Best Experienced With: NERD; Lap Dance
(Please right click on the link below to open the suggested music for this evening’s treatise in a new browser window. That’s a tasty little Pharrell tune. I got something chrome….and I got it from home…..and it ain’t a microphone.)
A close and brilliant friend teaches negotiation, business law and ethics here in San Diego at the University of San Diego. In the friend aquarium I keep, an aquarium stocked with amusing and brilliant fish, this close and brilliant friend is most certainly one of the most brilliant and amusing fish. He is unique and the lessons he imparts to his classes are ridiculously unique.
In the interest of privacy and decency, we will refer to the aforementioned University of San Diego professor as “Tim”. Not a normal type of “Tim”, though….the “”Tim” from Monty Python’s Monty Python and the Holy Grail. As you read through the following missive, whenever you see “Tim” say “Tim in the Monty Python enchanter fashion: specifically, like this…
When my brain cramps, as it is wont to do, and when “Tim” will allow me to attend, I will sit through his evening graduate classes. It works like pouring a capful of gasoline into a dry carburetor while pulling spastically on a rip cord on a two stroke engine. This “Tim” offense works quite well.
Last week, in a Monday evening graduate class, “Tim’s” class watched a film on the 1968 Memphis garbage strike. The Memphis garbage people’s strike that pulled the Reverend Martin Luther King in and, eventually, led to Mr. King’s death. “Tim” also handed out an outstanding article to the class about how China chooses to treat its manual laborers. Far worse than Memphis treated its garbage collectors back in 1968. Far, far worse.
At some point in every business person’s life they will be asked to make a decision on sourcing to a low cost country. Despite the lemming like, deafening screams of “WE NEED JOBS” in the last election, our society remains coasted in a thick vanilla frosting-like layer of hypocrisy when it comes to actually behaving in a fashion that would actually create jobs.
When asked at my current career adventure what my thoughts were on choosing China as a low cost manufacturing option, my answer was the same as it has been for twenty years. You’d get the same reply if you asked me if my beloved Cleveland Cavaliers will be in the NBA playoffs this year.
“Oh, hell no.”
Choosing China as your low cost manufacturing country is as wise as choosing Charlie Sheen as the ideal dating partner for your sister. Just as there are significant benefits to choosing China as your low cost manufacturing country, there are significant benefits to choosing Charlie Sheen as the ideal dating partner for your sister. Charlie remains relatively attractive and engaging at an advanced age, with a low BMI. Charlie is a multimillionaire, guaranteeing your sister that most gifts in the first year will show up in those baby blue, Tiffany’s boxes. Charlie is well read, has a rock solid sense of humor, and dating him will get your sister “front of the line” privileges at both MOOD and Vanguard in Hollywood…..seven nights of the week.
Your sister dating Charlie Sheen would also mean that your sister will most certainly stumble upon drug fueled sex orgies when she stops by on Sunday morning to take Charlie to champagne brunch. Drug fueled sex orgies that began on the previous Thursday. At noon(ish). Given past history, odds are your sister will also get threatened with a knife, shot in the arm, and beaten soundly about the head and shoulders. She will also have to sit next to Charlie, smiling in a contrite fashion, during Dateline while Charlie explains why he chose to drive his car one hundred and six miles per hour through the farmer’s market in Santa Monica because the accelerator “stuck”.
Charlie Sheen’s behavior is well documented, predictable, and consistent. China’s behavior is also well documented, predictable, and consistent.
Well back at the beginning, Mr. Mao allowed for some dissention during the Hundred Flowers Campaign. As the intellectuals then called for greater freedom in China, Mr. Mao persecuted them, tossed them into reeducation camps, and killed off a bunch of them. To warm up for the Hundred Flowers Campaign, China and Mr. Mao took over Tibet, kicking out his Holiness the Dali Lama and bitch slapping the Buddhist proletariat and monks through this every day. Know what kept them out of Nepal and India? Really, really, really, really big mountains.
My first hands on experience with China was when thousands of peaceful Chinese students and intellectuals decided to protest in 1989 and China did what most peaceful, understanding governments would do. They sent in tanks and soldiers, banned the foreign press, opened up with live fire and shot at least six hundred civilians. Clearly remember sitting in The Land of Cleve watching those tanks pull into Tiananmen Square and thinking to myself “if ever asked ‘do you want to outsource to China’ I will answer ‘oh, hell no’”.
In 1948, most of the civilized nations in the world agreed to and signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The beginning reads as follows: “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people. Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.” No one expresses tyranny, oppression, and the repression of dignity like China. Which leads us to two three pronged tests.
Three pronged test as to whether my sister can date Charlie Sheen:
- The odds are less than 50% that my sister would walk in on a drug fueled sex orgy when picking up Charlie for Sunday brunch
- The odds are less than 50% that I would be at aforementioned drug fueled sex orgy
- The odds that the quid pro quo would be me dating Denise Richards
Three pronged test as to whether a country is my ideal choice for a low cost manufacturing country:
- Does that country observe and adhere to the United Nation’s “Universal Declaration on Human Rights”?
- Can that country’s people freely practice their religion of choice
- Has that country’s military massacred anyone in the last thirty years?
Three pronged tests make decisions relatively easy. And when the decision is not so easy, simply jump from your chair with arms spread….muttering:
While I remain on the sidelines, saying….
“Oh, hell no…..”