made in China

I’ve studied Economics and I know all there is about how it functions and by which rules it is governed. I am also aware that profit is the major factor moving and inspiring politicians, businessmen and entrepreneurs all around the world in whatever job, career or investment they pursue. To earn profit you usually have to sell something, meaning products or services. Whatever your profession – lawyer, banker, hairdresser – it is your intention to earn as much as you can. The truth is that there are two kinds of people: employees and employers. The former work for somebody else and their profits or salary are limited by the standards or the good will of the company they work for. The later is an entrepreneur owning a company and his earnings are practically limitless because whatever the profits of his company – most of it goes to his pocket. Whoever wants to earn a real deal of cash should start their own business because no boss will ever pay you as much as you could earn independently. But the higher the profit, the higher the risk. It is much safer to be an employee than an employer.

The reason I am mentioning this is that I myself am planning to become a successful entrepreneur one day and am subscribed to several business newsletters. I read a lot of smart advice in those publications but I have also noticed a rather popular concept that is being repeated in the newsletters, the concept I am not particularly fond of. It is the idea of trading with China – or more precise – buy cheap in China, sell at much higher price at home. The concept is really a goldmine, no doubt about it. You can get Chinese factories produce almost anything you imagine at a very low price. After you import it to your country, you can double, triple or – more often – set the price 10 times higher than you got it for. Your earnings become immense, profits as well and if you have an interested market, you can really become rich in no time.

As attractive as this idea might seem, I am kind of squeamish and reserved about it. Not only because of so many cases of poisonous colors used in Chinese industry but also because of many cases of child labor and questionable quality of the goods. Sincerely, I don’t know which of the BIG world production companies hasn’t moved their production to China (or some other cheap-labour-country) or started doing business with them. Even the expensive brands! If you want to find a product – specially when it comes to clothes – that is not made in China, you’re going to spend a lot of time and energy to do it. I am still not sure what to think about it. In terms of economic strategy it is a great way to earn a lot (but only if you have a good idea and a market that will buy it). On the other hand, I am that kind of person who tries to support local producers and local industry. Unfortunately they don’t stand much chance with all that cheap imported goods. That’s what is so disturbing about it.

I guess that is simply what globalisation does. If you can use it to make money, you have the whole world as a market. It surely makes the whole trade business much more competitive than before. In theory, that should be good for us consumers but in reality… things are not black and white. Now we can buy trendy clothes that are cheap and available but at the same time, its quality isn’t endurable. We have become a buy-use twice-toss culture…  I hate that kind of behavior but that’s the way things work now I guess.

Domestic production, hand-made goods, products of quality and design simply cannot be cheap. At least not as cheap as Chinese production. I would still rather choose the former kind of goods. I choose quality over quantity. It might mean 5 instead of 20 sweaters in my closet. It also might mean those same 5 sweaters after 5 years instead of 20 new sweaters every year. That is how I do it.

 

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