Behind every great fortune lies a great crime- Honoré de Balzac
I smoke. Before, I used up two packs of cigarette a day, but since I got married, I gradually decreased my intake. At present, I consume six or seven sticks or a pack in 3 days. With a little more determination, maybe someday I’ll quit.
What ever unpleasant habit I got, may it be detrimental to my health, no one is to blame but myself. It’s a matter of personal choice really. But what got my attention and upset me is this. It doesn’t matter if these officials backed down. The point was they tried to implement a sociopathic policy.
Fact: China has 350 million smokers. Each year about one million die from smoking-related diseases.
I wonder what kind of moral values these government officials adhere to by forcing government employees to a habit in order to save an economy. Do they think its “patriotic” or perhaps “nationalistic” to get smoke-related diseases in exchange for floating a sinking industry? Are Chinese lives so cheap that they are willing to sacrifice it recklessly in favor of some Tai-pan to recover his investment? If they can do these dastardly acts to their own people, how much more when it comes to non-Chinese consumers?
Recently, we heard of Chinese products that are harmful to humans. From lead on toys to melamine in milk, not to mention those that got over-looked because of sheer volumes dumped cheap to other countries. I don’t mind if markets are flooded with imitation products from that country. I don’t mind if it wantonly disregards copy-right laws. I don’t mind if it’s lacking in quality, as long as it was made, keeping in mind, humans are its end user. It may be cheap, a much sought after deal in this trying times. But in the long run, at what price are we going to pay for patronizing it? I think adding a few riyals to buy a more decent good is much cheaper than a hospital bill or worst a 4x6 lot in a memorial park.
I once admired China for its meteoric rise as an economic giant. But behind its great riches lies, God only knows, insurmountable violation of human rights, unfair labor practices, manipulative one-sided loan bargaining and in the case of Darfur, lives and property lost, all in the name of “percentage return of investment”.
From now on, I won’t buy consumable goods from that country. I may not make a difference or cause any dent on its economic infrastructure… but it’s a start.
P.S. – I’d like to thanks Pen for pointing out this article to me.