Home of the Brave

TimeWatch Editorial
April 27, 2017

On January 5th, 2008 David Barboza wrote an article which was published in the The New York Times. The article was entitled In Chinese Factories, Lost Fingers and Low Pay.” Of course, there was nothing new about the information found in that article. The general abuse workers, the absence of reasonable wages, the demand for long working hours all have been the history of Chinese labor. What has become most disturbing is the fact that American Companies have for many years taken advantage of this immoral enslavement, while accumulating billions of dollars in profit.  These companies, in their determined effort to avoid paying Americans what we here describe as a minimum wage, move their factories to Asia where they can pay their workers less than 10% of our minimum wage, or in many cases hold back even that, for work done. Listen to how David Barboza begins his article.

“Nearly a decade after some of the most powerful companies in the world — often under considerable criticism and consumer pressure — began an effort to eliminate sweatshop labor conditions in Asia, worker abuse is still commonplace in many of the Chinese factories that supply Western companies, according to labor rights groups. The groups say some Chinese companies routinely shortchange their employees on wages, withhold health benefits and expose their workers to dangerous machinery and harmful chemicals, like lead, cadmium and mercury; so while American and European consumers worry about exposing their children to Chinese-made toys coated in lead, Chinese workers, often as young as 16, face far more serious hazards. Here in the Pearl River Delta region near Hong Kong, for example, factory workers lose or break about 40,000 fingers on the job every year, according to a study published a few years ago by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.” David Barboza, In Chinese Factories, Lost Fingers and Low Pay,” The New York Times, January 5th, 2008

How do these individuals who allow the abuse and misuse of human beings still manage to garner the respect of those around them? Their accumulation of wealth seems to cloud the judgment of those who should have the moral courage to shame them at every step. But instead, we seem to admire their viciousness, and apparently consider it a gift. The truth is that these fake humans are never truly happy. Their wealth is never enough, their happiness is temporary, and their fame is flawed. Meanwhile, the humble worker, underpaid and mistreated, steadfastly seeks to feed and house their families, and from the pittance they receive, they do the best they can. Those who steal from the homeless to build their towers are no better than the burglar who steals the neighbors’ last dollar. Listen to how David Barboza continues.

“Pushing to keep big corporations honest, labor groups regularly smuggle photographs, videos, pay stubs, shipping records and other evidence out of factories that they say violate local law and international worker standards. In 2007, factories that supplied more than a dozen corporations, including Wal-Mart, Disney and Dell, were accused of unfair labor practices, including using child labor, forcing employees to work 16-hour days on fast-moving assembly lines, and paying workers less than minimum wage. (Minimum wage in this part of China is about 55 cents an hour.)” David Barboza, In Chinese Factories, Lost Fingers and Low Pay,” The New York Times, January 5th, 2008

Slavery in the United States once involved the transporting of workers from Africa to America. Today a move covert method has been discovered and utilized; now we transport the factory to the slaves. This way is cheaper and less visible. We dress ourselves in suits and ties and pretend to care for our fellowmen. Of course our fellowmen would be America First.  No other human is worth consideration. We drive our expensive cars and build two or three houses, and claim to treat our employees with respect. Of course, we mean those employees that our peers can see. Not those employees who make our products and we underpay. Besides, they are not here, and remember, if they came here to America and they came after us, then they are aliens, and must always have their papers with them.

This is now America, home of the very, very brave.

Cameron A. Bowen

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