Friday, December 10, 2004

Yet another mine disaster in China

It's the Christmas season, that time of year for all good consumers to join in the communal orgy of shopping which has long replaced any religious significance we used to attach to the birth of Christ.

Let's, as we load item after item marked "Made in China" into our shopping carts, give at least a fleeting thought to the blood, sweat and tears invested so that we can clutter our houses with yet more useless crap.

That stuff is so inexpensive because it is being churned out by folks working in sweatshops 12 hours a day for slave wages. The average pay for a factory worker in China is $3 That's 3 bucks a DAY, not an hour. We used to have working conditions like that here in the US. You can read about that time in our history. Check out "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair.

Most of the energy to power those sweatshops comes from what are described as some of the most dangerous coal mines in the world. Seems like an apt description to me. Every couple of weeks I pick up a paper to see a headline like the one today which proclaims
33 dead in latest China mine blast. Less than two weeks ago there were 166 killed in another mine, in October 148 killed. They die so that we can wallow in klitsch. Merry friggin' Christmas.


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