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China cracks down on Internet cafes (shuts down 8600)

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trogdor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:57 AM
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China cracks down on Internet cafes (shuts down 8600)
Edited on Thu May-06-04 11:57 AM by Why

BEIJING (AP) - China has shut down more than 8,600 Internet cafes since February, many of them for illegally admitting juveniles, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Thursday.

"Any such place allowing juveniles to enter or allowing unhealthy information to spread through the Internet will face rigid, severe penalty," Xinhua said.


I remember a time when the President of the United States would take stands on things like basic human rights, using trade as both the carrot and the stick. That sort of thing apparently went out with bell-bottom jeans, disco, and 15-inch Afros.

Now the only thing we care about is how cheap their unskilled laborers will work. Go into any Wal*Mart store and check the country-of-origin labels on any ten items at random, and at least eight of them will come from mainland China. Because money talks and bullshit walks, we give known human rights violators like China Most Favored Nation (MFN) status. Aren't we sooooooooooooooooo friggin' proud of ourselves.

One might make the argument that free trade somehow benefits ordinary Chinese, but I fail to see how this case can be proven. It is indeed likely that as the pool of cheap labor dries up, workers will demand higher wages, better working conditions, and more benefits, but it is equally likely that when this happens, we'll just find some other overpopulated crevice of the Third World where labor can be obtained even cheaper. It won't matter any more than it does now with China how corrupt their government is, or whether they place Internet cafes on the same level with topless bars and peep shows.

No, it won't matter one single bit, as long as we can save another buck or two on that combo coffee maker, toaster oven, and mini-griddle we want to replace the one that blew up in our kitchen the other day after two months on the job because it was such a cheap-ass piece of shit made by somebody who makes 23 cents an hour.
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