So as many of you know, I’m a fan of PRI’s Marketplace. There is no more interesting podcast or engaging radio out there and I’ve sampled a lot of audio shows. I’ve written a little about the FoxCon before. Manufacturing conditions and lax, if not non-existent, environmental regulations at overseas factories was a big part of why I chose to manufacture all of SmithFly’s products here in the States.
One of the interesting take aways from the video below is that Foxcon doesn’t look that bad. In fact the scenes from the video could be straight out of the United States at the turn of the century. Long lines of zombie-fied workers moving from the country to the city, doing menial labor for not much pay, sounds familiar. We’ve moved beyond that, and China eventually will too. The funny thing is what took us decades to figure out could unfold in a matter of years due to enhanced communication of the digital age.
The other important thing to consider is that Foxcon is one of the BEST FACTORIES to work for in china right? So what do the lower end facilities that make all our clothes and shoes and fishing gear look like? What safety precautions are they short cutting? What environmental misconduct is going on?
Worse yet most pieces of apparel are being made in even more third world like countries where prices are even cheaper and regulations even more loose. Do you like supporting that?
I’m not advocating for a complete and immediate turnaround here. USA based manufacturing isn’t a reality for every product, I get that and it’s a fact. But I think we as a nation could use our purchasing power and position in the world as the top ranked market to emphasize the need for reform and put in place some policy guidelines and trade incentives to encourage proper working conditions and environmental stewardship. LEVERAGE THAT STUFF, because we got it.
If possible let’s all try to buy things that are made in countries where there are more humane worker right’s provisions and better more complete environmental controls.
The workers over there will eventually wake up to what’s going on anyway. We’ve lived through this ourselves so we can help them through this and be good trade partners by helping them figure out a smooth transition from shitty, to not so shitty.
History repeats itself…