[Harp-L] Re. Made in China

Joseph Leone 3n037@xxxxx
Mon Jun 19 15:08:37 EDT 2017

> On Jun 19, 2017, at 12:37 PM, Brendan Power <bren at xxxxx> wrote:
> Steve Baker has definitively replied to the main query about where the
> Special 20 and other Hohner models are made, but it's interesting to read
> the comments on this topic on the list, and others sent to me privately. The
> point of my post about "Who cares where something is made as long as it's
> good?" was to offset a common prejudice against Chinese-made products that I
> think is uninformed and out of date. However, it persists, as evinced by
> this off-list message to me (naming no names):

I’m not so sure there is a prejudice against Chinese products nor the Chinese. As I wrote you off list:
Some people are tired of being deluged with Chinese products. I also told you that when the wife and
I go to other countries, we spend a lot of time in their stores. Europeans seem to help their own.

I suspect that you are of some means to begin to travel in the first place, and now that you are an icon
in the harmonica world, and travel the entire planet, I suspect that you spend more time in airports than
you do in stores or watching the local scene. 

We found that in Europe almost everything IN Europe if FROM Europe. Not true in the U.S. Most everything 
here was made in China. We (as a infinitesimally small entity) do not blame China. And hold no prejudice.
We DO blame U.S. industrialists, whom, in their unbridled greed, will do ANYthing to feather their nests with
cash. That’s why there are more billionaires here than the rest of the world comBINED.  

They do not want to pay pensions, benefits, medical coverage, nor cover injuries. They do not care about
the American worker. They will ship ANYthing overseas to that end. As soon as they get large enough, they 
establish themselves in countries where the wages, taxes, and other expenses are lower. Even if it means
shipping the products back to the U.S. Which is why the last election was what it was. ‘Workerlash' 

Modernizing factories: I know first hand (from Pittsburgh Pa.) that industries did NOT modernize but pocketed
the money instead. The machinery went antiquated and obsolete, while the U.S. pours billions into other

Economy: The u.s. is rated #13 in the world. Even this is a bogus number. They take the GNP of a country and 
divide it by the population. This gives a figure of $57,293.oo PER CAPITA. This is a bunch of BS. When you 
check the average wage withIN the U.S., the figure is more like half that per capita. 

After WWII and the disappearance of 100,ooo,ooo people, a lot of people never returned to work. So, those
pensions or benefits were lost. Saving those economies billions in monies that would have been paid out 
because people had worked for them. The U.S. had most men return and so today we have several levels
of pensions to deal with. And the U.S. industries don’t like to pay these benefits. 

sm0joe  (whom has lived Vienna, Trieste, Naples, Paris).    
> "As from experience anything made in China is no where near as good as ever
> and until they have manufacturing standards things made there will always be
> junk."
> That's just out of date nonsense. Modern Chinese manufacturers in all fields
> use tools and machinery as good as if not better than elsewhere in the
> world, and produce a huge amount of high-tech gear - probably including much
> stuff the writer owns.
> To his credit, Robert Hale expresses his opinion publicly: "a great product
> at a low price is certainly a win for the consumer. If I knew the conditions
> of the factory workers in a state-owned dictatorship, I might feel
> differently."
> This conflates two common prejudices against China: that downtrodden factory
> workers are forced into harsh working conditions by a dictatorial
> government. Certainly as far as the harmonica companies are concerned, it's
> not true. In 2015 I visited many of the main harmonica factories in China,
> mostly centred around the city of Wuxi in Jiangsu province: Easttop, Swan,
> Kongsheng, Golden Butterfly. I found bustlingly efficient operations with
> modern computer-aided machinery and highly-skilled mostly women workers
> doing the detailed reed attachment/gapping/tuning work. 
> From the complaints of a couple of the bosses against competitors poaching
> their staff, I know for a fact that the companies compete for the best
> workers by offering higher wages/better conditions. No one is forced to stay
> where they don't want to be by the company or the government - that's a
> complete myth. 
> I came away with nothing but admiration for the dedicated work ethic and
> high reed skills of the shopfloor workers, and was equally impressed by the
> adoption of modern computer-guided machinery for critical mechanical
> operations like plate stamping and reed profiling. I also have a lot of
> respect for the drive and ambition of the various harmonica company bosses.
> All very different personalities, what they share in common is a no-nonsense
> down-to-earth approach - they seem very in touch with the factory workers at
> all levels. In my business dealings with a couple of the company bosses
> (Easttop and Kongsheng), I like the fact they make decisions quickly, give
> firm deadlines and stick to their promises.
> China has changed a huge amount since the days of Mao, but unfortunately
> many foreigners' prejudices still date back to that time. I think Westerners
> need to go to China before expressing ill-informed opinions on the country
> and its products - they will likely come away as I have done: humbled and
> impressed. Instead of belittling or lecturing the Chinese, we should be
> learning from them - they have a lot to teach us.
> Brendan
> <http://www.brendan-power.com/> www.brendan-power.com
> <http://www.youtube.com/BrendanPowerMusic>
> www.YouTube.com/BrendanPowerMusic

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