Where Is Santa's Workshop?
Ho-Ho-Ho, shouts Corporate America -- 'tis the season to Buy-Buy-Buy!
Yet, with this same Corporate America's continuous downsizing, off-shoring, and Wal-Martization of our middle-class jobs, most Americans find themselves a little short this holiday season. While these Ho-Ho-Hoers want you to buy stuff from them -- they have no interest in returning favor by manufacturing any of their stuff here in the US to provide some good-paying, middle-class, manufacturing jobs for our people.
Take Christmas stuff. Santa's workshop is not up at the North Pole filled with cheerful elves, and it certainly isn't in America's depleted industrial areas. Santa's workshop has moved to China. Hundreds of thousands of impoverished, poorly-paid migrants from China's vast rural areas are squeezed into thousands of unregulated, hellish sweatshops to produce Merry Christmas commercialism for us.
For example, three-fourths of the artificial Christmas trees sold in America are from these very un-merry factories. About the same percentage of ornaments, lights, and wreaths in our homes also come from there. Seventy-one percent of the toys sold in the U.S. are from there as well. The clothing, computers, cameras, and other gifts you'll buy -- mostly Made in China.
The Wal-Marts, Nikes, Dells, and other profiteers, of course, say that they have no choice but to abandon America and buy low-wage Chinese goods in order to "stay competitive." They lie. For example, a top-of-the-line artificial Christmas tree costs the owner of a Chinese factory only about $11 to make, with the labor cost only a pittance of that -- under a buck. That same tree is sold wholesale for $120 to US retailers, who then charge you about $250 for it.
Hello. The labor cost is an inconsequential fraction of the consumer price. They could pay wages 10 times as high and have no impact on the price. That's not being competitive, it's being exploitative.