09 August 2010

Human Toll for "Made In China" Price

Productivity tops safety laws

Tens of thousands of Chinese workers are killed in workplace accidents each year because the communist nation relies on local authorities to enforce national safety guidelines, which companies and local governments routinely ignore for the sake of production.

"They've been very casual toward life," said Richard Cooper, an international economics professor at Harvard University, noting that Chinese workers can always be replaced. "To [the businesses], life is cheap."

For instance, 5,000 of China's 5 million coal miners are killed on the job each year, a death rate of one in 1,000 on average. By comparison, an average of nine of the 83,000 miners in the U.S. die each year, a death rate of one in 10,000.

Chinese construction sites and factories also have high numbers of fatal accidents, such as the explosion in Nanjing last week that killed at least 13 workers.

As China prepares to overtake the United States as the world's top manufacturer, the safety conditions of its 600 million-strong work force could give a short-term competitive edge over the U.S. and other developed economies.

"It's a labor cost borne by the workers," said Steven Lewis, a research fellow at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.

Mr. Lewis noted, though, that the competitive advantage is slight, given China's low wages.

04 August 2010

4) Mohammedism: The Future

Taken from Hilaire Belloc's "The Great and Enduring Heresy of Mohammed," written in 1936

.  .Today we are accustomed to think of the Mohammedan world as something backward and stagnant, in all material affairs at least. But not so very long ago, less than a hundred years before the Declaration of Independence, the Mohammedan Government centred at Constantinople had better artillery and better army equipment of every kind than had we Christians in the West. Vienna, as we saw, was almost taken and only saved by the Christian army under the command of the King of Poland on a date that ought to be among the most famous in history – September 11th, 1683.

Young militia fighter advances with RPG.
Oruzgan District, AF.
by Jack Gruber
The Mohammedan power began to break down on the material side. The Mohammedans lost the power of competing successfully in the making of those instruments whereby is assured; armament, methods of communication and all the rest of it. Their artillery became much worse than ours. While our use of the sea vastly increased, theirs sank away till they had no first-class ships with which to fight naval battles. When that vast revolution in human affairs introduced by the invention of modern machinery began in England and spread slowly throughout Europe, the Mohammedan world proved itself quite incapable of taking advantage thereof.

To what was due this collapse? There was no moral disintegration from within, there was no intellectual breakdown. But of every dozen Mohammedans in the world today, eleven are actually or virtually subjects of an Occidental power. It would seem as though the great duel was now decided.