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Chinese sweatshops working overtime producing American flags.
September 20, 2001 3:40 PM   Subscribe

Chinese sweatshops working overtime producing American flags. Just so we can show each other how much we value freedom and democracy.
posted by electro (17 comments total)

 
Globalization at it's finest.
posted by Danf at 4:01 PM on September 20, 2001


where in the article did it mention something concerning sweatshops?
posted by bakiwop at 4:06 PM on September 20, 2001


Seems to me that they should have offered the job to Canadian lumber workers who have recently lost their jobs because of the US imposing a countervailing duty on softwood exports.
posted by scotty at 4:07 PM on September 20, 2001


I didn't see it mentioned anywhere in the article that 'sweatshops' were producing the flags.

Anyway, what's wrong with proudly displaying a flag, especially at a time like this when many people want to show support for their country?

I guess you'll prolly have a big problem with this too.
posted by chroma at 4:30 PM on September 20, 2001


You're really scraping bottom in the jaded barrel, aren't you?
posted by John Galt at 4:35 PM on September 20, 2001


sweatshop or not, it's still funky to think that icons of one's country is manufactured by foreigners and shipped back to be used in the country.
posted by elle at 4:46 PM on September 20, 2001


By the way, electro, the problem here isn't the US, it's the country these people are living and working in. It's CHINA that doesn't value freedom and democracy. Go scream at them.
posted by aaron at 4:46 PM on September 20, 2001


And there is nothing in that article, nothing, about the working conditions or salaries in that plant. In fact, the office manager made clear they turned down an offer to be paid more money per flag!

Your post is disgusting.
posted by aaron at 4:50 PM on September 20, 2001



I saw my father last night, who told me he remembers a surge of American flags being displayed after Pearl Harbor was attacked.

He also said there were lines around city blocks of young people registering to enlist in the military.

Some things have changed.
posted by culberjo at 4:51 PM on September 20, 2001


I did infer the part about sweatshops, but I think it's pretty likely give the labor standards in China. Did you expect the factory managers to come out and say it was a sweatshop? What, exactly, do you think Chinese factories look like?

My point was that I think it's ironic that the symbols of our freedom are manufactured in a country with such a repressive government.
posted by electro at 5:18 PM on September 20, 2001


aaron:

I'm sorry I hit a nerve, but I'm not screeming at anyone. "Disgusting" seems a bit over the top....
posted by electro at 5:20 PM on September 20, 2001


Local individuals have found a better way to get US flags -- they're stealing them!

A local merchant hung the flag that draped his grandfather's casket figuring it was safe. It's gone and the merchant has stated that he will give the thieves a new flag if they bring back his.
posted by DBAPaul at 5:42 PM on September 20, 2001


"Right now, no one around the world can really compete with us flag makers. We have good machines and rock-bottom labor costs."
posted by sudama at 6:17 PM on September 20, 2001


Local individuals have found a better way to get US flags -- they're stealing them!

I was wondering if any of that was going on. I have notice the quality of flags differs greatly. I am freaked out by seeing them fly everywhere, but I have to appreciate some the hand stiched stars with a level of craft I never expected to see on some of the ones flying on my street. Some of them don't even have 50 stars I think.
posted by thirteen at 6:20 PM on September 20, 2001


the problem here isn't the US, it's the country these people are living and working in. It's CHINA that doesn't value freedom and democracy. Go scream at them.


With what voice? Obviously his government's powerful voice.

Whoops, the US did open normal trade with China regardless of their working conditions/human rights violations thus silencing any voice he could have expressed through his representatives.

It was possible that all this American money could have made them rethink their policies, but that chance is probably forever gone. I'm not suggesting that China won't reform eventually, just certainly not in the near future. Especially considering their almost Stalinist purge during their recent "Hard Strike" campaign against crime and political prisoners.

Be as proud of you flag as you like, remember what it symbolizes, but don't forget who made it.
posted by skallas at 8:35 PM on September 20, 2001


The reason third-worlders are willing to work in foreign-owned factories is because that pays better than life down on the farm. If you think they're getting paid too little, maybe you should open your own factory and pay them more.
posted by phartizan at 9:25 PM on September 20, 2001


I remember during the Free Harry Wu campaign, there was a brilliant editorial cartoon of Harry Wu being forced to work in a Chinese prison sweatshop screen-printing t-shirts reading, in English,

FREE HARRY WU

Sweatshops? Last I heard, it was a term of opinion what is and isn't one. It's frustrating to think of, but the fact is these may be better jobs than the alternative, which is often backbreaking work from dawn till dusk in a rice paddy or (if lucky) a mechanized farm. That said, probably just about every factory in China is a sweatshop by Western standards -- no safety, no limited work week, that sort of thing. At least in China, child labor is on the way out.
posted by dhartung at 11:15 PM on September 20, 2001


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