Quality Magazine

Quality Mailbag

January 28, 2006
CORPORATE PROFIT TRUMPS ABUSES

Dear Editor,
I would like to offer my most sincere thanks for daring to print the article, "China's Workers are Critical" (Quality Magazine, October 2005, p. 6). For many years I have been studying these same issues and my attitude toward corporate America has changed dramatically as a result.

CORPORATE PROFIT TRUMPS ABUSES

Dear Editor,
I would like to offer my most sincere thanks for daring to print the article, "China's Workers are Critical" (Quality Magazine, October 2005, p. 6). For many years I have been studying these same issues and my attitude toward corporate America has changed dramatically as a result.

The simple fact that laogai can continue to exist to such an extent, and the subject never receives a single mention from any American news outlet, speaks volumes of the influence that corporations have with regard to average American views toward China.

Obviously, laogai "work for reform" camps are but one of many unimaginable truths about China that corporations and the U.S. government do not wish American citizens to know about, for fear that there may be enough people left in this country who might make a difference in the bottom line through potential boycotts.

I have lost any faith I ever had in corporate America and the leaders of our government for turning a blind eye to the critical issues you mentioned, all in the name of profit.

If not for the threat of retaliation from corporate sponsors, I believe the American public would be very well informed about these issues.

Once again, I thank you for the rare article. It was brief, but truthful.

Bob Masters
CMM Programmer
Columbus Components Group LLC
Columbus, IN

DISAGREE WITH CHINA ASSESSMENT

Dear Editor,
Your condemnation of China's one-child policy ("China's Workers are Critical" Quality Magazine, October 2005, p. 6). is very alarming, considering China is one of very few countries actually trying to do something about their overpopulation issue. Thank you, China, for recognizing there is a world population problem and you are a major contributor.

If you have a religious or political belief related to birth control, please leave it at home where it belongs-it has no place in business.

Even more alarming, you completely failed to mention the intellectual property issues concerning manufactures looking to China for inexpensive parts and labor. By no means am I condoning sweatshops and environmental abuses.

I am concerned with your one-way attitude of U.S. manufacturers taking advantage of poor China. That's not true and we all know it. China also has an obligation, that is if they want our business, to protect our patents and intellectual property.

I am not manufacturing in China at this time. However, I will if the intellectual property issues are resolved soon. Many of my suppliers have parts made in China, as well as Indonesia, Malaysia and India. Each country has its own issues and problems.
Please, when writing and publishing articles, give the complete picture and not a distorted, one-sided view.

Gary O. Robinson
Myron L Co.
Carlsbad, CA

Editor's note: The editorial column has, in multiple instances, reflected the problem of intellectual property problems in China. In the September 2005 editorial it is discussed, as well a mention in June 2005, as well as several columns throughout 2004. The companies cited in these articles, including New Balance, Yamaha and others, have fought costly battles to protect intellect property rights in China.

By no means do I suggest that U.S. manufacturers are "taking advantage of poor China." I think the history and my columns have shown the exact opposite-China taking advantage of U.S. manufacturers.

As for interjecting "religious or political beliefs" into the business world, they certainly do belong in business, especially when they point to violations of universally held moral and ethical truths, based on, at least, the natural law. The point of the editorial column is that there are conditions in China that are reprehensible, some of which Mr. Robinson agrees are innately wrong.

U.S. manufacturers who profit from business in China have a responsibility to its people, based on natural law and "the unalienable rights" we see as "self-evident." Besides, as even the Chinese in 500 B.C. recognized, it makes good business sense to respect workers' cultural, economic and moral values.

The myth of "overpopulation" is just that-a myth propagated by fringe groups. A look at the population of industrialized nations actually reveals a global depopulation trend, even when using data collected by the United Nations, an organization whose United Nations Population Fund stridently argues for "population control."

The United Nations' Population Division 1997 report, "World Population Prospects: The 1996 Revision," states the growth rate of world population peaked at 2.04% per year during 1965-70 and has subsequently fallen to 1.48% per year during 1990-95; the absolute population increase peaked at approximately 87 million per year during 1985-90, and has since been declining at a rate of about 1 million people per year; a fertility rate of 2.1 is required to maintain population stability and the world fertility rate is projected by the UN to fall below this replacement level by at least the year 2013; each year about 1 million fewer babies are born in the world and births in developing countries have recently declined by about 400,000 births each year. Far from worrying about avoiding an overpopulation problem, China, and other countries, including the United States and Europe, need to worry about an "underpopulation" problem.