Slave labor in modern times

What do those shoes cost to make?

Today we can hardly pass up the Polaroid camera for $19.95, the Walkman for $13.98, the powerstrip for $2.99, or the silk flowers at 39c a stem. “Made in China.” How do they do it so cheaply?

Can you say Forced Prison Labor?

It doesn’t mean paying someone 10c a day, it means feeding them only if they make their quota and holding back on the electric prod and the sundry punishments.

And this involuntary worker has been imprisoned for what? Because American or Japanese businessmen have made another deal and the Chinese contractor/wardens need more laborers? And what was the charge? Did this person get a forbidden postcard from Tienemen Square?

It’s also possible a Chinese prisoner could just as arbitrarily be sentenced to die if his organs are a match for any of the organ-transplant applicants who fly to China. China allows the selling of the involuntarilly donated organs from prisoners made deceased.

An execution in China still means a bullet shot point blank into the back of the head; Amnesty International has accused the Chinese of botching executions to leave bodies enough alive to preserve the innards.

Do we want to buy their products? Do we want to tolerate their collaborators among us?

A Walmart executive must wonder how a paper flower he couldn’t make in a day with lots of practice costs him less than a penny. Did God make it?! It costs more to ship it, unwrap it and display it!

Our businessmen are there, setting these gigs up, subcontracting to the Chinese firms which front for the prisons. Such people have no morals but we don’t hate them, we reward them. Let’s not.

As you walk past one of those shelf-end displays with rows of a glossily wrapped and grossly undervalued bargains, think of who handled it only weeks ago and under what circumstances, then–by accident– knock the whole thing over! What the fuck! It says “Made in China.” There’s blood all over that!

You think your employer treats you badly? Try a sweatshop in downtown LA. Try any factory in a third world nation. Try ankle restraints in China.

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