I read two great articles in the New York Times the day before yesterday that both have to do with my fascination with outsourcing and globalization. The first discussed the dire environmental degradation of the soil in the Middle Kingdom as a result of pollution from their largely unregulated manufacturing sector. It is probably not a good thing that the central government’s 2010 survey of pollution in China’s soil has been locked away as a “state secret.” Let’s just say you might want to pass on that Chinese ginger the next time you are at the supermarket.
The second article chronicles the refusal of apparel firms to pay compensation to the victims of the collapse last year of the Rana Plaza factory complex in Pakistan; more than 1,100 people died in the rubble. It is very difficult to manage a supply chain that spans the globe. All you can do is hope that your subcontractors in Pakistan or Bangladesh are not using children to produce your polo shirts. Good luck with that.