Factory Workers in China: A Pyrrhic Victory for a World That Lost Its Conscience

Jason Perlow | ZDNet | February 16, 2012

Summary: I lost the Great Debate to what can be summed up as harsh statistical reality. But what does our unyielding appetite for Chinese durable goods mean for the first world conscience?

As much as I would like to believe that costs are going to increase due to the possibility of human rights conditions improving in China, the reality is that from a systemic perspective, that nation is such a long way off from improving the lives of its people to the level of a Westernized nation that it will likely take decades before we will ever see an economic impact on the supply chain.

That’s great for companies like Apple, but it sucks for the human beings that feed our thirst for electronic gadgets.

Better work conditions are only part of the variables linked to overall costs of the goods being produced. Wages, benefits and and working hours factor into do factor into the overall picture but these are more than offset by tax advantages and reduced regulatory costs imposed by the Chinese government as well as the price of energy and other raw materials that are needed to produce durable goods in that country.

One only has to look at the overall picture in China to fully understand the magnitude of the human rights problem and why it is unlikely to abate anytime soon...