Chinese corner-cutting in the new global world

From James Palmer at Aeon:

In our apartment in central Beijing, we fight a daily rearguard action against entropy. The mirror on my wardrobe came off its hinges six months ago and is now propped up against the wall, one of many furnishing casualties. Each of our light fittings takes a different bulb, and a quarter of them are permanently broken. In the bedroom, the ceiling-high air-conditioning unit runs its moisture through a hole knocked in the wall, stuffed with an old cloth to avoid leakage, while the balcony door, its sealant rotted, has a towel handy to block the rain when it pours through. On the steps outside our door, I duck my head every day to avoid the thick tangle of hanging wires that brings power and the internet; when the wind is up, connections slow as cables swing.

The apartment is five years old. By Chinese standards, it’s far better than the average. Our toilet works, while in many of my friends’ houses, flushing the loo is a hydraulic operation akin to controlling the Nile floods. The sockets do not flash blue sparks when plugged in, and all but two work. None of the lightbulbs have ever exploded; and the mirror merely broke away, rather than falling spontaneously from the frame. The shower is not placed next to the apartment’s central wiring and protected by nothing more than rotting drywall. More.

Reality check: Let me say it again: globalization does not mean that North American standards will become general. If they did, we should all rejoice. In reality, standards will be averaged, whether on necessities of life, consumer goods, or civil liberties. If you stand to benefit, vote for globalization, If you don’t, hold out for a better offer.

Note: It’s hard to image but in the mid-nineteenth century, Timothy Eaton (1834-1907) revolutionized Canadian retailing with his slogan: Goods satisfactory or money refunded.

His store is now history but one could keep the flame alive. First, let’s all reduce our consumption of Twit rhetoric about pan-culturalism and globalization.

See also: First China, now Iran, for science fraud Of course, the Iranian problem is slightly different from the one we discussed with China because the papers bought in Iran may be better than the ones the students would have written. It’s the students that are fakes, not necessarily the data.

Survey results: Political correctness makes people stupid: Part II Maclean’s

  • Poverty – it’s the new Tang!

  • xavier

    Truth is subservient to the ideology. Tbus science doesn’t describe reality but serves the nomenklatura of the moment

  • Norman_In_New_York

    I won’t buy any imported Chinese food products.

    • The Deplorable Rosenmops

      Sometimes it is hard to know when something contains ingredients imported from China.

      • ntt1

        exactly and most do.

  • The Deplorable Rosenmops

    I’ve always said that globalization won’t fix the 3rd world. It wlil cause the entire world to become 3rd world. There are a lot more of them than us.

  • caliroxanne

    And to think, China is now entering the civil aircraft manufacturing business to compete with Boeing and Airbus. As if Muslim terrorists weren’t bad enough, now we have to worry about Chinese planes, too. Also, Volvo is now making its cars in China.

    • canminuteman

      It’ll be interesting to see what happens to Volvos business. Part of the cache of owning a Volvo is having a car built by white people. What’s the point of owning a Volvo (or BMW or whatever) if it’s made in China.

      • caliroxanne

        Someone who knows the auto industry told me that many of the German cars are actually built by Turks since I guess it’s less expensive than employing Germans. Also, a large chunk of VW is owned by Qatar, and multiple Arab countries own a large part of Mercedes .

  • canminuteman

    I can’t imagine what it must be like to live in a country where absolutely everything is made in China and everyone you do business with is Chinese. It’s not surprising that just about anyone who can leave does leave.

  • I remember people telling me that buying more stuff from cheap-@$$ China would democratise it.


    • ntt1

      It has become a model fascistic state.

      • It has become a case of acceptably shoddy.

        • Slickfoot The Deplorable

          Chinese quality control is abysmal; two parts with the same stock number aren’t even the same weight.

          • Melamine was put in milk products for children because it mimicked protein when tested.

  • ntt1

    We are already enjoying third world quality when after market auto parts are installed in our cars,(“new” alternator/regulator every two years on my 10 year old ford truck) ,when a huge proportion of our pets are contracting cancer ,when our prescriptions are not working.
    All due to zero quality assurance on materials and massive outsourcing to chinese suppliers.
    There are quality problems with premixes, admixtures and integral parts in ALL “manufactured in America” consumer goods.