Much of what we buy and consume here in the United States is made in China. China makes a LOT of money off of US consumers. Pick up almost any object and a large percent of the time it will say "MADE IN CHINA" somewhere on it. US companies outsourcing to other countries saves and makes a lot of money, because other countries do not pay wages and benefits that an American company pays.
This is very unfortunate for the people of the United States. The businesses themselves make a ton of money, but it puts Americans out of jobs, and makes it very difficult for the average joe to find a job that will support his family.
It is also hurtful to the people of China. You might ask how? It gives them paid jobs, and our money is going to China. Someone is getting rich off of us, aren't they?
Somebody is making money off of us, but it is not the Chinese laborers. I am not going to say that everything made in China falls in this category that I am about to describe, but a lot of it does apply. The Chinese laborers do not receive pay for manufacturing the items that are sold to the USA. Their work does not support their families in any way. They are working for free. The money that we pay for the things that are made in China goes to the Chinese government.
The Chinese government has a dirty little "secret" called Laogai--forced labor operations. Political and religious dissidents are arrested (anybody who speaks up in disagreement with communism, and anybody who is involved in religion that is not registered with the government), some go to trial, and some do not. The government figures that they should not have to pay to feed and house prisoners, but should use them productively.Make them pay their own way. Sounds good, doesn't it? Doesn't the US make their prisoners work? Yes, but I believe they have a choice, and they do receive wages, though smaller than what a non-prisoner would make.
Laogai production serves as a "means for reforming prisoners and bears the political obligation of punishing and reforming prisoners. It serves as an economic unit producing goods for society..." It is estimated that there are tens of thousands if not millions of prisoners in the Laogai system. About 1/3 of China's tea is produced in Laogai camps. 60% of China's rubber vulcanizing chemicals are produced in a single camp in Shenyang. One of the largest steel pipe works is a Laogai camp. And on and on it could go.
The Laogai system isn't just a prison system. It is a source of free labor. Slave labor. It is a double incentive to imprison people. First, it nullifies resistance to the communist party, and second, it puts them to work for the communist party, the same government that put them away. There is a Chinese law that allows them to be sentenced for three years without a proper hearing. They can be wrongfully sentenced, imprisoned and forced to work for free. They get no pay, no retirement pension, no benefits whatsoever for their family. They are treated like slaves, abused and neglected.
Laogai facilities operate under multiple enterprise names to interact in the commercial arena to avoid detection by international observers.
So to put it in a nutshell, a Chinese person can be accused and sentenced for any crime, real or imagined, without a hearing, and work in the labor camps for three years before having a hearing. If wrongfully sentenced, it does not matter, because nobody questions the communist government and survives to tell about it, and it makes the Chinese government lots of money. The laborer works long hours every day, receives no pay (it all goes to the government) and leaves his family without an income. And the US buys these products because they are at an unbeatable price---better than what we can do if made in our own country.
It's just something to think about the next time you shop for anything. Turn it upside down, check the tag, and find out where it is made. Can one person make a difference by boycotting things made in China? I don't know about that. But, by purchasing these things, does that not make us just as guilty as the Chinese government?
Maybe it is time to think about not necessarily getting the best-priced item, but to support the companies who manufacture their products in the US. It keeps us in our jobs, and keeps us from adding to the burden of those Chinese labor-slaves.
Sources: Randy Alcorn; http://laogai.org/