Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

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Comment on this entry

My problems with Made in China

Massimo Pigliucci

February 08, 2013

Lately I have been on a quest for a more mindful and ethical way of living, particularly as regards my buying habits. It is not easy, I tell you. Yes, there are — of course — apps for that,  but let’s not kid ourselves. Trying be more ethical (or at least less unethical) requires work and will likely cost you more than if you don't give a crap about the environment, workers’ conditions, or the use that corporations make of the money you send their way when you buy their products.


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Posted by Taiwanlight  on  02/15  at  01:45 AM

I think, because of the rapid advances in technology, that the situation is in flux greater than ever before. With the coming of 3D printing and ever more efficient automation and robots it’s getting to the point where factories, but not jobs, are returning to the West. In fact, I read recently that the Chinese government is taking the effect of these technologies into consideration in drawing up its next economic moves.

Given the real difficulty of finding anything not MIC (and then it’s likely to be made as you saw, in Vietnam which isn’t much of an ethical improvement) plus these rapid changes I feel you’re busting a gut in an effort that’s not going to produce much result. I appreciate your support for us here in Taiwan though.

I reckon that very soon, unless these new technologies somehow produce new jobs as happened previously - which seems unlikely this time - there is going to be serious unemployment worldwide. No amount of stimulus is going to help or even delay the resulting depression which is going to be permanent.

Thinkers (Martin Ford has started with his book/PDF ‘Lights in the Tunnel) and activists should now concentrate on this problem and on developing new systems for generating a BIG (Basic Income Guarantee) for everyone in the world.

Pilot schemes have started in various parts of the world. Here is one website (UK) on the subject:

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