Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Can We Please Cut China Loose?

    He made an appeal for his life, a long, rambling one as people suffering from bipolar disorder are prone to do.
     The judge laughed, and the execution went ahead.
     No, this is not from some ancient tale. It happened yesterday in China, per BBC News. Akmal Shaikh, a UK citizen, was put to death for smuggling heroin. Dealers in Poland took advantage of his vulnerability, telling him they'd make him a pop star in China if he would just...
    The UK government, his family, forensic psychiatrists all offered strong evidence that Mr. Shaikh had no way of really knowing what he was doing. The Chinese government told the UK, in essence, to grow up or else.
    Yeah, manufacturing is dirt cheap over there. The burgeoning middle class makes China a desirable trade partner. But at what cost? The US has entered into a state of economic codependency with them, making trade decisions based on placating them rather than taking into account the true cost of business on their terms:

  • How many children worldwide have suffered from the effects of cheap toys manufactured there?
  • How many of their children were hurt when melamine was added to milk to artificially bulk up protein levels?
  • How many pets have died, both in 2007 and this year's cat food recall, again because of melamine?
  • How many more human rights violations must we sponsor before we say enough?
      I know it's hard to do, and I'm doing my best not to myself. But can we include buying as little as possible manufactured in China this year, and perhaps drop President Obama a line at to let him know what's on your mind?

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