Tuesday, May 08, 2007

No China Diet: Overcoming Objections

Here's a list of objections to the No China Diet as well as some (mostly) excerpted responses:

Won't a boycott hurt Chinese people?

On the face of it, it would appear that boycotting Chinese products would only hurt the ordinary Chinese worker. However, if you look more closely, you will see that it is the Chinese government that benefits most from increased exports. Take Walmart, for example. There is a notional minimum wage in China of around 30 cents an hour, which is barely enough to subsist on. However Walmart only pays around 13 cents an hour. The Chinese government deliberately turns a blind eye to such low wages. Money is power, and the last thing the Chinese government wants is an empowered workforce; hence the vicious repression of independent trade unions.

It follows that while companies like Walmart pay taxes to the Chinese government, the ordinary Chinese people do not receive any of the benefit. The Chinese government operates a slave-wage economy, and calls it economic growth!

excerpted from Buy Hard

Won't this hurt the move toward democracy?

Optimistic reports of slow but steady progress towards democratic governance in China are, in the main, based on self-serving analysis or outright wishful thinking. One "proof" usually offered of China's democratization is the decision in 2002 by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to include businessmen into its ranks. What that has accomplished ccording to a New York Times report on the 16th Party Congress in Beijing by Joseph Kahn has been "to transform the world's last major left-wing dictatorship into the world's last major right-wing dictatorship."1 Furthermore, what many reports failed to point out was that nearly all the leading financial, business and industrial figures in China were invariably the close relatives, sons, daughters, nephews, wives, etc., of China's highest-ranking Communist Party officials.

excerpted from Boycott Made in China

Doesn't the US do far more egregious things?

In the end, it probably comes down to a question of degree, and China's human rights record is certainly an extreme one. No country in the world could be indicted with such a wide variety of horrendous and bizarre human rights abuses as China.

excerpted from Boycott Made in China

How the hell are you going to do this? Isn't everything Made in China?

I'm going to make a list of the things that we buy: groceries, clothes, drugstore items (shampoo, cleanser, makeup), gifts (for ourselves and others), gas. And then I'm going to figure out alternatives to Made in China.

excerpted from my own brain

Isn't this some sort of further deprivation (other than the vegetarianism) that leads to an entire mentality of deprivation rather than abundance? Aren't you screwing ourselves out of the good life? You are affluent and first world, after all, bring on the bounty!


I think that with enough careful shopping and research, this will not be about deprivation, but about choice, and human, animal, and environmental rights.

also excerpted from my own brain

If you have other questions, you can post them in comments, and I'll try to find an answer for you.