Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 26th May 2010 11:45 UTC
In the News Now this is a subject I've been tiptoeing around for a while now, not entirely sure what to do with it: the suicides at Chinese electronics manufacturer Foxconn. Instead of acting all morally smug and superior from my comfortable rural home in one of the richest countries in the world, I want to talk about two things journalists and bloggers should really stop focusing on when writing about this story: Apple, and the suicides. Wait, what?
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I suggest you try living for an year in a third world country with say... $100 per month. Once you get over the lack of goodies, you'll find out you'll be happier living a rather simple life with warm hearted people who don't grumble about being poor or mistreated or exploited or whatever. My family's from Tanzania and I've spent a fair bit of time there myself.

Life's not as bad as you think for most. Sure, the $s are not too plentiful, but the basics are dirt cheap (if you shop in the right places), and the conditions are very much livable.

Poverty is an issue in third world countries, but it's an issue for those who earn <$10 per month. Most would be very happy with the equivalent of $100 a month there, because its like earning $1000 a month in the west.

People who have jobs that pay reasonably for the country should be happy that they have jobs. What would these guys do if we didn't buy their stuff? The domestic market is significant in China, but exports are where most of their wealth comes from. China is providing loans to western countries because it creates demand for their products and a lot of the money goes back to them anyways for buying chinese exports. They can also use the loans to build their persuasive powers with their debtors.

*P.S. However, in terms of living standards of its own people, China would probably be better off giving the loans to its own people rather than to the US. I guess it's the political motivations that make them give the loans.

Slave trade was bad, but it wasn't that much worse than what the people had in their homelands. In Tanzania, German/British colonialism helped the country by building their economies and creating opportunities for their inhabitants to lead a better life. When the British left, the country became far worse for the general population. Sure, a select few Africans benefited from the departure of the British colonialists, but the general population suffered as the corrupt new government let the British economic and physical creations deteriorate and decay. Countless jobs were lost and countless people became more poor because they left. Colonialism wasn't all bad for many British colonies. In many, it was actually beneficial overall.

Edited 2010-05-27 01:54 UTC

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