Tuesday, April 06, 2004

China and Free Trade

Someone told me recently that they won't shop at Wal-Mart because they sell so many products made in China. The human rights violations going on in China are just too extensive to ignore and he refuses to support such a repressive government. Well, it's good that someone has such a standard and that they are willing to act on that principle. But the sad fact is folks, that won't do any good at all. As long as people continue to buy items made in China Wal-Mart will continue to sell them. It's simple economics. There is a demand, and Wal-Mart is supplying that demand. He also mentioned that there should be sanctions against trading with China. Again, it won't do a bit of good. Sanctions didn't work against Cuba, they didn't work against Iraq, and they won't work against China. Now, I'm probably going to catch a lot of flame for this post, but hear me out first. Right now, everyone reading this, I want you to pick up your mouse...that's right, the mouse you're using to browse the internet right now, and look to see where it's made. Odds are it says made in China on there. Same with your monitor, keyboard, and probably even your CPU. Not to mention about a third of the items in your home right now. As long as companies can have products made cheaper in China, and consumers continue to buy them, that's where they will be made. There is no doubt that China (who somehow is on the U.N.'s human rights board) is guilty of countless crimes against humanity. They repress their people like few governments have. But boycotts or sanctions are not the answer. As mentioned before, they just don't work and they only serve to hurt the people, not the government itself. That's already been proven. So what is the answer? Well, you're not going to like my answer. Aside from war, I really don't have one. I have no doubt in my mind that a military showdown between China and the United States is inevitable. We are the world's superpower. China is the one country that hates us enough and has the military might to possibly stand against us. Now ideally, we would do what Reagan did in the eighty's and just wait it out and out spend them militarily. Just let them crumble on their own if you will. That would be the ideal solution as far as I can see. Another "Cold War" if you will. Unfortunately, with the number of countries out there that don't like us, I don't see that happening. Eventually, somebody will hit us or try to hit us, and we will find out China was involved. Or some other country with the financial power will ally themselves with China to keep them afloat. Though I think the latter will just postpone the crumbling effect. China needs to learn, just as the rest of the world does; there is no greater friend, or more fearsome foe, than the United States of America. We can be their greates ally, or their worst enemy. Somehow we need to instill this in (not just) China's head. I would honestly much rather see China change their oppressive government and become a great ally of the U.S., but unfortunatly, I see the latter of the two options happening. We just need to be prepared.