Bleak News on Black Friday

While inspections of China’s manufacturing facilities have been a positive step forward for companies involved in outsourcing, the regulation game has grown more challenging. Business Week reports:

“American importers have long answered criticism of conditions at their Chinese suppliers with labor rules and inspections. But many factories have just gotten better at concealing abuses.”

Consulting firms are now helping managers create duplicate records with false information and teaching them how to conceal worker abuse.

The Business Week article lists three obstacles to greater reform in China: the pressure to lower prices, absence of an alternative to China, and uninformed workers who are willing to work extra hours without overtime pay.

This is particularly important to consider during black Friday, our day to hunt for the best bargains around. Not that there’s anything wrong with looking for a good sale. The trend that drives prices down regardless of the means is deeply rooted in America and is particularly hard to isolate and weed out. I don’t have a clue about the correct course of action.

Perhaps one positive step forward this season is purchasing a gift from Ten Thousand Villages or similar companies. Another option is to buy something made locally.

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