The horrible reality behind “Made in China”

The horrible reality behind Made in China

Consider the iPhone, it costs us a mere two hundred dollars for the newest edition when it hits the shelves of the United States. This machine allows us to surf the web, make phone calls, text friends Why? Simple, an unknown company in China called Foxconn creates all Apple products while paying their employees wages near dirt in order to keep production prices low. In fact China’s minimum wage is 13.3 yuan or $2.13 an hour. Many other American corporations take advantage of China’s low labor costs such as Nike and American Eagle. China also doesn’t have any child labor laws, so the chance of poor families sending their children to work is extremely high. This is very dangerous considering there aren’t any worker safety laws. There are two key things wrong with this. First, American consumers are essentially exploiting Chinese laborers to live a life of luxury; and second, this is allowing China’s economy to catch and quickly surpass ours.

The Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” For hundreds of years Americans have stood by these beliefs and have continued to move forward as a country creating civil rights laws, labor laws, and now moving towards immigration reform. Yet, even though we believe that “all men are created equal,” and abolished slavery one hundred and fifty years ago, we still support the oppression of citizens and atrocious working conditions every time we buy a product with the label “made in China” on it; if we truly believe in this part of the declaration we shouldn’t be alright with it only happening inside our borders.

What’s worse though, is the fact that 50 years ago all of these products were manufactured in the United States. When China opened up under the Nixon administration, American companies began to send jobs overseas to maximize profit. American companies are run by one thing only: greed. This then creates multiple problems besides the fact we are forsaking our beliefs, America loses jobs to China. But, when companies like Nike, American Eagle, and Apple gives American jobs to China we must understand they may be exploiting foreign workers but they are because the American people demand cheap products. If we as Americans did not demand to live a luxury lifestyle, and if corporations valued something above money, then we would not be forsaking our Declaration of Independence.

China is a rich and powerful country, yet they refuse to use their wealth to help their poor

citizens. In fact, unless you are one of the rich families that live in the big cities, like Hong Kong, you are treated lower the dirt and have to fight everyday to survive. One 67 year old man who lives in China was reportedly paying 167 American dollars for one of a dozen wire mesh cages crammed into a run-down apartment in a working-class neighborhood. The cages were stacked on top of each other and only measured 16 square feet, and, instead of beds, he slept on bamboo mats and wooden planks. This is the type of living conditions the people who make the iPhone live in.

Now I’m not saying that we shouldn’t buy items with the label “made in China” on them, what I am saying is we must understand what conditions the people who make these items live in. I myself am typing this article on an Apple computer but at least I understand what’s happening in other countries. If we all take a minute to think about how well off we are compared to the rest of the world I’m sure most of us would realize we wouldn’t mind paying a few extra dollars to buy luxury items such as the iPhone.