. I would rather pay more for something that was produced by free people than less by someone who has fewer human rights. That's MY bottom line !!
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    Dec 12, 2010 4:07 PM GMT
    I would prefer to buy American made products, but lets face it, there is not much made here. If I were only to buy American made products, I would not be typing this on this laptop. I probably would not even have any type of device that would give me internet access. I would have no TV in the house. And that Ford out in the driveway- if I pulled every foreign made component out of it, I would probably not be driving it anywhere. Without a toothbrush or razor, I am going to look like a slob. I had better really, really like T-shirts, because I am probably going to be limited to shopping at American Apparel. I would like to only buy American, but I got to live.
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    Dec 12, 2010 4:34 PM GMT
    The problem is U.S. consumerism. We buy even when there isn't a need. We always have to have this and that. We always need the latest technology. We want to buy the trendiest clothes. We turn non-essentials into essentials. We spend beyond our means. We spend so much that we cannot afford to buy the very product that we produce.

    If we are going to blame anyone we should blame ourselves.
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    Dec 12, 2010 5:49 PM GMT
    Ask a random stranger..
    Would you rather pay $10 for a t-shirt or $25 for a t-shirt?

    I guarantee that the person will say $10. And that's the answer to your question. Consumers want more for less money. And companies want to maximize profits. And this is why a majority of things are made in China. And this is why the US doesn't manufacture anything anymore. It's become too expensive for American companies to keep production facilities in the US. From taxes to labor laws to wages.. they don't have to deal with any of that if they shift production overseas.

    Personally, I don't care. Only for certain items, I'm picky about where it's made. But for everything else, as long as it offers the right price/value, I'll buy it. Besides, as others have mentioned, it's becoming more and more difficult to buy items that are actually made in the USA.
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    Dec 12, 2010 9:50 PM GMT
    I never look at the labels to see where they're made from. Why would I?

    I also don't go for designer labels because they're too expensive for what they're worth.
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    Dec 12, 2010 9:52 PM GMT
    Did you just watch the episode of the office about China?
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    Dec 12, 2010 11:34 PM GMT
    Oh yeah.. This funniest/saddest Made-in-China-ooops moment was when the US Army purchased berets that were made in China. icon_lol.gif
    http://edition.cnn.com/2001/US/05/01/army.berets/
  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3161

    Dec 13, 2010 1:25 AM GMT
    A video about the current working conditions for millions of Chinese in urban areas, now called 蚁族, or "the ant tribe," which I apparently can't embed.

    http://video.nytimes.com/video/2010/12/11/world/asia/1248069362444/china-s-ant-tribe.html

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 13, 2010 12:40 PM GMT
    Rules of Chinese Production: "Quantitiy over Quality". LOL icon_eek.gif

    no offense. but its the truth!.