The Real World “Made in China”

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary I recently saw an article online from the Atlantic Wire. The article stated that although many people complain that too many things are “Made in China,” the reality is that the overall trade with China amounts to only 2.7 percent of overall trade between the United States and the rest of the world. The article states that the United States remains a “closed economy” and that most things Americans buy are made in the U.S.A. In fact, the writer of the article states that 88.5 percent of everything Americans buy is made in the U.S.A. Also, a lot of what what is “Made in China” is actually designed in the United States. So the person who wrote the article concludes that there is no concern about all of the stuff being imported from China.

Really? Really?! What world does this person or persons live in? Do they live in an alternative reality in the fifth dimension? What have they been drinking, eating or smoking to come to this conclusion? Apparently they do not do their shopping at Walmart, Target, K-Mart, or just about any other store that I can think of. Depending on where they go, all they have to do is look at where any and all items found in these stores are made and the chances are high that eight or nine out of ten of them are made in China. Even in small drug stores in small, out-of-the-way rural towns in this country many items for sale are made in China.

It is not a question of whether one likes all of this stuff being made in China or not. This is the reality we the common, ordinary people live with everyday. Even in our hardware stores and auto repair shops many of the items are made in China. In short, this is the reality we know. Oh yes, there is stuff made elsewhere like Indonesia, Vietnam, Mexico, and maybe Germany or the U.S. But we live in a largely MADE IN CHINA world. This is true of the toys we buy our children, the furniture we put in our homes, the TV set(s) that we have on everyday, the MP3 players our children or young people use, the baby strollers we put our babies in, the plastic cups in our bathrooms, and even the computers we take to work or have at home. How about the children’s picture books or the glossy photo journals we have in our homes? Look and the chances are high they are made in China because China has also become the publishing capital for such printed materials.

To put it mildly we are so dependent on stuff made in China we could not think of a world without it. Whether its quality is good, bad or adequate, our whole living and working environment exists the way it does because of all the stuff we have and use are made in China. Our iPads and Smart phones are made in China, and even the computer books are made in China. The DVD computer games and their components our children play with are made (and yes even designed) in China. To find the same consumer items made elsewhere is nearly impossible if not outright impossible. I know as I have tried to find alternatives to “Made in China.”

Never has the world become so dependent on one country for so much that we take for granted. But this is the world that we live in, and eerily enough many of those growing up have never known any other. I can remember a time when this was not true. Maybe in the future it might be different. But the reality today is that we live, breathe, eat, work and yes sleep in a world made in China (and yes, many of our beds are made in China. Sweet dreams!). In my view anyone who denies this is not living in the real world.

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