The American news media is now fully in the grips of a bipartisan anti-China orgy of propaganda. The collusion between parties is far more complete than anything I’ve ever seen in American media. Every day, the crescendo gets worse. Today I saw “specials” running on three different channels purporting to cover the “crisis” of dangerous toys from China. “YOUR KIDS ARE NOT SAFE!” the headlines scream. The New York Times is running a Sunday special explaining how China is polluting the world at “epic proportions” and abusing human rights.
Don’t fall for it. The only thing of epic proportions here is hypocrisy. I cannot believe that watchdogs like GNN have not yet called shenanigans on the press. And it is especially ironic and saddening that this overt conspiracy of the economic hitmen is succeeding most successfully in duping those very people who claim to stand up to the global pillaging by multinationals.
Toys: something like 80% of the world’s toys are manufactured in China. If anything less than 80% of toy recalls originated in China, I would be mighty suspicious. But you have to wonder, why toys, and why now? The bulk of toys have come from China for many years now — are we to believe that suddenly all of them went bad at the same time? In fact, the reports don’t actually claim any change in the quality of toys from China. Most of the toys now in dispute have been sold in America for years. All that has changed is that AS OF TODAY, ALL THOSE TOYS YOU’VE BEEN BUYING FOR YEARS, ARE DEADLY!!!
Strangely, China seems to have been selectively shipping those deadly toys only to the U.S. Or the Europeans are as yet too stupid to panic. Since they are too stupid to realize the danger they are in, I recommend we send over U.S. military to liberate the Europeans from dangerous Chinese toys. It’s the least we can do for our white brothers across the pond.
Of course, white people are no longer having enough babies to replace the population, so the “YOUR KIDS ARE IN DANGER!” ploy is of limited use in stirring up jingoist passions against the Chinese. Thankfully, the same protective instincts kick in when you tell someone that “YOUR PET IS IN DANGER!” Now we find that the Chinese have secretly been poisoning all of America’s fluffy, adorable little Caucasian pets with some additive that we’ve never heard of before (one is reminded of Dr. Strangelove and the “body fluids”).
It’s no longer stuff that your kids and pets put in their mouths, though — it’s even the fish you buy at Walmart. Nobody does the math to figure out what percentage of Chinese-originated food fails inspection versus food from other ports. It is considered sufficient journalistic integrity to simply sound the klaxon, “A PIECE OF FOOD FROM CHINA DID NOT PASS INSPECTION!!”
We have known for decades that the American press thrives on scare-mongering based on stuff you put in your mouth. It’s only now that we realize it was all just practice for the day when we had a trade partner who provides more than 50% of our goods.
But the whole oral fixative complex is child’s play compared to the real game. The real game is about pollution and carbon credits. The popular media would have you believe that multinationals only outsource to China for cheap labor. But there is a far more important reason to outsource to China — it’s a different jurisdiction for pollution and carbon credits. Outsourcing based on displacement of energy consumption has accelerated in the past decade — I know several people in both the U.S. and China engaged in such projects for the government and multinationals.
The concept is simple. Let’s say that I manufacture plastics to sell to toy manufacturers, and this is a very energy-intensive process with many raw materials. Let’s say my manufacturing process produces a million tons of carbon per year. If I move the factory to China, and strike a deal with some local province to help them build the requisite energy production locally, I save on logistics costs (since the toy factories are in China now) and some production costs (due to kickbacks, and the fact that R&D is still partly government-funded). And the pollution stays in China.
And when all of our computers, monitors, and worn-out toys become toxic waste, we ship it back to China.
It’s a thing of beauty. All of the toys still go to kids in America, and all of the profit still flows to American companies. But now the pollution gets blamed on China. The civilized world can circle round China, like the self-righteous johns circling round the prostitute, and demand that she buy carbon credits to wash away her filth. Since we took all the profits to begin with, the only choice for China is to trade it off with debt. At a minimum, the carbon credits scam can be used to make sure that China’s overall position relative to the EU/US block is never too advantageous to her. The lunatic fringe of nationalists can applaud such a brilliant economic hitman ploy, if it were not for the fact that China’s threat to U.S. is already vastly overrated.
Especially in the case of the toy market, the hardline approach being taken by American toy companies is sickening and immoral. The Chinese companies were already completely uncoordinated; putting each other out of business in self-destructive price wars and commoditizing things which should be protected behind moats. Buying commodities from China is like stealing candy from babies. It was shameful exploitation to begin with. In the midst of this, the U.S. toy companies are now using threats, intimidation, and jingoism to get further concessions. The Chinese are already being exploited far beyond any morally acceptable point — whipping up the American population into an anti-China frenzy to get more concessions will only make things worse. As it is, at least two export-oriented officials in China have lost their lives in the past month, and undoubtedly hundreds of thousands of workers are facing harsher working conditions.