Tuesday, October 28, 2008

No, This Headline Doesn't SEEM Relevant, But It Really Is

Gallup headline today:

Most Chinese Have No Opinion in U.S. Election
At first glance, this headline seems totally irrelevant. After all, who the hell cares what the Chinese think of the US election? In what way can it possibly affect the lives of the vast majority of them?

But it can. Part of the economic crisis in the US is due to major job losses over the last eight years. Most of those jobs have gone overseas, many of them to China. And here's why it's relevant:
Bottom Line

The U.S. presidential election is receiving widespread media coverage in China, not only in the large urban areas, but also in rural areas. However, Gallup finds that the U.S. election is hardly top of mind in the world's most populous country. Many Chinese, particularly rural dwellers (who make up more than half of China's total population), still live in extreme poverty. And many of these people may view the U.S. election as irrelevant in the face of daily concerns about their families' survival. Due in no small part to China's huge stake in the global economy, the global financial crisis may also take precedence over the U.S. election in the eyes of those Chinese who do stay apprised of international affairs.
The problem with much of that poverty is that many of those living in extreme work in squalid conditions, are paid little, have NO benefits whatsoever, and they work for American companies that have outsourced to cheaper labor.

So, yes, it very much IS a US concern because many American companies are actually to blame for the extreme poverty in which many of these Chinese people live.

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