Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Chinese are coming, the Chinese are coming!

Okay, here's the deal. The Chinese are involved in a secret mission to poison the citizens of the United States so that they may overthrow and take over the country. Well, that's according to someone I know anyway. She will only buy American made products and is increasingly wary of anything made in China. Now, only buying US made products isn't a problem in and of itself (though it can be a challenge), but why someone only buying domestic can raise flags. If you feel it's your patriotic duty, or you feel that's the best way to help your local economy. Or maybe you just perceive US made goods to be of higher quality. Those are perfectly valid reasons for a person to make that type of buying decision. However, the idea that China is actively trying to poison Americans through the products they make is one I can not justify. If it were true, that would be one thing. However, this claim is one that simply doesn't stand up to the test of logic. There is no doubt that China hasn't had a stellar track record when it has come to recalls, but does that really suggest that there is a nefarious plan afoot? Whether it be the lead in the paint on products, products being toxic, radioactive steel, etc... these are real issues to worry about. But are they proof that China is out to poison America? I don't think so. If the Chinese government or Chinese companies were out to poison Americans, don't you think that food items coming from China would be the best things to poison? I can go around the corner and purchase any manner of novelty candies that are made in China. Yet, that stuff and the majority sold is safe for consumption. If there was a mass plot to poison American, you would think that all food items from China would be tainted. You would think that making sure the food that they send here would be toxic rather than drywall, or lead paint on a toy that someone may or may not stick in their mouth. Seeing as the toxicity of Chinese items is so hit and miss, isn't it more likely that the issue isn't a mass plot, but a problem of regulations? I think so, but more on that latter... Another area where I hear that China is trying to poison us is the claim that they are regularly poisoning the very air and soil around us. These would be the chem trail nutters. You know... They ask why some contrails left by airplanes dissipate quickly and why some stick around for a while. They claim that the obvious explanation is that only some are contrails, and the others must be chem trails. That there are Chinese aircraft flying above US airspace spraying toxins that are meant to poison the ground, the crops, the air, the people... or whatever they feel like claiming that day of the week. But does any of that even make sense? No, no it doesn't. First off, how do they figure that Chinese aircraft are secretly flying above United States airspace? Second of all, these 'chem trails' are at cruising altitude. Any chemicals dispersed at that altitude would be far from pin point accuracy. That payload would would be distributed far and wide. Not to mention that the chemical would be highly diluted by the time it reaches the ground. The claims just don't make sense. But what about the two different kinds of 'trails' that planes leave? Well, the fact is that they aren't different trails at all. Why some contrails dissipate quicker than others has nothing to do with what they are 'made of'. But it does have everything to do with the altitude. Two aircraft at different altitudes may leave contrails that look similar from the ground. However, the prevailing winds differ depending on how high or low you are. So if one aircraft if at a different altitude from another, and the winds are blowing at different rates, than one contrail will stick around longer than the other will. As you can see, it's not a matter of aerial poison, but one of weather patterns.

But back to that matter of regulation that I mentioned earlier. The issue with toxic products from China is not a conspiracy, but a problem with regulations. Oddly enough, the conservative politicians around these parts made it a point to vilify China in their campaigns. Yet, these are the same Republicans that think that there is too much regulation in the United States. That if we just let businesses do what they want, they will do the right thing. That somehow they would grow a conscious and not cut corners in the name of profits. Remember, lax regulations is the reason that as many tainted products have made it to our shores. Yet somehow, some politicians (and many businessman) thing deregulation is a great thing. When the horrible regulation in China has led to potentially dangerous products, how can anyone think that it's seriously a good thing to let all businesses self govern and do whatever they want? Short answer, it's not! The majority will simply choose to make their decisions based on what will make them the most money. Just like they have when so many moved production to China as well. Now if you really want, you can try to blame China, and the cheap labor (through questionable labor practices). But with the cheap labor, the business didn't have to go there. They could have easily kept production in the United States, but they didn't. They decided on the feet of profits alone. So while I can not condone working conditions in Chinese factories, I have to ultimately blame the walmarts of the world, and the culture of anything for a buck. If anything the same is true of Chinese companies. They are becoming increasingly capitalistic, and we are a huge market for them. So I really don't see how snuffing us out is either plausible, or if their best interest.


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