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04/08/2007: "Infuriating!"
Just when China, which holds 25% of the world's labor force, is beginning to head towards a new humanity in its laws which Westerners of all people should be applauding, it turns out that a loose grouping of largely US-based corporations is lobbying the Chinese government not to pass laws improving the health, happiness, and prosperity of its won people.

A couple of quotes from Asia Times:
[There is] a behind-the-scenes battle that is raging worldwide over reforms in China's labor law. On the one side are Wal-Mart, Google, General Electric (GE) and other global corporations that have been aggressively lobbying to limit new rights for Chinese workers. On the other side are pro-worker-rights forces in China, backed by labor, human rights, and political forces in the US and around the world.


In March 2006, the Chinese government, with considerable popular backing, proposed a new labor law with limited but significant increases in workers' rights. But the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Shanghai, the United States-China Business Council, and US-based global corporations are lobbying to gut the proposed law. They have even threatened to leave China for such countries as Pakistan and Thailand if the law is passed.
Of course, to speak of moral issues to most business people is like teaching algebra to a canary...but even in a purely practical sense, to oppose workers' rights doesn't make sense. Even Henry Ford, a card-carrying fascist and admirer of Hitler, knew that: he doubled his workers' wages over the apoplectic opposition of his fellow industrialists, explaining that now his workers would be able to afford his own (and the other industrialists') products.

And so it was.

And the Thirties, which proved so fertile for the efforts of labor leaders (called "agitators" then), when the Depression, caused largely by the greed of non-productive speculators, forced the people to see the faux-aristocracy of the US differently enough to fight for their own welfare against it, though often at the cost of blood spilled by corporate goon squads as brutal as those operating still in Third World countries. The high wages labor enjoyed as a result of those struggles made the postwar prosperity possible--and enrichened those very moral ciphers who are now trying to make wage slaves of the entire world.

The Chinese have struggled for millennia to achieve a modest comfort and a bit of freedom. How dare the corporate pimps say they may not do it?

Morality aside, didn't they ever think that maybe they could sell something to the Chinese people? Is their greed so blinding that they cannot even see their own self-interest?

In the end, the world is worth living in only when we treat each other well. Bicycle Fixation focusses more often on chemical pollution and a waste of space, but there is a moral pollution, and a waste of souls, that is even more dangerous--for the one makes the other inevitable.

Read the article and take heed of who is perpetrating this cruel folly.

I myself will write Google (and I find it difficult to believe they are involved), and will remove their ads from Bicycle Fixation if they are truly part of this.

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