29 January 2003

Made in [Deleted]

When President Bush gave a speech at a St. Louis warehouse announcing his new tax plan, he stood against what appeared to be a backdrop of cardboard boxes stamped "MADE IN U.S.A." The backdrop, however, was actually a painted facade. Bush's advance team had used pieces of white paper to cover over the "Made in China" stamps on hundreds of real boxes in the warehouse.

It is most fitting that this speech last week on "Strenghening America's Economy" as it served an excellent metaphor for Globalization's devastation to our economy and the masking of the truth by the nation's power brokers. It's not just manufacturing jobs now, but more and more high-tech and other "knowledge based" jobs have migrated to Asia. Multinationals, spurred by the allure of cheap labor, have poured billions of dollars into the coffers of a repressive regime that is the antithesis of freedom and just about everything emblematic of America. There's no evidence that increased trade has led to increased freedom for China's workers. Earlier this month, for example, labor activists Yao Fuxin and Xiao Yunliang were put on trial by the Chinese government. Their crime? Organizing protests at a steel mill. Their demand? Back wages that had gone unpaid for as long as 20 months and overdue pension payments for retirees.

The effect on our economy has been catastrophic - unemployment is rising, mortgage foreclosure numbers are at epic proportions and our federal budget deficit is now spiraling into the stratosphere.

Oh, and I wonder if a special prosecutor is needed to ferret out the lawbreaker:

According to the law:

TITLE 19 > CHAPTER 4 > SUBTITLE II > Part I > Sec. 1304. Sec. 1304. - Marking of imported articles and containers

(a) Marking of articles Except as hereinafter provided, every article of foreign origin (or its container, as provided in subsection (b) hereof) imported into the United States shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article (or container) will permit in such manner as to indicate to an ultimate purchaser in the United States the English name of the country of origin of the article. The Secretary of the Treasury may by regulations - [...]

(l) Penalties Any person who, with intent to conceal the information given thereby or contained therein, defaces, destroys, removes, alters, covers, obscures, or obliterates any mark required under the provisions of this chapter shall -

(1) upon conviction for the first violation of this subsection, be fined not more than $100,000, or imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both; and

(2) upon conviction for the second or any subsequent violation of this subsection, be fined not more than $250,000, or imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both


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