Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Patriotic Purchasing is Silly

The blog post Made in America? at AskMen says that "92% of Americans [want] to know the precise country of origin of all things they consume." This is impossble. It is impossible to know the precise country of origin of a product. Take for example a car. A car may be made in America but all its components may be made in China. Take one component like the engine. The engine may be assembled in China but the components of the engine (spark plugs, pistons, camshaft, etc) may all be made in Turkey. Take one subsubcomponent, e.g. the spark plug, and all the components of this subsubcomponent may be made in Italy, e.g. the plastic on the spark plug may be from Italy and the electrode may be from Italy. To calculate the precise nationality of the product then you have to trace back each component infinitely.

Some people think that buying a product from a poor country hurts the workers there because of sweatshop conditions. But these sweatshops give these poor people jobs. The people who work there choose to work there. Buying a cheap product made using sweatshop labor is then a very effective way of helping the world's poor. Plus it saves me heaps of money!

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