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20 years

Jon Christian Ryter's Conservative World

June 16, 2001

The Chinese Consumers
Everyone Wants to Sell

By Jon Christian Ryter Copyright 2000 - All Rights Reserved
To distribute this article, please post this web address or hyperlink

I walked into a local unit of a national convenience store chain the other day and noticed, on the counter, a display of very attractive butane cigarette lighters. I picked one up. It was not one of those cheap plastic Bic™ lighters that everyone thinks are actually made in the United States.
The lighters were a polished aluminum alloy. The were stylish. Handsome. A cigarette lighter that stylish, I realized, would cost at least $25 or $30 dollars in any gift store.

And, like any smoker contemplating buying, I flicked it.

A rich, steady flame erupted.

I cradled it in my hand. It felt good.

I looked at the price tag. It felt good, too—six bucks.

What's the catch? I wondered.

When I looked at the bottom of the lighter, I knew. Made in China.

I put the lighter back in the case. In my pocket was my trusty Zippo.
Brass. Solid brass, in fact. On the bottom of it were the words: "Bradford,
PA. Made in USA." I didn't need another cigarette lighter. Especially one
made in China.

The sales clerk (if you can call employees of 7-Eleven "sales" anything), eager to double the size of the sale by adding a shiny new cigarette lighter to the two packs of cigarettes I was buying, said: "Nice looking, ain't they? They just came in today. We've already sold one display. I bought the first one. They're refillable," he added, almost as an afterthought.

"I didn't realize that 7-Eleven was financing China's nuclear weapons buildup," I said.

I got a puzzled look from the clerk . I could see the bewilderment flash through his eyes. After all, he worked for them, and he didn't seem to be aware that his employer was helping China finance their nuclear weapons
program. "I didn't know that," he said slowly. "Was it in the papers...Are you sure?"

I paid for my cigarettes—made in America—as I nodded to the display case. "They're selling Chinese consumer products," I replied.

"Only because they're cheap," he came back, almost defensively. "And, besides, I don't buy this stuff. It comes in the back door. I'm told to put it out, and people just come in and buy it. But, what's that got to do with
helping China build up its nuclear weapons arsenal?"

He didn't get it.

Frankly, neither does most of America.

Congress certainly doesn't.

But then, that doesn't really surprise me. Congress never has been too bright. They either actually believe its about trade, or they're convinced the American people are stupid enough to be sucked in by their rhetoric when they talk out of the side of their mouth and say it is. In either event, we're in trouble—deep trouble.

Our Chinese Trading Partners

It's obvious by watching the transnationalist industrialists play "kissy-butt" with the People's Republic of China that some of these wealthy fat cats actually believe that China, to get major trading concessions not only with the United States (although primarily with the United States since over 50% of all Chinese consumer product exports end up here) but with our "trading partners" in Europe and Asia, will open their markets to imports from the industrialized nations. In reality, China has no consumer market to offer.

China keeps holding out the big "carrot." The United States and the other industrialized nations which have reached 99.9999% product saturation on their home turf (and have declining population rates due to abortion-on-demand which only serves to compound the dilemma) need to reach new markets which have product saturation levels of 10% or less. America keeps chasing the proffered carrot, not realizing that it is tied to a stick that is deliberately kept just out of reach. China and the other overly populated emerging nations with burgeoning levels of human "capital," are ideal targets for the consumer products of America since few have any of the luxury items that we view as critical necessities. China, which is not only the most populated nation in the world, but is one of the least saturated with consumer products. It would be an ideal market if the Chinese people had any discretionary income with which to buy. Unfortunately, they don't.

But, what about the Chinese peasants working in the factories that are manufacturing all of the nice, shiny, cheap, baubles and trinkets being sold in the United States? Don't they have jobs? Don't they have incomes with which to buy American consumer products? One would think so. In a free enterprise economy that would be the case.

But, we keep forgetting that China is not a free enterprise economy. That would be...uh...you now...capitalistic.

In a pure socialistic State—and China is probably more socialistic than any other State, that is not the case. Under socialism you work for your dinner. No work. No dinner. China, my friend, ain't America.

The Chinese Labor Pool

In America, you can work wherever you want, and do whatever you want. It doesn't work that way in China. The Chinese labor pool is comprised of three distinct tiers. The government worker (the bureaucrat in the purest sense); the paid factory worker (who earns a living wage for his or her labor); and the slave laborer (who receives two meals a day if he or she meets their production quotas; and none, if they don't). China's internal "market economy" is largely supported by the first two. Now, China's "export" economy is increasingly being supported by the third which, a decade ago, produced nothing but shoddy, inferior products for consumption by the Chinese people.

While many of the "Made in China" consumer products you are now finding on store shelves all across America were made by factory workers who receive "slave wages," they are nevertheless paid something for their labor. Increasingly, the products being sold in America were manufactured in prison factories by inmates who receive no compensation whatsoever for their labor. While the mainstream media in the United States has reported about the rise of capitalist-style economic policies in the PRC that have lifted millions of Chinese workers out of poverty, that is only half the story—the part designed to influence the thinking of Americans who are being sold a "bill of goods" that China is rapidly becoming a free market economy (and therefore, less of a military threat to the United States).

The Prison Factories

Recently a letter, accompanied by a human rights was smuggled out of China from the Special Electrical Machinery Factory at Hunan Province #1 Prison by Zhang Shanguang to his wife, Hou Xuezhu. The prison is located on a small nameless island just off the coast by Yuanjiang some 600 miles west of Shanghai. In the letter, Zhang wrote: "Though I am weak, they are trying to force me to work. I refuse. I don't know what they will do next..." The rationing, Zhang complained, gets smaller and smaller because he is not producing. Zhang complained that workers are forced to work 16-hour shifts under conditions reminiscent of the ghetto factories inside the Nazi concentration camps in central Europe during World War II.

Of course, in Hunan Province #1, the object is not to exterminate the prisoners, only maximize their output. There is now such a demand for cheap Chinese products in America, that the PRC cannot keep up with the orders.

To create an "incentive" for the prison workers, an "alternative to work" was devised. Nonworking prisoners are sometimes hung by their hands from basketball hoops in mosquito-infested cells where the bloodsucking insects are allowed to feast on them for as much as 10 hours at a time. Zhang complained to his wife in the smuggled letter that he was taken to a workshop where, with his hands cuffed over his head, he was hung in such a way that his feet barely touched the floor. This, for being too sick to work. Zhang was, of course, the "incentive" to the other workers, in the work stalls next to them, to increase their pace and their output.

When production deadlines loomed, the workload demand increased. Many times times the inmates are forced to work throughout the night without sleep to meet their deadlines. It was common, Zhang complained to his wife in the smuggled letter, to see inmates spitting blood and fainting from exhaustion. The New York based Human Rights in China group reported that "...after laboring for long hours under bright lights, some inmates sustained serious retinal injuries that have affected their vision. But the guards accuse them of faking, and force them to work until they go completely blind."

Tuberculosis and hepatitis are widespread. Medical care is limited. Inmates often die from their illnesses.

The Prisoners

In every nation in the world, criminals sentenced to prison are expected to perform labor within the prison community in order to make the prison system self-supporting. Forcing prisoners to perform labor is not considered a human rights violation. But, when we, as Americans think about prison populations, we tend to think of those who are incarcerated as men and women who have committed violence on others, or who have preyed on society, stealing the sweat equity of those who worked hard to provide for their families. If they have to suffer a little while they are in prison, so much the better since they caused others to suffer, and in some cases, to die. But in the Chinese penal system over half of the population is comprised of people who have committed no crime other than to protest against the totalitarian form of government they endured, or protest against human rights abuses, or for free elections—or that they are not allowed to have more than one child. You know, the things we complain every day on the way to or from work. An increasing number of these prisoners are religious dissidents whose only crime was wanting to peacefully worship God.

Many of those who protested in Tiananmen Square in 1989 are now making those shiny new cigarette lighters you are finding on the counter at the local convenience store, or those bamboo or wicker baskets you are finding at the local discount department store or local import/export outlet.

Boycott All "Made in China" Goods

This alone is reason enough to boycott any and all goods you find that were made in China. This is reason enough for you, when you decline to buy these goods, to protest to that store's management that if you continue to see "Made in China" goods, that you and your neighbors will begin boycotting their stores, and will picket until every "Made in China" product is sent back to Beijing.

In addition to complaining to the local store management, take the time to write letters, send emails, and invest a few dollars to call the corporate offices of these retail outlets and tell them the same thing. And, if you are ignored, take the initiative and get your friends together and do it. I promise you, if you do it, the American people will love you. The liberals won't—but the "real" American people, the factory workers, will.

And, there is another reason—an even more important reason—for boycotting all goods made in China.

China is Using Your Money To Build A Nuclear Arsenal

The long and the short of it is that the People's Republic of China is using the trade surpluses they are creating to amass a nuclear arsenal second to none in the world. Whenever you buy any product that was made in China, you are contributing to the "Destroy America Nuclear Arsenal Fund" in China. All those nickels, dimes, quarters, and American dollars, go directly to the People's Liberation Army [PLA] to use to procure nuclear weapons from the "former" Soviet Union. They are buying nuclear missiles and nuclear missile technology like some women buy shoes. Using dollars provided by the American consumer's passion for cheap goods, China bought 24 supersonic SSN-22 anti-ship missiles from the Soviets (after buying several Sovremenny-class destroyers that can now destroy an Indianapolis-class aircraft carrier with one shot. Add to that four new Russian Kilo nuclear submarines, and you have a lot of consumer products, greedily purchased by Americans who can't resist a cheap bargain, and who don't realize they are financing their own destruction.

The American consumer-financed nuclear missiles that are not aimed at American military bases in Asia are pointed directly at the heartland of the United States.

Today, the PLA virtually owns the Panama Canal Zone. A Chinese submarine base now exists on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal. The PLA just negotiated for a sub base in Cuba—90 miles off the coast of Florida. The submarines which will be stationed both in the Canal Zone and in Cuba will be nuclear subs armed with nuclear missiles. Every city on both the East and West Coasts of the United States are now vulnerable to a nuclear strike from China.

There might be a few towns in Minnesota that are out of range of these missiles, but almost all of America's cities and town are now exposed to the threat of nuclear attack from submarine launched guided missiles. The rest of the nation is exposed to the threat from China's ICBMs thanks to Hughes Electronics and Loral Space Systems which provided the PLA with the technology it needed to perfect the guidance systems on China's March 3B rockets because Chinese rockets gave them a "cheap launch" to put up telecommunications satellites. (Bernie Schwartz, the CEO of Loral, you will recall was the biggest single contributor to Bill Clinton. Michael Armstrong, the CEO of Hughes Electronics, another Clinton contributor, had a special interest in helping perfect the guidance system of the March 3B rocket since, perhaps not even known to Schwartz at the time [in 1996] sold the PLA a pair of $650 million spy satellites—the same type that the NSA uses for Echelon.)

While America was shocked to learn that American corporations sold this sensitive data to our archenemy and thought both Schwartz and Armstrong should have been arrested for treason and hauled off to Hunan Prison #1 to serve their time turning out widgets for the American consumer market, few Americans realized that the money used by PLA General Liu Hauqing to purchase these systems came directly from the pockets of the American consumer.

We Are Financing Our Own Destruction

The American consumer, with a penchant for cheap goods, is not only driving jobs out of America by buying the trash manufactured by China, we are also financing our own destruction. Tragically, the transnational industrialists who see China's human capital as a consumer-rich nation that will provide them untold wealth in the future, haven't really gotten the message, and because greed clouds their judgment, they never will. China will not open its doors to American products. Not tomorrow. Not next year. Not in the next decade. It is a myth that is causing this nation great harm.

China is exploiting America for one reason. It needs money. Lots of money.

China is determined to become the uncontested military super-super power within the next decade. To achieve this objective, it must produce, and sell, more consumer goods to the only nation in the world that can afford to buy whatever it turns out. And, thus far, we have willingly obliged to finance the nuclear destruction of the United States of America.

Whether or not China succeeds is not up to the Congressmen and Senators who kowtow to the whims of the transnational industrialists and bankers who fill their campaign war chests, it is entirely up to you. If you do not buy the products the retail giants of America import, they will stop importing them. If you boycott those retailers, they will be forced to pull those goods from their shelves.

During the past election, Al Gore made a major pretense out of wanting the voices of America to be heard. It's about time we let everyone in Washington, and from all pinnacles on high hear those voices—screaming in unison. Boycott China. Because in overall scheme of things, the only way to keep Chinese nuclear missiles out of America is to keep Chinese consumer products out of America.

Make your voice heard. The next step is up to you.

Once again, you have my two cents worth on this subject.

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Just Say No
Copyright 2009 Jon Christian Ryter.
All rights reserved