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Faked in China

In the news lately there’s been a lot of coverage of “fake” products coming from China. First it was fake mobile phone batteries that can explode, then melamine (used to make plastics and fertiliser) in the dog food, then it was ethylene glycol (anti-freeze) in toothpaste. Now we hear about Chinese companies even cheating each other by supplying fake coal fly ash for use in concrete.

For those who don’t know, fly ash is produced when you burn coal. There are different parts to the ash and slag produced, and the fly ash is the part of the ash that floats up the flue (chimney) with the exhaust gases. And, apparently, it’s cheaper to make fake fly ash than it is to collect the real stuff. No country in the World uses all the fly ash it produces. The mind boggles.

Shit, it sounds like these guys should be running Pan Pharmaceuticals.

These days, everything is made in China. From low-margin mass produced items like paper clips and pencils all the way up to the flashiest new mobile phones and iPods. Yes, many high-end things are designed elsewhere and assembled with some components that may have been made elsewhere, but they’re still made in China.

The last time you bought something – anything – that was not made in China, it’s probably because you passed over the Chinese version of the same product. Whether it was those paper clips or toothpaste or furniture or electronics, it’s only your own choice that kept you from buying the Chinese product.

Absolutely anything you can think of is being made in China right now.

Pretty soon you’ll be able to buy Chinese cars as well. They will probably be complete shit, but give it 10 years and they might not be that bad. Remember Hyundai when they started? They were cheap as chips to buy, and that was good because every couple of years you had to get a new one. Sort of the disposable automobile. You go back far enough, Toyota, Nissan, Subaru, Mazda…they were all crapmobiles.

What I can’t help but wonder is that if there is anti-freeze in the toothpaste…what’s in the anti-freeze? Yak piss?

Of course, you can leave it to me to find the silver lining here…

China is a Communist country. As such, they are the enemy of anyone that would paint themselves a Democrat or a Capitalist. It fades from our daily thoughts because our governments don’t want to be enemies with China. As we were all ready enemies of the USSR, not so with China because they are far too large and far too potentially powerful.

The hope of our governments these many years is that by doing business with China – buying what they make and generally being nice to them – we would encourage them to move toward a Capitalist system. We wanted this because Capitalism changes the interests of a nation from political conquest to economic conquest…making money instead of war. Or at least that’s the idea.

Along with that we should see a push to Democracy, or so goes the theory. As people get more used to being able to buy what they want they will also want to be able to legally own it. And to control their destiny. Think of it as liberation ? la Versace.

By seeing fake products come from China we are seeing the confirmation of this movement toward Profit at all Cost. We all know that regulation and policing are the only things that keep even the World’s best-known companies honest at the best of times, and the laws and regulations in China have to catch up.

So what we’re seeing is that people are more worried about making money than anything else. And that’s about as far from Mao‘s Little Red Book as you’re going to get.

No doubt China is going to be a problem for a long time to come, but with developments like this it’s hard not to be optimistic about their money-grubbing Capitalistic future. Now if we can just get through Peak Oil without killing everyone…

Published inDeep ThoughtsPolitics

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