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Boycot Chinese Hi Fi Components

Big Bean

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The United States of America, Canada, England and many Western European countries make some of the finest audio equipment in the world. Let's support living wage countries where your not thrown in jail for fighting for better working conditions.

Will the Klipsch audiophiles join me in my boycot. We might not solve the problem but at least we won't be part of it.


eat your vegetables

This message has been edited by Big Bean on 03-26-2002 at 03:48 AM

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OOPS, There goes another American Company. I just read that Penzoil - Quaker State Corp. was just purchased buy the Dutch Shell Group for 1.8 billion.

Let's not forget the purchase of Amoco by BP British Petroleum a little while back and Chrysler Corp. by the Germans.

Oh Well -


eat your vegetables

This message has been edited by Big Bean on 03-26-2002 at 04:07 AM

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Wow, ummm......yeah. Well the chinese make some of the best audio equipment you can buy. I bet that everyone in this forum(but you) has a forein made reciever,speaker,amp ect.I don't think the Klipsch forum is the place to get people to boycot audio. If you feel so worried then go over and check it out, unless ya don't feel THAT bad.


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The audio/video hobby does not give buyers many choices for "100% American owned and built" gear - especially where electronics are concerned. While there are some high end goods made here in the USA, as well as many speaker manufacturers, most buyers would be severely limiting their choices if they were to buy "All American".

OK, so if one were to buy 100% American, what would our choices be? What would be the "All American" system?


First we Rock, then we Roll!

A Beast is Lurking.........To be unleashed May 2002

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I am in favor of helping the Chinese out of their oppression by buying their products, isolation only leads to more poor, uneducated, unable to revolt countries, witness the Middle East, leaving politics out of it, you can get a much better buy for your dollar with foreign purchases, if not China, then Canada ...


Colin's Music System Cornwall 1s & Klipsch subs; lights out & tubes glowing!

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Thanks, Big Bean, for spotlighting a huge area of historical relevance for both the United States and China... which now puts us on a collision course that will have a great effect on trade, human rights, etc.

I was born and raised in San Francisco which is storied as having the largest Chinese community outside of China. In those days, outside the area known as "Chinatown" people of Chinese descent were not allowed to own property... right here in the land of the free. It was not until the mid-1950's, or so, that a Chinese person could legally be my neighbor.

I have had Chinese friends... some who were born and raised in Red China and who are now productive business leaders and extremely patriotic American citizens. I have American friends that run the gamut from having been on the "30 seconds over Tokyo" (they took months to walk across China to make their escape and were saved by the Chinese peasants many times)... to a friend that has been training Chinese passenger plane pilots and setting up safety procedures in the country with the worst airline safety record.

Since I am but a "wee pea" next to the Big Bean, I shall never-the-less spew my substance into the wind.

First some generally agreed upon facts:

1. China, for the past 3,500 or so years grew by bringing smaller adjacent countries into their sphere of influence... and then brazenly gobbled them up... through dynasty after dynasty... the last being the Communist Chinese takeover of Tibet. That's how China grew so large.

2. At one point, leading to the Boxer Rebellion, the influence of foreign countries (including the U.S.) was so strong that they did whatever they pleased... including introducing the heroin trade which then further worsened the condition of the "little people" who make up the bulk of China's population. That and some horrific droughts, rampant corruption (still a big factor) and the effect of the Japanese invasion in WWII... opened the doors for Mao to continue the fight after the Japanese surrender.

3. China's population is largely clustered around it's great rivers... the entire river area population is at risk because the farming and manufacturing that uses water has pumped the water table so low that much of the year the huge Yellow River no longer reaches the Pacific Ocean. China is second only to the U.S. in the use of fertilizer and pesticides in agriculture. Sometime in the next decade or two... there is likely to be in excess of a billion very thirsty Chinese peasants.

4. Even the Communist leaders of China recognize that something has to be done to avert running out of water for the majority of the population. This is a case where a lack of water has the potential to "rust" an iron fist and force the relaxation of controls. That fact is evident in many small steps... like the recent relaxation of the rules governing exit visas... and the increased ability for "little people" to create home industries that are micro-capitalistic in scope and growing throughout today's China.

5. Opening a piece of electronic gear (be it audio or computer) with a "Made in America" outside is just filled with components that were made or even assembled elsewhere. Zenith was the last major television brand that held out beyond economic reason to be wholly "Made in America." They failed... because the price point of their "Made in America" goods was higher than their "Made in America" customers were willing to pay.

6. Through more than 200 years of its brief life, America has tended toward being isolationist. Well, that is except for the habit of importing slaves from Africa to do the hard field work in the South... and much of the hard construction work in early New York City (attested to by autopsies of slave burial grounds uncovered in NYC). The U.S. grew into being the world's largest consumer... by far. We Americans have neither the resources nor the resolve of our citizens to go back to making all of our own goods. And that may point to a day of reckoning... the end of America as we know it today.

Big Bean, you are right in raising our level of awareness to this most serious of problems. For in it is the heart of our economic ability to take care of the health and well being of ALL our citizens and the various foreign nationals who seek survival and prosperity like the invitation on the Statue of Liberty relates.

Yes, the problem needs to be addressed... but will a boycott of Chinese goods help or hurt the future of Americans? ...Chinese? ...the world economy? It's a tough, tough problem. I lived for much of my adult life outside of the United States. And, once you get beneath their "bias rhetoric" and "knee-jerk belief systems" people are pretty much people the world over. And that's the good and the bad of it.

People the world over find ways to misuse the necessary function of prejudice and abuse others by it. And it would seem that if the only difference between people was one freckle on some backsides... they would become either the "haves" or the "have-nots" depending on the political wind.

Frankly, my take on this most difficult and multi-faceted problem is that the more people to people prosperity that occurs in trading with China... the more stressed the oppression will become to hold the population in check and solve the needs for unpolluted water that is needed to keep both citizens and industry functional. Historically, thirsty, ill fed soldiers are increasingly poor enforcers.

I gave up table grapes in Caesar Chavez' heyday... but, I fear, Big Bean, that the American public will show us all that that day has gone... and not soon to return. And, maybe that is good, because now we must find a better way to do the good things that most of us will agree should be done.

The focus is not so much upon "if"... but rather upon "how" can we raise the economic well being of Chinese workers in human terms... and, of course, while we are at it we might do the same for workers in our own hemisphere... and our own country. Indeed, whether Democrats or Republicans claim the White House or the Congressional majority... the essential problem seems to continue. As it has in China... whether ruled by Imperial decree or Chairman's dictate.

But, certainly, some kind of resolution is in the air... for China is rapidly outstripping it's lands ability to support 1/5th of all the people in the world. If an audio boycott of Chinese made goods would make the world a better place... I am all for it. I just don't see how it can. In fact, I think it would make it worse, not better for the little Chinese people who are just beginning to have the slightest taste of micro-capitalism as a bootstrap method to better living. -HornEd

PS: Speaking of little peas... the other day I was searching for something to feed my big body with little effort. So, I hit upon "Fish Pea Soup" (fortunately it reads better than it sounds Biggrin.gif ).

I baked some Gorton's battered fish fillets (upscale fish sticks), opened a can of Anderson's Split Pea soup (Pea-licious) and put it in the microwave. I chopped the baked battered fish into 1/2 inch chunks and scattered them like croutons in the soup. A couple of fresh grinds of peppercorns to get their fleeting essential oils and aromas... and it was even more enjoyable than anticipated.

Le bon pois mes amis... une grande recette d'haricot ne peut pas être loin derrière! Just my token appreciation of our many Forum participants in Quebec and throughout Canada.

This message has been edited by HornEd on 03-27-2002 at 08:27 AM

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...and don't forget "le sirop d'érable"!

I believe the DaimlerChrysler case was in fact a fusion, not a buy-out. In fact, we were just presented with this case at school, and in fact Chrysler got 58 percent, while Daimler got 42. But both CEOs continually stressed that this was a merger of equals.


http://members.fortunecity.com/sebdavid - go laugh at my crappy website/equipment

http://www.dvdprofiler.com/mc.asp?alias=Sebdavid - go laugh at my puny little DVD collection

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Oui, mais.. In my experience the power of the purse strings give the Daimler Deutsche the edge in Board Room tussles for the time being. My German friends tell me that Daimler shareholder misgivings about the deal continue to linger.

Seb, your syrupy retort makes me wonder if you are waiting to afford a maple veneer on future Klipsch purchases.

Or, could it be that you are secretly planning a "Force de Frappe Audio" that is being tested behind the bookshelves in a secret nook? (Seb, I lived in France while the Force de Frappe was pushed by Le Grande Charles. It was a lively topic for the stand-up comic at le Cirque Pinder. Especially since the secret French Missile complex on the Ile de Levant was in full view of the international nudist resort on the tip of the crescent shaped island! Wink.gif

Je me souviens de la Belle Vie... -HornEd

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you are right, as right now and because of the structure of the new company (it is incorporated in Germany), German shareholders now own the majority of it. however, at the time of the merger, it was definitely to be a merger of equals. it's afterwards that things got steered the German way... which might not be an entirely bad thing! we'll see what happens next.

as for me, the cherry finish is the only way to go. unfortunately, Klipsch has decided that customers spending $850 are not worthy of a good-looking finish, so I guess for the time being I will be stuck with ugly black as my only option...


http://members.fortunecity.com/sebdavid - go laugh at my crappy website/equipment

http://www.dvdprofiler.com/mc.asp?alias=Sebdavid - go laugh at my puny little DVD collection

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Wow -- quite a thread!

I sympathize with Big Bean's sentiments, but agree that it is not pratical to avoid all things made in China. My policy is to buy American or Canadian when reasonably possible, but not at the expense of quality and not at the expense of reason.

For high enders, it would be pretty easy to buy goods that are assembled in North America, but as HornEd points out, the components will still often be from Asia. For example, Cary, CJ, BAT, VTL, etc., are going to have Russian or Chinese tubes, right? And if you cannot afford the above, then you are stuck with electronics made in Asia (where wages are low), though the USA still makes excellent speakers, as we all know (even if you don't like horns -- but then why would you be here?)!

HornEd -- I want the recipe for pea fish soup. Yum!

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I too view BigBean's call to boycott with disdain. Though I would like to see more products of all sorts that are built in America, the simple fact is that the product appearing on the shelf has to be compete with those built around the world. If american products were always of high quality compared to those from other countries, the choice would be simpler. But since American products can not always be counted on to be superior in every way, the consumer is left to discover the best product for the buck. So do we lower the wage we pay our workers to build equipment so that the end product is less expensive, or do we impose import tarrifs to raise the price of foreign products to the level of those in our stores. Hmm..perhaps there is a third way..to support the vitalization of the foreign country so that their economy is at a level that is consistent with our own. When that happens, we will then see more of all products being built in America.

I would much rather boycott poorly made equipment, and equipment that costs too much. I like my chinese made Rotel Amp.

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Thanks for all your thoughtful post. I get frustrated at the way things are going in this country for the working man and woman. Seems like the corporate political powers have waged war on the American worker with their huge dynamo of perogative.

Thanks for your post HornEd. I'm proud to be your fellow poster.


eat your vegetables

This message has been edited by Big Bean on 03-27-2002 at 03:35 AM

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The good ole USA is quickly on her way to being a third world country,thanks to our dumb a$$ selves(I want to make $30 an hour,but I want your wages to be $2 an hour).Wonder how much sympathy these poor basterds will have for your grandkids?

May God have mercy on our cheap souls.


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Big Bean, it is people like you and the posters that responded to your thread that make me proud to be part of a country and a Forum where freedom of responsible expression still lives.

Big Bean, you began this thread with an obviously sincere concern for the workers of America... and proved that your "bean" was big enough to allow your reason to triumph over your frustration. Just think of how much better the world would be if your talent were universal.

Talk-to-Keith raised the specter that seems to haunt every nation that becomes dominant in the world's family of nations. He placed the blame on all of us... and rightly so since the balance of stock ownership in our greedy corporations is held by the workers of our great nation... not the elite minority of corporate movers and shakers and their wealthy brethren as was the case in the Crash of '29. And those same majority of workers vote with their dollars to give power to the Wal-Marts of the world because Sam Walton knew how to appeal to the greed within us all.

I suppose I should apologize again for the length, seriousness, and broader-than-speaker issues in some of my posts. But I fear an economy of words may sometimes contribute to perpetuating the very thing that will bring hard times upon our grandchildren.

The ability to think and a place to cast one's thoughts into the crucible of public opinion... and, right or wrong, have all people learn from the experience... is the one phenomenon that has a chance to beat the odds that have humbled every dominant world power in recorded history.

Thanks, Big Bean, for the exercise. We needed it! And thank Klipsch, an ever growing corporation that has not lost sight of the fact that we do need it... so I think I will show my signature that is full of Klipsch products to salute not my system, but the corporation that made it possible. -HornEd

PS: While these posts auger in on the specific problems of the United States and its people... it should not be construed that we have forgotten that many of the same issues affect all the people of all our fellow nations in the world. Especially that transplanted Frenchman who now pours maple syrup on the crepe of his understanding...

Seb, it is such a joy to read the posts of a struggling student who takes the time to help others with his thousands of audio and computer posts. It is rarer still to see a young man who not only thrusts his opinions forward... but has the character of a Big Bean to allow a less than fully mature "haricot vert" grow to its true potential.


Pic6.jpg Thanks Klipsch & Klipschers!

This message has been edited by HornEd on 03-27-2002 at 09:24 AM

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Very interesting thread. I was going to just lurk, but I'll add my two cents in no particular order.

Economic boycotts don't work. The grape boycott didn't work for Chavez. Oil boycott didn't work against Iraq. Change has to come from within.

Developing countries may, indeed, have problems with pollution, human rights, etc. So did, and does, the United States. Developing countries need to fix their problems. We need to fix ours. And we need to work together for our common good.

"Slave labor" in China means making convicts in prison manufacture products. Frankly, I don't have a problem with that. Its just part of the way they pay their debt to their society and support themselves. We pay convicts in the U.S. pennies an hour to do similar work, although it is voluntary on the part of the prisoner. Prisoners in at least one Texas jail have to pay for the food they eat.

"Living wage" is relative. I live in a house in the U.S. worth perhaps $300,000. The crew who installed my carpets were all from Mexico. The foreman is building a house bigger than mine, at least as nice as mine, with much more land, for $50,000 in Mexico. A living wage in Mexico is much less than a living wage in the U.S.

An "oppressive, authoritarian government" is not considered a bad thing by all people in the world. In fact, some of the highest standards of living are found in countries with such governments, like Saudi Arabia and Singapore. Most people value prosperity much more than freedom. Many Russians would rather have the relative prosperity they had under communism than the poverty they have now.

Mexico was in trouble long before the maquilladora system. There were far too many peasants for an agrarian society to support. Land reform failed. The government and unions were corrupt. Unemployment and inflation were rampant. Interest rates were soaring. The peson was greatly devalued. The maquilladora system, in fact, gives jobs to Mexicans who would otherwise have none. The people really raping Mexico are their own politicians, unions and businesses. THe worst air and water pollution in the world is in Mexico city, almost all caused by Mexicans. Mexico's problems are going to have to be solved by Mexicans. Lets hope Fox is successful in his attempt to change the system.

Exploitation of cheap labor in a developing country by developped countires can actually be good for the developing country. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan were all in that boat after WWII. Look at them now.

There is really no such thing as a large publicly traded American owned, or German owned, company. People all over the world own stock in them. In many, the board members, officers and employees come from all over the world. Many have factories all over the world. The only thing American, or German, about them is where they are incorporated and where they pay taxes (and in some cases not even where they pay taxes.)

The Chinese takeover of Tibet may not have been such a bad thing for the people there. There were basically three classes: land owners, monks, and peasants. The peasants were pretty much slaves.

Being a U.S. citizen, I prefer to buy American when quality and price are competitive, e.g. Porter Cable power tools instead of Japanese or Chinese. I buy American made hand tools if I am going to use them much. Otherwise, I buy the quality I need at the best price.

The U.S. television industry was killed by three things, neither of which had much to do with wages. The first was American companies were still trying to sell "service" when the Japanese started selling "reliability." American companies touted the skill of their service people and how fast they responded. The Japanese showed up with products that did not need service. The second was the Japanese bought the U.S. television market by giving kickbacks to large retailers like Sears. The third was dumping. The Japanese companies sold product at less than cost to gain market.

FWIW My "American" Daimler Chrysler Dodge Ram was built outside of Mexico city. I had no choice in that, but I am glad it was. The build is better than the ones built in the U.S. I have seen. Apparently Mexican workers value their jobs more than UAW members.

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Malcolm, thanks for dropping out of the lurking position and into the fray. This is a multi-faceted problem with no easy answers as you so eloquently state. Frankly, it is difficult to portray the realities of the situation in concept rich but succinct prose... sufficient for most readers to make it to the end.

As for Tibet, it is hard to accept a forced cultural change by force of arms... but that has certainly been the story of "progress" all over the world. The "breadbasket" of the Great Plains states would not have existed if the nomadic lifestyle of the misnamed "Plains Indians" would have had their culture kept intact.

Multi-national corporations are the big bully boys of this era. And, as usual, the power of the people is too differentiated and poorly organized to mount effective resistance in most cases. But, Enron's do fall... as do KMart's... and public opinion can still smite the biggest bully on the best of days.

And Mdeneen, thanks for your "rounding out" contribution to the BIG BEAN<'b>ery thread. Of course, the enduring change in any country, whether it's China or Canada, has to come as a groundswell of public opinion in that country that forces accommodation by that country's leadership... even if heads roll.

If that were easy to do... Castro would not be the sole arbiter of the dictates of the Cuban proletariat.

If we, as a nation... knew how to effectively export a humane governmental system, the capital of Viet Nam would be Saigon.

If we, as consumers, understood the full cost of Chinese "bargains"... at least a little guilt would be attached to each purchase.

Yes, Mark, your points are vivid and demand attention... and more especially, require immediate solutions... Aye, but there's the rub! {apologies to the immortal bard}

We have neither proven solutions nor the sense of urgency to implement them. We need a groundswell of problem recognition and solutions in this country too. Forums like this one at least provide some people-to-people awareness that extends beyond political parties and theological bent. And it is appropriate that they be examined here... for how these problems are resolved may determine if the "Klipsch Sound" will be around for our great grandchildren.

It is probably not humane for Third World countries to go through the trial and error process of becoming the world's largest single consumer. The pollution issue in developing countries is a major concern that the world must pay in sickness, death, and major coin. Our own developing industrial complex certainly gave the world more than its share of pollution. And, if you want to talk trash... Our "disposable society" is being exported around the world (e.g., fast food franchises).

As a nation, we allowed slavery in the name of political expedience and cheap goods... and it took the Civil War to get out of that uncivil habit. And neither liberal nor conservative notions have been able to stem the tide of our own socio-economic victims.

What goods, foreign or domestic, can we buy that are not in someway compromised by the errosion of human values of one kind or another. Graphically painting an empire or a sweatshop "evil" does not make it go away... but we damn sure have to find out what does.

But, as Malcolm points out, when workers make better products than their counterparts elsewhere in the world... workers fortunes in that country tend to rise. But it takes courage to trust that your work ethic will somehow pull you up by your own bootstraps... but at one time or another it has in virtually every corner of the globe.

There are no clear-cut answers... just the potential for open dialogue from which such solutions may grow. Hopefully we will find it somewhere between health care plans and vintage tube amps. -HornEd

This message has been edited by HornEd on 03-27-2002 at 02:32 PM

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I think you have couple of flaws in your post. Your analogy with 2 glasses and assumption that the economics must result in zero gain is not necessarily true. Increased production of goods and services in, say Thailand, does not require a reduced overall income in the U.S. If Thailand uses its resources and labor to produce valuable goods for export, the lower price MAY put some U.S. workers out of work. The change MAY force them into another job that pays more. It is difficult to accurately predict the outcome of the economy using limited and anecdotal evidence. Buggy makers who lost their jobs because of cars, probably went to work making cars.

The assumption that a wage of something like $15/hour is required for a living wage doesn't apply all over the world. $15/hr is pretty much the minimum for a decent living in TN. How well could I live in LA on that?

OTOH, your list of indirect costs such as water and air pollution is correct and as yet, unaccounted for in the prices we pay for foreign goods. Eventually, all world consumers will pay for the clean-up costs in higher prices for the goods produced in that country when that country enacts environmental protection laws like the U.S. did in the 60s. Our business regulations have a larger impact on the cost of U.S. made goods than our labor rates. The U.S. worker is regularly listed as the most productive (more goods/hr), hardest working (longer hours/week) worker in the world.


This message has been edited by John Albright on 03-27-2002 at 11:12 PM

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boycotting a company... if it were to be sucessful (which i doubt this would be)... like the ones you are talking about would probably only hurt the poor workers. the company gets less pay, pays the ppl less, fires some... conditions worsen. i agree something needs to be done, but this is not it unless you make the point that it is the working conditions, and you can REALLY make an impact. but the chances that that will happen, are like the chances that BOSE will make a hornloaded speaker.



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