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Let's make a list of all the things *not* made in China


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Let's make a list of all the things *not* made in China
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ghoti
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2008-05-26, 19:14

I just read a book that was printed in China. And not a Chinese book, but a book about perception and design written in English by an American and published by Elsevier/Morgan Kaufmann.

So now I want to start making a list of the few remaining things that are not made in China yet. And then let's discuss how an economy is supposed to survive that does not actually make anything anymore, but thinks it can survive and grow based on the shaky concept of intellectual property.
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Swox
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2008-05-26, 19:37

Here's the list of my favorite Canadian manufacturers:

Larrivee Guitars - beautiful acoustic guitars, (I think they're electrics are made in the USA).

Godin Guitars - I love my LGX electric , made in Canada too!

Tilley Endurables - awesomely bland clothing. The washing instructions on my pants read "Give 'em hell!". As far as I know, everything they sell is made in Canada (my pants are, at least).

Paradigm - amazing speakers at low prices, made in Mississauga, ON.

Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) - Most of their stuff is made in Canada, and prices are pretty reasonable.

That's all I can think of off hand. Almost everything major purchase I've made in the past year has been made in Canada - not bad .

Do not be oppressed by the forces of ignorance and delusion! But rise up now with resolve and courage! Entranced by ignorance, from beginningless time until now, You have had more than enough time to sleep. So do not slumber any longer, but strive after virtue with body, speech, and mind!
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psmith2.0
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2008-05-26, 20:12

This thread. As far as I know.
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ghoti
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2008-05-26, 20:16

Yes, but it's also not a thing. I'm talking about physical goods.
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PKIDelirium
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2008-05-26, 20:32

Canon cameras - Japan.
Lenovo computers - Japan.
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PB PM
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2008-05-26, 20:43

Quote:
Originally Posted by PKIDelirium View Post
Canon cameras - Japan.
Lenovo computers - Japan.
Yeah, but most of the parts are made in China, not sure that counts.
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Bryson
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2008-05-26, 20:43

Perhaps this thread would be better if people would expand on why they think it matters?
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atomicbartbeans
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2008-05-26, 21:08

Perhaps because by buying goods manufactured in China, you are also supporting those responsible for all this.

Nobody can really avoid it these days (I'm as guilty as anyone else) - just sayin'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
This thread. As far as I know.
Turn your keyboard upside down and have a look.

You ask me for a hamburger.

Last edited by atomicbartbeans : 2008-05-26 at 21:18.
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Swox
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2008-05-26, 22:11

I don't think that the major problem is supporting a corrupt government with an abysmal human rights record, though that is a consideration. From what I understand, very little of the money made from factories in China stays there. The mass majority of the profits go back to the countries where the companies who outsource their manufacturing are based.

The major problem, in my mind, is the brutal exploitation of the Chinese people, and the wanton destruction of their environment. What's happened there as the result of capitalization has been hideous. Not that this is necessarily inherent to the process, but the effects are undeniable there.

Just my $0.02.

I like buying stuff made in Canada because I'm a bit of a patriot, and because companies have to follow much stricter labour and environmental standards here (though both of those bars could still be raised a couple of notches, at least).

Do not be oppressed by the forces of ignorance and delusion! But rise up now with resolve and courage! Entranced by ignorance, from beginningless time until now, You have had more than enough time to sleep. So do not slumber any longer, but strive after virtue with body, speech, and mind!
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turtle
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2008-05-26, 22:18

Quote:
Originally Posted by PKIDelirium View Post
Canon cameras - Japan.
Lenovo computers - Japan.
I thought Lenovo was a Chinese company?
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apple007
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2008-05-26, 22:37

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swox View Post
... The major problem, in my mind, is the brutal exploitation of the Chinese people, and the wanton destruction of their environment. What's happened there as the result of capitalization has been hideous. Not that this is necessarily inherent to the process, but the effects are undeniable there.
That's a highly subjective opinion. I don't deny Chinese workers are often exploited, but millions of Chinese aren't suddenly buying their first cars and splurging on gold jewelry, etc., etc., with Monopoly money. As it has everywhere else on Earth -- fact, not opinion -- capitalism has raised the Chinese standard of living, at least as far as material goods are concerned.
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Fahrenheit
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2008-05-26, 22:44

More than 1 baby.
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apple007
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2008-05-26, 22:49

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farenheit View Post
More than 1 baby.
... unless the first one was tragically killed in, say, an earthquake, in which case the generous leaders have agreed to waive the one-child rule.
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Souflay123
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2008-05-26, 22:51

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farenheit View Post
More than 1 baby.
or if you can bribe your way out of the country
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ghoti
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2008-05-26, 23:02

This wasn't meant to be a China-bashing thread, but about something else. When all manufacturing is outsourced, where does the value come from? All these supposed innovations are worth nothing if a largely similar product can be made for less money - people will immediately buy that. And where will those highly paid design jobs then go?

And what about disruptions in supply? If nothing is made in the West anymore, and China decides to stop all exports (or there's another major earthquake), then what? How much more can we outsource before this economy falls apart?
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Moogs
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2008-05-26, 23:08

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
Yeah, but most of the parts are made in China, not sure that counts.
I'm not sure that's true. It depends on the camera. The little consumer jobs, yes. The more expensive DSLRs, I'm willing to bet most of the parts are Japanese or Taiwanese (doesn't count).

...into the light of a dark black night.
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SKMDC
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2008-05-26, 23:14

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swox View Post
The major problem, in my mind, is the brutal exploitation of the Chinese people, and the wanton destruction of their environment. What's happened there as the result of capitalization has been hideous. Not that this is necessarily inherent to the process, but the effects are undeniable there.
Gosh we could have used your insight here in America 100 years or so ago. You could have saved us from the hell hole we now find ourselves in.
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apple007
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2008-05-26, 23:16

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghoti View Post
This wasn't meant to be a China-bashing thread, but about something else. When all manufacturing is outsourced, where does the value come from? All these supposed innovations are worth nothing if a largely similar product can be made for less money - people will immediately buy that. And where will those highly paid design jobs then go?

And what about disruptions in supply? If nothing is made in the West anymore, and China decides to stop all exports (or there's another major earthquake), then what? How much more can we outsource before this economy falls apart?
I suspect we'll be learning the answer to that last question soon enough. The whole "service economy" idea seemed swell until Gore invented the internet and, in the process, allowed an ever-increasing number of service jobs to be off-shored. (Hmm ... $2,000 for a U.S. firm to design my web site? No, thanks. How about $200 to that nice man in Guyana (or India, or wherever).)

The U.S. does still lead the way in a lot of areas of innovation, but the fact most of those cutting-edge products get built overseas is sad, indeed. I've never worried too much about where things were made -- I've never thought Americans were somehow entitled to better jobs, or better-paying jobs, than people elsewhere -- but as 'ghoti' just said, disruptions in supply could be a real killer.
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JohnnyTheA
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2008-05-26, 23:26

The vast majority of Cars and Trucks are NOT made in China nor are the parts.

The vast majority of computer software is NOT made (or coded) in China (although they like to copy it for free).

The vast majority of all oil and petroleum products are made from crude oil that Doesn't come from China.

Most food does not come from China.

China Makes MOSTLY plastic junk you get in target or Walmart. They are starting to manufacture (not really design) computers and electronics but I don't think they make as much as Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Latin America, etc...

China IS growing like crazy though. I think the real question of your post should be:

What things are still made in North America or Europe?

China is only one of many 3rd world countries that want to participate in capitalism like the rest. The problem with China is that they have a very strong and authoritarian central government which is unlike Europe and North America had during their boom times. Any kind of union movement or labor unrest can be quashed by the police.

As far how an economy can exist on IP only... I don't know at all.. I don't think it has ever been tried so this is the first time. Maybe it will work out.

JTA
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atomicbartbeans
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2008-05-26, 23:43

What if the business of other things was like intellectual property business?

"The beer in this case is for the licensee's personal use only. Party licenses can be purchased separately for an additional fee."

"Congratulations on the purchase of your new car! Before use, you must first activate the vehicle - the 19-digit activation code can be found on the dealer's bill of sale. Unauthorized activation circumvention, or resale of vehicle without dealer consent, is prohibited and punishable under the Motor Vehicle addendum to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act."

You ask me for a hamburger.
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ghoti
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2008-05-26, 23:50

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyTheA View Post
The vast majority of Cars and Trucks are NOT made in China nor are the parts.
Okay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyTheA View Post
The vast majority of computer software is NOT made (or coded) in China (although they like to copy it for free).
As I said, I'm interested in physical goods, not intellectual property.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyTheA View Post
The vast majority of all oil and petroleum products are made from crude oil that Doesn't come from China.
Not the oil, but the stuff that's made from it (plastic toys/goods/parts).

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyTheA View Post
Most food does not come from China.
But more and more. Also, toothpaste.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyTheA View Post
China Makes MOSTLY plastic junk you get in target or Walmart.
Wrong. Most goods (other than textiles) come from China. The only thing I've seen so far from India and Bangladesh (and the odd South American country) were clothes. Also, the impulse for starting this thread came from a book printed in China.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyTheA View Post
As far how an economy can exist on IP only... I don't know at all.. I don't think it has ever been tried so this is the first time. Maybe it will work out.
And maybe it won't, that's my question. I doubt that the intellectual property is worth much. As you say yourself, it can be easily copied. For every new product, there are dozens if not hundreds of knock-offs. It's only a matter of time until the people making those will start figuring out a few innovative ideas of their own and sell their own products without the need for a "Designed in California" sticker.
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Robo
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2008-05-26, 23:57

Quote:
Originally Posted by atomicbartbeans View Post
What if the business of other things was like intellectual property business?

"The beer in this case is for the licensee's personal use only. Party licenses can be purchased separately for an additional fee."
Well, how do you think sodas at restaurants with free refills work? You're not paying two bucks for that cup - you're effectively buying a license to drink as much soda as you want, using that cup and on those premises, for a period of time (until you leave, until they close, for the next two hours, etc.). That's why buying one soda and sharing it with everyone in your family is sort of frowned upon - the policy, explicitly stated or not, is that each drink is a "license" for one person. That's why it's also frowned upon for a family to come into a restaurant with a dozen gallon containers of ice cream and fill them all up with soda from the fountains - even if they do purchase a drink "with free refills," and even if they technically fill that cup up again and again and empty it into each of the gallon containers. (This might all sound ridiculous, but it's not - I've seen people do pretty much just that, only without paying for any drink at all first. And I, the paying customer, had to wait behind their crowd at the fountain. )

It's also interesting how you mention intellectual property, because that's the United States' biggest export - entertainment.

Unfortunately, intellectual property has no intrinsic value - it's simply worth whatever someone is willing to pay. And if people would rather copy it and steal it than pay for it, it's worthless.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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Brad
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2008-05-27, 00:00

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghoti View Post
Also, the impulse for starting this thread came from a book printed in China.
FWIW, none of the books made by the company at which I work are printed in China.
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Robo
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2008-05-27, 00:08

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
FWIW, none of the books made by the company at which I work are printed in China.
And what company would that be?

Scholastic impressed me a lot with how they handled the massive Harry Potter print runs, as well. When printing millions of books, one might think it would be more cost-effective than ever to ship them all en masse from overseas, but Scholastic's edition of the most recent book, at least, was printed in Indiana. (Trivia: At Rowling's request, the books were also produced with great environmental care, with six new types of paper being invented for the book.)

But at the same time, my (signed!) copy of Brian Selznick's excellent The Invention of Hugo Cabret, also from Scholastic, was printed in Singapore. So who knows. Maybe it was just the ever-so-valuable contents of the former (ZOMG Harry *mumble mumble* and Snape *mumble mumble* in the end!) that Scholastic didn't trust the Chinese with.

I'd love to ensure that my books will be printed with environmental care...in the same country where they'll be sold...but I'd also like to keep the film rights...and the digital rights...and the book rights...and...

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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Swox
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2008-05-27, 00:43

Quote:
Originally Posted by SKMDC View Post
Gosh we could have used your insight here in America 100 years or so ago. You could have saved us from the hell hole we now find ourselves in.
I don't follow you... is that sarcasm, or am I missing something?
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turbulentfurball
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2008-05-27, 02:57

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboman View Post
Unfortunately, intellectual property has no intrinsic value - it's simply worth whatever someone is willing to pay.
Isn't that true for everything, both tangible and intangible? We place value in precious metals and gems because society deemed it so. Sure, emeralds look pretty and as a result people are willing to pay a pretty penny for them, but what are they actually *worth*? This could become very philosophical.
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Mugge
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2008-05-27, 03:08

Apple007 pretty much pointed out my views on the Chinese economy. And service economy for that matter. Swox does have a point, but going from commie dictatorship to capitalistic democracy takes time. Besides, in the old days America wasn't as orderly as it is today. Just think of the old wild west.
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Eugene
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2008-05-27, 04:18

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mugge View Post
Apple007 pretty much pointed out my views on the Chinese economy. And service economy for that matter. Swox does have a point, but going from commie dictatorship to capitalistic democracy takes time. Besides, in the old days America wasn't as orderly as it is today. Just think of the old wild west.
The problem is the western world is extremely misguided when it comes to promoting its ideals.

1) Sensationalist journalism promotes the attitudes present in this very forum.
2) Mainland Chinese are very patriotic.

^ This is a recipe for disaster. Not only are the people in China going to be incensed by the air of western superiority, the government is going to feel even more justified in its censorship practices. Ironically they are letting CNN and other news outlets through these days because of that previous tidbit. They don't mind when news from the west rallies the people together against it.
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Mugge
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2008-05-27, 04:59

Agreed. The tone of the debate could be more friendly.

I still believe it's right to criticise China on certain issues. Though, it can be difficult critiquing China, for example about human rights, without getting an angry response. But I suppose the answer in part lies in not blaming China for ones own dismal economic performance. The Chinese would probably be more willing to listen if they didn't have to hear the Americans bitching about loosing their jobs to China.

Some random points:
  • China does have problems with some of it's export products, and that is a valid point of criticism.
  • America's protectionist attitude to free trade is both hypocritical and most likely a major cause of it's current lack of competitiveness.
  • Globalisation has made it almost impossible to cut yourself off from countries like China.
  • Getting cheap products from China saves you money and let's you put your labour resources to work on other things. Those other things should mainly be export oriented, so that you have money for all those nice Chinese consumer goods.
  • Book recommendation: Martin Wolf - Why globalisation works
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Robo
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2008-05-27, 07:00

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbulentfurball View Post
Isn't that true for everything, both tangible and intangible? We place value in precious metals and gems because society deemed it so. Sure, emeralds look pretty and as a result people are willing to pay a pretty penny for them, but what are they actually *worth*? This could become very philosophical.
Good point. I guess what I meant is that intellectual property has no set intrinsic value. Yes, gold is woth whatever price the market puts on it, but the point is that if you had a bar of solid gold (or a mine where gold is found), you can reasonably expect to get some money for it. A book manuscript or film screenplay, not so much. A book manuscript more akin to a baseball player's rookie card or a photograph of a celebrity: it's only worth the paper it is printed on until something makes it more valuable (the athlete breaks all the records, the starlet gets hit by a bus, or the book is picked up for publication).

Intellectual property has no intrinsic value, in other words. It can't be used to make things, like iron or lumber. It can't be used as a food source. Technically, the value of all things bought and sold is decided by those buying and selling it, but even if nobody thought gold was pretty, it could still be used as a resource.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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