INRS 92 -- Section 1 -- Spring, 1998

University of North Carolina--"Nike Seminar"

Sorted by thread

  • Nike Contract - Richard Birgel 14:30:10 6/16/98(0)
  • I Bought Them...again - Unknown Consumer 18:48:39 5/19/98(0)
  • US Labor Practices - And You Criticize Nike in Vietnam? - Onion Man 10:36:54 5/06/98(1)
  • Australian news article worth reading. - Aussie 15:02:34 5/04/98(2)
  • Nike in China - JB 11:19:58 5/04/98(0)
  • Our own Anti Slave Labor website - Immaculata High Shool 09:31:14 4/29/98(7)
  • Who cares? - LA Businessman 01:17:39 4/26/98(17)
  • Boycott - Boycottman 16:10:52 4/23/98(1)
  • This message is brought to you by Marlboro - Rush Limbaugh 15:15:53 4/26/98(1)
  • Nike gets sued - Steve Nosher 09:16:13 4/21/98(0)
  • Where`s Michael ?on this Idon`t hear you!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - Efrain(Father of 2) 23:06:36 4/20/98(1)
  • nike - Patrick Wildman 18:52:45 4/17/98(22)
  • Hey America - Saddam Hussein 18:17:47 4/17/98(2)
  • Goes to show ya! - Tommy T 05:30:03 4/16/98(0)
  • It's every where! - Sayoko Akita 17:06:04 4/15/98(0)
  • ESPN "Running in Place?" - Steve Mosher 18:51:23 4/13/98(0)
  • Kudos To You - The Future 13:35:32 4/13/98(0)
  • a return to reality - reality 23:21:04 4/12/98(3)
  • made in vietnam - padilla 17:07:23 4/11/98(3)
  • How to solve the evils of the world... - Phil Knight 16:26:06 4/11/98(0)
  • No More Nike (or Reebok) For My Family and I - Mike 13:17:36 4/11/98(1)
  • Issues - The Activist 17:18:00 4/10/98(1)
  • Don't blame Nike! - Tiger 14:30:46 4/10/98(1)
  • Nike for life - Kup 14:20:40 4/10/98(1)
  • Support American business - The Truth 11:40:29 4/10/98(0)
  • Support American business - The Truth 11:40:29 4/10/98(2)
  • Conference evaluation - Eric Britton 11:23:48 4/10/98(0)
  • Taking a closer look at Nike claims on fixing toulene problems - Thuyen Nguyen 10:58:30 4/10/98(5)
  • YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES FOR SUPPORTING NIKE - Jay 06:41:35 4/10/98(12)
  • I love this job!!! - Nike Worker 02:05:13 4/10/98(1)
  • Who the Hell cares revisited - Owen the Henderson 00:15:45 4/10/98(0)
  • The US standard of living depends on this kind of exploitation. - Anonymous 00:43:14 4/10/98(1)
  • outside lines show - Frank Rhodes 20:52:07 4/09/98(1)
  • Nike/Reebok and Foreign Workers - Jacqui Brown 19:56:39 4/09/98(2)
  • A new report about Nike in China - Thuyen Nguyen 18:42:54 4/09/98(1)
  • Who the hell really cares? - reality 18:12:48 4/09/98(18)
  • buying American - Joshua Winton 16:24:44 4/09/98(2)
  • Nike! - Nate Groves 14:24:03 4/09/98(4)
  • shoe manufacturing - Robert Walker 13:35:44 4/09/98(0)
  • Bleeding Hearts... Look at the realities - L. Robinson 11:19:56 4/09/98(5)
  • Another question - Jon Palmer 03:30:48 4/09/98(0)
  • I have never bought Nike shoes in my life... - Mary Martelli 21:56:17 4/08/98(1)
  • look elsewhere when placing blame - Mark 21:46:29 4/08/98(1)
  • Nike needs to set a higher standard for itself - Thuyen Nguyen 20:17:34 4/08/98(9)
  • Response to NIKE report - David Brotherton 17:04:28 4/08/98(0)
  • GLOBAL ECONOMY & ETHNOCENTRISM - SAM FULLERTON 17:38:23 4/08/98(0)
  • Another Nike's myth debunked -- that Nike factory jobs helped establish a middle class - Thuyen Nguyen 17:18:56 4/08/98(8)
  • M.J. IS A FAKE - winn 16:26:17 4/08/98(10)
  • NIKE & MR.JORDAN - DAVE CARRIGER 13:58:27 4/08/98(1)
  • NIKE & MR.JORDAN - DAVE CARRIGER 13:58:27 4/08/98(0)
  • If it were me . . . - David Horton 13:28:10 4/08/98(1)
  • Nike - Ryan Hurlbert 12:54:28 4/08/98(0)
  • Jordan does what's right? - Russ Antler 12:57:47 4/08/98(0)
  • Share the wealth - Jeff Cook 13:06:04 4/08/98(0)
  • I donít buy NIKE Shoes - Mark Buerger 12:55:57 4/08/98(6)
  • Jordan, Woods, et al are gutless - Marty Mason 12:52:29 4/08/98(1)
  • It's time that someone comes forward!!!!!! - Tim Naylor 12:46:06 4/08/98(0)
  • It's time that someone comes forward!!!!!! - Tim Naylor 12:46:06 4/08/98(0)
  • Consumers hold the power - William Jackson 12:31:03 4/08/98(0)
  • Not just their responsibility - Andrew Grossmann 12:38:25 4/08/98(2)
  • NIKE is a great company to work with!!! - Zeke Brandt 12:25:31 4/08/98(0)
  • Missing key points in Nike profit margins if moved to US - Anonymous 12:14:58 4/08/98(2)
  • UNC Students want your input - Scott Boze 12:13:11 4/08/98(2)
  • Michael Jordan beats Asian kids in the off-season - geoffy severs 12:00:19 4/08/98(6)
  • Athletes are not wrong. - John 11:49:39 4/08/98(0)
  • How about another approach? - Douglas 11:32:28 4/08/98(1)
  • The Company you keep - Micah Thieszen 11:36:08 4/08/98(0)
  • Jordan? Tiger? risking money? - geoffy sever 11:37:27 4/08/98(0)
  • Nike contraversy - Darren Williams 11:30:15 4/08/98(0)
  • remember that we're dealing with different economies - Anonymous 10:57:04 4/08/98(0)
  • Millions of dollars! - Roger Mack 10:38:45 4/08/98(0)
  • Of course, Jordan, Woods, et al are in the wrong on this issue... - Josh Tate 09:57:33 4/08/98(5)
  • Reality Check - Bruce Panilaitis 10:03:41 4/08/98(1)
  • Is this bad? - Jon Palmer 08:02:35 4/08/98(2)
  • Nike Factories and the so called expert's perceptions - Mark 03:43:31 4/08/98(8)
  • Athelete's Power - Dano 04:22:27 4/08/98(0)
  • Jordan, UNC are in the right. - Joe Jaksich 03:23:17 4/08/98(1)
  • The entire sweatshop/exploitation contrversy - Mansoor Murad 02:04:58 4/08/98(2)
  • TRAITORS - Lance Del Goebel 01:27:38 4/08/98(3)
  • Why so much?? - Mark Klone 01:29:04 4/08/98(1)
  • Homework? Does the topic warrant such? - SC 23:19:21 4/07/98(0)
  • Asian salaries - Nick Bass 23:03:15 4/07/98(1)
  • Fentress' mistake - Dave Nezelek 21:50:00 4/07/98(0)
  • Nosey Americans - Lance Canaday 20:19:42 4/07/98(0)
  • Society's Sad State - Sportsczar 19:45:26 4/07/98(1)
  • Exploitation extends beyond shoes - Anonymous 18:32:13 4/07/98(0)
  • Athletes on world problems? - Paul 17:20:36 4/07/98(0)
  • Athletes on world problems? - Paul 17:20:36 4/07/98(1)
  • By a show of hands... - Jack Webber 17:20:23 4/07/98(1)
  • Its only a big deal because we make it that way - Scott Robinson 17:02:19 4/07/98(1)
  • Tiger Woods denies his heritage - Ex-Nike Sucker 17:06:46 4/07/98(27)
  • Factory war tops off already growing problem - Matthew Despres 16:37:31 4/07/98(1)
  • SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - RODNEY KIM 16:04:43 4/07/98(4)
  • Labor Practices In Asia--An Honest Perspective - Todd 16:00:42 4/07/98(0)
  • Shut Up - Anonymous 16:01:27 4/07/98(5)
  • Lee Fentress misses the point. - Chris Metzler 15:52:33 4/07/98(2)
  • Let the qualified speak - Joe Schlesinger 15:33:44 4/07/98(3)
  • My 2 cents.... - Donald Hills 15:40:46 4/07/98(0)
  • I dont care! - Troy Goulding 15:36:04 4/07/98(7)
  • Nike - Other reasons to not buy - Anonymous 14:54:13 4/07/98(0)
  • "Boot camp" shoe factories - thuyen nguyen 13:20:11 4/07/98(5)
  • Other cost of cheap labor - poor quality products - Dave Parvin 12:33:36 4/07/98(3)
  • Yet another school to join the Nike empire? - Matt Krautheim 12:32:01 4/07/98(1)
  • The Capitalist Juggernaut - Anand Raghunath 09:07:17 4/07/98(3)
  • US Companies are good employers in Vietnam - Nike is the exception - Thuyen Nguyen 08:52:52 4/07/98(3)
  • Vietnam - Greg Hardy 02:10:06 4/07/98(7)
  • I've visited those factories - Alberto Cailao 01:01:41 4/07/98(8)
  • I've visited those factories - Alberto Cailao 01:01:41 4/07/98(0)
  • Three profs, 18 students, a ton of posts and Todd Pugatch - Drew 22:41:31 4/06/98(4)
  • Mining for Gold - Steve Mosher 22:30:07 4/06/98(15)
  • The bigger picture - Playmaker 22:33:51 4/06/98(4)
  • NIke - Terry Lambert 21:50:34 4/06/98(3)
  • sweatshops and sneakers - Big Rob 20:25:49 4/06/98(3)
  • Manufacturing Facilities - Dennis Littrell 19:30:12 4/06/98(1)
  • The Bottom Line: Profit - Jim 18:01:14 4/06/98(4)
  • What is Fairness?? - Matt 19:04:54 4/06/98(5)
  • labor wages - Michael Redden 17:34:54 4/06/98(2)
  • If we are blaming Nike?, why not complain about toys and other goods made in Asia - Chris 17:18:57 4/06/98(6)
  • The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam - Thuyen Nguyen 12:16:24 4/06/98(14)
  • The happy Nike worker myth - Thuyen Nguyen 12:16:24 4/06/98(1)
  • September 1997 "Inside Carolina" article on Nike. - Thad Williamson 12:17:52 4/06/98(0)
  • Campus Activism - Ann Krohn Rick 11:20:56 4/06/98(3)
  • workers - Michael 10:52:58 4/06/98(4)
  • Expensiveness - Paul 08:50:45 4/06/98(1)
  • Could there be a world-wide minimum wage? - Chuck Darby 00:48:13 4/06/98(1)
  • Capitalism=freedom - Geoff 23:45:11 4/05/98(3)
  • Earning their keep - David M. Jagodzinski 23:00:23 4/05/98(13)
  • Nike, "sports are an integral part of youth development" - Hing Wun NIP 20:55:08 4/05/98(2)
  • Where's all the money going to? - Marc 20:51:14 4/05/98(4)
  • Made in the USA? - Anthony Crotti 18:26:13 4/05/98(14)
  • Point by point - Ben Gum 16:51:51 4/05/98(6)
  • Policy and Consumer Options - U.Sinclair 15:17:07 4/05/98(0)
  • no they are not - jeffrey datto 10:33:16 4/05/98(12)
  • 1%!!!! - Geoff 01:31:53 4/05/98(2)
  • Take a good look around you!!! - Old Man 00:01:08 4/05/98(6)
  • Factory Workers - Gerd Eysser 22:53:56 4/04/98(3)
  • People want products to be cheap. - Anonymous 21:49:18 4/04/98(5)
  • Athletics as an Integral Component of Education - Jennings Durand 17:09:52 4/04/98(0)
  • It's Not Just About Shoes - N. Chomsky 16:04:56 4/04/98(13)
  • Nike's Story, worth looking at. - Josh 14:00:40 4/04/98(0)
  • what's the problem? - doug 11:46:58 4/04/98(0)
  • ESPN = Hypocrite - Jason 11:22:28 4/04/98(9)
  • The 'Nam - Anonymous 09:19:55 4/04/98(9)
  • Leave them alone... - R8RH8R 03:36:44 4/04/98(7)
  • Nike's far reach - Marc Isenberg 00:22:08 4/04/98(6)
  • A0: Exclusive Photos: Children at Nike Factory - Anonymous 23:27:29 4/03/98(4)
  • AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 - Barry Cooper 22:42:35 4/03/98(68)
  • Forget economics - this is a culture war - Stephen D. Mosher 21:56:09 4/03/98(26)
  • Nike's just out to make some chedda - Mookie 21:56:27 4/03/98(0)
  • Look at the bigger picture! - C.J. Wang 21:48:52 4/03/98(0)
  • Michael sells out but knows what's happening - Air Jordan 21:35:24 4/03/98(1)
  • Every one here work for a day in a Nike shop... - Geoff 21:03:48 4/03/98(2)
  • Perspective from the Dominican Republic - Jon Bargen 20:58:37 4/03/98(2)
  • What about my tax dollars? - UNC System Grad 21:08:22 4/03/98(1)
  • Nike has a choice, so do we - Tony 20:33:25 4/03/98(3)
  • Bo knows Econ 101 - Bo Jackson 20:25:26 4/03/98(0)
  • The Purpose of This Discussion - Kenneth Phan 20:09:48 4/03/98(1)
  • nike shoes - dennis 19:51:30 4/03/98(1)
  • the effect of Nike's presence in Vietnam - david 19:18:34 4/03/98(1)
  • What is the real source of the problem? - HS Hortin 19:11:50 4/03/98(2)
  • True picture - Anonymous 19:17:08 4/03/98(13)
  • Connection between Consumption and Brutality - Yang C. 18:30:52 4/03/98(2)
  • Want the Facts? Nikeworkers.com - paul murphy 18:51:45 4/03/98(9)
  • Leave Nike Alone - Kevin Ziegenhorn 18:16:34 4/03/98(15)
  • Leave Nike Alone - Kevin Ziegenhorn 18:16:34 4/03/98(6)
  • Global Economy???? - JoAnn Ailes 17:56:32 4/03/98(4)
  • Todd Pugatch is hung like a cat - Pat Noonan 18:22:24 4/03/98(1)
  • Nike is a good company - Gregg Found 18:19:37 4/03/98(4)
  • nike - aziz gilani 18:02:39 4/03/98(2)
  • PRESS RELEASE - NIKE speaks out! - SS 17:33:33 4/03/98(2)
  • Nike and Sweat Shops - Dan Cotto 17:07:25 4/03/98(1)
  • Nike/Reebok in Vietnam - Doug Moran 17:10:44 4/03/98(1)
  • Nike/Reebok in Vietnam - Doug Moran 17:10:44 4/03/98(1)
  • America the Beautiful - Uncle Sam 17:01:45 4/03/98(0)
  • Nike doesn't realize that they're shooting themselves - Brian 17:01:11 4/03/98(2)
  • The Kid Was Right - Anonymous 16:54:40 4/03/98(0)
  • money - ryan moglia 16:50:15 4/03/98(2)
  • request to course professor - dave crockett 16:35:58 4/03/98(0)
  • The almighty dollar - Dean-o 16:28:11 4/03/98(10)
  • African American Athletes wearing the logos of contemporary slave masters: - David Mayeda 16:28:26 4/03/98(20)
  • Nike Statement - Anonymous 16:24:20 4/03/98(7)
  • Nike in China - Jim Scheller 15:54:54 4/03/98(0)
  • MJ and the University??? - Jesus Pinedo 15:47:43 4/03/98(1)
  • ESPN, are they hypocrites? - John 15:39:02 4/03/98(3)
  • Big Money - Steve Raineri 15:21:36 4/03/98(3)
  • It is a U.S. perception, but not over there - Edwin Johnson 15:16:41 4/03/98(8)
  • this is stupid of North Carolina students to argue this - Carolina fan 15:08:49 4/03/98(5)
  • blame the stars??? - bball fan 15:01:34 4/03/98(5)
  • A right to a comfortable life? - Anonymous 14:55:42 4/03/98(10)
  • Nike\Reebok - Anonymous 14:46:08 4/03/98(1)
  • Repatriate ??? - Vinny Nguyen 13:57:48 4/03/98(2)
  • Whining doesn't solve anything . . . - Anonymous 14:06:58 4/03/98(1)
  • Why "air" - RBarlow 14:22:08 4/03/98(3)
  • God bless capitalism . . . - Anonymous 14:06:58 4/03/98(0)
  • Simplification - Tim Adkins 13:52:27 4/03/98(4)
  • Chris Webber for President!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - Anonymous 13:47:12 4/03/98(10)
  • Nike - Anonymous 13:59:01 4/03/98(0)
  • RE: How does it challenge each of us - ed O 13:46:43 4/03/98(0)
  • Michael Jordan's true profession - Paul Koopman 13:42:39 4/03/98(4)
  • RE : Sweatshops - Brent 13:28:34 4/03/98(0)
  • RE : Sweatshops - Christian 13:28:34 4/03/98(0)
  • A question... - Phil Rohtla 13:17:59 4/03/98(10)
  • You have the choice. - Chris Kidd 13:01:47 4/03/98(1)
  • Barry Staples is wrong - Anonymous 13:09:41 4/03/98(4)
  • salary not the main issue - Terence Nguyen 12:50:41 4/03/98(4)
  • Blame the stars - Jeremy Cruz 12:47:45 4/03/98(0)
  • business policy - Mike Meyer 12:55:15 4/03/98(5)
  • A job for the IMF - Marc Sedam 12:41:55 4/03/98(0)
  • SweatShops - Greg Bernarding 12:41:29 4/03/98(2)
  • They're better off, right? - Chuck Long 12:31:53 4/03/98(2)
  • This cause needs a REAL voice!! - Jason Maestas 12:32:32 4/03/98(0)
  • JAMISON TO HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE ON... - Jamaal Edwards 12:35:14 4/03/98(1)
  • Nike doesn't realize that they're shooting themselves - Brian 12:30:35 4/03/98(0)
  • Not our responsibility to get involved in it. - Chance Villines 12:25:56 4/03/98(1)
  • End the dictatorship of international capital - Ken Sisson 12:29:25 4/03/98(4)
  • Sports Stars to Blame - Al Kratzer 12:19:46 4/03/98(2)
  • Sweat shop or NOT! - Lee Keel 12:13:19 4/03/98(2)
  • Arrogant American Attitudes - K. Lee 12:13:07 4/03/98(10)
  • GREED - D.BURKE 12:07:36 4/03/98(3)
  • Nike won't receive another cent from me as long as this keeps up - Anonymous 12:00:57 4/03/98(2)
  • Missing the point - Don Dale 11:38:57 4/03/98(6)
  • Enforcing corporate codes of conduct - David Loomis 11:52:46 4/03/98(0)
  • GET REAL!! AIN'T NO SWEATSHOP!! - Anonymous 11:39:09 4/03/98(6)
  • Sneaker Controversy - Tyler Schara 11:39:46 4/03/98(0)
  • Need to consider all facets of the issue - Tim Cox 11:42:21 4/03/98(2)
  • Why Now?????????? - Anonymous 11:18:52 4/03/98(0)
  • Who would really get the money? - Donna 11:35:04 4/03/98(0)
  • Culture Clash - Bill Trusky 11:05:48 4/03/98(1)
  • basic human rights - Michael Meyers 11:10:59 4/03/98(24)
  • Stop Imposing our values! - Matt 10:50:35 4/03/98(2)
  • Nike and Reebok can do as they please. - Anonymous 10:36:25 4/03/98(50)
  • Anonymous.....aren't we all tired of seeing it. - Casey Gaynor 10:18:21 4/03/98(0)
  • Minimum wage and stuff-2 - Anonymous 10:12:30 4/03/98(2)
  • No more Nike - Roger Donahe 10:19:09 4/03/98(6)
  • The Real Issue: Economics - James T. Goodwin 09:51:30 4/03/98(2)
  • nike and reebok - MJ 3peat 10:00:57 4/03/98(0)
  • The dumbing down of society by Nike. - Tom McConville 09:58:07 4/03/98(2)
  • labor economics - David Dieteman 09:58:59 4/03/98(3)
  • labor economics - David Dieteman 09:58:59 4/03/98(0)
  • Sweatshop/Hghest Priced Merchandise - Bob Hicks 09:47:54 4/03/98(0)
  • Corporate exploitation - Scott 09:54:49 4/03/98(6)
  • Killing!!! - ChrisG 09:46:26 4/03/98(1)
  • Real Problems - Mike 09:19:44 4/03/98(5)
  • sweatshops - Andrew Huffman 09:31:51 4/03/98(3)
  • A consumer - Anthony Sullins 09:29:50 4/03/98(0)
  • General Comment - Anonymous 09:20:03 4/03/98(0)
  • Re: They Should Be Thankful For the Job - Tony Pham 09:03:20 4/03/98(1)
  • American Production? - 09:02:19 4/03/98(0)
  • Out of Sight, Out of Mind - Phil 08:36:38 4/03/98(1)
  • They should be thankful for the job!!!!!! - James Gallagher 08:37:47 4/03/98(3)
  • I can't jump any higher - Michael (N.F. New York) 08:35:29 4/03/98(0)
  • Nike Sucks - Anonymous 07:19:46 4/03/98(3)
  • ethnocentrism - frank bottone 07:07:00 4/03/98(2)
  • Of course they are sweatshops - partha mohanram 05:43:53 4/03/98(0)
  • SWEATSHOPS - GOLAZO 05:00:39 4/03/98(0)
  • Bad Compared to What? - Anonymous 02:53:25 4/03/98(3)
  • Why are we suprised??? - John Fernandes 02:45:18 4/03/98(0)
  • Why are we suprised??? - John Fernandes 02:45:18 4/03/98(0)
  • I'd like to buy a clue, please. - A. Nguyen 02:26:49 4/03/98(0)
  • I'd like to buy a clue, please. - Anonymous 01:48:57 4/03/98(5)
  • Michael Jordan's true profession - Paul Koopman 01:43:39 4/03/98(5)
  • overseas labor - Todd 01:40:22 4/03/98(5)
  • Wake up USA - E Turner 01:37:35 4/03/98(0)
  • We are all a bunch of hypocrites - John 00:41:57 4/03/98(4)
  • Buy American - jason brant 01:02:17 4/03/98(4)
  • Athletes have the power to help. - Kevin Jeu 00:50:35 4/03/98(0)
  • JAMISON TO HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE ON... - Jamaal Edwards 00:13:49 4/03/98(3)
  • They R Bedder Off - geoffy sever 00:38:34 4/03/98(1)
  • Nike's Code of Conduct - Anonymous 00:32:57 4/03/98(1)
  • Nike's Code of Conduct - Anonymous 00:32:57 4/03/98(0)
  • Nike's Code of Conduct - Anonymous 00:32:57 4/03/98(0)
  • Share the wealth - Anonymous 23:47:25 4/02/98(2)
  • Keep spending $75 - $125 for shoes you idiots!!!!! - Jim Schoos 23:56:01 4/02/98(6)
  • Re: Behind the Lines - Anonymous 00:03:57 4/03/98(0)
  • Public irony - Ryan C. Ford 23:37:38 4/02/98(2)
  • NOT JUST NIKE!!! - Anonymous 23:55:11 4/02/98(4)
  • Nike says screw US workers - Michael 23:37:35 4/02/98(6)
  • Boycott - Martin Lahaie 23:39:07 4/02/98(6)
  • Power - Jeremy W. Jaskunas 23:06:45 4/02/98(3)
  • slaves . . - Paul 23:27:19 4/02/98(2)
  • LOOKS LIKE EVERYONE HAS AN OPINION - Anonymous 23:26:19 4/02/98(1)
  • FIX THE PROBLEMS AT HOME FIRST - Anonymous 23:06:23 4/02/98(2)
  • Comparison to Slaves??? - EKIN 22:57:51 4/02/98(9)
  • Stupid Consumers-AKA Lemmings-AKA-Nike wearers - Dave&Trudy 22:46:33 4/02/98(5)
  • Supporting Nike - J.D. McCall 22:38:51 4/02/98(1)
  • Wages are relative - Ryan 22:38:58 4/02/98(0)
  • Is this "sweatshop" practice industry wide? - Jay Reddy 22:36:32 4/02/98(0)
  • The awful truth - Ben Hoopes 22:12:12 4/02/98(3)
  • Justified Wages - Kyle Kloc 22:22:06 4/02/98(4)
  • MY Cousin work for NIKE - Dewey Pham 22:08:26 4/02/98(7)
  • Been there, Seen it. - Nguyen 22:14:14 4/02/98(16)
  • Just another Charity Fad - Melvin A. Suttle 21:59:48 4/02/98(1)
  • tar heels - josh schwartz 22:09:25 4/02/98(1)
  • Nike Economics - Anonymous 22:08:15 4/02/98(4)
  • Waffle Irons & American Entrepreneurship - Bill McNamara 21:39:01 4/02/98(1)
  • Human rights or nice shoes? - Joseph Sawicki 21:56:17 4/02/98(1)
  • Look toward Washington - $$$$$$$$ 21:53:51 4/02/98(0)
  • moral, no illegal, no competitive yes - Brad Fisher 21:53:32 4/02/98(3)
  • Vietnam/Nike/CollegeAdministrators/PimpingAthletes - Ronald Lourie 21:26:22 4/02/98(0)
  • that Todd Pugatch kid is amazing - Tommy Ryan 21:47:37 4/02/98(2)
  • looking deeper - Patrick 21:37:44 4/02/98(0)
  • them bad shoes! - runner_hiker_player 21:49:17 4/02/98(0)
  • Vietnam/Nike/CollegeAdministrators/PimpingAthletes - Ronald Lourie 21:26:22 4/02/98(3)
  • Leave NIKE alone - Ryan Ashby 21:45:47 4/02/98(7)
  • Let's be fair - Steve McNamara 21:41:09 4/02/98(3)
  • Nike Fat Cats - corwin 21:26:33 4/02/98(0)
  • Leave NIKE Alone - Ryan Ashby 21:23:53 4/02/98(0)
  • i have seen the factories - paul j green 21:30:54 4/02/98(2)
  • Ugly Americans - Mark T. 21:09:33 4/02/98(0)
  • I will never buy Nike's again - Mike Coghlan 21:29:05 4/02/98(1)
  • So why is my NIKE stock losing $$$$ - Nittany2 21:14:52 4/02/98(1)
  • ? - J Fernandez 21:15:49 4/02/98(7)
  • shoes factory - MARY 21:12:46 4/02/98(0)
  • What are the health conditions in the factories? - Stuart White 21:10:09 4/02/98(0)
  • Too Many Jobs Not At Home - Frank Paris 21:08:40 4/02/98(7)
  • NO MAS NIKE - LEROY MATIAS 20:59:52 4/02/98(0)
  • todd Pugatch - Anonymous 21:02:09 4/02/98(0)
  • wages, etc. - craig sweet 21:00:20 4/02/98(1)
  • No Question - Andrew 21:02:35 4/02/98(0)
  • Human Dignity - Andrew Wein 20:51:36 4/02/98(1)
  • NIKE - Phil Brown 20:58:46 4/02/98(0)
  • NIKE's ownership of college basketball - UVa Fan 20:48:37 4/02/98(2)
  • Nike Factories - Scott Parson 20:50:53 4/02/98(1)
  • NIKE - YIRAY MATIAS 20:51:29 4/02/98(0)
  • Sweat shops - Anonymous 20:50:50 4/02/98(0)
  • The Shoe Controversy - Anonymous 20:42:23 4/02/98(0)
  • what was that support the swoosh guy talking about???? - Tommy Ryan 20:41:34 4/02/98(3)
  • Workers - Paul Rearden 20:40:14 4/02/98(2)
  • Thank you M.J.,Shaq., Tiger...ETC!!!!! - WishBone 20:22:11 4/02/98(5)
  • Cost and quality - Bdot 20:28:14 4/02/98(1)
  • Cost and quality - Bdot 20:28:14 4/02/98(0)
  • America - Love it or Leave it - Anonymous 20:26:27 4/02/98(11)
  • who are you rooting for: - Thomas Vu 19:58:36 4/02/98(1)
  • wage and conditions - Anonymous 20:18:01 4/02/98(0)
  • Salary and lifestyle - Tim Newkirk 20:14:13 4/02/98(0)
  • High Price of clothing apparel - Mike Forman 20:06:55 4/02/98(2)
  • Nike employment practices - Mystery Citizen 20:09:10 4/02/98(2)
  • Brand devotion - Todd Konkel 19:54:19 4/02/98(4)
  • Difficult for Americans to Judge - Holt Goddard 19:31:04 4/02/98(1)
  • NIKE - John Bowen 19:57:10 4/02/98(1)
  • Can anyone get in touch with the liberals to pull their heads out of their asses? - Big Ol Bad Ass Mike 19:49:16 4/02/98(5)
  • VIETNAM- THE MEXICO OF ASIA - CHARLIE NGUYEN 19:16:15 4/02/98(3)
  • Ronald Curry - Anonymous 19:23:53 4/02/98(1)
  • Other companies' practices - Ike 19:20:40 4/02/98(4)
  • what are the the wages in US $$$$ - The Barber 19:11:22 4/02/98(2)
  • How much do they make? - KenPac 19:04:33 4/02/98(0)
  • econ 201 - Tom Vitolo 18:59:53 4/02/98(1)
  • Make them work harder - Russ T. Shackles 19:07:09 4/02/98(5)
  • Nike - Mukunthan Panchalingam 19:00:42 4/02/98(1)
  • Nike Unfairly Criticized - Jason Watson 19:03:32 4/02/98(4)
  • wages - Ethan Titelman 18:39:36 4/02/98(0)
  • wages - Ethan Titelman 18:39:36 4/02/98(1)
  • Nike is GREEDY! - David F. 18:56:30 4/02/98(0)
  • Nike should be congratulated for giving people jobs. - Alex W. Adrianson 18:18:39 4/02/98(9)
  • What would the Universities do without the Nike Money - Eric Rollison 18:49:11 4/02/98(0)
  • What do higher wages do? - Curtis Gamble 18:45:45 4/02/98(3)
  • I Believe in Nike - Anonymous 18:47:41 4/02/98(3)
  • Nike Spells Success! - Anonymous 18:44:17 4/02/98(2)
  • I'm Surprised ESPN found something - Colby Weikel 18:38:36 4/02/98(4)
  • What a retailer really makes on a pair of shoes - Curtis May 18:32:34 4/02/98(5)
  • Large universities, could they survive w/o NIKE? - Anonymous 18:39:21 4/02/98(3)
  • Curious Pressure - Anonymous 18:24:25 4/02/98(0)
  • The Truth is Out There - Mr. Bambos Anonymos 17:43:23 4/02/98(0)
  • Nike Factory Conditions No Suprise - Rick Mulloy 18:31:25 4/02/98(1)
  • Global Economy - Anonymous 18:31:43 4/02/98(0)
  • Being "Politically Correct" is Ruining Big American Business - Jay Ryan 18:10:11 4/02/98(6)
  • Did anyone study Economics? - Anonymous 18:21:03 4/02/98(2)
  • Leading a live of principle - Gary Bust 18:21:38 4/02/98(3)
  • Take off the rose colored glasses - A practical thinker 18:23:31 4/02/98(0)
  • I wish I lived in your world... - Anonymous 18:04:22 4/02/98(1)
  • $0.23/hr buys them more there than $6.00/hr buys me here - Anonymous 18:23:21 4/02/98(7)
  • What ethics ? - Anonymous 18:24:41 4/02/98(0)
  • NIKE FACTS - Anonymous 18:19:53 4/02/98(1)
  • Forget Nike & Reebok - miles 18:18:51 4/02/98(3)
  • Sneaker factories (wages) - Robert H. Bennett 18:11:43 4/02/98(1)
  • Glue, Glue, Glue - Stann 18:08:00 4/02/98(0)
  • Just do it! - Anonymous 18:14:12 4/02/98(1)
  • Show them the money!!! - Anonymous 18:14:12 4/02/98(0)
  • Money - Anonymous 18:02:14 4/02/98(0)
  • Support the Swoosh - Anonymous 18:06:29 4/02/98(7)
  • Nike is the only company... - Steven Fong 17:31:52 4/02/98(2)
  • RIP OFF ARTISTS - POPPY 18:07:07 4/02/98(13)
  • Visit nikebiz.com to see what Nike has to say. - Scott Reames 17:58:10 4/02/98(0)
  • Nike Controversy - Joseph M. Tysel 17:13:41 4/02/98(0)
  • Even in Viet Nam, $2/day won't buy much - Gary Volz 17:21:30 4/02/98(1)
  • Nike, smart business - Thomas Lamb 17:46:35 4/02/98(0)
  • A cognitive thought on Nike - Dane K. Daniel 17:47:27 4/02/98(1)
  • Just Ron - Anonymous 17:50:54 4/02/98(0)
  • Ron is really a great guy and I think he can solve all our problems. When you talk to Ron ask him what he thinks we should do about this situation in Vietnam - Anonymous 17:48:52 4/02/98(0)
  • Nike's are not made in Vietnam - Anonymous 17:45:47 4/02/98(2)
  • Haves and have nots - Tony 17:39:23 4/02/98(1)
  • Outrage before the fact - Eric Huber 17:41:15 4/02/98(0)
  • Marketable Skills - Anonymous 17:34:13 4/02/98(0)
  • exploitation of workers - gary stankowski 17:29:59 4/02/98(0)
  • Points to Consider - It's all relative - Chris Calhoun 17:24:54 4/02/98(0)
  • All Companies - drew everard 17:34:55 4/02/98(0)
  • We are right to inquire - Jarrett Blanc 17:37:02 4/02/98(0)
  • North Calolina's sports department - Ryan 17:25:08 4/02/98(1)
  • Money doesn't seem to go where it ought to.... - Bill Bibber 15:53:44 4/02/98(0)
  • What about ESPN? - ed johnson 17:23:05 4/02/98(2)
  • What about Reebok? - Henry 17:24:34 4/02/98(1)
  • how does phil knight sleep? - patrick walsh 17:10:42 4/02/98(6)
  • Reaching the Bottom Line - Thomas J Gersey 17:12:22 4/02/98(4)
  • Nike - Timothy Reyes 16:57:58 4/02/98(0)
  • Why choose Nike?? - Nike wearer 17:13:15 4/02/98(2)
  • Any altruism at all? - Chuck Long 17:12:58 4/02/98(0)
  • Which sneakers should we buy then? - Anonymous 17:12:59 4/02/98(6)
  • Contributions to the Economy - Shaun Blakeman 17:11:30 4/02/98(1)
  • Experience in South Korea - Xavier Moon 17:03:03 4/02/98(1)
  • Nike and Reebok should have more sole! - Mike 17:02:05 4/02/98(0)
  • Nike's Vietnamese Sweatshops - Scott Rosendahl 16:54:04 4/02/98(1)
  • NIKE and the horror of working - JOSH 17:00:11 4/02/98(0)
  • Nike Labor - Ryan DeMotte 16:54:45 4/02/98(0)
  • Same standards for all of humanity - Anonymous 16:51:30 4/02/98(3)
  • Bargains - Joel Gamo 16:51:09 4/02/98(0)
  • Amazing ratio of marketing $$$ versus production $ - Peter H. 16:52:03 4/02/98(1)
  • Nike in High Schools and Jr. Highs.. Ethical? - Shawn Chrisman 16:42:57 4/02/98(4)
  • This is a Vietnamese problem - David Fried 16:28:38 4/02/98(4)
  • Nothing wrong with Nike - Jesse Liu 16:39:09 4/02/98(10)
  • Nike Greed - SRL 16:36:10 4/02/98(6)
  • Unfair standards - James VanElls 16:35:38 4/02/98(0)
  • Let's Save The World - RF 16:25:44 4/02/98(0)
  • Big Brother should look after his own - Bruce V. Jenkins Jr. 16:20:23 4/02/98(2)
  • Who is responsible? - David Rampolla 16:22:29 4/02/98(0)
  • Why Nike is better than the rest - Anonymous 16:19:05 4/02/98(26)
  • You would take a 23 cent job. - Chris Conine 16:24:19 4/02/98(9)
  • Capitalism - John Pinto 16:19:42 4/02/98(0)
  • VIETNAM NIKE WORKERS - MICHAEL GARCIA 15:57:23 4/02/98(8)
  • Can we do something? - J Moore 16:12:47 4/02/98(0)
  • Can we do something? - J Moore 16:12:47 4/02/98(0)
  • Nike, They can... - Eric Cubakovic 16:09:30 4/02/98(9)
  • Re: Shoe Sellout - Larry Johnson 16:04:49 4/02/98(1)
  • market saturation - Jon Freeman 15:58:37 4/02/98(0)
  • Nike in the University system - Gabriel Bayley 15:57:21 4/02/98(4)
  • Minimum wage 'n stuff - Joel Merry 15:52:35 4/02/98(0)
  • Profit margins ? ! - Bruce Hedrick 15:36:24 4/02/98(2)
  • The Americanization of the World - John Redding 15:20:03 4/02/98(3)
  • American Companies? Not too sure about that... - Derek Bennett 15:19:27 4/02/98(4)
  • Nike's Profits - Ryan Willett 15:24:50 4/02/98(4)
  • Good guys? - Jarrett Blanc 15:26:30 4/02/98(2)
  • The NIKE Crisis - L. Nathan Lane 15:17:52 4/02/98(0)
  • Labor costs vs. marketing costs - Fred Blake 15:08:40 4/02/98(1)
  • Re: AMERICAN SNEAKER CONTROVERSY - HECTOR MORALES 15:08:43 4/02/98(1)
  • Did our own GOVERNMENT cause this? - Scott Monroe 15:01:24 4/02/98(2)
  • It's the market, stupid! - Grant Kronenberg 15:03:06 4/02/98(13)
  • Is Nike the only one to blame? - greg beard 15:04:42 4/02/98(0)
  • Your thoughts on Nike - David Peedin 12:46:47 4/02/98(10)
  • Asian cultures and export manufacturing - Pete Andrews 11:02:19 4/02/98(1)
  • Women,work, and sports: America and Asia - Pete Andrews 10:47:32 4/02/98(3)
  • Creative ideas for influencing the global economy - Pete Andrews 12:00:38 3/31/98(1)
  • Universities and the global economy - Pete Andrews 11:50:50 3/31/98(15)
  • Monitoring of business practices - Pete Andrews 11:42:14 3/31/98(4)
  • Codes of conduct for businesses - Pete Andrews 11:35:51 3/31/98(1)
  • Working conditions - Pete Andrews 11:28:12 3/31/98(5)
  • Fair wages - Pete Andrews 11:19:09 3/31/98(12)
  • Globalization of manufacturing - Pete Andrews 11:09:47 3/31/98(0)
  • Welcome and instructions - Professor Pete Andrews 09:39:22 3/31/98(45)


    Nike Contract

    Posted by Richard Birgel on June 16, 1998 at 14:30:10

    Bill Guthridge has been a devoted employee and supporter of UNC athletics for a very long time. He deserves everything he's now getting.


    I Bought Them...again

    Posted by Unknown Consumer on May 19, 1998 at 18:48:39

    Last weekend I went to replace my 3 year old Nike basketball shoes. I was planning on trying another brand, I tried on some Reeboks, Fila and Adidas. I ended up buying Nikes, they were the best fitting, supportive and had the best cushioning of the 5 pairs of shoes tried on. If I can get 3 years out of these I call it a bargain at $80. I did think about the controversy of the overseas manufacturing. However, all the other brands (I would consider) are produced in the same countries and often the same factories so I bought what felt and looked good to me. Nike is getting a lot of heat, but from what I can see they are also doing the most to better working conditions than the rest of the industry. A long way to go I might add, but a start. This morning I put on my shirt made in Bangladesh, my pants made in Nicaragua, my shoes made in China and climbed into my Volkswagen and headed to work. Along the way I stopped for coffee grown in Sumatra that was poured by a Korean. I guess it is hard to get away from this global thing. I am a more aware consumer today than I used to be. I shop with a conscience and therefor boycott ESPN (owned by Disney).


    US Labor Practices - And You Criticize Nike in Vietnam?

    Posted by Onion Man on May 06, 1998 at 10:36:54

    *** U.S. slaps fine on Texas grower for using child labor 10 children aged 6 to 11 were picking onions in the fields of Texas grower Pemelton Farms Co. one Saturday last month when a Labor Department strike force moved in, one of 50 sweeps planned this year. "We actually saw them, watched them do it and we have pictures," said one official Tuesday, noting while the Labor Department often received tips about children in the fields, illegal child labor violations were hard to prove. The department found child labor violations at Pemelton, located near McAllen, Texas, on the RioGrande, and five other growers during its two-week strike force in April, and collected fines totaling $34,200 from the agricultural firms. See http://www.infobeat.com/stories/cgi/story.cgi?id=2554020233-62d


    Re: US Labor Practices - And You Criticize Nike in Vietnam?

    Posted by Naomi on May 07, 1998 at 23:10:33

    In reply to US Labor Practices - And You Criticize Nike in Vietnam? posted by Onion Man on May 06, 1998 at 10:36:54

    As I said before, CLEAN OUR HOUSE FIRST. Thanks for this article.


    Australian news article worth reading.

    Posted by Aussie on May 04, 1998 at 15:02:34

    The New Australian Target Hanoi -- not Nike No. 73, 20-26 April 1998 The Left has a number of ideological hobby horses that it mounts when the opportunity presents itself -- or when it creates one. The latest has been the moral crusade against Nike. It has accused the company of exploiting 'cheap' Asian labour, especially child labour. That many 'journalists' cheerfully joined the campaign came as no surprise to interested observers of that degraded profession. The Australian Financial Review's San Francisco-based Eric Ellis was one of those who mindlessly hitched himself to the Left's nauseating cavalcade of rotting moralistic baggage by writing an apologia (it does not deserve to be called news) for the latest anti-capitalist struggle. Using the left-wing tactic of portraying multinationals as unpatriotic as well as callous, Ellis accused Nike of exploiting "14-year-old Vietnamese and Indonesians in sweatshops while Americans in Flint remain out of work," even though the company made "gigantic profits." (Incidentally, these gigantic profits amounted to 8 per cent of sales revenue.) Ellis' information on Nike's so-called exploitation of Asian labour came from Michael Moore, a left-wing film maker. Like most 'journalists', Ellis seems all too eager to suspend his critical faculties (assuming he has any) when it comes to leftwing criticism of capitalism, especially when it targets an evil multinational. Having condemned the company for exploitation Ellis then had the nerve to finish with a complaint that Nike will be forced to sack 7 per cent of its global workforce, most of which is in Asia, "at a time when they need jobs most." Readers will no doubt have noticed the hypocrisy. After having supported a vicious campaign of vilification against the company and complaining about it not creating jobs in America, the likes of Ellis are now shedding crocodile tears over Asian unemployment. The irony is that he and most others on the left cannot even make the connection. Several things need to be understood (apart from the Left's sickening hypocrisy). Child labour was the natural order of things in Britain -- as well the rest of world -- until the Industrial Revolution rendered it obsolete, irrespective of left-wing propaganda to the contrary. What once made child labour frequently vital to a family's economic welfare was the low marginal value of labour's product. This meant that incomes for the vast majority were so low that children, despite their horribly low productivity, had to supplement the family income by working. In a sense, everyone had to man the economic lifeboat. The appalling level of poverty in eighteenth century France, for example, was reflected in the mortality figures. Life expectancy for males in 1800 was 24 years and 27 years for females. In 1780 (9 years before the revolution) more than 80 per cent of French families spent over 90 per cent of their incomes on bread. (The situation was not as severe in England where industrialisation was well underway. Industrialisation had the effect of significantly raising the value of labour's marginal product which by definition meant a rise in living standards. This phenomenon was completely domestic in origin and unique. Fortunately for the rest of the world, industrialisation is a process that can be emulated. Unfortunately, many countries suppressed capitalism, the only thing that made industrial possible, in favour of socialism. The result was 100 million or so deaths and incalculable misery for hundreds of millions more, none of which is ever referred to by the Left's moral crusaders. This brings us to Nike's operations in Vietnam. The communist government in Hanoi is responsible for the appalling level of wages in Vietnam, not Nike. It was that government's socialist policies that kept living standards at an abysmal level. A free market, even a badly hampered one, would have seen significant increases in real wages as capital accumulation go underway. Instead, socialism's totalitarian hand was laid over the country with the most dreadful consequences. So do not blame Nike. On the contrary, applaud it. By investing in the Vietnam it is creating more job opportunities and helping, even in a small way, to raise the demand for labour. It completely eludes the company's critics that to attract workers it has to pay at least asmuch as any Vietnamese company, including state 'enterprises'. But the likes of Ellis and Garry Trudeau never attack Hanoi for paying lousy wages, exploiting cheap labour, running sweatshops, using child labour, etc. In fact, they have never attacked the Hanoi regime fo anything -- including mass torture and murder. To a certain degree, Indonesia is similar. President Sukarno's socialist policies severely crippled economic progress. Though he was deposed by the military in 1965 the damage was done and immense. Those who followed are certainly an improvement and living standards clearly exceed those of Vietnam -- something that left-wing crusaders ignore -- but corrupt economic policies and gross interventionism have clearly kept living standards much lower than they would have otherwise been. Yet, once again, the Left and its media mates cynically lay the blame for low wages at the door of another dreaded multinational. It is not Nike that should be indicted but those left-wing crusaders who have given unstinting support to every murderous socialist regime that has cursed this century. It is not multinationals that have kept wages low in Vietnam but a socialist government. This is the real story and it is one the Australian media will never tell.


    Re: Australian news article worth reading.

    Posted by Naomi on May 04, 1998 at 19:35:29

    In reply to Australian news article worth reading. posted by Aussie on May 04, 1998 at 15:02:34

    Thank you for this article. It is sad we Americans cannot have a debate without stupid comments, bigotry and overall lack of knowledge of the real issues.l


    Re: Re: Australian news article worth reading.

    Posted by Aussie on May 05, 1998 at 18:39:36

    In reply to Re: Australian news article worth reading. posted by Naomi on May 04, 1998 at 19:35:29

    Don't worry you Americans do not have the market cornered on morons, we have our share as well. Cheers,


    Nike in China

    Posted by JB on May 04, 1998 at 11:19:58

    I just returned from a trip to China and found a couple of Nike articles in their local press worth sharing. The first one was from a local paper in Qingdao where the Samho factory which makes Nikes won an award for having the best relations with their Chinese workers of any foreign joint venture. This award is based on working conditions, wage, and advancement opportunities. Samho is a Korean based company and won this award out of 1357 foreign businesses. The next article was found in Putien, a city outside of Fuzhou. The local Fuzhou government has asked Nike to assist the other footwear manufactures to make the switch from solvent based cements to water based cements. Nike leads the way in eliminating harmful chemicals in their contract factories. According to Dong Song and Nam Pao chemical (largest suppliers of cements), factories that make Nikes purchase all most all the water based cement while their competitors still use harmful solvent based cements. Dong Song reported that Adidas and Reebok have no desire to switch to the water based cements. On my flight back to the USA I saw a report where Nike contract factories in Indonesia have given their workers an 16% pay raise to help combat the devaluation of the Rupiah. No other footwear manufactures have done this. Nike still needs to work on the conditions of their contract facilities but it is evident they are doing something, a lot more than the rest of the shoe business.


    Our own Anti Slave Labor website

    Posted by Immaculata High Shool on April 29, 1998 at 09:31:14

    I am a senior at Immaculata High School in Somerville,NJ. We have set up a website against child slave labor. I hope all forum participants will visit us. We also ask that,if you maintain a similar site that you add a link. our site is located at http://www.immaculatahs.org


    Who cares?

    Posted by LA Businessman on April 26, 1998 at 01:17:39

    In reply to CLEAN OUR OWN HOUSE FIRST posted by Naomi on April 25, 1998 at 22:23:52

    The Mexicans want to be abused as bad as the Vietnameese. They both are paid for the work they do. Just shut up about it. They do jobs you wouldn't do. Who cares what they are paid, if they are paid. Either way, THERE IS NO PROBLEM. Just people being compensated for their labor.


    Re: Who cares?

    Posted by Naomi on April 28, 1998 at 23:47:50

    In reply to Who cares? posted by LA Businessman on April 26, 1998 at 01:17:39

    Are you for real? What kind of idiot thinks that way? Oh, I see, one like you.


    Re: Re: Re: Who cares?

    Posted by Naomi on April 29, 1998 at 23:30:03

    In reply to Re: Re: Who cares? posted by LA Businessman on April 29, 1998 at 22:02:57

    Sick, sick, sick. That kind of talk will take you far from civilization.


    Re: Who cares?

    Posted by Naomi on April 28, 1998 at 23:47:50

    In reply to Who cares? posted by LA Businessman on April 26, 1998 at 01:17:39

    Are you for real? What kind of idiot thinks that way? Oh, I see, one like you.


    No problem?

    Posted by An Angry Uncle Sam on April 26, 1998 at 14:36:36

    In reply to Who cares? posted by LA Businessman on April 26, 1998 at 01:17:39

    It's not a matter of how much "compensation" workers get for the work they do-- it's a matter of right and wrong. But you're right: the Vietnamese do in fact do some jobs I wouldn't do. For example, I wouldn't work in a place where the glue fumes threaten my health. I also wouldn't work in a place where there is verbal and physical abuse of it's workers by the management. Too bad the Vietnamese workers don't really have as many other employment opportunites like we do here in the USA, or else I'm willing to bet they wouldn't take those jobs, either. One other thing: trust me, America's "own house" is very clean by comparison to Vietnam and Mexico. I think one of the things that needs to be cleaned up most in this country is the overwhelmingly self-centered attitude that has been displayed so well by people on this message board. People tend to forget that America was founded by people trying to ESCAPE persecution and prejudice, but now look at us. We've come full-circle.


    You are gullible

    Posted by The Player President on April 29, 1998 at 22:06:44

    In reply to Re: No problem? posted by Naomi on April 28, 1998 at 23:51:40

    I said the same thing to get into a girl's pants once too. It worked. Get a clue. He just wants to get with a girl who has led a sheltered life, like yourself. Later. The Player President Over 1000 women served


    Re: You are gullible

    Posted by Naomi on April 29, 1998 at 23:21:41

    In reply to You are gullible posted by The Player President on April 29, 1998 at 22:06:44

    Not a "girl", but a physician with a successful practice. How about that "little boy''?


    Re: Re: You are gullible

    Posted by The Player President on April 30, 1998 at 23:10:30

    In reply to Re: You are gullible posted by Naomi on April 29, 1998 at 23:21:41

    Listen baby, I have no problem with strong independent women. God knows I have had enough of them. But if there is one thing I am not, it is a little boy. Women come to me because their men can't please them. It sounds like you could use some of my "therapy." You are so busy trying to prove yourself to the world, that you push away and prospective suitors. Or the ones you do have, you put through so much crap, it isn't worth it to try to develop anything with you. It is true and you can't deny it, though try as you will to do so. Don't worry about trying to do everything now. Relax. Go to the country. Read a book, while sipping on a nice vintage wine. Take a guy. Have some fun. Just loose that I'm an unstoppable bitch attitude. Then, maybe the thing that is stuck up your ass will come out, and you will be able to enjoy life more. If anyone should value life, it should be you. Try it, and you will see that I am right. Now if you will excuse me, I need to fax some poetry over to one of my women, who had a bad day. Love, The Player President Over 1,000 women pleased


    Re: Re: Re: You are gullible

    Posted by Naomi on May 03, 1998 at 15:19:19

    In reply to Re: Re: You are gullible posted by The Player President on April 30, 1998 at 23:10:30

    Dear"sir". I am very happily married, to a wonderful human being who's not intimidated by a woman with a brain. My husband of 10 years is also a physician and yes, we know how to "sip some wine'', go to the countryside,(vacation home in Napa Valley) and support worthwhile charities which help educate our youth. God knows after reading this web site, it is greatly needed in our country. So, if you excuse me, I am going to meet my husband for dinner.


    Stand Proud my sista!!!!

    Posted by LaQuisha on May 04, 1998 at 12:03:03

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: You are gullible posted by Naomi on May 03, 1998 at 15:19:19

    You GO, girl! I have to take harassment like this all the time. I am a 6'5'' 200 lb proud black womyn. All the men try to front like they don't want me - but I know they do. If you like wine - then maybe you would like Crystall. That's what I drink. Your just like me - you like to get away (to Napa Valley)- well I like to get away to Shaolin. I sit on my stoop and sip Crystall and let all the worries of the world pass me by. But I eventually have to go home to my seven little children (do you have children, my sista? My precious little children increase the amount on my welfare check so can buy more Parliaments and lottery tickets). I'm coming out to Cali this Summer - maybe we can meet up. I'll be staying in a motel 6 (or some nice high class place like that) on Crenshaw in LA. All right, I must leave but keep it real and..... SISTAS UNITE!!!


    Re: Stand Proud my sista!!!!

    Posted by Naomi on May 04, 1998 at 19:31:23

    In reply to Stand Proud my sista!!!! posted by LaQuisha on May 04, 1998 at 12:03:03

    Is this suppose to be funny?, because I am laughing. Thank you so much!


    Re: Re: Re: Re: You are gullible

    Posted by The Player President on May 03, 1998 at 16:55:08

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: You are gullible posted by Naomi on May 03, 1998 at 15:19:19

    OK, if you are married, then I should send your husband my tape on how to please women. You sound like you are trying to convince yourself that you are in love with this "man", when all you are is disgusted with him. It's a shame really. I would have loved to have had a conversation with an intelligent woman like yourself, in the Napa Valley. Especially this time of year. When you finally stop kidding yourself about your "love" for this supposed man, let me know. I'll show you how great the Napa Valley really can be. The Player President


    Re: No problem?

    Posted by Your biggest fan on April 27, 1998 at 01:35:20

    In reply to No problem? posted by An Angry Uncle Sam on April 26, 1998 at 14:36:36

    Hey, Uncle Sam. I love that song you sing, "I don't ever want to see you again," it's the bomb! I can see why you call yourself "angry". I mean, your girl left you and why did it have to be your best friend? You know I feel that pain, dogg. Check ya later!!


    Boycott

    Posted by Boycottman on April 23, 1998 at 16:10:52

    I think we should all boycott the final episode of Seinfeld because NBC supports the NBA which uses Michael Jordan as its main marketing tool. Nike is the most oppresive company ever. Oh yeah, in case you were wondering I AM a gay faggot.


    Re: Boycott

    Posted by kup on April 24, 1998 at 14:26:59

    In reply to Boycott posted by Boycottman on April 23, 1998 at 16:10:52

    We should boycott all the products that advertise during that time too. And maybe even all of t.v. itself. Think of what an improvement that would be...BOYCOTT TV!!!!!


    Re: Boycott

    Posted by kup on April 24, 1998 at 14:26:59

    In reply to Boycott posted by Boycottman on April 23, 1998 at 16:10:52

    We should boycott all the products that advertise during that time too. And maybe even all of t.v. itself. Think of what an improvement that would be...BOYCOTT TV!!!!!


    Re: Boycott

    Posted by kup on April 24, 1998 at 14:26:59

    In reply to Boycott posted by Boycottman on April 23, 1998 at 16:10:52

    We should boycott all the products that advertise during that time too. And maybe even all of t.v. itself. Think of what an improvement that would be...BOYCOTT TV!!!!!


    Nike gets sued

    Posted by Steve Nosher on April 21, 1998 at 09:16:13

    From USA TODAY 4/21/98, p. 4b A civil suit is filed in San Francisco Superior Court charging Nike with deceiving consumers about working conditions is Southeast Asia in a bid to protect profits. Nike's response is that the suit raises issues already addressed by the company. Most curiously, at least to me, Vada Manager said, "This action apprears to be more of a press release dressed up as a lawsuit. . . . (the lawsuit is) "somewhat frivolous." What intrigues me is Manager's use of the modifier "somewhat." So, Nike, which part of the lawsuit is NOT frivolous?


    Where`s Michael ?on this Idon`t hear you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by Efrain(Father of 2) on April 20, 1998 at 23:06:36

    As a fther of two and more so as a consumer is an embarrasment and a hardship to me & my kids to pay 150.00 to 200.00 for apair of blood sneakers,when the company itself don`t give a damn about what goes on with the production of it(apparel).Nike should be ashamed of ripping everybody of here and abroad , not everyone makes$2,000,000.00 a day.Sowith this we leave you with apiece of our mind. thank you : concerned,yes


    Re: Where`s Michael ?on this Idon`t hear you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by The Spacebar on April 21, 1998 at 17:21:50

    In reply to Where`s Michael ?on this Idon`t hear you!!!!!!!!!!!!!! posted by Efrain(Father of 2) on April 20, 1998 at 23:06:36

    Dear Efrain, Learn to use me. I am the big long key at the bottom of your keyboard. Putting spaces between your words is the accepted way of writing. You may disagree or be some sort of anti-spacebar person. To earn respect of the other readers of this page I suggest using me, you illiterate mutherfucker. Thank you for your time.


    nike

    Posted by Patrick Wildman on April 17, 1998 at 18:52:45

    we only have ourselves to blame for the mess the course of corp. america has taken take a good look at the prouducts you have purchased in the last year. For me the last 4 pairs of sneakers I have bought were new balance that are made in U.S.A. and by the way they are the best shoes I have good job new balance. Now don't get me wrong everything i buy is not made in America but I try . next shoe try N.B. you will like how your feet feel


    Re: nike

    Posted by Wanda Vanderveer on April 20, 1998 at 16:54:52

    In reply to nike posted by Patrick Wildman on April 17, 1998 at 18:52:45

    Nike signs up a player ( Michael Jordan) to endorse thier product.That costs the company millions of dollars. The dream of these extraordinary athletes is to sign endorsement contracts that pay as much if not more than thier player contracts. And these players have earned the status of American heros who have triumped over obstacles such as poverty and discrimination to become the best at thier sport. So don't they deserve the rewards? And doesn't Nike have the right to use these athletes for advertising strategies? Well, who must absorb these costs but the consumer. The need to stay competitive and make that profit margin as large as possible leads Nike to produce the sneakers overseas where the costs are the cheapest. And why is that? Well we Americans will not and really can not live on .40 cents an hour wages. And is our goverment involved in giving business incentives to companies willing to set up shop in third world countries? America brings industries and aid to these countries in exchange for what? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm We could boycott the companies who setup sweatshops overseas, but are we willing to pay double or triple the price for the same product made in America in union shops? We have a paradox at play, do we follow our conscious or our pocketbooks? In the future we will see global business laws that will make every company competitive on the same grounds. International human rights will ensure that all humans be respected in the workplace as well as in the global society. But evolution takes time, and in the mean time what do we do? Buy those Nike sneakers? Or voice our opinions and and make concrete efforts to change the way we are willing to shop. Or maybe those athletes will give up those milions of dollars to build better equiped factories and better the wages for the third world sneaker slaves.


    Be Like Derek

    Posted by Dan F. on April 21, 1998 at 12:31:44

    In reply to Re: nike posted by Wanda Vanderveer on April 20, 1998 at 16:54:52

    I don't care what you say, but the consumers are not to blame. Sure, we all want cheap shoes, but let me explain what I'm trying to get at. Remember the story about when the serpent told Adam & Eve to eat the apple? Sure the serpent made it look real nice and made it seem like it was an OK thing to do, but it was still THEIR fault (NOT the serpent's) for deciding to eat it. The point is this: no matter what consumers are willing to pay for shoes, and no matter what wage the Vietnamese are willing to work for, Nike still did something many believe to be morally wrong. You can't blame consumers, workers, or governments for a decision Nike made all by themselves. They chose to hire these subcontractors, we didn't. Sure, I want low prices just like the next guy, but not if this is how it has to be done. Plus, when Nike says that moving the factories to the US will triple or quadruple costs, thats only if they want to make the same amount of profit. God forbid Nike's profits going down! Oh wait, that already just happened, my bad... Seriously, though. There has to be way to get it done. Nike might not make the same enormous profit, but it could be done. Another thing that has gone somewhat unnoticed in this discussion is that Jordan is not the only NBA player under contract. Dang near every NBA player has some type of shoe contract with some company! Is it really necessary to give Derek Anderson a shoe contract?? "Like Derek, if I could be like Derek"...I'm sure Derek's contract is not as ludicrous as Jordan's have been, but add these "small" ones up and I bet it adds up pretty fast...


    Re: Be Like Derek

    Posted by Razzle on April 21, 1998 at 17:14:27

    In reply to Be Like Derek posted by Dan F. on April 21, 1998 at 12:31:44

    Hey Dumbass!!! Guess what shoes Derek Anderson wears? He wears Jordan, the Brand, ironically enough made in association with Nike, probably at one of these "factories." Get a fucking clue before you start shooting your mouth off, hokey white motherfucker. Everybody gets a shoe contract for exposure of the company. Jackass.


    "Jordan, the Brand"??

    Posted by Dan F. on April 22, 1998 at 15:07:22

    In reply to Re: Be Like Derek posted by Razzle on April 21, 1998 at 17:14:27

    Looks like someone managed to miss my point, as hard as that may have been to do. OK, I'll spell it out for you "Razzle": my point was that is it really necessary to give Derek Anderson ANY shoe contract (REGARDLESS of which shoe company it is)?!? I bet a lot of people reading this don't even know who Derek Anderson is!! How much exposure could giving Derek Anderson a shoe contract get ANY company??? One other thing "Razzle": I might not have known which shoe company Derek Anderson signed with (God forbid!), but I think my decent, civilized vocabulary more than makes up for that. If "Jordan, the Brand" shoes are made in those sweatshops, my opinion of MJ even will get lower than it already was. Say it aint so "Razzle"! Oh wait...On second thought just don't say anything.


    "Jordan, the Brand"??

    Posted by Dan F. on April 22, 1998 at 15:07:22

    In reply to Re: Be Like Derek posted by Razzle on April 21, 1998 at 17:14:27

    Looks like someone managed to miss my point, as hard as that may have been to do. OK, I'll spell it out for you "Razzle": my point was that is it really necessary to give Derek Anderson ANY shoe contract (REGARDLESS of which shoe company it is)?!? I bet a lot of people reading this don't even know who Derek Anderson is!! How much exposure could giving Derek Anderson a shoe contract get ANY company??? One other thing "Razzle": I might not have known which shoe company Derek Anderson signed with (God forbid!), but I think my decent, civilized vocabulary more than makes up for that. If "Jordan, the Brand" shoes are made in those sweatshops, my opinion of MJ even will get lower than it already was. Say it aint so "Razzle"! Oh wait...On second thought just don't say anything.


    "Jordan, the Brand"??

    Posted by Dan F. on April 22, 1998 at 15:07:22

    In reply to Re: Be Like Derek posted by Razzle on April 21, 1998 at 17:14:27

    Looks like someone managed to miss my point, as hard as that may have been to do. OK, I'll spell it out for you "Razzle": my point was that is it really necessary to give Derek Anderson ANY shoe contract (REGARDLESS of which shoe company it is)?!? I bet a lot of people reading this don't even know who Derek Anderson is!! How much exposure could giving Derek Anderson a shoe contract get ANY company??? One other thing "Razzle": I might not have known which shoe company Derek Anderson signed with (God forbid!), but I think my decent, civilized vocabulary more than makes up for that. If "Jordan, the Brand" shoes are made in those sweatshops, my opinion of MJ even will get lower than it already was. Say it aint so "Razzle"! Oh wait...On second thought just don't say anything.


    "Jordan, the Brand"??

    Posted by Dan F. on April 22, 1998 at 15:07:22

    In reply to Re: Be Like Derek posted by Razzle on April 21, 1998 at 17:14:27

    Looks like someone managed to miss my point, as hard as that may have been to do. OK, I'll spell it out for you "Razzle": my point was that is it really necessary to give Derek Anderson ANY shoe contract (REGARDLESS of which shoe company it is)?!? I bet a lot of people reading this don't even know who Derek Anderson is!! How much exposure could giving Derek Anderson a shoe contract get ANY company??? One other thing "Razzle": I might not have known which shoe company Derek Anderson signed with (God forbid!), but I think my decent, civilized vocabulary more than makes up for that. If "Jordan, the Brand" shoes are made in those sweatshops, my opinion of MJ even will get lower than it already was. Say it aint so "Razzle"! Oh wait...On second thought just don't say anything.


    "Jordan, the Brand"??

    Posted by Dan F. on April 22, 1998 at 15:07:22

    In reply to Re: Be Like Derek posted by Razzle on April 21, 1998 at 17:14:27

    Looks like someone managed to miss my point, as hard as that may have been to do. OK, I'll spell it out for you "Razzle": my point was that is it really necessary to give Derek Anderson ANY shoe contract (REGARDLESS of which shoe company it is)?!? I bet a lot of people reading this don't even know who Derek Anderson is!! How much exposure could giving Derek Anderson a shoe contract get ANY company??? One other thing "Razzle": I might not have known which shoe company Derek Anderson signed with (God forbid!), but I think my decent, civilized vocabulary more than makes up for that. If "Jordan, the Brand" shoes are made in those sweatshops, my opinion of MJ even will get lower than it already was. Say it aint so "Razzle"! Oh wait...On second thought just don't say anything.


    "Jordan, the Brand"??

    Posted by Dan F. on April 22, 1998 at 15:07:22

    In reply to Re: Be Like Derek posted by Razzle on April 21, 1998 at 17:14:27

    Looks like someone managed to miss my point, as hard as that may have been to do. OK, I'll spell it out for you "Razzle": my point was that is it really necessary to give Derek Anderson ANY shoe contract (REGARDLESS of which shoe company it is)?!? I bet a lot of people reading this don't even know who Derek Anderson is!! How much exposure could giving Derek Anderson a shoe contract get ANY company??? One other thing "Razzle": I might not have known which shoe company Derek Anderson signed with (God forbid!), but I think my decent, civilized vocabulary more than makes up for that. If "Jordan, the Brand" shoes are made in those sweatshops, my opinion of MJ even will get lower than it already was. Say it aint so "Razzle"! Oh wait...On second thought just don't say anything.


    "Jordan, the Brand"??

    Posted by Dan F. on April 22, 1998 at 15:07:22

    In reply to Re: Be Like Derek posted by Razzle on April 21, 1998 at 17:14:27

    Looks like someone managed to miss my point, as hard as that may have been to do. OK, I'll spell it out for you "Razzle": my point was that is it really necessary to give Derek Anderson ANY shoe contract (REGARDLESS of which shoe company it is)?!? I bet a lot of people reading this don't even know who Derek Anderson is!! How much exposure could giving Derek Anderson a shoe contract get ANY company??? One other thing "Razzle": I might not have known which shoe company Derek Anderson signed with (God forbid!), but I think my decent, civilized vocabulary more than makes up for that. If "Jordan, the Brand" shoes are made in those sweatshops, my opinion of MJ even will get lower than it already was. Say it aint so "Razzle"! Oh wait...On second thought just don't say anything.


    "Jordan, the Brand"??

    Posted by Dan F. on April 22, 1998 at 15:07:22

    In reply to Re: Be Like Derek posted by Razzle on April 21, 1998 at 17:14:27

    Looks like someone managed to miss my point, as hard as that may have been to do. OK, I'll spell it out for you "Razzle": my point was that is it really necessary to give Derek Anderson ANY shoe contract (REGARDLESS of which shoe company it is)?!? I bet a lot of people reading this don't even know who Derek Anderson is!! How much exposure could giving Derek Anderson a shoe contract get ANY company??? One other thing "Razzle": I might not have known which shoe company Derek Anderson signed with (God forbid!), but I think my decent, civilized vocabulary more than makes up for that. If "Jordan, the Brand" shoes are made in those sweatshops, my opinion of MJ even will get lower than it already was. Say it aint so "Razzle"! Oh wait...On second thought just don't say anything.


    "Jordan, the Brand"??

    Posted by Dan F. on April 22, 1998 at 15:07:22

    In reply to Re: Be Like Derek posted by Razzle on April 21, 1998 at 17:14:27

    Looks like someone managed to miss my point, as hard as that may have been to do. OK, I'll spell it out for you "Razzle": my point was that is it really necessary to give Derek Anderson ANY shoe contract (REGARDLESS of which shoe company it is)?!? I bet a lot of people reading this don't even know who Derek Anderson is!! How much exposure could giving Derek Anderson a shoe contract get ANY company??? One other thing "Razzle": I might not have known which shoe company Derek Anderson signed with (God forbid!), but I think my decent, civilized vocabulary more than makes up for that. If "Jordan, the Brand" shoes are made in those sweatshops, my opinion of MJ even will get lower than it already was. Say it aint so "Razzle"! Oh wait...On second thought just don't say anything.


    Re: Be Like Derek

    Posted by Razzle on April 21, 1998 at 17:14:27

    In reply to Be Like Derek posted by Dan F. on April 21, 1998 at 12:31:44

    Hey Dumbass!!! Guess what shoes Derek Anderson wears? He wears Jordan, the Brand, ironically enough made in association with Nike, probably at one of these "factories." Get a fucking clue before you start shooting your mouth off, hokey white motherfucker.


    Re: nike

    Posted by Wanda Vanderveer on April 20, 1998 at 16:54:52

    In reply to nike posted by Patrick Wildman on April 17, 1998 at 18:52:45

    Nike signs up a player ( Michael Jordan) to endorse thier product.That costs the company millions of dollars. The dream of these extraordinary athletes is to sign endorsement contracts that pay as much if not more than thier player contracts. And these players have earned the status of American heros who have triumped over obstacles such as poverty and discrimination to become the best at thier sport. So don't they deserve the rewards? And doesn't Nike have the right to use these athletes for advertising strategies? Well, who must absorb these costs but the consumer. The need to stay competitive and make that profit margin as large as possible leads Nike to produce the sneakers overseas where the costs are the cheapest. And why is that? Well we Americans will not and really can not live on .40 cents an hour wages. And is our goverment involved in giving business incentives to companies willing to set up shop in third world countries? America brings industries and aid to these countries in exchange for what? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm We could boycott the companies who setup sweatshops overseas, but are we willing to pay double or triple the price for the same product made in America in union shops? We have a paradox at play, do we follow our conscious or our pocketbooks? In the future we will see global business laws that will make every company competitive on the same grounds. International human rights will ensure that all humans be respected in the workplace as well as in the global society. But evolution takes time, and in the mean time what do we do? Buy those Nike sneakers? Or voice our opinions and and make concrete efforts to change the way we are willing to shop. Or maybe those athletes will give up those milions of dollars to build better equiped factories and better the wages for the third world sneaker slaves.


    Re: nike

    Posted by Wanda Vanderveer on April 20, 1998 at 16:54:52

    In reply to nike posted by Patrick Wildman on April 17, 1998 at 18:52:45

    Nike signs up a player ( Michael Jordan) to endorse thier product.That costs the company millions of dollars. The dream of these extraordinary athletes is to sign endorsement contracts that pay as much if not more than thier player contracts. And these players have earned the status of American heros who have triumped over obstacles such as poverty and discrimination to become the best at thier sport. So don't they deserve the rewards? And doesn't Nike have the right to use these athletes for advertising strategies? Well, who must absorb these costs but the consumer. The need to stay competitive and make that profit margin as large as possible leads Nike to produce the sneakers overseas where the costs are the cheapest. And why is that? Well we Americans will not and really can not live on .40 cents an hour wages. And is our goverment involved in giving business incentives to companies willing to set up shop in third world countries? America brings industries and aid to these countries in exchange for what? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm We could boycott the companies who setup sweatshops overseas, but are we willing to pay double or triple the price for the same product made in America in union shops? We have a paradox at play, do we follow our conscious or our pocketbooks? In the future we will see global business laws that will make every company competitive on the same grounds. International human rights will ensure that all humans be respected in the workplace as well as in the global society. But evolution takes time, and in the mean time what do we do? Buy those Nike sneakers? Or voice our opinions and and make concrete efforts to change the way we are willing to shop. Or maybe those athletes will give up those milions of dollars to build better equiped factories and better the wages for the third world sneaker slaves.


    Re: nike

    Posted by Wanda Vanderveer on April 20, 1998 at 16:54:52

    In reply to nike posted by Patrick Wildman on April 17, 1998 at 18:52:45

    Nike signs up a player ( Michael Jordan) to endorse thier product.That costs the company millions of dollars. The dream of these extraordinary athletes is to sign endorsement contracts that pay as much if not more than thier player contracts. And these players have earned the status of American heros who have triumped over obstacles such as poverty and discrimination to become the best at thier sport. So don't they deserve the rewards? And doesn't Nike have the right to use these athletes for advertising strategies? Well, who must absorb these costs but the consumer. The need to stay competitive and make that profit margin as large as possible leads Nike to produce the sneakers overseas where the costs are the cheapest. And why is that? Well we Americans will not and really can not live on .40 cents an hour wages. And is our goverment involved in giving business incentives to companies willing to set up shop in third world countries? America brings industries and aid to these countries in exchange for what? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm We could boycott the companies who setup sweatshops overseas, but are we willing to pay double or triple the price for the same product made in America in union shops? We have a paradox at play, do we follow our conscious or our pocketbooks? In the future we will see global business laws that will make every company competitive on the same grounds. International human rights will ensure that all humans be respected in the workplace as well as in the global society. But evolution takes time, and in the mean time what do we do? Buy those Nike sneakers? Or voice our opinions and and make concrete efforts to change the way we are willing to shop. Or maybe those athletes will give up those milions of dollars to build better equiped factories and better the wages for the third world sneaker slaves.


    Re: nike

    Posted by Wanda Vanderveer on April 20, 1998 at 16:54:52

    In reply to nike posted by Patrick Wildman on April 17, 1998 at 18:52:45

    Nike signs up a player ( Michael Jordan) to endorse thier product.That costs the company millions of dollars. The dream of these extraordinary athletes is to sign endorsement contracts that pay as much if not more than thier player contracts. And these players have earned the status of American heros who have triumped over obstacles such as poverty and discrimination to become the best at thier sport. So don't they deserve the rewards? And doesn't Nike have the right to use these athletes for advertising strategies? Well, who must absorb these costs but the consumer. The need to stay competitive and make that profit margin as large as possible leads Nike to produce the sneakers overseas where the costs are the cheapest. And why is that? Well we Americans will not and really can not live on .40 cents an hour wages. And is our goverment involved in giving business incentives to companies willing to set up shop in third world countries? America brings industries and aid to these countries in exchange for what? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm We could boycott the companies who setup sweatshops overseas, but are we willing to pay double or triple the price for the same product made in America in union shops? We have a paradox at play, do we follow our conscious or our pocketbooks? In the future we will see global business laws that will make every company competitive on the same grounds. International human rights will ensure that all humans be respected in the workplace as well as in the global society. But evolution takes time, and in the mean time what do we do? Buy those Nike sneakers? Or voice our opinions and and make concrete efforts to change the way we are willing to shop. Or maybe those athletes will give up those milions of dollars to build better equiped factories and better the wages for the third world sneaker slaves.


    Re: nike

    Posted by Wanda Vanderveer on April 20, 1998 at 16:54:52

    In reply to nike posted by Patrick Wildman on April 17, 1998 at 18:52:45

    Nike signs up a player ( Michael Jordan) to endorse thier product.That costs the company millions of dollars. The dream of these extraordinary athletes is to sign endorsement contracts that pay as much if not more than thier player contracts. And these players have earned the status of American heros who have triumped over obstacles such as poverty and discrimination to become the best at thier sport. So don't they deserve the rewards? And doesn't Nike have the right to use these athletes for advertising strategies? Well, who must absorb these costs but the consumer. The need to stay competitive and make that profit margin as large as possible leads Nike to produce the sneakers overseas where the costs are the cheapest. And why is that? Well we Americans will not and really can not live on .40 cents an hour wages. And is our goverment involved in giving business incentives to companies willing to set up shop in third world countries? America brings industries and aid to these countries in exchange for what? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm We could boycott the companies who setup sweatshops overseas, but are we willing to pay double or triple the price for the same product made in America in union shops? We have a paradox at play, do we follow our conscious or our pocketbooks? In the future we will see global business laws that will make every company competitive on the same grounds. International human rights will ensure that all humans be respected in the workplace as well as in the global society. But evolution takes time, and in the mean time what do we do? Buy those Nike sneakers? Or voice our opinions and and make concrete efforts to change the way we are willing to shop. Or maybe those athletes will give up those milions of dollars to build better equiped factories and better the wages for the third world sneaker slaves.


    Re: nike

    Posted by Wanda Vanderveer on April 20, 1998 at 16:54:52

    In reply to nike posted by Patrick Wildman on April 17, 1998 at 18:52:45

    Nike signs up a player ( Michael Jordan) to endorse thier product.That costs the company millions of dollars. The dream of these extraordinary athletes is to sign endorsement contracts that pay as much if not more than thier player contracts. And these players have earned the status of American heros who have triumped over obstacles such as poverty and discrimination to become the best at thier sport. So don't they deserve the rewards? And doesn't Nike have the right to use these athletes for advertising strategies? Well, who must absorb these costs but the consumer. The need to stay competitive and make that profit margin as large as possible leads Nike to produce the sneakers overseas where the costs are the cheapest. And why is that? Well we Americans will not and really can not live on .40 cents an hour wages. And is our goverment involved in giving business incentives to companies willing to set up shop in third world countries? America brings industries and aid to these countries in exchange for what? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm We could boycott the companies who setup sweatshops overseas, but are we willing to pay double or triple the price for the same product made in America in union shops? We have a paradox at play, do we follow our conscious or our pocketbooks? In the future we will see global business laws that will make every company competitive on the same grounds. International human rights will ensure that all humans be respected in the workplace as well as in the global society. But evolution takes time, and in the mean time what do we do? Buy those Nike sneakers? Or voice our opinions and and make concrete efforts to change the way we are willing to shop. Or maybe those athletes will give up those milions of dollars to build better equiped factories and better the wages for the third world sneaker slaves.


    Goes to show ya!

    Posted by Tommy T on April 16, 1998 at 05:30:03

    It does. You pay some punk b-ball player 50 million to hawk some shoe when he is all ready making 10 mil a year for the sport he plays, then some poor kid saves up all his cash to buy his "heros" shoes for a 125 bucks!! It just goes to show you how ignorant and pathetic the American consumer is. Mike J is a thief in my eyes and a greedy basterd. Just wear sandles!


    It's every where!

    Posted by Sayoko Akita on April 15, 1998 at 17:06:04

    Dear seminar group at North Carolina, As you know, the American industries are abusing people all over the world. It's not only NIKE. Unless people quit to go shopping at malls every weekend to get cheaper things, things don't change. American people's mody taste for material desire is so influencial that it affects the economy of the weaker countries badly. It has been changing the countries ecomony and what they produce so much. For example, In the Philippines, they used to produce sugar cane which was mostly exported to the US, however, in the 80's in the US, people started to be interested in losing their weight. American no more needed the real sugar. They started to use the substitute. Then tragedy happened. The sugar workers in the Philippines lost their jobs because of the selfish American's favors for food. It's necessary to cut off the vicios circle, but we need to prepare the alternate job market for the people who will lose their job if we boycott NIKE. It's too bad that people in the developed countried created the situation that the developing countries have to keep what they are doing now to get little money even though the condition of the job is really bad.


    ESPN "Running in Place?"

    Posted by Steve Mosher on April 13, 1998 at 18:51:23

    Certainly the greatest contribution ESPN made to the sneaker controversy was to provide this forum. The show was really a fine act of tightrope walking. . . . They are so good at it. For more "missing the real point" tune in tomorrow to ESPN's show on race and sport . . . aside from Nathan McCall and, perhaps Clinton, there's no one on the show who could possibly have anything outside of autobiography and anecdote to lend to this discussion. As Vonnugut said, " And so it goes . . ."


    Kudos To You

    Posted by The Future on April 13, 1998 at 13:35:32

    A sincere thank you to the UNC-CH, ESPN, and everyone for bringing this issue the sunlight and serious reflection that it deserves. What a contribution. Since the almighty dollar does riegn supreme, I would like ESPN to know that I will forever have a different perspective towards the station. PEACE. My Nikes are burning my feet.


    a return to reality

    Posted by reality on April 12, 1998 at 23:21:04

    Kenny this is reality speaking directly to you. I do in fact know what it is like to work at manual labor. I am in fact, right now, working my way through school. My credit card came not because of my credit history, but rather the school I attend. And if you really are related to those people that work in the factories, then you of all people should realize that the wages Nike pays them are well above the average salary of the local worker. I am motivated by money. I will be the first to admit that. Do you know why I am motivated by money? Because I have seen so little of it in my 20 years on earth. I long to make myself better, and richer. And if I can do that at the expense of people who I can pay well and keep overhead to a very low minimum, then so be it. To survive in this world, you need to know when to use your emotion, and when to turn ice cold. It just happens that I can turn a lot colder then most people. And that is why I will one day be on the cover of Fortune 500. And that is why everyone who voiced a similar opinion to my own will succeed. And that is why you Kenny will fail. All of you "concerned people" are some of the reasons that we as a nation are held back. Sometimes ya gotta say F@*k 'em and screw over everyone to advance yourselves. When that killer instinct is gone, then this country will be in peril, and ripe for a fall from greatness. While we aren't there yet, we are getting close. To be number one, you have to have the F.U. mentalilty. Phil Knight has it. Bill Gates has it. MJ has it. All great men have it. To be great, you have to find yours. I have mine, and have been doing ten times better since developing it. Nice guys really do finish last. Everyone with that killer instinct can follow me to the top. All of you other clowns, who don't want to be the best, who think that being average is enough, can just get the hell out now. There is a country's greatness to continue, and you hindering its growth. There is no room for mediocrity in a world economy, or in my country. You can now return to your own personal little fantasy worlds.


    Re: a return to reality

    Posted by This is the reality (Kenneth) on April 13, 1998 at 12:54:28

    In reply to a return to reality posted by reality on April 12, 1998 at 23:21:04

    The reality is: If it wasn't for all the concerned people whose made law to protect the worker, people like you would be working for people like me for less than the current minimum wages. I employ people like you. Many of my employees are student working part-time. I can't abuse my employees because of all the concerned people in Congress passed laws to protect them. If you ever make it to the top, which I doubt that you will, remember that you get there because people care. I am not at the top yet, but I am much higher in the food chain than you are. And I am grateful for all the concerned people. P.S.: In your reality, you would break your back working for me for $2/hours for 14 hours a day, 7 days a week. And you will never have a opportunity to get to the top. Aren't you glad the world is my reality.


    A return from reality

    Posted by reality on April 13, 1998 at 15:46:53

    In reply to Re: a return to reality posted by This is the reality (Kenneth) on April 13, 1998 at 12:54:28

    Whoever wrote the previous message really does need to return to reality. If "many of your workers are part time college students", then I doubt highly that you are really that successful. You also state that if it weren't for the current labor laws, that you would make your workers work the same schedule that Nike does. Isn't that a bit hypocritical? You wouldn't want me working for you. I would take over your pathetic little company in a few weeks. That is, if you really do have a company. I'll make sure to add a special F.U. in my aritcle in Fortune in a few years. Keep an eye out for it. That is, if I can remember the name of someone as meaningless to society as yourself. I will now let the imagination take over. Later.


    made in vietnam

    Posted by padilla on April 11, 1998 at 17:07:23

    I teach women's studies and focus on this very issue in terms of U.S. history. Its important to link the overall and continuing impact of the cold war not only in terms of war in Vietnam, but the socio-economic condition of Vietnamese women today who suffer from economic exploitiation. Fist our army, now our corporations. Vietnamese women who fled here are often discriminated against and those who stay behind are exploited. The irony is that Americans have and continue to benefit from first the murder of the Vietnamese (the military industrial complex economic boom during the cold war) and now their labor exploitation so we can have certain shoes. The only end to this continued human rights violation is to inform the American public like ESPN has. Why doesn't the media cover this issue, why don't our political leaders speak on this isssue? Its frustrating.


    Re: made in vietnam

    Posted by Anonymous on April 12, 1998 at 17:14:10

    In reply to made in vietnam posted by padilla on April 11, 1998 at 17:07:23

    Are you aware that the corporate parent for ESPN has apparel made at thousands of factories around the globe. This includes "ESPN" logo apparel. If the problems ESPN reported finding from factories which have representatives from Nike & Reebok present on a daily basis, think of the hell holes that must make ESPN product?


    Re: made in vietnam

    Posted by Kenneth Phan on April 11, 1998 at 17:19:40

    In reply to made in vietnam posted by padilla on April 11, 1998 at 17:07:23

    It's even more frustrating if they are yours cousins, sisters, aunts.


    How to solve the evils of the world...

    Posted by Phil Knight on April 11, 1998 at 16:26:06

    I plan on opening up sneaker factories world wide in order to end unemployment as we know it. Soon everybody will be working at a Nike plant. Sports will be the only culture the world will know. We will abolish the orgasm. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty toward Nike. There will be no love, except for the love of the game. There will be no laughter, except the laughter of triumph over a losing team. There will be no art, no literature, no science. All competing pleasures and factories will be destroyed. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a Nike sneaker stamping on a human face-forever.


    No More Nike (or Reebok) For My Family and I

    Posted by Mike on April 11, 1998 at 13:17:36

    After satching the "Outside the Lines" report on ESPN about Nike and Reebok's manufacturing practices I have vowed to never again buy any product featuring the Nike or Reebok logo. In fact I am taking anything and everything in my home, that is made by Nike, to a shelter in downtown Atlanta to be given to the needy. In the future I plan to buy ONLY New Balance athletic shoes (with the Made in the USA logo). Nike has hung itself with its mistreatment of workers.


    Re: No More Nike (or Reebok) For My Family and I - for we are hypocrites!

    Posted by Anonymous on April 11, 1998 at 14:10:24

    In reply to No More Nike (or Reebok) For My Family and I posted by Mike on April 11, 1998 at 13:17:36

    So the fact that 75% of New Balance product is made in Asia, most of it at the same contract factory that makes Nikes does not bother you? Buying one of their "made in USA" products may make you feel at ease, but it is hypocritical. While you are rounding up those Nikes for the needy you might as well grab all your family's clothes, appliances, TV, stereo, children's toys, bicycles, sporting goods, automobiles, and the computer you posted your message with and also donate these to the needy. All of these listed were either made or had components made in conditions worse than you saw on ESPN. Speaking of ESPN, which is owned by Disney, has a horrible track record in where it has its products produced. ESPN logo apparel is made in the sweatshops with conditions as bad as anywhere. At least Reebok and Nike have representation in their facilities to address the issues. ESPN does nothing, how dare they report on another company when their practices are so deplorable.


    Issues

    Posted by The Activist on April 10, 1998 at 17:18:00

    The oppression of the Nike workers is very much the same as the oppression of the homosexuals in the US. This is an important issue and I would like to address it for a moment. The most striking parallel is the fact that both groups are pathetic fucking losers. Down with the fags!!!! I also support the repeal of the assault weapons ban. Please give me your feedback.


    Re: Issues

    Posted by kup on April 10, 1998 at 18:09:42

    In reply to Issues posted by The Activist on April 10, 1998 at 17:18:00

    That was extremely ignorant and shows your lack of intelect.


    Don't blame Nike!

    Posted by Tiger on April 10, 1998 at 14:30:46

    Remember that this country was founded on capitalism and that is what made this country great and powerful. If people will work for so little, then let them. If they want to stand up and fight for thier equal pay then I'm all for it. But as long as they're not boycotting Nike then why should I. And don't blame Nike for trying to make a buck. That is the essence of capitalism. I respect everyone's opinion on this page, but if you don't like American capitalism and its labor practices take it to the government, Not to Nike.


    Wake Up

    Posted by Dan F. on April 21, 1998 at 12:56:26

    In reply to Don't blame Nike! posted by Tiger on April 10, 1998 at 14:30:46

    You seem to have forgotten what this country was founded on. Here's a little refresher: truth, justice, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom in general, liberty, and last but not least, equality of all men. Capitalism just happened to be a popular economic system at the time, so we chose it. I'm sorry, but I cannot agree that what Nike is doing coincides with the ideals our country was founded on, and I find your suggestion insulting.


    Nike for life

    Posted by Kup on April 10, 1998 at 14:20:40

    I would love to say that due to this latest controversy I am going to stop buying Nike shoes, but the simple truth is that I will continue to buy Nike shoes, along with most other Americans, because they are a quality shoe company. I would love to say that I care about those workers in Asia, but the simple truth is that I, along with a majority of Americans, don't care enough to do anything about it. As long as the shoes on my feet are durable and comfortable I will continue to buy from Nike.


    Re: Nike for a life

    Posted by Dan F. on April 22, 1998 at 17:50:21

    In reply to Nike for life posted by Kup on April 10, 1998 at 14:20:40

    I'm glad to hear you are so motivated, and care so much for other people! Thanks for sharing that with us. We all learned something about what kind of individual you are...Now if everyone in America just had your same attitude, Nike would never have to take responsibility for its actions! Yay!


    Support American business

    Posted by The Truth on April 10, 1998 at 11:40:29

    I am a very rich, white, conservative son of a corporate CEO. My father's company depends on overseas workers and the lower wages the better. The lower the wages the lower the product costs. The lower the wages the more prosperous my family is. I couldn't bear to live without my butler or without my Ferrari. I know I'm spoiled but that is just a by product of a succesful business. If the U.S. wants to be prosperous we have to continue to do all we can to maximize profits and that is what Nike is doing. Remember what they are doing is not illegal. I know all the prissies out there are going to call me insenstive or immoral or racist or some crap like that. The U.S. was built into the most prosperous country in the world not because of compassion but with ruthlessness. So if you don't like the way Nike does their business then you don't belong in the United States. Please feel free to post your lame ass followups and call me all the bad words you know because these followups are usually very immature and amusing and I really get a kick out of them.


    Support American business

    Posted by The Truth on April 10, 1998 at 11:40:29

    I am a very rich, white, conservative son of a corporate CEO. My father's company depends on overseas workers and the lower wages the better. The lower the wages the lower the product costs. The lower the wages the more prosperous my family is. I couldn't bear to live without my butler or without my Ferrari. I know I'm spoiled but that is just a by product of a succesful business. If the U.S. wants to be prosperous we have to continue to do all we can to maximize profits and that is what Nike is doing. Remember what they are doing is not illegal. I know all the prissies out there are going to call me insenstive or immoral or racist or some crap like that. The U.S. was built into the most prosperous country in the world not because of compassion but with ruthlessness. So if you don't like the way Nike does their business then you don't belong in the United States. Please feel free to post your lame ass followups and call me all the bad words you know because these followups are usually very immature and amusing and I really get akick out of them.


    Re: Support American business

    Posted by Anonymous on April 10, 1998 at 19:01:32

    In reply to Support American business posted by The Truth on April 10, 1998 at 11:40:29

    Quote----------- The U.S. was built into the most prosperous country in the world not because of compassion but with ruthlessness. So if you don't like the way Nike does their business then you don't belong in the United States. ------------ So only ruthless people belong in the US? I don't think ruthlessness is what the US stands for...but I may be wrong. After all, even a moron like you can be right once in a blue moon.


    Re: Support American business

    Posted by Mr. Money on April 10, 1998 at 14:40:22

    In reply to Support American business posted by The Truth on April 10, 1998 at 11:40:29

    The Truth is reality. As sad as it is he is and that's why I love this country. Knowing that I can someday become a millionare by outsmarting other people has led me through high school and college. Why else would I be here. Just so I get that degree and begin my journey to the top. That is what made this country great and if you don't like it LEAVE!


    Conference evaluation

    Posted by Eric Britton on April 10, 1998 at 11:23:48

    Might we initiate a discussion of the lessons of this most interesting experience? You might also wish to compare it with our own much more staid (and unsuccessful, if more ambitious) scientific teleconference at http://www.the-commons.org/ze2 I look forward to this. With all good wishes, Eric Britton EcoPlan International -- Technology & Social Systems Email: mailto:eric.britton@the-commons.org or mailto:partnerships@csi.com http://www.the-commons.org Le Frene, 8/10 rue Joseph Bara, F-75006 Paris, France Main Tel.+33 (01) 4441.6340 Fax +33 (01) 4441 6341 Data: +33 (01) 4441 6342 ISDN/videoconferencing/groupwork: +33 (01) 4441 6340 (1-4)

    Attachment: new tools and approaches.doc


    Taking a closer look at Nike claims on fixing toulene problems

    Posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 10, 1998 at 10:58:30

    The Nov. 17 '97 front page NY Times article was the first public exposure of health hazzards at Nike producing factories. The toulene level at one Nike producting factory can reach 177 times the legal standard. Nike recently said that information from the E&Y report was inaccurate. E&Y got the information from the a VN govt. health dept, and surely the Vietnamese health dept must not know what it's doing and so its test produce erroneous results. But Nike said, they went ahead with many fixes and modifications anyway, because Nike is a great company. (When ESPN filmed at this same factory in Feb. 98, the ESPN camerman suffered two days of headache after filming in this factory for 8 hours because of the fume.) My response is that they are still just Nike claims. Nike once claimed that it let 4 factories in Indonesia go for violating its code of conduct without releasing the factories names and locations. One of the factory later told the Indonesian press that Nike told them it was due to production slow down. No one can verify Nike claims. Nike does the test. Nike does the PR. Nike does not release the backup data for for independent verification. Vietnam Labor Watch consulted with 2 OSHA experts and 3 industrial hygenists, the two recommendations by these experts for getting rid of toulene and alleviate the chances of health hazzards are: 1. Install a localized, exhaustive filtering system. The current exhaustive fans at these Nike producing factories are useless and do more harms because they pull good air out leaving heavier carcinogens trapped inside the factories. 2. Give workers charcoal-filtered masks. Nike factories in Vietnam has not even taken one of these recommendations. We also would like to ask Nike as to why these factories are build, just as recently as 1995, with a cheaper ventilation system that was known to be useless in getting rid of carcinogens. Was the factory cutting corner at the expense of the health of the workers? Were Nike and its contracts assume that no one would be concerned about workers health anyway? The Nov. 17, 97 front-page NY Times article was the first public exposure of the health hazzards in Nike factories. Nike knew about toulene poisoning for many years and knew how to get rid of them and I'm so perplexed as to why brand new factories dedicated only to producing Nike shoes were built with such horrible filtering systems. Regards, Thuyen Nguyen Vietnam Labor Watch


    Re: Taking a closer look at Nike claims on fixing toulene problems

    Posted by Anonymous on April 27, 1998 at 06:49:56

    In reply to Taking a closer look at Nike claims on fixing toulene problems posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 10, 1998 at 10:58:30

    Firstly I'd just like to point out that toluene is NOT a carcinogen. It does have real health effects through respiratory absorption and skin absorption but it is not linked to cancer. Lets keep this discussion factual please Thuyen Secondly the best way to deal with any chemical hazard is to avoid its use in the first place. Extraction only moves the risk around and PPE is notoriously difficult to properly police especially in Asia.


    Re: Re: Taking a closer look at Nike claims on fixing toulene problems

    Posted by Anonymous on April 10, 1998 at 20:18:47

    In reply to Re: Taking a closer look at Nike claims on fixing toulene problems posted by Nikeman on April 10, 1998 at 17:13:27

    This web site should be used to respond to the labor issues it addresses. Racist and ignorant comments that ridicule people's names and ethnic backgrounds are completely unnecessary and counterproductive to the intent of this site.


    Re: Taking a closer look at Nike claims on fixing toulene problems

    Posted by Anonymous on April 10, 1998 at 11:18:05

    In reply to Taking a closer look at Nike claims on fixing toulene problems posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 10, 1998 at 10:58:30

    I am suffering two days of headache reading the inaccuracies in your reporting. I have no problem with people criticizing Nike as they obviously have problems. However, twisting the story or printing "facts" that you can not verify is the same as Nike printing their claims. Letís stay objective and not let out emotions cloud the picture.


    YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES FOR SUPPORTING NIKE

    Posted by Jay on April 10, 1998 at 06:41:35

    Picture this: A woman is exposed to hazardous chemicals that causes her to become unable to give birth. In America, she sues her employer and gets a fat $100 million dollar settlement. In Vietnam, she is forced to live a life without ever giving birth, probably still working in slave-like conditions. The blame does not all fall on the Vietnam government. Every worker in a factory answers to the factory owner. The factory owner answers to Nike. NIKE IS THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN FORCE THEIR PLANTS TO IMPROVE WORKING CONDITIONS.


    Re: YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES FOR SUPPORTING NIKE

    Posted by No Hypocrite on April 11, 1998 at 00:48:06

    In reply to YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES FOR SUPPORTING NIKE posted by Jay on April 10, 1998 at 06:41:35

    Picture this: the woman does not like her job. The woman quits and goes to work somewhere else. The woman chose to work at the factory, no one, not the factory or her government made her work there. She works there because the job pays her better than other jobs she is qualified for.


    Re: Re: YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES FOR SUPPORTING NIKE

    Posted by Jay on April 11, 1998 at 02:44:24

    In reply to Re: YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES FOR SUPPORTING NIKE posted by No Hypocrite on April 11, 1998 at 00:48:06

    When is the last time you heard of a young Vietnamese woman taking Chemistry? Do you think they have any idea of what can happen while sniffing glue for 8 hours a day? She may choose to work at the factory, but don't assume that she knows what kind of dangerous conditions exist there. By the time she finds out that she can't have any children, it's too late to quit and work somewhere else.


    Re: Re: YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES FOR SUPPORTING NIKE

    Posted by Jay on April 11, 1998 at 02:44:24

    In reply to Re: YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES FOR SUPPORTING NIKE posted by No Hypocrite on April 11, 1998 at 00:48:06

    When is the last time you heard of a young Vietnamese woman taking Chemistry? Do you think they have any idea of what can happen while sniffing glue for 8 hours a day? She may choose to work at the factory, but don't assume that she knows what kind of dangerous conditions exist there. By the time she finds out that she can't have any children, it's too late to quit and work somewhere else.


    Re: Re: Re: YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES FOR SUPPORTING NIKE

    Posted by Anonymous on April 11, 1998 at 14:28:24

    In reply to Re: Re: YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES FOR SUPPORTING NIKE posted by Jay on April 11, 1998 at 02:44:24

    If the sneaker companies would switch to the water based adhesives that Nike uses we would not have to worry about the hazerdous chemicals as much. The other companies still rely on solvent based cements because they are cheaper and easier to use. Clearly indicates they have little concern for the workers well being.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES FOR SUPPORTING NIKE

    Posted by hakan on April 20, 1998 at 13:25:50

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES FOR SUPPORTING NIKE posted by Anonymous on April 11, 1998 at 14:28:24

    do you people like wearing those sneakers? do you like the way they look? most importantly, do you want to sniff the glue for 8 hours a day? if no then, hey, let people do whatever they have to do to make a living and be happy with your sneakers and if you are opposed to it that bad, then do not buy such product. maybe you would like to pay twice the money for the same quality shoe, only which was made in USA i do not think any one else wants to


    Re: YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES FOR SUPPORTING NIKE

    Posted by Sully on April 10, 1998 at 09:18:42

    In reply to YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES FOR SUPPORTING NIKE posted by Jay on April 10, 1998 at 06:41:35

    The owner of the factory answers to the Vietnamese gov't Nike and the othe shoe companies are simple businesses the VIETNAMESE GOVERNMENT allows to operate within its country. It's the Vietnamese peoples job to make the government change. Nike can help by adding economic pressure but the fact of the matter is that without support from the Vietnamese this will all come full circle and Nike will be gone but the next company will take its place. Why can the woman in America sue for $100 million Hmmm, I'm just hazarding a guess but we have laws and legislation to allow her to. Remember that we paralleled this situation here in the U.S., Back with the Robber Barons and the Governmental policy of Laisse Fair or "Hands Off". When our governement took a hands off approach the workers got screwed. We the people made the government effect change, the Vietnamese need to do the same.


    Re: Re: YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES FOR SUPPORTING NIKE

    Posted by Kenneth Phan on April 10, 1998 at 12:57:02

    In reply to Re: YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES FOR SUPPORTING NIKE posted by Sully on April 10, 1998 at 09:18:42

    The Government in Vietnam is a Dictatorship. In the U.S. the workers have a voice in the government. In Vietnam, if they speak up, they go to jail or worse death. I blame the government of Vietnam as much as NIKE. But I cannot influent the Vietnamese gov't. Saddly as it may sound, the only entity I can influent is NIKE


    Re: Re: Re: YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES FOR SUPPORTING NIKE

    Posted by Sully on April 14, 1998 at 13:28:27

    In reply to Re: Re: YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES FOR SUPPORTING NIKE posted by Kenneth Phan on April 10, 1998 at 12:57:02

    Isn't that what happened here, people got killed for what they believe. You are right Vietnam is a Communist country If the people don't like the government overthrow it. Fact of the matter is it is not our business to influence Nike or Reebok, it's the Vietnamese peoples business. Let them start the process not American citizens.


    Re: Re: Re: YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES FOR SUPPORTING NIKE

    Posted by John on April 10, 1998 at 13:16:18

    In reply to Re: Re: YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES FOR SUPPORTING NIKE posted by Kenneth Phan on April 10, 1998 at 12:57:02

    Kenneth, may I ask you a question. Do you try to influence Reebok, Adidas and the non-name brand footwear factories in Vietnam or only Nike? If only Nike it seems a little unfair, watching the ESPN report it was a Reebok factory the workers complained of the fumes. Nike claims to be eliminating a lot of the hazardous materials, the others make no such claims. Adidas would not even let ESPN into their factories, why not? Donít misinterpret my message, Nike has much work to do in improving working conditions but the other companies have more to do.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES FOR SUPPORTING NIKE

    Posted by Kenneth Phan on April 10, 1998 at 13:20:56

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES FOR SUPPORTING NIKE posted by John on April 10, 1998 at 13:16:18

    John, Why am I trying to influent NIKE and not others corporations? Believe it or not, I find NIKE to be more reasonable than other companies. My purpose is to improve the relationship between NIKE and the Vietnamese people. I do not intend to make NIKE an enemy but a friend. I sincerely believe that the Vietnamese people and NIKE can be mutually benefit if the conditions are improved. As for other companies, I will get to them as soon as I finished with NIKE. I can only take one step at a time.


    Re: Re: YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES FOR SUPPORTING NIKE

    Posted by Jason Rayl on April 10, 1998 at 10:24:25

    In reply to Re: YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES FOR SUPPORTING NIKE posted by Sully on April 10, 1998 at 09:18:42

    Correct me if I am wrong but we got our ass-kicked over there. That is probaly a good sign of they don't give a damn about what the hell we think over here. We need to mind our own damn business and stay the hell out of theres. We have the highest crime rate people dieing over the shoes in this country, your worried about some underpaid communist. Wake up you left-wing wacko!!!


    Re: Re: Re: YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES FOR SUPPORTING NIKE

    Posted by Jay on April 11, 1998 at 03:02:54

    In reply to Re: Re: YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES FOR SUPPORTING NIKE posted by Jason Rayl on April 10, 1998 at 10:24:25

    You argue that we need to mind our own business and stay the hell out of there. Nike and other companies have chosen NOT to stay the hell out of there. Why? To make more money for their shareholders by using cheap labor. AMERICANS have chosen to get involved in the Vietnam. Yes, we did lose the Vietnam war. But that was 30 YEARS AGO. You need to learn a basic fact of life: MONEY TALKS. The people of Vietnam DO give a damn about what we think. They want most-favored nation trading status with us. Bottom line: they want American MONEY and investment. American companies have a huge negotiation advantage. If the Vietnamese government doesn't like what our policies are, then American companies can move their plants and their MONEY elsewhere. Therefore, Nike and other companies can demand that workers be treated like human beings. Trust me, the Vietnamese government WILL listen because there is MONEY involved.


    I love this job!!!

    Posted by Nike Worker on April 10, 1998 at 02:05:13

    Other than the fact that I had to borrow this computer because I can't afford one, am typing this by candle light while dirty water I boiled for drinking drips out of the pot to distract me, I love it. I realzie that I am but the first of many genreations of workers that after about 200 years or so, will finally have wages and work conditions that are civilized and compassionate. I am willing to die before then so that the economy in my country does not get too messed up. And I'm willing to sacrifice motherhood, and any possible relationships so that a bunch of pampered, lazy indoctrinated fat overfed people in the United States can have overpriced shoes that I couldn't afford on years salary. I am willing to accpet all this because I know it represents progress for me and my fellow workers to shorten our lives and not allow for quality of life for us, because, hey humanity and the world can't do any better. They have no imagination, can't think outside the narrow confines of the ideology of their capitalist religion, and this excuses and is rational justification for their lack of compassion. Thank you and keep buying them shoes, that we sacrifice our lives for, literally, so that you may have them cheaper.


    Re: Capitalism is the root of all evils!!!!!!

    Posted by Jason Rayl on April 10, 1998 at 10:14:05

    In reply to I love this job!!! posted by Nike Worker on April 10, 1998 at 02:05:13

    No vote or boycott is going to stop these money mongers from running these sweatshops over seas. They will continue to take advantage of people who can't take care of themselves. These slave drivers will always make the profit they want too. Ya they pay their sweatshop workers more.... they raise the price of the shoes here, and the government over there takes more of a bite out to there salery. You moan and complain about shoes being made by sweatshops. Stop you bitchen and open your eyes!!! There are children shooting each other over shoes. Children dieing on the street and your worried about some underpaid individual in a sweat shop....wake up you idiots.


    Who the Hell cares revisited

    Posted by Owen the Henderson on April 10, 1998 at 00:15:45

    Very intriguing. The first real bite of this discussion probably was a prank from some sheltered, immature idiot from South Park. I also noticed some enthusiastic supporters, but the COUNTERATTACK was overwhelming. So in response to all those who struck back at the post "Who the Hell cares", I say let's examine the truth the "jerk" unintentionally put to light. No one really DOES care. Many attacked Tiger Woods for endorsing Nike, and rightfully so. No matter how detrimental to his career as a "commercial role model", he should stand up for what's right. Question is, can we EXPECT him to? Not any more than any one of you who attacked him can be expected to leave your own sheltered lives and do the same. So do you really care, or are you just inflating your little moral bubble by attacking "the enemy"? Nike IS wrong, yes, because it's no secret that the average expense of a sneaker is $20 vs. a $120 price. At a profit margin of over 80%, I don't think doubling wages without raising prices would put Nike in abject poverty. But we have NOTHING on them right now, because so few of you have first acknowledged the rape money you spend right now. The guy's right. Most of you ARE only attacking Nike because it's "cool" to do so. If you cared, you wouldn't be wasting your time here. Fine, let's put me in the spotlight. Okay, go ahead and ask: "What have YOU been doing?" Well, nothing! Even worse, I'm literally a walking endorsement of Nike myself. I mean COMMERCIALLY, I'm not just an unwilling consumer. Do I have to be? Not really. Do I feel bad? Oh, yeah. Will I stop? Not yet! I have my reasons for this, but reasons aside, I WILL admit I'm living scum. Every now and then I remind myself, "I'm living a nice, fat life because of others' misfortunes." I HOPE to make amends later, but for now I'll save you the sob story. Point is, for those of you who claim you're NOT scum like those Nike bastards (or me, for that matter), please understand that it's that kind of resolve, not self-righteous hostility, that gives people the respect that will make others listen. Okay, so now I'm getting self-righteous myself, but I guarantee you're wasting your time if you think you can attack my morals under a fake halo of innocence. If you want to flame me for real, get down in the mud with me first. Scumbag to scumbag. Same goes for Nike. Before you can tell Nike to be responsible for their crimes, drop the self-righteous crap and admit you're just as bad as the jerk who wrote the "Who the Hell cares" post. Because until you do that, Nike KNOWS you're just as bad as they are. Owen the Henderson, Lord of Insanity P.S. Suggestion: If you already know the truth, STOP FEEDING YOUR DAMN EGO AND DO SOMETHING! I'm not saying book a one-way flight to Vietnam and crusade solo, but you certainly can help by funding whoever is and petitioning for their continued support. It helps a lot more than emotional masturbation in a forum.


    The US standard of living depends on this kind of exploitation.

    Posted by Anonymous on April 10, 1998 at 00:43:14

    If Nike paid workers the US minimum wage, the price of a pair of sneakers would be astronomical. What if all the workers who made all of the goods you buy were paid what you make? The computers we are using to carry out this discussion - many of their parts were made in free trade zones, where labor laws are suspended so that corporations can make huge profits. You as a computer user are part of a class whose wealth depends upon paying others much less than you are paid. Your clothes, the food you buy, your appliances, you would not be able to afford them without cheap labor. I object to an economic system that compells companies like Nike treat laborers the way they do, and where taking such a job is a person's best "option." If you object to the labor practices of multinational corporations, then maybe you should consider that our economic system itself is flawed.


    Re: The US standard of living depends on this kind of exploitation.

    Posted by Anonymous on April 10, 1998 at 11:07:14

    In reply to The US standard of living depends on this kind of exploitation. posted by Anonymous on April 10, 1998 at 00:43:14

    This same argument has been used throughout this discussion. I for one am in agreement, almost every consumer good we own was produced or has components produced in regions of cheap labor and "poor" working conditions. I use the word "poor" when comparing these working conditions to conditions here in the USA. When compared to other manufacturing in the same country the conditions are normal or above. Since Nike is such an icon in todayís society most of their critics bury their heads in the sand with the issue that other industries also take advantage of cheaper labor markets to maximize their profits. They single out one company and act as if Nike is alone with these business practices. Does this make them hypocrites, I donít know, at least they are taking a stand about something.


    outside lines show

    Posted by Frank Rhodes on April 09, 1998 at 20:52:07

    what a bunch of hippocrites, disney does the same thing with the people of haiti and dominican republic. substandard pay and working conditions which are deplorable.Iwill put you in touch with a film on the subject if your really interested. better yet espn should air it , but I dpnt think they have the BALLS.please excuse the typing as I dont.


    Re: outside lines show

    Posted by Anonymous on April 10, 1998 at 01:14:43

    In reply to outside lines show posted by Frank Rhodes on April 09, 1998 at 20:52:07

    I am glad to see others point out Disney, corporate parent for ESPN has apparel made at thousands of factories around the globe. This includes "ESPN" logo apparel. If the problems ESPN reported finding from factories which have representatives from Nike & Reebok present on a daily basis, think of the hell holes that must make ESPN product? Hey ESPN how about opening the doors to these third world factories for us to take a look at. We would like to see how you treat your workers!


    Nike/Reebok and Foreign Workers

    Posted by Jacqui Brown on April 09, 1998 at 19:56:39

    What I have found most interesting is the callousness of the execs who know about the conditions and obviously could care less. If they wanted to make less money, they could be politicians! My question is what moneys have these sneaker corps received from the federal gov't. to establish these overseas operations? Many American corps. get major corporate welfare dollars to do this sort of thing. Of course, they go to these third world countries to get the cheapest labor, and the working conditions are often not a concern of the law. I just can't believe a pair of sneakers can't be made here for a reasonable price, leather and all (which of course, in the summer time, gives some of us major toe jam). With the gov't.(however slowly) finally kicking the undeserving off of welfare and stockyards packed to the hilt in places like New Mexico, and paying even educated women here well less than $1.00 per hour, per male salary, you cannot tell me that this country can't get this market here...and with a profit. I realize the minimum (or that we have one)is set in stone, I just can't believe that few extra bucks will break the back of Nike/Reebok, etc. Maybe they should make have they're commercials featuring those who make the shoes (let us see how happy they are), instead of those who make money off of the shoes. And by the way, no college/university should enter into these contracts. After all, how much do the non-atletic students REALLY benefit? That's my two cents, Jacqui Brown


    Re: Nike/Reebok and Foreign Workers

    Posted by Anonymous on April 10, 1998 at 00:46:36

    In reply to Nike/Reebok and Foreign Workers posted by Jacqui Brown on April 09, 1998 at 19:56:39

    Non-athletic student benefit from the simple fact that without sponsors their tuition would be much higher. I for one am very happy to have Nike support college sports. Sorry to hear about your toe jam.


    Re: Re: Nike/Reebok and Foreign Workers

    Posted by dabe on April 10, 1998 at 02:02:16

    In reply to Re: Nike/Reebok and Foreign Workers posted by Anonymous on April 10, 1998 at 00:46:36

    i imagine you are quite happy in your little bubble of a world, where the sun shines every day and the birds sing you songs about how great you are. WAKE THE HELL UP!!! THE WORLD DOES NOT REVOLVE AROUND YOU.


    A new report about Nike in China

    Posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 09, 1998 at 18:42:54

    The National Labor Committee, the people who exposed Kathie Lee Gifford, has a new report released in March 1998, titled "Made in China: Behind the Label" . Here are some snippets about Nike producing factories: ---- 1. Yue Yuen (aka Pou Chen, Pou Yuen, Pao Yen depending on which countries) Here, depending upon rush orders, the work week varies between 60 and 84 hours. For a 60-hour week, a worker earns $11.12, or 19 cents an hour. Overtime is compulsory and no overtime premium is paid. Workers complained about excessive noise, pollution and fumes in the factory, causing some workers to suffer skin irritations, dizziness and constant headaches. 2. WellCo WellCo ran its production lines on 11-to-12 hours day shifts, seven days a week. If you did not stay for the overtime you would be fined up to two days' wages. The workers were given two days off a month, every other Sunday. ... Most of the workers had not been provided legal work contracts, and their first month's wages were illegally detained as a security deposit. As another form of intimidation, management sometimes confiscated the identity cards of workers, leaving them vulnerable for deportation back to their rural provinces. Workers reported that they were yelled and crused at, and there were even some cases of corporal punishment. There were cases in which pregnant women, or those "too old" -- over 25 years of age -- had been arbitarily fired. There were fines for talking while at work. ------ There's nothing here to be proud of. Regards Thuyen Nguyen http://www.saigon.com/nike


    Re: A new report about Nike in China

    Posted by K. Park on April 10, 1998 at 01:04:30

    In reply to A new report about Nike in China posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 09, 1998 at 18:42:54

    Very clever wording on this report, while Yue Yuen does make Nike shoes, they also produce Adidas, Asics and New Balance at this facility in China. Adidas and Nike are produced in separate buildings, the hours and wages you referenced are from the Adidas building. Adidas does not have any "code of conduct" or requirements on wage their subcontractors pay. I also read this report, you know who the NLC found to have the worst working conditions out of any of the factories they visited? Well let me tell you, it was All-American Kathy Lee Gifford. Factories that produce handbags for her brand were the winner (or loser) of the worst conditions. Remember just a year or so ago we all saw Kathy Lee Gifford on TV criticizing Nike and others, then we see her and Frank passing out money to the poor factory workers. As soon as the attention goes away from her she is back to abusing her workers.


    Who the hell really cares?

    Posted by reality on April 09, 1998 at 18:12:48

    Everyone who supposedly cares about this issue is lying. You are all doing not because you care, you just want to hop on the bandwagon and sound like it really matters to you. What's outrageous is that Nike charges what it does for shoes, not how the shoes are made. You all should have more things to do then to worry about what goes on in a Nike factory half a world away. Get something in that sac of yours and realize that Nike doesn't give a f@*k if they loose a few customers who are trying to get into the pants of some girl, by protesting against big bad Nike. Truth is, there are much greater unnoticed attrocities in the world today, that would be worth the effort. This country is all about what's trendy at the moment, not what the real threat is. Right now child labor is en vougue. It will soon die out as will this whole debate. Then no one will care where those shoes are made. Start going after the Indians and their treatment of the people of Kashmir, or the Iraqies. God knows they are a bunch of nuts just waiting to be nuked. These are legitimite problems. Who makes shoes for Nike isn't. Wake up. Get a hobby. Get a girl. Do Something. Just don't worry about who makes the kicks on your feet. Be a man for crying out loud. Everyone who complains probably hates South Park, loves trees, and can't stand a beautiful car like a '66 GTO because it pollutes too much and needs too much gas. True men of the US, unite with me to get these pu$$ies out of our country. The country of John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Lee Marvin, and all other bada$$es I left off. Support Nike in thieir crusade against these loosers who probably like to hit from the other side of the plate, if you catch my drift. Niketown, I'm coming with my gold card, with only my credit limit to stop me. Until next time, this has been reality. Go back to your little surrealist lives. Later.


    Re: Who the hell really cares?

    Posted by Anonymous on April 10, 1998 at 00:10:01

    In reply to Who the hell really cares? posted by reality on April 09, 1998 at 18:12:48

    Amen brother! Tell them how it is.


    Re: Re: They killed Kenny!!!!

    Posted by Jason Rayl on April 10, 1998 at 10:31:09

    In reply to Re: Who the hell really cares? posted by Anonymous on April 10, 1998 at 00:10:01

    You told it like it is bro...there is real issues out that need to be tended too. Leave it you a liberal to cry about everything and then sit there and do nothing.


    Re: Who the hell really cares?

    Posted by Joe Bloe on April 09, 1998 at 21:26:30

    In reply to Who the hell really cares? posted by reality on April 09, 1998 at 18:12:48

    Thank you for telling the truth brother. Unless someone is personally involved in it they really don't care, they just want to make themselves feel good so they can pretend they're deep. It's like those cliques back in school, all the cool and popular people would once in a while pretend something really mattered to them just to make themselves feel like they were not shallow and immature little brats. Thank you.


    Re: Who the hell really cares?

    Posted by Kenneth on April 09, 1998 at 20:35:42

    In reply to Who the hell really cares? posted by reality on April 09, 1998 at 18:12:48

    You would care if it is your relatives whose work in those factories as mine are. From your statement, I could see that you are a spoiled kid who never met any difficulty in his life. You are incapable of sympathy. Please understand that I am not offended by your statement. I am however sadden by your existence.


    Re: Re: Who the hell really cares?

    Posted by Anonymous on April 09, 1998 at 23:44:56

    In reply to Re: Who the hell really cares? posted by Kenneth on April 09, 1998 at 20:35:42

    Shut up gook!


    Re: Re: Re: Who the hell really cares?

    Posted by youareracist on April 10, 1998 at 01:14:27

    In reply to Re: Re: Who the hell really cares? posted by Anonymous on April 09, 1998 at 23:44:56

    no, you shut up, you stupid, ignorant, lazy, beer-guzzling, fat, underworked, godless, impotent piece of white trash!


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Who the hell really cares?

    Posted by Kenneth Phan on April 10, 1998 at 12:48:08

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Who the hell really cares? posted by youareracist on April 10, 1998 at 01:14:27

    Thank You for defending me. But I think this individual is uncapable of feeling. Do not be angry at him. I am not angry at him. I only feel sorry for him.


    Re: Who the hell really cares?

    Posted by Anonymous on April 09, 1998 at 20:23:24

    In reply to Who the hell really cares? posted by reality on April 09, 1998 at 18:12:48

    You're so stupid, it's actually amazing. "True men unite..." Ahahhahaha grow up, little boy.


    Re: Who the hell really cares?

    Posted by Anonymous on April 09, 1998 at 19:00:30

    In reply to Who the hell really cares? posted by reality on April 09, 1998 at 18:12:48

    I always wondered what it would be like to be so ignorant, uncaring, and obviously uneducated. Thank you for enlightening me. If you want to prove your ignorance more, just talk.


    Re: Re: Who the hell really cares?

    Posted by Anonymous on April 09, 1998 at 23:49:11

    In reply to Re: Who the hell really cares? posted by Anonymous on April 09, 1998 at 19:00:30

    You don't know anything so you need to shutup. Evidently you've never worked a hard labor job or else youd be more EDUCATED your self. If their willing to work for then let them. Nobody over here is, and everybody still wears the brand name shoes so fuck it. Are you willing to make shoes at or below minimum wage, I don't think so. So let them do it our money is like gold over there and is worth so much. It's the best thing they've got.


    Re: Re: Re: Who the hell really cares?

    Posted by Jim on April 10, 1998 at 00:42:46

    In reply to Re: Re: Who the hell really cares? posted by Anonymous on April 09, 1998 at 23:49:11

    "It's not my problem" is your mantra. Well, the devaluation of a foreign culture is a major concern to me. And it is your concern if a fellow human is being mistreated. Wouldn't you want someone to act in your favor? These workers don't have a voice, but you do, and all you use it for is to defend your own false reality. Obviously you are a Godless, self centered individual. Oh, and learn to spell.


    buying American

    Posted by Joshua Winton on April 09, 1998 at 16:24:44

    I've always though buying American was a good idea. The theory being that if we all did it we would be a self supporting nation. I'm also against slave labor and honestly don't see how anyone educated on the maner could be for slave labor. I think people buy these shoes and other things produced in this manor for selfish reasons, they care only for price, value and quality, not the impact on the economy. Untill the consumer, american or other wise, shows they care buy hurting the profit margin this will unfortunetly continue. Untill then I will continue to boycott these companies, hurting my own finances, to take a stand against imorality. I hope others will join as a result of these articles by ESPN. The responsibility is the consumers, we determine what the manufactures can and can't do. On a side note, I've always wondered how a retail store would do that carried products only made in the USA? I wonder if people would assume the prices would be higher? I wonder if there would be enough products availible for a department store seting?


    Re: buying American

    Posted by Joe on April 09, 1998 at 17:14:44

    In reply to buying American posted by Joshua Winton on April 09, 1998 at 16:24:44

    Josh, Pull your head out. You think that buying American is the answer to all the worlds problem. Unfortunately you have no clue as to economics. American products are inferior. Period. Yeah right buy american, buy crap that is. American workers are overpaid cry babies that is why companies are forced to go over seas. We have an inflated view of what our servces actually bring to the table and force employers to up the salaries and wages without a corresponding increase in the production. Hence there is no increase in revenue, yet there is an increase in expense, forcing profits down. Accordingly to maintain Profit Margins the prices must increase in proportion to the the increase in expenses. What you say makes no sense. You will boycott these products to the detriment to your own pocket book. Hah! That's the issue here these are the expensive products not the cheaper ones. You're doing yourself a favor, easing your conscience and saving money to boot. If these products were cheaper we would not have had this Chat Room. Josh I suggest you read some of these strands before posting sanctimonious, holier than thou messages touting yourself as the lone matyr in a completely Immoral and unjust country such as the US.


    Re: Re: buying American

    Posted by J2 on April 10, 1998 at 00:50:13

    In reply to Re: buying American posted by Joe on April 09, 1998 at 17:14:44

    Joe: it's called prozac.


    Nike!

    Posted by Nate Groves on April 09, 1998 at 14:24:03

    It is a sad time we live in when the basic human rights this country has provided for us can be so carelessy abused in another country. We the people... thats where it started for us. It was continued in the Emancipation Proclamation. And it makes me angry that people, from our country, are still exploiting weaker countrys. You can argue that they are paid a wage which provides food as did Rich Sheubrooks. If thats what it takes for you to be able to sleep at night than so be it. Barely being able to purchase food is no way for anyone to live. We as Americans should recognize the huge injustice this is. Professional Atheletes should be more aware than anyone. They sign contracts giving companies permission to use their names to endorse a product. Which means They support these products from begining to end. These people are considered role models: Micheal Jordan, Tiger Woods, Anfernee Hardaway, yes even Ken Griffey Junior. All of them are BILLBOARDS. Choosing to represent the products they do is a slap in the face to everything this country has achieved. Slavery was a common practice a mere 150 years ago, in this country. Tiger Woods being as racial diverse as he is should really think about what he's doing. He has claimed he is a good Role model and he acts appropriatley because of it. Well what kind of message is he sending by endorsing Nike? Is that the way you want young America to think? Exploit the weak in order to gain personal profit. It makes me sick. Anfernee Hardaway has played less than 20 games this year and yet was still voted into the Allstargame. This is a prime example of how much influence these people have on the American public. How did he manage to make the Allsar game? Nike. Lil' Penny. These comercials are so popular he still got the votes. How can you sleep at night knowing that you make more in a year from your shoe contract than an entire factory of people. People who produce the shoes that produce YOUR paycheck. YOUR ALLSTAR game appearance. Micheal Jordan, the untouchable GOD. Because he is the best player in the league today he can do no wrong. Nike exploits it, the media promotes it, and I abhore it.When did an NBA Chamionship become more valuable than basic human rights. Rights to work in safe environments. Rights to earn more than just enuff to eat. Rights that people like Micheal Jordan, Penny Hardaway, Tiger Woods should recognize. But who am I? I have no outstanding athletic ability, why listen to me? The only ability I posses is the ability to think for myself. To see through the glamourus comercials, like the one with Micheal Jordan telling us all his Negative stats and ending by saying and thats what keeps me going. A very positive comercial untill you realize...Micheal Jordan never thought of saying these things. Someone else wrote it and he mearly read it thinking, Yeah I'm the greatest. I have two words for all profesional atheletes. HUMAN COMPASSION. Think about it. I do. http://www.mv.com/users/sos/Constitution.html Something else to think about. Thanks for your time, Nate


    Re: Nike!

    Posted by Sully on April 09, 1998 at 16:14:54

    In reply to Nike! posted by Nate Groves on April 09, 1998 at 14:24:03

    Nate, This sounds all well and good. In theory it's great. You are probably a Saint. But lets be real for a minute. Why is it Michael Jordon or Anfernee Hardaway or Ken Griffey Jr's job to effect social change in Vietnam. Why is it an American problem? Why are we the "Policeman" of the world. Yes it's sad, tragic, despicable but it's also in Vietnam. It is these people that have to effect change not you or I. Simply put no matter what we say or do unless the "People" take action nothing will change. I enjoyed reading your tirade but you are being emotional, Human Compassion will only go so far. Human Compassion and a $1.50 will get you a subway ride in New York City. As for professional athletes I can't say I'd be a better person in their positions so I'm not going to criticize.


    Re: Re: Nike!

    Posted by Hmmm on April 10, 1998 at 01:05:01

    In reply to Re: Nike! posted by Sully on April 09, 1998 at 16:14:54

    Sully, It is the job of the person/group/nation with any type of power or voice to use their power/voice to stand up for their fellow human beings. Someday we all die... how can someone who had the ability to make a change, who didn't, defend themselves? You can't take money with you... but you can take the knowledge that you left the world a better place!


    Re: Re: Re: Nike!

    Posted by Sully on April 10, 1998 at 09:09:37

    In reply to Re: Re: Nike! posted by Hmmm on April 10, 1998 at 01:05:01

    You missed the point if what I said. In short we can not effect change there. Only the Vietnamese can. They need to demand social change within their country. What we do will be of no consequence unless it is back by not only the will of the people but also governmental policies to regulate things like minimum wage and foreign investment. I agree that it is the duty of the group or nation to make a difference, that group is the Vietnamese.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Nike!

    Posted by Anonymous on April 10, 1998 at 10:34:43

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Nike! posted by Sully on April 10, 1998 at 09:09:37

    Words of wisdom. Foreign companies can support these efforts but in no way drive them. It is as you said up to the Vietnamese people to bring about change. Having the athletic shoe companies have a higher standard then the rest of all manufacturing (and the government) in Vietnam may look good and make you Americans feel better about yourselves, but it is almost meaningless in the grand scheme of the economy and culture.


    shoe manufacturing

    Posted by Robert Walker on April 09, 1998 at 13:35:44

    If the U.S. tries to hold companies in other countries to the labor laws that we have enacted in this country, the fallout will be tremendous. The back and forth litigation will uncertainly drive the price of all products much, much higher, including in the already overpriced sport-shoe market.


    Bleeding Hearts... Look at the realities

    Posted by L. Robinson on April 09, 1998 at 11:19:56

    Sure Nike capitalizes on underpaid Asians. But the Nikes of the Worlds capitalistic traits also help us nonbusiness owning Americans live the good life and they don't hurt the workers who would otherwise have no source of income. Those of you complaining about this situation may be the same people that didn't support NAFTA or that complain about the poor service and expensive rates in the Bahamas. The simple solution for you is to not purchase the products - just leave the rest of us alone. Let's get real people. There is only United States and only way for the citizens of this great country to maintain our standard of living and help the rest of the world to achieve our level of development . . . slow and steady is the course. Nike doesn't exploit other peoples - it does, however, use its business savy to take advantage of a good situation.


    Re: Bleeding Hearts... Look at the realities

    Posted by Aye on April 10, 1998 at 01:09:35

    In reply to Bleeding Hearts... Look at the realities posted by L. Robinson on April 09, 1998 at 11:19:56

    you are correct. in a world dominated by capitalism, someone always has to lose so someone else can win. we can't all be even-- that would be communism. it's easy to support nike when you're on the side that's winning. but try and take the perspective of the loser-- (i.e. the workers). capitalism doesn't seem so great, does it?


    I know he doesn't mean to, but L. Robinson is exactly mimicking a very tupical pro-slavery argument ca. 1840

    Posted by David Grigsby on April 09, 1998 at 13:42:29

    In reply to Bleeding Hearts... Look at the realities posted by L. Robinson on April 09, 1998 at 11:19:56

    I have a master's in American history, and my main interest was in the mid 19th c., US south. If you substituted the proper words from 1840 into L. Robinson's note, you'd get a nice synopsis of one of the major pro-slavery arguments. Does it therefore follow that slavery was OK? Or that Nike's current relationship with its overseas contractors is wrong? I didn't say either of those things. I just point out that L. Robinson is trying to make this a simple question, and it isn't.


    Re: I know he doesn't mean to, but L. Robinson is exactly mimicking a very tupical pro-slavery argument ca. 1840

    Posted by Playa on April 13, 1998 at 13:16:38

    In reply to I know he doesn't mean to, but L. Robinson is exactly mimicking a very tupical pro-slavery argument ca. 1840 posted by David Grigsby on April 09, 1998 at 13:42:29

    David, you said you have a master's in history, I think you also have a master's in being a fucking dipshit.


    Another question

    Posted by Jon Palmer on April 09, 1998 at 03:30:48

    Here's an important question... is anyone FORCING these workers to work at the Nike plant? If so... If it's Nike, Phil Knight should be tried for crimes against humanity If it's the Vietnamese government, they should suffer some sort of sanctions, or at LEAST be the ones bearing the brunt of this backlash. But if NOBODY is forcing them to work in these horrible conditions at Nike... tell the workers to GET ANOTHER JOB!!!! And if they can't get a better job, I guess Nike wasn't so bad, now was it?


    I have never bought Nike shoes in my life...

    Posted by Mary Martelli on April 08, 1998 at 21:56:17

    I have never purchased a Nike product in my life and will definetely not now that I hear how they treat their workers. I do not support exploitation at any cost.


    Re: I have never bought Nike shoes in my life...

    Posted by Anonymous on April 09, 1998 at 00:04:00

    In reply to I have never bought Nike shoes in my life... posted by Mary Martelli on April 08, 1998 at 21:56:17

    http://www.teleport.com/~scheller/china/ http://nikeworker.com Exploitation, yah right.


    look elsewhere when placing blame

    Posted by Mark on April 08, 1998 at 21:46:29

    I don't think it's up to the athletes to take a stand on the labor practices of apparel and shoe companies. Perhaps the blame should be placed on the governments of the countries where the atrocities are allowed to take place. They allow such things to go on because they know that the only way they can attract international corporations is by offering up cheap labor. Of course, it would be difficult to justify enforcing any sort of changes in those Asian countries because that would be meddling in the affairs of a foreign country, which would be unacceptable on a practical basis to them and a moral basis to us.


    Re: look elsewhere when placing blame

    Posted by Jon Palmer on April 09, 1998 at 03:23:16

    In reply to look elsewhere when placing blame posted by Mark on April 08, 1998 at 21:46:29

    This is actually a reall good post. It isn't Nike's job to look out for Vietnamese workers; it's the Vietnamese government's job. Nike's job is to make a buck, plain and simple.


    Nike needs to set a higher standard for itself

    Posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 08, 1998 at 20:17:34

    Nike likes to say it is the leader in its industry in terms of labor practices. That's why Nike and its employees do not understand why people are criticizing them. Nike really believes that since fewer number of workers are exploited and abused in its contractors' factories compare to other shoe factories, we all should give Nike a hand. We all should ignore the sufferings and exploitation of these young women because they could have have suffered more working for another shoe factory. Just because a Nike-producing factory is better than some other factories in China, it does not mean that women are not being exploited or not being abused at these Nike contractors. Nike is a wealthy US corporation. It has to live up to the standards of a major US corporation such as Pepsi, CocaCola. Nike cannot simply be content to be a leader in an industry that is notorious for human rights abuses all over the world. My advice is for Nike to set a higher standard for itself comparable to other US corporations like CitiCorp, Proctor & Gamble, CocaCola, Pepsi, Ford etc. Nike's brand name still has cachet, goodwill and prestige but all of that would change quickly and the Nike brand will be viewed as a sweatshop product if the Nike refused to change. Nike producing factories are currently the lowest paid in Vietnam among all foreign enterprises. These factories also have the most number of strikes. Supervisors at these factories have been convicted of abusing workers. There have been at least 10+ "reported" incidents of physical abuse of workers. I cannot think of any other US corporations in Vietnam with such a record for its labor practices. With such a horrible record, Nike and its employees has nothing to be proud of. Thuyen Nguyen


    Re: Nike needs to set a higher standard for itself

    Posted by JB on April 08, 1998 at 23:54:18

    In reply to Nike needs to set a higher standard for itself posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 08, 1998 at 20:17:34

    Let me get this right. You say Nike considers itself the "leader in its industry in terms of labor practices." You then say "Nike really believes that since fewer number of workers are exploited and abused in its contractors' factories compare to other shoe factories we all should give Nike a hand." If Nike is doing the best job of the footwear companies than we should give them SOME credit. You appear to be Nike's biggest critic but then you point out that Nike's labor practices are better than the other shoe companies. If this is the case then why aren't you criticizing Reebok, Adidas, Asics, Puma, New Balance and the countless non-name brand footwear companies? You said it yourself that Nikes labor practices are the best so why are you only picking on them? Your statistics about Vietnam also help make the picture clearer for me. You report "10+"reported" incidents of physical abuse of workers". This is from a workforce of 75,000 workers making Nike shoes alone. That is a percentage of only .01% of workers being abused. Don't get me wrong I would like the see 0% of the workers claiming abuse but .01% is lower than US worker claims against employers! I do not want to seem rude but in a previous message someone named Mark from Nike said everyone in Asia thought you were a "joke" and soon people in the USA would feel the same way. If you keep presenting these kind of facts and figures we will think this is a joke.


    Re: Nike needs to set a higher standard for itself

    Posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 09, 1998 at 10:28:50

    In reply to Re: Nike needs to set a higher standard for itself posted by JB on April 08, 1998 at 23:54:18

    It's easy to see why Vietnam Labor Watch picked Nike. Nike is the larges shoe manufacturer in Vietnam. It employed over 35,000 workers. Prior to July 97 (before producing with Yue Yuen) Reebok was contracting with two contractors that we found to treat workers much better than Nike factories. Addidas presence in Vietnam is still very small. Second, about the 10+ reported incidents, remember these are "reported" incidents. The number of unreported cases of abuses are much higher. The most important fact is that there has been no incidents of worker abuses by any other US companies operating in Vietnam during the last 18 months. Nike has the distinctive honor of having the worst labor record among all US employers in Vietnam. It's interesting to see how people keep making up excuses for Nike instead of telling the company to shape up. The combination of denial and the power of justification often can exonerate every form of human rights abuse in the world. It's remind me of the kind of excuses that a slave shipowner would made to justify the practices of slavery: we're very humane in transporting the slaves; on our ships we have doctors and nutritious food for them; eventhough we've the largest number of slave ships but we're the best, don't pick on us when there are worse slave ships around. Regards Thuyen Nguyen


    Re: Re: Nike needs to set a higher standard for itself

    Posted by Bob on April 09, 1998 at 12:00:49

    In reply to Re: Nike needs to set a higher standard for itself posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 09, 1998 at 10:28:50

    I do not buy Nike products, Nike has a long way to go with it's factory improvements. However, I do believe that each side should present facts. Emotional opinions that distort reality only cloud the issue. Your slave ship story is mostly fabricated and in poor taste to mention. African slaves were kidnapped and enslaved, torn away from their families and home land. Workers in Asia stand in line for these jobs that pay them well above their peers. They can leave anytime they want too.


    Actually, slavery analogies are *not* in poor taste

    Posted by David Grigsby on April 09, 1998 at 13:50:35

    In reply to Re: Re: Nike needs to set a higher standard for itself posted by Bob on April 09, 1998 at 12:00:49

    The slavery analogies are actually right on target, IMHO. We as consumers, and as contributors to this msg board, should be asking ourselves: what are the proper conditions for these workers, what would be fair both for Nike and their contractors, and for the workers. Deep in their hearts, most of those involved with the slave trade and slavery understood that what they were doing was wrong. Their tortured logic, extreme defensiveness, wondrous paths of denial, all attest to that. Those who didn't realize that slavery was wrong were unable to lift their minds out of the society in which they happened to live, and move it geographically and chronologically to another place, where the questions of right and wrong are eternal. I understand that such a location is a place where humans can never go, but we should *strive* to go there. Does anyone believe that Nike is aiming for that place? Trying to be fair both to their stockholders, and to workers? My answer: no way. I wouldn't go back in history and judge someone who at least tried to move his or her mind to that place. Abe Lincoln said some things that would be considered horribly racist if they had been uttered even in 1950, let alone 1998. Even so, he tried to bring about a just world. He stepped beyond what was right and wrong in 1860s US. That is in pretty stark contrast to John Calhoun, Jefferson Davis, and even the (oddly) sainted Robert E. Lee. I hope that future generations will look at me, and us, as heirs to Lincoln, rather than Lee.


    Re: Re: Nike needs to set a higher standard for itself

    Posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 09, 1998 at 12:45:03

    In reply to Re: Re: Nike needs to set a higher standard for itself posted by Bob on April 09, 1998 at 12:00:49

    I was not equating that Asian shoe factory workers to past African slaves. Sorry for any misunderstanding. I've been reading the book "The Slave Trade" and the content of this book does carry over to my day to day conversation. I was only pointing out that anyone can justify anything using some form of relativism. And there has been many justification on Nike's part instead of admitting to the problems. If Nike said publicly that there are serious, fundamental, structural labor problems in its contractor factories, and present the steps that it would take to correct the problems: independent monitoring, accessing the merit of a living wage standard, reducing overtime and wage cheating, addressing the level of carcinogens etc, Vietnam Labor Watch would stop its anti-Nike campaign. When other US companies in Vietnam has a spotless record on labor practices, and Nike has a horrible record, Nike cannot simply said we're the best in our industry and all the critics should leave Nike alone. Nike needs to set a higher standard for itself. It cannot compare itself to the shoe manufacturing industry. It needs to raise its labor practices to the level of a major US corporation i.e. CocaCola, Ford, Proctor & Gamble, Pepsi. Regards, Thuyen Nguyen


    Re: Re: Re: Nike needs to set a higher standard for itself

    Posted by B.J. on April 09, 1998 at 14:59:28

    In reply to Re: Re: Nike needs to set a higher standard for itself posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 09, 1998 at 12:45:03

    Actually in the Nike response to this issue they have admitted there are problems and that they are addressing these. It seems as if their efforts to reduce harmful chemicals and solvents is greater than that of their competitors. In an earlier post from you wrote; "Nike really believes that since fewer number of workers are exploited and abused in its contractors' factories compare to other shoe factories, we all should give Nike a hand" Not only is Nike claiming their record is better than other shoe factories you are also making this claim. I agree efforts can and should be intensified but I also give them credit for what they have done. They could be like the others shoe companies and do nothing. I am not entirely convinced that Nike should be compared to industries outside of the athletic industry. Coca-Cola, Pepsi, P&G etc. are completely different industries requiring different materials ,processing and manpower requirements. It is similar to comparing the working conditions in a US steel foundry or coal mine to that of a factory making silicon chips. In comparison one is very clean, quiet, air conditioned with pleasant surroundings. The other is dirty, hot, noisy, full of smells and toxic fumes.


    Re: Nike needs to set a higher standard for itself

    Posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 10, 1998 at 10:44:38

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Nike needs to set a higher standard for itself posted by B.J. on April 09, 1998 at 14:59:28

    So far I have not seen any admission of structural and fundamental labor problems from Nike. My guess is that there are financial considerations involved. If Nike admitted that its factories violated Vietnamese minimum wage laws and wage cheatings in 96, 97 and 98, it would have to compensate workers for lost wages. If Nike admitted that its factories violated overtime law, it has to compensated workers for that. About Nike's claims that it has reduced toulene level, they are still just Nike claims. No one has verified this. Nike does not relase the backup data for such claims for independent verification. Vietnam Labor Watch consulted with five OSHA experts and 3 industrial hygenists, the two recommendations by these experts for getting rid of toulene and alleviate the chances of health hazaards are: 1. Installed a localized, exhaustive filtering system. 2. Give workers charcoal-filtered masks. Nike factories in Vietnam has not even taken one of these recommendations. We also would like to ask Nike as to why these factories are build, just as recently as 1995, with a cheaper ventilation system that has been proven to be useless in getting rid of carcinogens. Was the factory cutting corner at the expense of the health of the workers? Were Nike and its contracts assume that no one would be concerned about workers health anyway? The Nov. 17, 97 front-page NY Times article was the first public exposure of the health hazzards in Nike factories. Nike knew about toulene poisoning for many years and knew how to get rid of them and I'm so perplexed as to why brand new factories dedicated only to producing Nike shoes were built with such horrible filtering systems. Regards, Thuyen Nguyen


    Re: Re: Nike needs to set a higher standard for itself

    Posted by Anonymous on April 10, 1998 at 12:57:54

    In reply to Re: Nike needs to set a higher standard for itself posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 10, 1998 at 10:44:38

    You wrote "If Nike admitted that its factories violated Vietnamese minimum wage laws and wage cheating in 96, 97 and 98, it would have to compensate workers for lost wages. If Nike admitted that its factories violated overtime law, it has to compensated workers for that." Actually under Vietnamese law Nike would not have to compensate for either of these claims. Nike does not own these manufacturing facilities, they do not employ any of the factory workers. If these violations were PROVEN to be correct the subcontractor would have to pay restitution. The working conditions must be improved, as for wages they will stay at the levels set by the Vietnamese government. No foreign based company is under any obligation to pay more than the going wage. If these companies artificially increase wages, local companies must do the same, many of which can not afford to do so. When the wages are increased sharply and artificially inflation of local consumer goods will also rise. Time and steady economic growth is the way out of the labor intensive, low income period that is currently in Vietnam. Most countries have had to struggle with the same issues. This does not necessarily make it "right", it is just the way it works.


    Re: Re: Nike needs to set a higher standard for itself

    Posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 10, 1998 at 14:58:19

    In reply to Re: Re: Nike needs to set a higher standard for itself posted by Anonymous on April 10, 1998 at 12:57:54

    I agree. It's not Nike that would have to pay workers. It's the Nike factories that have to pay workers back wages for violations of minimum wage laws, overtime law and for wage cheating practices. About the economic argument that Nike factories should not pay above the minimum wage of $40-45 per month. Are you saying that it's bad to pay workers high wages because it's good overall for them to receive starving wages? I have a hard time believing in that. All I can tell you is that Pepsi & CocaCola paid entry level workers (bottle washers) $80 per month in Vietnam. These companies paid their Vietnamese workers such wage because they know that is a living wage. Because they are much better corporate citizens than Nike. BTW, they are also not causing any sharp increase and artificial inflation on the Vietnam's economy. No one in Vietnam is demanding Pepsi and CocaCola to reduce its wages because they are destroying Vietnamese economy. Regards, Thuyen Nguyen


    Response to NIKE report

    Posted by David Brotherton on April 08, 1998 at 17:04:28

    First by taking the average Vietnamese salary ($800+$500/2) yields $550 as the average yearly income. If NIKE pays $564 that is above the average. In the medias quest to make headlines they mislead the average American viewingthe program and tarnish the reputation of a company in the process. When headlines scream 23 CENTS A DAY many do not think to factor in the exchange rate of currency and most importantly standard of living. Wow what a concept! As americans we feel obligated to critique the rest o the world for not living up to our standards. To put things in perspective 80% of the world live in sub-standard housing, 70 % cannot read, 50% suffer from malnutrition, 1% have a college degree or own a computer. More shocking 50% of the worlds capital lyes in the hand of only 6% of the total population (GUESS WHO? You betcha the good old US of A). So next we as Americans, the ones who indulge in by far the most superior standard of living on the globe, must ask is our REALITIVE level of contrst first to use as a measuring stick for the rest of mankind. If one does'nt recall if everyone on Earth were to consume as much enrgy and expell as much waste our existance would be doomed within only a few years. I myself made $13,000 last year working in the summer at Owens Corning and part time at JC Penney while attending Saint Louis University full time. My wage in many world nations would equate to royality (I think you get may drift). But is money important in the issue? Yes but only to an extent, because money is relative. What's important is human welfare. If a penny allows me in a given socity to live a just and God fearing life, so be it. We as Americans get so caught up in monotary possesions we sometimes forget whats important, the human spirit. Is NIKE wrong? Well in the artice they said any industry is desparately needed in North Vietnam due to communist rule. If my memory serves me correctly nearly 1,000,000 North Vietnamese sacrifed their lives to implement a communist government. Sorry I'm babbling, but if NIKE were to pay as much as Pepsi or ten times Pepsi is that enough capital to draw more industry? I think not. Yes I wish NIKE were God as much as the next guy but it's not their duty to save North Vietnam or the world or the human race. The job is an unskilled labor and yes look at the U.S. workers who occupy these jobs, they get paid below the national average contrary to the North Vietnamese. Anyways if all athletic shoes were made in the U.S. we might have to morage our houses just to buy a pair. I suppose I'm bitter because I the these shoes and I here people complain about the wages and then turn around and buy the shoes. That's why they are so expensive because we pay the price. And also as consummers we are the one who demand low prices on most items driving neatly all companies manufacturing facilities off U.S. soil. So guess what if you want to complain point your finger at yourself.


    GLOBAL ECONOMY & ETHNOCENTRISM

    Posted by SAM FULLERTON on April 08, 1998 at 17:38:23

    SO, IN THE ABSENCE OF NIKE'S MANUFACTURING BASE, WHAT WOULD THE WORKERS IN VIET NAAM BE DOING? WE ARE ALWAYS INCLINED TO IMPOSE OUR STANDARDS ON THE REST OF THE WORLD. PUT ETHNOCENTRISM ASIDE, HOW IS IT PERCEIVED THERE? FOR YEARS, THOSE WHO TEACH ABOUT GLOBAL BUSINESS LONG HAVE PREACHED THE CONCEPTS OF ABSOLUTE AND COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGE. NIKE IS DOING IT ACCORDING TO THE TEXTBOOK, SOMETHING PHIL KNIGHT PROBABLY DOESN'T WANT TO HEAR. WHAT SHOULD THEY DO, PAY MORE THAN MARKET OUT OF THE GOODNESS OF THEIR HEARTS. HOW MANY OF THE READERS PAY MORE FOR THEIR NEWSPAPER BECAUSE THE POOR DELIVEY KID DOESN'T MAKE ENOUGH MONEY? DO THEY GET MORTGAGES FROM BANS WITH HIGHER THAN MARKET ITEREST RATES IN THE NAME OF SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS? OF COURSE NOT SO DO WE BRING PRODUCTION TO THE U.S. WHERE IT COSTS MORE THUS DRIVING UP THE COST OF THE SHOES? WATCH THE EROSION OF MARKET SHAAARE IF THAT HAPPENS. LET'S NOT BE TOO QUICK TO IMPOSE OUR BELIEF SYSTEM ON THE REST OF THE WORLD; TRUST ME, MUCH OF THE WORLD DOESN'T CARE WHAT WE THINK. . .


    Another Nike's myth debunked -- that Nike factory jobs helped establish a middle class

    Posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 08, 1998 at 17:18:56

    Nike often pointed to Japan, S. Korea as cases in which Nike jobs have helped propelled these countries into first world status. These cases, on the surface, sound convincing but in reality how can minimum wage jobs ever help develop any economy. There are so many factors in economic development that Nike's claims are rather disingenous when the economic truth was that Nike left these countries because they found labor cost too high. Thailand is also a country with Nike factory jobs for many years. The recent Asian financial crisis caused many garment workers to lose their jobs in Thailand. The NY Times went to interview one of these workers who have been sewing Nike and other brands in the last ten years. She went into the job poor. She left poor. She did not save any money and did not join the middle class with her garment factory job. Enclosed please find a few paragraphs about this woman. Regards, Thuyen Nguyen ===== NY Times December 15, 1997 Thailand Economic Crash Crushes Working Poor by Seth Mydans ... Miss Suthasini, who came to work at the PAR Garment Factory a decade ago, has lived this side of Thailand's boom. "In these 10 years my country has grown rich," she said, "but not me. Nothing for me has improved." She earned the minimum wage on her first day of work 10 years ago, and she earned the minimum wage on her last day, last month. Far from making her wealthy, her salary of $3.50 a day was not even enough to cover her basic needs. Like the bankers and property developers whose profligacy helped cause the country's crash, Miss Suthasini has been left not only jobless but also in debt. She owes $40, or nearly two weeks' pay. Beyond this, she has little to show for Thailand's economic boom. The lives of the country's new middle class have been transformed by their new wealth. Even if they lose their jobs, they have new homes, new cars, a new appreciation for wine. But the people who worked at the PAR Garment Factory have been left with almost nothing. "The role of the poor in the boom has been to create the wealth," said Ji Ungpakorn, a political scientist at Chulalongkorn. "Now when the boom turns to slump, some of them will be cast aside, and they have nothing to cushion them at all." Miss Song is one of 10 children in a farming family in Thailand's poor northeast, a region that suffers chronically from a cycle of drought and flood. All but one of her siblings also migrated to Bangkok -- the sisters as factory workers, the brothers as drivers. "These were the only jobs we could get," she said. "None of us finished elementary school." "I love sewing," she said. But she had only four years of schooling and she could not read the labels on the garments she made for Gap, Nike and London Fog.


    Re: Another Nike's myth debunked -- that Nike factory jobs helped establish a middle class

    Posted by John on April 08, 1998 at 17:35:11

    In reply to Another Nike's myth debunked -- that Nike factory jobs helped establish a middle class posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 08, 1998 at 17:18:56

    I beg to differ, labor intensive manufacturing is one of the first steps to a countryís economic evolution. I highly doubt Nike is single handily trying to take credit for the success of Japan or S. Korea. As you mentioned there are many factors contributing to their success, but first and foremost is foreign businesses establishing manufacturing bases in these countries. Once labor prices increase labor intensive industries do leave in search of cheaper labor markets. Then higher tech industries move in. During this time the education level increases in the country and they are turning out professionally trained people who no longer want manual labor type jobs. Before too long you have another S. Korea or Japan with a self sustainable economy. Do you have a problem with Gap and London Fog or only Nike in this Thai garment workers situation?


    Re: Re: Another Nike's myth debunked -- that Nike factory jobs helped establish a middle class

    Posted by Yang C. on April 08, 1998 at 18:07:49

    In reply to Re: Another Nike's myth debunked -- that Nike factory jobs helped establish a middle class posted by John on April 08, 1998 at 17:35:11

    ACTUALLY. While it's true that Japan and S. Korea had heavy industry producing cheap goods (manufacturing and auto) as the foundation of their modern economy, there is a BIG difference when looking at countries like Vietnam or Tailand, some of the weaker democracies. The early industries in Japan and S. Korea (which, for logical social reasons copied Japan's growth plan and now suffers similarily) is that they were GOVERNMENT-run economies. Government dominated, decided, controlled, subsidized, owned. This is VERY far from a type of free-market economic arguement many people here make. The economies of Japan and S. Korea were contructed by the governments through massive involment. They were not the realization of some kind of free-market end-result. Certainly not any sort of capitalist wet-dream. Read up your history before stating "facts".


    Re: Re: Re: Another Nike's myth debunked -- that Nike factory jobs helped establish a middle class

    Posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 19:22:33

    In reply to Re: Re: Another Nike's myth debunked -- that Nike factory jobs helped establish a middle class posted by Yang C. on April 08, 1998 at 18:07:49

    Vietnam a weaker democracy? Last time I checked they were communist and killed thousands of there own people to get there. Maybe you should brush up on your history.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Another Nike's myth debunked -- that Nike factory jobs helped establish a middle class

    Posted by Yang C. on April 08, 1998 at 23:28:04

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Another Nike's myth debunked -- that Nike factory jobs helped establish a middle class posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 19:22:33

    You wrote: "Vietnam a weaker democracy? Last time I checked they were communist and killed thousands of there own people to get there. Maybe you should brush up on your history." Out of everything I wrote, that's the only thing you have to say? Oh well. I was allowing for a general misconception to go by. Time magazine said they were more or less democratic a few years ago, I disagree but most of the countries in this area are not democracies (in any real sense). But the part about Vietnam "killing thousands of their own people to get there" I very much disagree with. The US are the ones to killed thousands of "other people". A major reason way they couldn't win in Vietnam was that almost every village they went to, small or large, supported the viet-cong. The US military was beat by a large, unified peasent force! So most supported the so-called "communists". I don't know much about Vietnam history in the 1970's or 80's.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another Nike's myth debunked -- that Nike factory jobs helped establish a middle class

    Posted by Anonymous on April 09, 1998 at 00:07:42

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Another Nike's myth debunked -- that Nike factory jobs helped establish a middle class posted by Yang C. on April 08, 1998 at 23:28:04

    Actually the Vietnamese did kill thousands of their own people. Most of this occurred when the US forces left the country and the communist North Vietnamese eliminated everyone that they consider potentially dangerous from the South. It was free-for-all-killing spree. Today the southern portion of the country is much more open but the north is still hard line communist. (Very similar to China)


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another Nike's myth debunked -- that Nike factory jobs helped establish a middle class

    Posted by Lam Tran on April 09, 1998 at 11:40:05

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another Nike's myth debunked -- that Nike factory jobs helped establish a middle class posted by Anonymous on April 09, 1998 at 00:07:42

    Vietnam is a very week democracy just like Yang stated (in any real sense)! I do not care what the Vietnamese government or any organization is saying. It may be difficult for you guys to really understand it. You just have to live there to realize it. Do you know how the officials from the lowest to the highest levels of the government are elected? Human rights in Vietnam is a joke. I do not know about other democratic countries but here in The U.S., if you do not like what the government is doing, you can stand up and speak your mind. I have seen people criticizing even saying things that I consider very inappropriate about the President on TV for the millions to hear and watch. Try that in Vietnam and the next thing you know you are in a "Re-education Camp," a prison actually. It is somewhat better now since the day foreign companies started investing in Vietnam, but it is still a way to go before you can call it a democratic country. "killing thousands of their own people to get there." Many Americans and westerners think that there was actually a war between Vietnam and The U.S. I have to disagree with this. In my opinion, it was a war of freedom versus communism between South & North Vietnamese. Of course, the South Vietnamese government was backed by The U.S. and the North Vietnamese government was backed by the Soviet Union, China and other communist countries. From what I learned, during the war, the Soviet Union alone spent at least 1 billion dollar each year to help the North Vietnamese government. The North VNese Government made it out to be the war between VN & The U.S. because of the presence of the American soldiers in VN in order to get support from other countries in the world and also from the American back here in The U.S. and they were very successful. Back to the thing I was saying earlier, if it was a war between South & North Vnese, I do not know if they could help "killing thousands of their own people to get there". "Most of this occurred when the US forces left the country and the communist North Vietnamese eliminated everyone that they consider potentially dangerous from the South. It was free-for-all-killing spree." It was NOT a "free-for-all-killing spree" like what happened in Cambodia. The communist government did eliminate many of these people by putting them in what they called "Re-education Camps", hard-labor prisons, and many of them did die from these camps.


    Re: Re: Another Nike's myth debunked -- that Nike factory jobs helped establish a middle class

    Posted by Yang C. on April 08, 1998 at 18:07:49

    In reply to Re: Another Nike's myth debunked -- that Nike factory jobs helped establish a middle class posted by John on April 08, 1998 at 17:35:11

    ACTUALLY. While it's true that Japan and S. Korea had heavy industry producing cheap goods (manufacturing and auto) as the foundation of their modern economy, there is a BIG difference when looking at countries like Vietnam or Tailand, some of the weaker democracies. The early industries in Japan and S. Korea (which, for logical social reasons copied Japan's growth plan and now suffers similarily) is that they were GOVERNMENT-run economies. Government dominated, decided, controlled, subsidized, owned. This is VERY far from a type of free-market economic arguement many people here make. The economies of Japan and S. Korea were contructed by the governments through massive involment. They were not the realization of some kind of free-market end-result. Certainly not any sort of capitalist wet-dream.


    Re: Re: Another Nike's myth debunked -- that Nike factory jobs helped establish a middle class

    Posted by Yang C. on April 08, 1998 at 18:07:49

    In reply to Re: Another Nike's myth debunked -- that Nike factory jobs helped establish a middle class posted by John on April 08, 1998 at 17:35:11

    ACTUALLY. While it's true that Japan and S. Korea had heavy industry producing cheap goods (manufacturing and auto) as the foundation of their modern economy, there is a BIG difference when looking at countries like Vietnam or Tailand, some of the weaker democracies. The early industries in Japan and S. Korea (which, for logical social reasons copied Japan's growth plan and now suffers similarily) is that they a dominating GOVERNMENT run economies. Government controlled, subsidized, owned. This is VERY far from a type of free-market economic arguement many people here make. The economies of Japan and S. Korea were contructed by the governments through massive involment. They were not the realization of some kind of free-market end-result. Certainly not any sort of capitalist wet-dream.


    M.J. IS A FAKE

    Posted by winn on April 08, 1998 at 16:26:17

    All Micheal Jordan cares about is the money! To me, it is unconscionable that he allows the products that he endorses to be produced by slave labor...............what hurts even more is that he doesnt care about what poor inner-city minority children are doing to get the $170 a pop they need to buy his sneakers.....how much money does he need anyway???!!!!...... He hawks these products as if he never had a dime in his pocket before in his life, and will die if he doesnt make 10 million more dollars today!!! When I see him on T.V......it sickens me to my stomach!!


    Re: M.J. IS A FAKE

    Posted by yeswinn on April 10, 1998 at 00:59:40

    In reply to M.J. IS A FAKE posted by winn on April 08, 1998 at 16:26:17

    winn, i agree. here is the most recognized man on the planet... more recognized than Jesus... and he doesn't use his voice to empower anyone, he doesn't shine a light on any problems... he just sells shoes. he really does have the power to change things, but he doesn't care about anything but his silly little game and money. When he dies, how will he explain himself to whatever great force awaits him?


    Re: M.J. IS A FAKE

    Posted by yeswinn on April 10, 1998 at 00:59:40

    In reply to M.J. IS A FAKE posted by winn on April 08, 1998 at 16:26:17

    winn, i agree. here is the most recognized man on the planet... more recognized than Jesus... and he doesn't use his voice to empower anyone, he doesn't shine a light on any problems... he just sells shoes. he really does have the power to change things, but he doesn't care about anything but his silly little game and money. When he dies, how will he explain himself to whatever great force awaits him?


    Re: M.J. IS A FAKE

    Posted by yeswinn on April 10, 1998 at 00:59:40

    In reply to M.J. IS A FAKE posted by winn on April 08, 1998 at 16:26:17

    winn, i agree. here is the most recognized man on the planet... more recognized than Jesus... and he doesn't use his voice to empower anyone, he doesn't shine a light on any problems... he just sells shoes. he really does have the pwer to change things, but he doesn't care about anything but his silly little game and money. When he dies, how will he explain himself to whatever great force awaits him?


    Re: M.J. IS A FAKE

    Posted by JP on April 09, 1998 at 03:26:33

    In reply to M.J. IS A FAKE posted by winn on April 08, 1998 at 16:26:17

    Damn... I must've MISSED the part of NBA that stands for "role model." Michael Jordan is an athlete. He is paid to entertain us. We pay the team (which indirectly pays MJ) to let us be entertained. Then, Jordan takes advertising money. This creates (I guess) an impression that if we do/drink/wear what Mike does, we can be like him. That's fine, if you buy into it. But MJ has no "responsibility" to care what's going on in Vietnam, any more than you or I has such a "responsibility." It all depends on what he WANTS to do... and if he doesn't care, that's well within his rights as an American citizen.


    JP is wrong, athletes aren't entertainers, they are heroes

    Posted by David Grigsby on April 09, 1998 at 09:37:06

    In reply to Re: M.J. IS A FAKE posted by JP on April 09, 1998 at 03:26:33

    Athletes have taken the place in our society occupied by Theseus, Hercules, etc., in Greek society. People want to say that athletes are entertainers, but do these same people use the cast of Seinfeld to teach their children the importance of teamwork? I mean, you could say that the star of that show relies on the great contributions of his co-stars for the success of the show. And you could tell your kids that Seinfeld is like a family, where everyone has a role, and tries to contribute to the greater good, and that is why mommy and daddy have their own bathroom. But nobody does that, do they? They talk about how offensive linemen block well, contributing to the success of the team. Athletes are heroes, that is their job. Do we get upset at movie stars who break contracts? Is Kim Basinger a pariah due to the dispute centered on "Boxing Helena?" No. But Mike Piazza is getting booed in Dodger Stadium. We get upset when athletes put their own financial wants ahead of the team. What happens when a rock star gets busted with drugs? Is he drummed out of the profession? No; hell, it's usually a good career move. But an athlete--that's different. He's supposed to be above drugs, and so is hounded, often out of the profession (see Roy Tarpley.) If athletes are just entertainers, than why are athletes sought out for endorsements far far more than actors? If Bruce Springsteen moved (or when he moved--heck, I don't know where he lives) to LA from NJ, would the govt of NJ tax its citizens to provide a nice place for Bruce to work in, to keep him home? No. But they do that all the time for sports teams, b/c those teams are vital to the identity of those cities. When we try to teach schoolchildren about the difficulties faced by black Americans in the past, do we talk about Lena Horne or Jackie Robinson? Jackie, of course, b/c, as an athlete, he is a heroic figure. I could go on and on. (I know most of you are thinking, you already *have* gone on and on;-) But here are half a dozen examples of how we as a society treat athletes as heroes, not entertainers. JP can say this mess till he is blue in the face, but in real life, not the bizarro world he lives in, athletes are not entertainers, they are heroes. That is their job.


    Re: JP is wrong, athletes aren't entertainers, they are heroes

    Posted by Kenneth Phan on April 09, 1998 at 11:37:23

    In reply to JP is wrong, athletes aren't entertainers, they are heroes posted by David Grigsby on April 09, 1998 at 09:37:06

    Any society that treat atheletes as hero instead of looking up real hero is a society in the process of decaying. Heroes are people who contribute to society. Heroes are people who give their lives to the noble cause. Athelete are entertainer, not heroes. They are heroes becuase we are wrongly making them so.


    Re: M.J. IS A FAKE

    Posted by Mary Martelli on April 08, 1998 at 22:01:26

    In reply to M.J. IS A FAKE posted by winn on April 08, 1998 at 16:26:17

    I couldn't agree with you more. I have been thinking the same thing for years and have been wondering if anyone else felt the same way. It makes me sad that he's a role model for kids. I mean, how much money does he need? How many millions is enough when there are some people who make less than 5 cents a day? This guy makes me sick, too...


    Re: M.J. IS A FAKE

    Posted by e-dawg on April 08, 1998 at 16:45:37

    In reply to M.J. IS A FAKE posted by winn on April 08, 1998 at 16:26:17

    i agree. i for one don't want to be like mike!


    Re: Re: M.J. IS A FAKE

    Posted by Brad Scheer on April 08, 1998 at 19:35:37

    In reply to Re: M.J. IS A FAKE posted by e-dawg on April 08, 1998 at 16:45:37

    You two are gutless wonders that won't even put your real names on the posts. It takes a BIG MAN to post messages under an assumed name. I own a sporting goods store. If NIKE, Reebok, and adidas did not exist about 75% of my business would evaporate. Amercians don't have any business in the internal affairs of another nation. Until everyone knows exactly where every possession they have is made, get off the backs of NIKE, Reebok, and adidas.


    Re: Re: Re: M.J. IS A FAKE

    Posted by dub on April 10, 1998 at 02:04:49

    In reply to Re: Re: M.J. IS A FAKE posted by Brad Scheer on April 08, 1998 at 19:35:37

    oh, by the way mr. sportsguy, those soccer balls you sell are made by child labor in pakistan. but at least you are making good money, right? let's go kill a child laborer and celebrate by drinking his blood! you gutless bastard, take a stand. represent something instead of the almighty dollar. you can't take it with you.


    NIKE & MR.JORDAN

    Posted by DAVE CARRIGER on April 08, 1998 at 13:58:27

    IT'S AMAZING HOW MR. SELFISH (MR.JORDAN-I WON'T COMEBACK AND PLAY UNLESS I GET 30 PLUS MILLION DOLLARS LET ALONE GIVE UP SOME OF THE MONEY TO MAKE SCOTTIE PIPEN HAPPY)TURNS THE OTHER CHEEK AND FAILS TO DEAL WITH THE HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES THAT PLAGUE HIS BELOVED NIKE CO.THE SAD PART IS THAT ESPN AND OTHER NETWORKS PUT HIM UP ON A PEDESTAL FOR THE ON COURT ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND STRONG ARMING OF THE BULLS FRONT OFFICE,BUT WHEN HE LOOKS AWAY FROM THE MOST BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES HE GOES TO THE BANK TO MAKE SURE HIS MILLIONS ARE ALL COUNTED.YOU MIGHT THINK HE WOULD TAKE THIS IISUE MORE SERIOUSLY AND SEND A MESSAGETO THE NATIONS TEENAGERS ABOUT GETTING OUR PRIORETIES IN LINE.


    Re: NIKE & MR.JORDAN

    Posted by Ken Johnson on April 08, 1998 at 14:12:46

    In reply to NIKE & MR.JORDAN posted by DAVE CARRIGER on April 08, 1998 at 13:58:27

    I couldn't agree with you more. I know we shouldn't dictate others feelings on things, but when you're talking about a guy who can make a diference, well, you wish he'd step up. In this case Jordan can make a difference. I think I heard him say that right now is not the time to deal with these kind of issues. He'd rather wait until his career is finished. Will he still have the same influence with Nike once he's not out there promoting the product?


    NIKE & MR.JORDAN

    Posted by DAVE CARRIGER on April 08, 1998 at 13:58:27

    IT'S AMAZING HOW MR. SELFISH (MR.JORDAN-I WON'T COMEBACK AND PLAY UNLESS I GET 30 PLUS MILLION DOLLARS LET ALONE GIVE UP SOME OF THE MONEY TO MAKE SCOTTIE PIPEN HAPPY)TURNS THE OTHER CHEEK AND FAILS TO DEAL WITH THE HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES THAT PLAGUE HIS BELOVED NIKE CO.THE SAD PART IS THAT ESPN AND OTHER NETWORKS PUT HIM UP ON A PEDESTAL FOR THE ON COURT ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND STRONG ARMING OF THE BULLS FRONT OFFICE,BUT WHEN HE LOOKS AWAY FROM THE MOST BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES HE GOES TO THE BANK TO MAKE SURE HIS MILLIONS ARE ALL COUNTED.YOU MIGHT THINK HE WOULD TAKE THIS IISUE MORE SERIOUSLY AND SEND A MESSAGETO THE NATIONS TEENAGERS ABOUT GETTING OUR PRIORETIES IN LINE.


    If it were me . . .

    Posted by David Horton on April 08, 1998 at 13:28:10

    I couldn't sleep at night knowing how much I'm paid to endorse, and how much the shoes cost compared to the big nothing that the workers are paid. I'm not saying that Nike or Reebok should pay $10 an hour or even USA minimum wage, but for just a few million, you could DOUBLE the pay of these employees and get the cream of the crop. Jordan, Woods, and a handful of others could make a deal with Nike, et al., to return one million dollars from each to the workers per year. They get a big tax break, look GREAT, Nike looks good and it really doesn't cost them anything. Or - they could develop a limited edition shoe line with a high price tage that's assembled here in the USA. See if consumers bite.


    Re: If it were me . . .

    Posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 08, 1998 at 16:56:25

    In reply to If it were me . . . posted by David Horton on April 08, 1998 at 13:28:10

    Great suggestion, I'll see if Nike would ever agree. Rgds, T.N.


    Nike

    Posted by Ryan Hurlbert on April 08, 1998 at 12:54:28

    Why do the societal watchdogs always compare what Nike or any other American corporation pays in another country to what Americans earn here? It has no relevance in a country where the average wage is $15 a month. If the workers didn't work for Nike for $30 a month, where else would they work? Is doubling the standard of living wrong? Growing economies have to start somewhere. You don't go from an agricultural subsistance economy to an industrial power overnight. Textiles require little resources or start-up capital, which is why most emerging economies begin with a textile industry. To tell a manufacturer, much less a spokesman, that they have a responsibility to speed up the economic developement of a nation is stupid. As the economy of an area grows, wages and working conditions will improve. It took the US 150 years or so to develope; give Vietnam a little time, too.


    Jordan does what's right?

    Posted by Russ Antler on April 08, 1998 at 12:57:47

    Ask MJ to take a position against the hand that feeds him (NIKE)? I'm not a Scotty Pippen or a Bulls' fan, but bottom line is that Jordan doesn't win his championships without Mr. P, nor get all the legends written about him without the rings, much less all the money from the endorsements. Yet, MJ says he felt "betrayed" when Pippen said he wasn't going to play this year without the correct contract figure...How can anyone think that MJ would take a right or wrong social stand against NIKE when he won't even stand up for his own teammate...


    Share the wealth

    Posted by Jeff Cook on April 08, 1998 at 13:06:04

    If Nike insists on keeping its profit margin, then the players must be the ones to come forward and say "I don't need $40 million more dollars to wear your shoes or shirts or whatever, so spread this amongst the workers". Nike keeps its profits, the workers may be able to move up a little in the food chain, and for once the players won't look like all they want is money.


    I donít buy NIKE Shoes

    Posted by Mark Buerger on April 08, 1998 at 12:55:57

    I refuse to buy NIKE shoes, but not specifically because of their labor situation. I buy Reebok shoes, and they use the same practices. In addition, as the ESPN story points out, shoe factory workers make more than average salary in Vietnam. I donít buy NIKE shoes because they claim to be a great social force (i.e. Tiger Woods and Casey Martin commercials), but when it comes to their bottom line their supposed social conscince goes away. Itís not the practice I despise so much as the hippocracy about what they do.


    Re: I donít buy NIKE Shoes

    Posted by Jennifer Philbeck on April 08, 1998 at 17:36:14

    In reply to I donít buy NIKE Shoes posted by Mark Buerger on April 08, 1998 at 12:55:57

    Nike gives millions of dollars a year to support its program called P.L.A.Y. (Participating in the Lives of America's Youth), which builds playgrounds in poor areas and creates sports organizations for children. Did you know that?


    Re: Re: I donít buy NIKE Shoes

    Posted by harry on April 10, 1998 at 02:07:18

    In reply to Re: I donít buy NIKE Shoes posted by Jennifer Philbeck on April 08, 1998 at 17:36:14

    i beat my wife, but i give money to a woman's shelter. what does that make me? A HYPOCRITE!!!!


    Re: Re: I donít buy NIKE Shoes

    Posted by Yang C. on April 08, 1998 at 18:20:34

    In reply to Re: I donít buy NIKE Shoes posted by Jennifer Philbeck on April 08, 1998 at 17:36:14

    you wrote: "Nike gives millions of dollars a year to support its program called P.L.A.Y. (Participating in the Lives of America's Youth), which builds playgrounds in poor areas and creates sports organizations for children. Did you know that? " Oh, so it's ok then. So if someone does something bad and then does somthing good it cancels each other out? Especially considering how token this is. Look at the program! Is it to feed hungry kids? Help to replace old books? No. It creates "sports organizations for children". Although I recognize the importance of have these community programs in these neighbourhood. But it's still pretty token and self-serving of Nike. Knowing Nike they programs are likely called Nike Basket-ball Program. There's a whole insidious reason for helping kids need it. Sure, it's better than NOTHING. But anything is. If our standards are going to so low we've got far bigger problems.


    Re: Re: Re: I donít buy NIKE Shoes

    Posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 20:05:25

    In reply to Re: Re: I donít buy NIKE Shoes posted by Yang C. on April 08, 1998 at 18:20:34

    Under the negative pretext that you find with any effort being made wouldnít it be true then that no matter what Nike does it will be self serving? Since Nike is working at bettering the working conditions in the subcontractor factories it is only a self serving gesture why should they do it at all.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: I donít buy NIKE Shoes

    Posted by Yang C. on April 08, 1998 at 23:17:36

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: I donít buy NIKE Shoes posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 20:05:25

    anonymous (funny name) wrote: "Under the negative pretext that you find with any effort being made wouldnít it be true then that no matter what Nike does it will be self serving? Since Nike is working at bettering the working conditions in the subcontractor factories it is only a self serving gesture why should they do it at all." As I said in my previous message, Nike is doing more important things like "breakfast programs" or text-book replacement program for two examples. I'm sure just about anyone could think of many more important things than a "sports program" for poor kids, who are the same ones who will fight or spend what little they have on $150 Nike shoes, so maybe Nike is just trying to boost sales. A "sports program" for poor kinds from a huge athletic wear manufacturer is self-serving, it's valuabe PR. Paying livable wages is not self-serving (they are not serving themselves but others), that would be meaningful.


    Re: I donít buy NIKE Shoes

    Posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 14:56:58

    In reply to I donít buy NIKE Shoes posted by Mark Buerger on April 08, 1998 at 12:55:57

    And Reebok's social conscience is there?


    Jordan, Woods, et al are gutless

    Posted by Marty Mason on April 08, 1998 at 12:52:29

    Of course Jordan and Woods and the rest are not going to speak out. Why rock the boat and jeopardize their fat cat contracts? They prove every day they lace up their shoes that the only thing they care about is money. Their own. As if they didn't have enough. Why worry that some poor sap thousands of miles away has to work a lifetime to afford a pair of the shoes he puts his heart and soul into making. The favorite line is that the consumer has the power to stop it. And that's true, they do. They lack the same courage that Jordan and Woods do. God forbid that they hold their heroes to a high standard. Why should they do that? They don't even hold themselves to it.


    Re: Jordan, Woods, et al are gutless

    Posted by Jason Rayl on April 10, 1998 at 10:40:25

    In reply to Jordan, Woods, et al are gutless posted by Marty Mason on April 08, 1998 at 12:52:29

    Your jealous you dont have the monies they have.


    It's time that someone comes forward!!!!!!

    Posted by Tim Naylor on April 08, 1998 at 12:46:06

    It's past time for a sports figurehead such as Tiger Woods or Mike Jordan to come forward and draw some major attention to this issue. They've been quite all to long. If there was such a situation in our country I'm sure they would be heard then!!!! It's past time that athletes of this level are to be held accountable for their actions off the court as well as on. The public will not listen to a noname such as myself, but it's big news if an icon speaks out!!!!


    It's time that someone comes forward!!!!!!

    Posted by Tim Naylor on April 08, 1998 at 12:46:06

    It's past time for a sports figurehead such as Tiger Woods or Mike Jordan to come forward and draw some major attention to this issue. They've been quite all to long. If there was such a situation in our country I'm sure they would be heard then!!!! It's past time that athletes of this level are to be held accountable for their actions off the court as well as on. The public will not listen to a noname such as myself, but it's big news if an icon speaks out!!!!


    Consumers hold the power

    Posted by William Jackson on April 08, 1998 at 12:31:03

    It is my belief the we as consumers have the ultimate say in the matters of business practices. Our approval or disapproval of the products for sale directly effects the decisions of the manufacturer. While I admire Michael Jordan for his ability on the basketball court, I would not even consider buying a pair of his basketball shoes that cost nearly $200 dollars. This was even before I learned of the labor practices tolerated by Nike. If we as consumers no longer buy these products, we in a sense or asking the Nike's, Fila's, and Reebok's how they can justify charging us nearly 1/2 of the yearly salary of their assembler's for one pair of shoes. Without us, there are no Air Jordan's. If you want to lay the blame on someone, blame it on yourself. Do research on the products you buy. If you don't approve of the way it is manufactured, or if you don't approve of the treatment of the workers that provide the product, find something else to buy. If you don't care, then don't form opinions and mouth off about your position on the issues. We want everyone else to make and take stands on the issues. We want Michael Jordan to speak up on how unfair the practice is. When was the last time Michael Jordan had to buy a pair of basketball shoes? Has he ever had to buy a pair of Air Jordan's? Not likely. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Stop whining about how the people that make these shoes are so poorly treated and then continue to buy Nike shoes.


    Not just their responsibility

    Posted by Andrew Grossmann on April 08, 1998 at 12:38:25

    We seem to be pinpointing just the athletes in the debate over the labor problems in Asia. There are many more "players" that affect the international labor problem. First, the individuals that buy the shoes are the first to blame. Although individually consumers may not have the clout to affect the situation, in the end the consumers are supporting the shoe industry and are the ones ultimately tolerating the labor abuse. Next, we must lokk to not only the people who endorse the shoes, but also at the entities that allow the promotions to be heard. ESPN does an "Outside the Lines" investigation but I see plenty of Nike and REebok ads during SportsCenter and now in ESPN the Magazine. Nobody can hear the athletes endorsements if they are not shown. But money does have a lot of influence in the matter. Athletes and advertisers opinions definitely chage drastically when a truck full of money is placed in front of their face. I do not think it is the responsibility of the athlete or the advertisers to engage in a battle against the labor practices of the Asian countries. However, if the athletes ever want to be considered more than rich jocks, they definitely have a worthy cause to fight against.


    Re: Not just their responsibility

    Posted by Paul Krikorian on April 08, 1998 at 12:49:23

    In reply to Not just their responsibility posted by Andrew Grossmann on April 08, 1998 at 12:38:25

    Unfortunately, this is an ethical question and what any one person deems ethical or moral can vary widely with others. For myself, I feel that it is unethical for NIKE to not pay a wage that would allow a person in Asia to live at a comparable decent standard of living as would a relative wage here in the USA. For example, if it would take of wage of $25,000 to have a decent standard of living here in the USA, but only $5,000 in Asia to have something comparable, that is what NIKE should pay. They would still be saving money on wages, but not subjecting humans to exist in conditions that we in the USA would find objectionable. Of course I realize everyone would have a different definition of "decent standard of living", but I'm sure that could be worked out. As far as endorsements by athletes are concerned, my opion is that an athlete is being paid to entice customers to buy whatever product he/she is endorsing. They would not be getting paid if their endorsement was not effective and therefore they are responsible for persuading customers to buy that product instead of another one. They therefore have a responsibility to those customers that the product is safe to them, to the environment, and that the company is not performing any illegal or unethical practices. I know that is asking a lot, but what does that say about an athelete (or anyone for that matter) that accepts money to persuade people to buy a product, but does not make any effort to insure that the product does what it says it will do or that the product was made ethically. It tells me that they are only concerned with getting paid and not really worried about if what they say or endorse about a product is true. Just some initial thoughts.


    Re: Re: Not just their responsibility

    Posted by Troy Brown on April 08, 1998 at 13:25:55

    In reply to Re: Not just their responsibility posted by Paul Krikorian on April 08, 1998 at 12:49:23

    I don't believe it is the responsibility of an athlete to respresent the popular belief of the public. After all, they are athletes, not politicians. However, every individual, whether it is the Nike CEO or an athlete, has the right to choose based on their own personal morals. An athlete that represents a company that I believe is morally wrong, disappoints me as a person, but not as an athlete. The focus centrals on the athlete in this case because the athlete has a tremendous amount of influence, nearly as much as the CEO. But that doesn't make the athlete responsible for carrying out anyone else's beliefs. We live our own lives and as individuals with less influence, we can only continue to make choices that agreee with our own personal morals and along the way educate others as to why we made those choices. If enough people agree, society/economics will conform to the popular belief, it just takes a little longer.


    NIKE is a great company to work with!!!

    Posted by Zeke Brandt on April 08, 1998 at 12:25:31

    As a sporting goods store owner, I have first hand knowledge of NIKE and its' practices. I can tell people that NIKE is by far the best company with which we have dealings. They respond quickly and usually correctly to any problems that arise in our business. If more companies would take NIKE's blueprint for customer service, products, and shipping the industry would be far better. I do not know about NIKE's factories in Asia, nor do I feel it is my responsibily. As long as workers are maintaining their employment with NIKE, it can't be all bad. Besides, we have no right to tell another country how to handle their internal problems with labor relations. I feel this is an Asian issue that we, Americans, have no right or business to stick our noses into. We have enough problems of our own. NIKE is simply the premier sporting goods company in the world. Ask any store owner and they will probably have more good things to say about NIKE than any other company. If some people don't want to purchase NIKE, Reebok, or adidas products, that's their choice. The last I checked this was a free country. But, don't tell anyone else what to do either.


    Missing key points in Nike profit margins if moved to US

    Posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 12:14:58

    I keep reading about the debate regarding if Nike moved the production of their shoes to the US. Will it increase the cost of shoes by 500% or will Nike survive by charging the same, already absurd, prices for their shoes. Well I am not an expert on supply and demand, economic factors, factory conditions, or a lot of the other issues concerning this debate but I have worked for Nike and I want to shed some light on an issue that I haven't seen much discussion on. I worked for Nike on a temp basis for two months within the last year and it opened my eyes up to a couple of issues. Nike wastes money, bottom line. I cannot tell you how many instances I saw where supplies, breaks, and efforts were exploited. I know, I know every large company has those employees that do as little as possible to get their paychecks, but this was rediculas. 15 minute breaks really meant 35 minute breaks, especially if you had to leave the premises for a smoke. Parties every other week for whatever reason can be thought of. Who footed the bill? Yep Nike. This wasn't just the lower tier of employees sneaking cost's from the budget, this was the managers and general managers tossing it around. Company moral is important sure, but a party every week? Come on. And when the stocks started to fall and the press started to get on Nike's back people complained when the "luncheon's" decreased and became bitter workers. I can't tell you how many hours were revolved around the water cooler discussing "issues." I am 23, and have worked in 3-4 places since college and can say hands down that the work ethic of Nike is disgusting. I do not work there anymore but I do drive by the main campus in Beaverton Oregon everyday and get stopped by the construction that is going on to the campus. Nike is extending the track around its campus for the employees. Sure that is nice but this is no small project. They have to rip up sidewalks and pay constuction crews for flaggers and the whole nine yards. This has been giong on for way over 3 months (maybe more that is only the time that I have been at my job driving by Nike). Nike is a rich company and rich companies tend to have nice locations, I have not problem with that. The reason that I bring up this issue of Nike wasting money is because I do not buy the fact that Nike can't make a profit with the factories in the US or increasing the foreign workers wages. If they looked internally and really discussed what is going on in our company and why, they could save so much money and then afford to pay their workers more. One last thing. I own 3 pairs of Nikes. Something that I am not to proud of other than I got them for free from working there. In the factory in Wilsonville Oregon 100's if not thousands of defective shoes come back every single day that are not satisfactory, and those are only the shoes that came back from the stores, not the end consumer. Maybe if the quotas were lowered and the pay was increased for the foreign workers the shoes would recieve a higher quality of attention and all those shoes would not have to be returned. Just some thoughts.


    Re: Missing key points in Nike profit margins if moved to US

    Posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 14:13:37

    In reply to Missing key points in Nike profit margins if moved to US posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 12:14:58

    I currently work at Nike, we do not have parties every week, every month, or even every year for that matter. Each department has a budget to spend on their employees, bringing coworkers together outside of work is a good team building exercise. The 35 minute breaks are your claim, that may be true for some people but that is not the norm. Some people who took those long breaks no longer work for Nike. The expansion of the Nike's headquarters is actually going to save the company a lot of money over time. Currently there are as many employees off-sight as there are on. The new buildings will allow the company to stop leasing office space that cost millions of dollars. The defective return product that Nike receives is less than 2% of sales. That is the best by far in the industry proving that Nike's quality is very high. Also the company stands behind those defective returns and replaces product direct to the consumer or credit a stores account. Nike's customer service is number 1, this is rated by the athletic goods retailers. The issue being debated is the working conditions in the subcontractor factories that produce the shoes, not a "sour grapes" debate on the company that let you go.


    Re: Re: Missing key points in Nike profit margins if moved to US

    Posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 22:52:55

    In reply to Re: Missing key points in Nike profit margins if moved to US posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 14:13:37

    first of al I wasn't let go, I found a better job for me that I took. Second of I did not have a grudge against NIKE before I started so I have no reason to make up such claims about them. I only wrote what I saw. As far as the returned shoes I can accept that you are right as far as a low return percentage, but what I stated has EVERYTHING to do with the debate. My argument is plain and simple. NIKE could pay more wages if they looked at internal spending. The people that I saw boondoggling were not low ranking temps. These were gm's, managers, and assistant managers alike. Please do not accuse me of being let go when I only stated what I saw. As a matter of fact NIKE asked me to stay and I turned them down There is no excuse for NIKE to pay high ranking employees to do average work when the foreign employees live in a s***hole. If you can give me one I would like to hear it


    UNC Students want your input

    Posted by Scott Boze on April 08, 1998 at 12:13:11

    As part of the seminar addressing the Nike issue at UNC, my classmates and I are researching what students can do to play a role in either side of the debate. We would appreciate any ideas that anyone has from other campuses or just random thoughts on a student's responsibility in such a controversial issue. Please give us your thoughts.


    Re: UNC Students want your input

    Posted by Anonymous on April 09, 1998 at 10:56:55

    In reply to UNC Students want your input posted by Scott Boze on April 08, 1998 at 12:13:11

    You might want to try to bring in some representatives from other shoe companies-ie ones that are made in the U.S.A. like Vans to your campus. How about a Nike and Reebok shoe burning on or near campus!!!!!! How about flooding Nike with letters from UNC students. Just a few thaughts from someone from Western Michigan University!Go

    Attachment: go wmu broncos!!


    Re: UNC Students want your input

    Posted by JP on April 09, 1998 at 03:38:06

    In reply to UNC Students want your input posted by Scott Boze on April 08, 1998 at 12:13:11

    Have a rally. Tell people it's going to be about abortion. That always stirs them up. Then do whatever you want.


    Michael Jordan beats Asian kids in the off-season

    Posted by geoffy severs on April 08, 1998 at 12:00:19

    There... got you to read this. Someone just made a good point... Michael Jordan is an employee. He does what his boss tells him to do, because they pay him lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of money. More than most state lotteries. Just think, if you won the Oregon and California lotteries, you still could not buy a house next to Jordan. Along this same stupid perception that these athletes are paid to raise your children and create world peace, I work for an Internet company. We offer web page space, yet do not regulate it. This means, that yes, we do have pornographic web pages. I do NOT agree with that, yet do I speak out against my customer? No. They give me money, which gives me some food for the family, which allows us to have fun at the beach on the weekends, which gives me happiness. I chose not to partake in the porno, just in the happiness that I indirectly get from it. I am sure Jordan enjoys the off-seasons, playing golf. More power to him.


    Re: Michael Jordan beats Asian kids in the off-season

    Posted by sooooo on April 10, 1998 at 01:20:39

    In reply to Michael Jordan beats Asian kids in the off-season posted by geoffy severs on April 08, 1998 at 12:00:19

    soooo, it doesn't bother you that your livelihood is partially funded by the exploitation and degeneration of women? that some girl is probably going to get raped because your web server allowed the idea that women are objects for men to gratify themselves with to exist? i hope it's not your daughter. sleep well.


    Re: Michael Jordan beats Asian kids in the off-season

    Posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 12:49:03

    In reply to Michael Jordan beats Asian kids in the off-season posted by geoffy severs on April 08, 1998 at 12:00:19

    I am glad that you took this stance because it is exactly this type of "not my problem attitude" that leads to the demise of society. Your stance on profiting from the "indirect" money made from pronography is so classic. You actually believe that it is not your problem as long as you see the green, meanwhile millions of people are having a problem with pornography, which, whether you want to admit it or not, your company helped supply. Just like you, Nike looks the other way as long as the green comes in. "We are paying minimum wage," they say, and feel like they are helping. Actually they are not. They have an opportunity to pay more wages and ultimately help the economic situation of a "third world country." But they chose not to because heck, "it ain't their problem." I would like to suggest a little human kindness on all of our parts to not take such a apathetic stance on the things we can't directly see. WE ALL have a responsibility to help our neighbor. I don't care if that is a vietnam lady or a person that you don't know that may be struggling with pornography addiction. We can do our little part. By the way I work for an internet agency also. We chose to not support porn and if we did I would not work here. Oh, and we have added more clients from it because they agree with us so in all actuality we are profiting from our stance. Maybe your company can do the same?


    Re: Re: Michael Jordan beats Asian kids in the off-season

    Posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 13:50:39

    In reply to Re: Michael Jordan beats Asian kids in the off-season posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 12:49:03

    By working for an internet agency you are allowing access to pornography, so indirectly you are supporting it. It is a complicated world we live in. To ask professional athletes to do anything more than entertain us is wrong. If they want to share their opinions they can do so, like us, but they are under no obligation to be political activists no matter how much money they make.


    Re: Re: Re: Michael Jordan beats Asian kids in the off-season

    Posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 23:00:42

    In reply to Re: Re: Michael Jordan beats Asian kids in the off-season posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 13:50:39

    how can you say that I support it when you don't know what I do (pornography). We sell advertising space on web sites. We never sell an ad to a porno ad and we don't place ads on a porno site. Not hard to figure out now is it. And to your second response, unfortunately it is the athletes duty, as well as all of ours, to take a stance against what is wrong. If we do not then we fail to treat others as equals. If you don't want to do that then no, it isn't against the law, but you will have to live with the fact that you are supporting this type of treatment by not doing anything and so will the athlete.


    Re: Re: Re: Michael Jordan beats Asian kids in the off-season

    Posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 23:00:42

    In reply to Re: Re: Michael Jordan beats Asian kids in the off-season posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 13:50:39

    how can you say that I support it when you don't know what I do (pornography). We well advertising space on web sites. We never sell an ad to a porno ad and we don't place ads on a porno site. Not hard to figure out now is it. And to your second response, unfortunately it is the athletes duty, as well as all of ours, to take a stance against what is wrong. If we do not then we fail to treat others as equals. If you don't want to do that then no, it isn't against the law, but you will have to live with the fact that you are supporting this type of treatment by not doing anything and so will the athlete.


    Re: Michael Jordan beats Asian kids in the off-season

    Posted by Armando on April 08, 1998 at 12:53:54

    In reply to Michael Jordan beats Asian kids in the off-season posted by geoffy severs on April 08, 1998 at 12:00:19

    Good point! We seem to think that just because athletes are in the public eye, they should also have a keen sense of solving world hunger, human suffering, raising our children, etc, etc.


    Athletes are not wrong.

    Posted by John on April 08, 1998 at 11:49:39

    To hold athletes accountable for the way Nike does its business is absurd. If some guy in a suit came up to anyone and offered them gobs of money to wear some cool clothes and be on TV, they would take it in a second. The athletes are doing a service for Nike and nothing more. Would you hold a Microsoft employee accountable for the fact that Microsoft is monopolizing the software market and selling cheap products for sky high prices?? Hell no. The athlete is an employee of Nike. I don't think Michael Jordan spends his off season in Tiawan beating 6 year olds because they are not lacing shoes fast enough. He spends his time doing what every one else in a capaltalist country does, trying to look out for number one. That's how the system works, just ask Nike. They do good business, even if it comes at other's expense. I'm not condeming Nike, that's just how the system works.


    How about another approach?

    Posted by Douglas on April 08, 1998 at 11:32:28

    I understand the need for cost-effectiveness in the apparel and shoe industry, but would like to offer another approach. What if a concerned company took stock in the worth of its employees and used that as not only a marketing tool, but as an example to other companies in an industry that is shamefully trying to hide its collective face. In the greater scope of the millions of dollars that are negotiated through contracts and endorsements, how much would it really affect the bottom line in the long run to build better facilities and provide fairer wages? And wouldn't it be great for a company to be able to stand proudly and say that it's not like the rest, and takes care of its workers as well as providing great articles of clothing. I know that I, for one, would be much more inclined to patronize a company who truly cares. I've read the reactions by the corporate executives from both Nike and Reebok, and must say that I was less than impressed with either of their answers to the labor abuse questions. Both were offering that they ought to be taking better care to enforce the conditions in their overseas factories, yet both were obviously hiding information that they knew to be true. They must think the public is really stupid to buy into their rhetoric. I should think that any athlete with a conscience would also like to endorse a quality product which is produced by a company that really cares about its workers.


    Re: How about another approach?

    Posted by Armando on April 08, 1998 at 12:59:34

    In reply to How about another approach? posted by Douglas on April 08, 1998 at 11:32:28

    Good argument. I definitely would be in favor of patronizing a company based on fare labor practices. Such a company could use the fact that they are different from Nike and Reebok to their advantage in an ad campaign. However, let's keep the blame where it belongs: on the companies, not the athletes who are nothing more than employees. Again, because of the exposure they get, they could probably used that against a company like Nike, but they choose not to. Morally, they may have an obligation to "do something". However, we shouldn't be forcing our morals on anyone. Especially in a society where anything goes as long as you have a good enough lawyer.


    The Company you keep

    Posted by Micah Thieszen on April 08, 1998 at 11:36:08

    I think that athletes should take responsibility for what's happening with the companies they endorse. If they want to be with a company that treats it factory workers poorly then that's their perogative, but if they disagree with what's going on then they need to speak out. People will begin to think that high profile athletes who get high priced contracts totally support the everyday activities of their company. If the athlete doesn't mind being a representative of a company that treats its factory workers poorly who are we to say that they should speak out.


    Jordan? Tiger? risking money?

    Posted by geoffy sever on April 08, 1998 at 11:37:27

    Give me a break. Are you suggesting that these guys, as well, as other professional athletes show some 'bravery'? If I remember right, bravery ended when William Wallace had his head removed years ago. There is no bravery these days. I don't think a single person in here would risk $40 million contracts and sponsorships by speaking out against the person that is 'handing' them the money. Get real. This is the planet Earth, where self-interest rules. It's sad... but, hey, this is the world we live in. Do you think, or even expect, Jordan to lay down his $3000 cashmere trenchcoat, in a mud puddle, for a little missy to cross? I hardly think so... nor do i expect him to. He was paid to play basketball... not change the world or raise your children.


    Nike contraversy

    Posted by Darren Williams on April 08, 1998 at 11:30:15

    What exactly is the issue, who is responsible? Are you going to speak out against you employer? Not many people will. These athletes are not responsible for the plight of the world. These workers, however unfortunate, are not enslaved. If they are chosing to work for these low wages, then it must be the best deal that they can get. Is it Nike's responsibility to raise the standard of living for an entire country or even the world. The bottom line is that any company exists to make a profit. Do we always agree with how the profit is made? No. Do we wish that big companies were more socially conscious? Sure. But this is not the sole responsibility of the athlete. If we want to influence any company, then convince consumers. Eagerly awaiting your reply, Darren Williams


    remember that we're dealing with different economies

    Posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 10:57:04

    Although I'm not saying that the way Nike and other big shoe companies make zillions of dollars every year while paying their factory workers a quarter an hour is "fair," it does make good business sense. Nike is simply trying to spend the least and make the most, a central tenet of capitalism. Of course, no worker should be subjected to unsafe working conditions, especially when it would probably cost a shoe company the price of a few hundred pairs of shoes to spring for nonpermeable gloves, charcoal filter masks, and the like. That said, however, shoe companies should not feel obligated to make their employees rich by paying them the current U.S. minimum wage when what they make is appropriate for the economies of their countries. ESPN did a good job of reporting that wages in factories are near the average income for similar jobs. A lot of reports mislead viewers by the dramatic recitation of phrases like, "Only TWENTY-FOUR cents per hour," without stating that, for menial labor in a country whose economy is on a completely different level than ours, that ain't bad.


    Millions of dollars!

    Posted by Roger Mack on April 08, 1998 at 10:38:45

    While I recognize athletes are not expert politicians and economists, for the millions of dollars they receive I believe they do have a reponsibility to become more aware of the source of their ridiculously large sums of money. Of course Jordan will become a stronger spokesperson after he's retired. The checks already in the bank. Athletes, you who have benifited from legal rape of the economy, show some accountability. Step up to the plate with a small degree of responsibility and speak out. Oh yes, and the rest of us. The consumer. Maybe we have a little stake in this too. After all, we're the ones spending three digits for shoes and tickets to games so these athletes can enjoy the lifestyles that they do. Didn't baseball show us a couple of years ago about how much they cared about the fan? Maybe we need to step up to the plate too, and express our concern by purchasing other brands and watching the games from home for a while.


    Of course, Jordan, Woods, et al are in the wrong on this issue...

    Posted by Josh Tate on April 08, 1998 at 09:57:33

    People seemed more than happy to pile on Kathy Lee Gifford when news of her product's unfair labor situation came to light. Unfortunately, people seem hesitant to do so when it comes to personalities such as Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods (who benefit from a considerably more attractive media image both of their's and the media's doing). Unlike many, I do not blame Nike for paying foreign labor a fraction of what American labor would cost--that's good business. As unfair as it sounds to our American ears--that's just good business and good business is inherently unfair--ask anyone who's failed or succeeded in developing one. My problem with this issue arises when people such as Jordan and Woods attach their names to these products, endorse these products and then disappear as soon as the slightest whiff of controversy surfaces. Tiger Woods doesn't want to change the world. He wants to maintain his "business" relationship with Nike (read: he wants cash, cash, cash and won't do anything--not a damn thing--to jeopadize that special relationship). Now, if you want to believe that he really does want to change the world (that those commercials on TV were real and that Tiger's a real special guy, just a real, real special person)--fine. It's often attractive to believe in fairy tales since they shield us from the occasionally brutal nature of reality. But it's not true. When Tiger says he wants to change the world, he's just spitting out the words of his cadre of media handlers who've obviously trained him well enough that he's no longer a threat to himself or, more importantly, his endorsement contract. Here's what Tiger Woods (and Michael Jordan and most other athletes to be fair) want: they want to be paid millions of dollars for playing in games and being coddled by a public obsessed with star-fucking, they don't want to be challenged by nosy reporters who dare to question their priorities or (perish the thought) their thought processes when it comes to the endorsement contracts that pay them millions on top of the millions they already have, and they want to be left alone to enjoy the lifestyle which they (in their warped opinion of their own self-worth) "earned". The best thing to do with people such as this is simply to ignore them and dismiss them as the frivolous things they are. Don't attach undue importance to them. Few people respect whores in the real world. Why should anyone respect whores in the athletic arena?


    Re: Of course, Jordan, Woods, et al are in the wrong on this issue...

    Posted by geoffy sever on April 08, 1998 at 11:43:52

    In reply to Of course, Jordan, Woods, et al are in the wrong on this issue... posted by Josh Tate on April 08, 1998 at 09:57:33

    You know the difference here? The difference between Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan, and someone like you, is the fact that they don't make a public habit of profanity. They carry class. They keep themselves in tact. Also, they spent every day of their life perfecting a talent, that we as consumers 'pay' to see them. Now, if you think you could fill an arena day in and day out, no matter what city you go to, at $100 a seat, and get Nike and Gatorade to call you and hand you a $40 million check, would YOU speak out? Would you say, "here Nike... I don't appreciate you offering jobs to people who could go somewhere else to work for EVEN LESS. I disagree with you... so take back your $40 million." Get real buddy. This is life. Welcome to the planet Earth. And clean up the language.


    Re: Of course, Jordan, Woods, et al are in the wrong on this issue...

    Posted by geoffy sever on April 08, 1998 at 11:43:52

    In reply to Of course, Jordan, Woods, et al are in the wrong on this issue... posted by Josh Tate on April 08, 1998 at 09:57:33

    You know the difference here? The difference between Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan, and someone like you, is the fact that they don't make a public habit of profanity. They carry class. They keep themselves in tact. Also, they spent every day of their life perfecting a talent, that we as consumers 'pay' to see them. Now, if you think you could fill an arena day in and day out, no matter what city you go to, at $100 a seat, and get Nike and Gatorade to call you and hand you a $40 million check, would YOU speak out? Would you say, "here Nike... I don't appreciate you offering jobs to people who could go somewhere else to work for EVEN LESS. I disagree with you... so take back your $40 million." Get real buddy, and clean up your image.


    Re: Of course, Jordan, Woods, et al are in the wrong on this issue...

    Posted by Bobby Tico on April 08, 1998 at 10:49:01

    In reply to Of course, Jordan, Woods, et al are in the wrong on this issue... posted by Josh Tate on April 08, 1998 at 09:57:33

    Who the hell are you to question a man for making an honest living. Tiger and Michael never stole their money from anyone. They practiced long and hard at their given profession and are starting to reap the rewards they so justly deserve (Read=Cash!Cash!Cash!) And you know whose paying that cash? That same company that employs that sound business policy you wax so poetically about. Remember, a major reason for your beloved Nike's success is the fact that the top athletes (i.e. Michael and Tiger) in the world endorse these sneakers.


    qRe: Re: Of course, Jordan, Woods, et al are in the wrong on this issue...

    Posted by Darren Williams on April 08, 1998 at 11:44:33

    In reply to Re: Of course, Jordan, Woods, et al are in the wrong on this issue... posted by Bobby Tico on April 08, 1998 at 10:49:01

    Just Wondering. Why is such great business for Nike to make all of this money employing these people, and such a poor business desision for Woods and Jordan to accept their salary. Woods and Jordan are in business too. The only difference is that they are talented and skilled enough in their sport that they can be their own business. It sounds like you may be a little confused.


    Re: qRe: Re: Of course, Jordan, Woods, et al are in the wrong on this issue...

    Posted by Ken Johnson on April 08, 1998 at 13:55:05

    In reply to qRe: Re: Of course, Jordan, Woods, et al are in the wrong on this issue... posted by Darren Williams on April 08, 1998 at 11:44:33

    This is a business, and yes Jordan and Woods are talented people who deserve their riches. But, they also have a lot of power when it comes to negotiating this enormous contracts. For instance, Michael Jordan can make demands of his current boss for the Chicago Bulls, knowing that even though he may not like it he's going to keep getting paid because of how much revenue he brings to the organization. The same should apply to Nike. If Jordan or Woods spoke out, or requested that some of there salary go towards the workers, do you really think Nike would drop them? I think you'd still be making a heck of a profit it you doubled the workers salaries and kept Woods and Jordan, compared to losing them and continuing to pay the current wages. By the way, to those who feel that Jordan and Woods deserve this money and shouldn't care about the conditions the workers who put these shoes on their feet live...Don't forget that Jordan and Woods will never spend the money they're making, so don't feel sorry for them.


    Reality Check

    Posted by Bruce Panilaitis on April 08, 1998 at 10:03:41

    While it is not their duty or responsibility to step up and say something, I believe athletes who make millions off of these shoe deals should at least examine the situation and come out and say either that they think the conditions and wages are terrible and attempt to force changes (as only they can do), or they should say that they feel that the conditions and wages are fair for whatever region that the shoes are manufactured in. I'd like to expand on that point by saying that we need to remember that in some of these countries, $500 a year is not much worse than the average income. If Nike and others are paying at least a normal salary in these countries, then they are simply providing jobs for the local population. That is not to say that they shouldn't increase the wages to more accurately reflect the large profits they obtain from the sales of these products, as I believe they should, but lets remember it's a business. The real issue is that if $500 a year is a normal working wage and living conditions are unsanitary, then the international community, led by the US should be helping to raise their standard of living. That is a task beyond even Tiger and Michael, but they could certainly help.


    Re: Reality Check

    Posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 10:51:51

    In reply to Reality Check posted by Bruce Panilaitis on April 08, 1998 at 10:03:41

    Sanitary by whos standards, yours, the USA's, or the country that these factories are located? If the $500 dollars is acceptable as a "fair" wage as determined by the local economy shouldn't the working conditions also be determined by local standards.


    Is this bad?

    Posted by Jon Palmer on April 08, 1998 at 08:02:35

    Here's the question I have... if these people employed in Nike sweatshops (which it seems they are) DIDN'T have the Nike jobs, what would they be doing? Subsistence farming? Stealing for a living? Working a job just as hard for half the wage? While these questions are one-sided and reflect my personal guess, it's just that, a guess. From what I've heard, most companies that use Third World labor actually pay reasonably well when compared to other businesses in that country. If this is the case, do we really have the right to impose our own standards of "fair wage" on people in these countries? I mean, we don't do it here. When I get out of college, if I get a job as a teacher, I could be as good of a teacher as someone who's been doing it thirty years, and yet they'd make more money than me. Is this unfair? No, I make less money because of my "station," I'm a less-experienced worker. In the same way, the people of the United States are "more experienced workers." We make more money for doing the exact same thing. So, as long as Nike isn't paying or treating these people bad RELATIVE to their country's average standard of living, who are we to complain about it?


    Re: Is this bad?

    Posted by JB on April 08, 1998 at 10:35:27

    In reply to Is this bad? posted by Jon Palmer on April 08, 1998 at 08:02:35

    Some very good points. When you graduate you could move the Beijing where they pay college professors $17 dollars a month. With that salary they also provide you with 120 square feet of personal living space and two meals a day. This package is considered very generous by Chinese standards. "Who are we to complain", well we are the worlds big complainers that's who. We like to sit around and complain about every situation we feel is unjust. We like to project our ideals, beliefs, values, conditions on the worlds masses. Especially countries that are economically not on par with the almighty USA. We often hold economic ransom on their countries until they fall in-line with what we say is "right and wrong". We also complain a lot because it is much easier than really doing anything about it, it makes us feel good like we have helped, when in reality all we have done is complain.


    Re: Re: Is this bad?

    Posted by Yang C. on April 08, 1998 at 23:01:16

    In reply to Re: Is this bad? posted by JB on April 08, 1998 at 10:35:27

    You're mostly right. North Americans are good at "complaining" and not doing much about it. What you are wrong about is this "imposing" of values. Nike and other large western corporation are the biggest imposers of values. To suggest that people who think all humans should share the same RIGHTS (not paycheck) are "imposing" is silly. First of all, there MANY community groups, workers groups, womens groups, farmers groups in these various countries risking their lives and livelyhood resisting undemocratic government and forign corporations. These are people who speak up unsolicited (unwanted by their govn't). What we hear in the western mainstream media are from government (often military) "officals" or "prominant" business leaders. Western business listens to them and (conveniantly) agrees when they say things like "beatings are part of our culture", yeah, the culture of suppression and authoritarianism. If you listen to the voices of people risking to speak-up, you hear a very different story. Just today I got a story about the illegal arrest (no reason given, no warrant issued) of the leader of a farmers' group in the Philippines. This will not be in any mainstream papers. Nor was the news of the arrest of an important union leader in Indonesia a few months ago. There are many democracy groups in almost all of these countries. There are also some powerful business leaders. It just depend on who you listen to.


    Nike Factories and the so called expert's perceptions

    Posted by Mark on April 08, 1998 at 03:43:31

    I have worked 9 out of the last 12 years for Nike in Asia. It still amazes me how a company like ESPN and all of these other organziations can come over here for 2 days to a week and all of sudden be experts in explaining to the American public what is going on over here. It is not that simple. It takes knowledge of the footwear business and the history of where it began. It takes knowledge of the cultures involved. It takes a little understanding of what the global economy is all about. It takes the knowledge of what multinational companies can do to improve working conditions overseas and then to objectively assess what they have done. Most of all it takes time. You can not become and expert on what is going over here in one week. The second point I would like to note is that no other shoe company in Asia has done more to improve the working conditions for the factory workers than Nike. It is just a plain fact. In the middle eighties we were fighting for better working conditions long before the media made it a "chic" thing to do and long before we had the orders to back up our threats. As our orders grew the factories began to listen. We worked on getting proper ventilation in all of our factories. We are now in the process of changing all of our priming and cement lines over to a waterbased materials that will eliminate the fumes that use to be apparent in all of the shoe factories. We have had the Code of Conduct since 1992. We have Production Managers in our factories every day who use to only be concerned with quality and delivery of our product and now are also responsible for making sure that the factories maintain our code of conduct. We have people conduct SHAPE audits (see Nike website www.nikeworkers.com for details) every quarter. No other company is doing all of that. That is a fact. Problems still happen and we are a long way from being where we want to be but we will get there. The last point I would like to make is our Nike expats consist of people from Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Colorado, New York, Ohio, California, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Texas, West Virginia, England, Australia, India and many other places that I have forgotten. They spend 7-9 hours in the factories working hard every day establishing relationships and trying to work with our partners to reach our mutual goals. I have met a lot of good people who work in our factories during the 9 years I have lived in Asia. They too work very hard at their job and work very hard with us to reach our mutual goals. To see their values and hard work questioned by a few incidents and some joker who sits behind a computer all day conjuring up distorted stories about what is happening over here is truly disgraceful. They don't deserve that. Thuyen Nguyen your fifteen minutes of fame are over. You are a joke in Asia. Soon Americans will discover the same. Stop leeching off the sweat of the 521,000 employees that have help built Nike to where we are today and get a real job.


    Re: Nike Factories and the so called expert's perceptions

    Posted by SAM FULLERTONN on April 08, 1998 at 19:37:22

    In reply to Nike Factories and the so called expert's perceptions posted by Mark on April 08, 1998 at 03:43:31

    WELL SAID!!!!


    Re: Nike Factories and the so called expert's perceptions

    Posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 08, 1998 at 16:33:55

    In reply to Nike Factories and the so called expert's perceptions posted by Mark on April 08, 1998 at 03:43:31

    It's interesting to see how Mark's (a Nike employee) response is so typical of the old Nike's corporate response. Saying that the company worked so hard and it doesn't deserve all these criticisms since they are the only experts, then went on a personal attack of the critics. What do Mark think about Anita Chan who spent the last five years studying shoe factories, or Jeff Ballinger of Press for Change who spent the last 6 six years trying to get Nike to improve its labor practices? Both of these people are much harder on Nike than I am. They all think that Nike factories have A LOT of room for improvement, and that improvements have only come because of media pressure in the last two years. What about the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize Jose-Ramos Jorta who considered Nike the "enemy" of Indonesian people? It's good to know that Mark admit that Nike production managers are finally concerning about the factory labor practices vs in the past when they were only cared about meeting production and quality goals. When did such a change in policy occurred? Nike's corporate line is that Nike expats have always been concerned about labor practices since day one. It's also good to know that Mark admitted that Nike expats are only in the factories 7-9 hours per day. Let's not forget that these shoe factories operate 20 hours a day. The abuse of workers occurred most often during the night shift. If Nike is so concerned about its labor practices, maybe it should have more expats working in the night shift. I waited outside a Nike factory to interview nightshift workers (past 1AM). I did not see any Nike expats in that factory that night. If any of the expats were there that night they would have seen how thousands of women who have worked 16 hours in the Nike factory coming out of that factory dead tired with tear in their eyes and anger on their faces. When asked how she was being treated, one of them just looked at me and said "they treated us like animals". Regards, Thuyen Nguyen http://www.saigon.com/nike


    Re: Re: Nike Factories and the so called expert's perceptions

    Posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 17:25:51

    In reply to Re: Nike Factories and the so called expert's perceptions posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 08, 1998 at 16:33:55

    If I were you I would not be quoting Jeff Ballinger articles. His anti-Nike article were found to be poorly researched and full of information that proved to be untrue. As for Ms. Chan she seems like she has done a good job. In her article which was found on your web sight she said that Nike factories were better than the other factories in the region. She also commented on how nice the facilities were in their appearance.


    Re: Re: Re: Nike Factories and the so called expert's perceptions

    Posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 08, 1998 at 20:01:13

    In reply to Re: Re: Nike Factories and the so called expert's perceptions posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 17:25:51

    Just because a Nike-producing factory is better than some other factories in China, it does not mean that women are not being exploited or not being abused at these Nike contractors. It is something one should not be proud of. Nike is a wealthy US corporation. It has to live up to the standards of a major US corporation such as Pepsi, CocaCola. Nike cannot simply be content to be a leader in an industry that is notorious for human rights abuses all over the world. My advice is for Nike to set a higher standard for itself comparable to other US corporations like CitiCorp, Proctor & Gamble, CocaCola, Pepsi, Ford etc. Nike's brand name still has cachet, goodwill and prestige but all of that would change quickly and the Nike brand will be viewed as a sweatshop product if the Nike refused to change. Nike producing factories are the lowest paid in Vietnam right now among all foreign enterprises. These factories also have the most number of strikes. Supervisors at these factories have been convicted of abusing workers. There have been at least 10+ "reported" incidents of physical abuse of workers. I cannot think of any other US corporations in Vietnam with such a record its labor practices. With such a horrible record, Nike employees has nothing to be proud of. Thuyen Nguyen


    Re: Re: Re: Nike Factories and the so called expert's perceptions

    Posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 08, 1998 at 17:34:43

    In reply to Re: Re: Nike Factories and the so called expert's perceptions posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 17:25:51

    Ms. Chan also described shoe factories where workers are locked up in cages guarded by dogs as punishment, and where workers are forced to endure corporal punishment of the boot camp shoe factories. I dont think Nike would be proud of being associated with such contractors. Thuyen Nguyen


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Nike Factories and the so called expert's perceptions

    Posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 19:38:27

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Nike Factories and the so called expert's perceptions posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 08, 1998 at 17:34:43

    Ms Chan also made it clear in her article that the worker locked in cages, etc. for punishment were NOT workers from factories that produce Nikes. These were factories in Tianjin where Nike does not have any presence at all.


    Re: Nike Factories and the so called expert's perceptions

    Posted by Mike on April 08, 1998 at 08:49:05

    In reply to Nike Factories and the so called expert's perceptions posted by Mark on April 08, 1998 at 03:43:31

    Since 1992??? If that is your explanation for the working conditions, you and Nike are the joke! Planning to switch to safe working conditions? That's also a joke. The fact remains that if Nike was concerned about the health and welfare of the people who make your products, Nike would own and operate the plants themselves. And stop blaming everyone else, including ESPN.


    Re: Re: Nike Factories and the so called expert's perceptions

    Posted by John on April 08, 1998 at 10:25:13

    In reply to Re: Nike Factories and the so called expert's perceptions posted by Mike on April 08, 1998 at 08:49:05

    Sorry but ESPN is partially to blame, thier stroy is not objective and to consider Bob Levy qualified to do this kind of story is a joke. Nike is far from perfect but they are making changes, you would know that if you read the mans message rather than reacted to what you want to believe. ESPN are also hypocrites, the following is from a previous posted message. "Are you aware that the corporate parent for ESPN has apparel made at thousands of factories around the globe. This includes "ESPN" logo apparel. If the problems ESPN reported finding from factories which have representatives from Nike & Reebok present on a daily basis, think of the hell holes that must make ESPN product?"


    Athelete's Power

    Posted by Dano on April 08, 1998 at 04:22:27

    Why do you think companies get them to endorse there products? Because people like them, and they will listen to them. They wont get black balled like T.V. networks or retailers or coaches, especially the more popular players. Who else is going to help these people? Companies, Dictators, You and me? Who has the power to really make a difference to stop there suffering? MAYBE atheletes are NOT the answer. But it sure seems like those millions they are making is money that really belongs to those people in those factories. They at least deserve some of the credit for making Jorden rich -- they make his shoes.


    Jordan, UNC are in the right.

    Posted by Joe Jaksich on April 08, 1998 at 03:23:17

    This debate should end here. Jordan and UNC and others don't have to answer to anyone. The workers in Asia are not forced to work there and even so, people here complaining and protesting need to worry about our country and stop wasting time.


    Re: Jordan, UNC are in the right.

    Posted by Dean A. on April 08, 1998 at 11:39:29

    In reply to Jordan, UNC are in the right. posted by Joe Jaksich on April 08, 1998 at 03:23:17

    I don't see Mike or Tiger shaking up the status quo in this country either. I mean sure they do charity work for some worthy causes(children's health issues etc.) but other injustices exist where it would be considered radical to get involved. What about conditions in inner cities where Nike(etc.) markets overpriced shoes or people have thier jobs shipped overseas? Why do you think Chris Webber changed shoe contracts? I don't think Mike or Tiger are bad guys, but they're going to have to take a hit in the corporate PR tush before they really make a difference. How much cash do they need? At least in 20 years people might remember them for something other than great athletes who spewed sports cliches. I mean could you imagine watching the documentary "When We Were Kings II" and sitting through Michael Jordan talking about his golf game?


    The entire sweatshop/exploitation contrversy

    Posted by Mansoor Murad on April 08, 1998 at 02:04:58

    Hey, I agree that sportspersons have a responsibility to their fans for being socially conscious and believe that those who do not exercise this responsibility are in breach of a serious trust. However you all must realise that what are sweatshop conditions to you are the norm in most Asian countries, including mine. $500 a year may not seem too much but a dollar can easily feed a family of four for a day over here. the conditions are squalid but not exceptional and raises in pay directly mean raises in cost which the public is never resigned to accept. It is a vicious circle in a way, but I do believe middle ground can be found if all parties wish to do so.


    Re: The entire sweatshop/exploitation contrversy

    Posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 13:23:50

    In reply to The entire sweatshop/exploitation contrversy posted by Mansoor Murad on April 08, 1998 at 02:04:58

    Finally somebody brought up the fact that Nike isn't the only one doing business like this. Thank you, I was getting very annoyed. This kind of thing is happens all over. If people want burn their tennis shoes and go March to Washington, fine, but don't single out Nike. Why don't you all criticize the business practice and all the companies who do this? Because Nike is so popular and known. Is that why Jordan and Tiger are being criticized and not Nike's other athletes?


    Re: The entire sweatshop/exploitation contrversy

    Posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 10:58:43

    In reply to The entire sweatshop/exploitation contrversy posted by Mansoor Murad on April 08, 1998 at 02:04:58

    Do you mean to say that you do not want self righteous Americans to tell you and your country what is acceptable and what is not? Sorry for the sarcasm, you bring up a very fresh perspective that I hope is read by many of these good people who's international experience has been a short trip to Acapulco or Vancouver, British Columbia.


    TRAITORS

    Posted by Lance Del Goebel on April 08, 1998 at 01:27:38

    I don't care how many white people were fooled, and continue to be fooled by all of the Reagans of the world... This FREE TRADE is a bunch of crap, nobody profits from it but the American stockholders who get to maximize their profits by having their products produced by slaves rather than American workers. The end result of this Reaganistic treason is the American worker becomes underemployed, the foreign worker becomes underemployed, and the fat cats get filthy rich. Anyone who hasn't noticed this widening gap between the classes since 1980 is an IDIOT. Rush Limbaugh can lie until he becomes skinny, Reagan can wrap himself in a million flags, but the results speak for themselves. Reagan, Limbaugh, Gingrich, Clinton, Corporate America, are all traitors, selling out the American people as well as poor people in 3rd world countries. Who won the Civil War ? We've now got American slavery on a world-wide basis. We started this country because we were tired of taxation without representation, tired of living as peasants while the privledged got fat at our expense. It's time for the next revolution. Real American Patriots are not happy with America today. They stole our country, like the whores they are, and your question gets right into the middle of the sellout.


    Re: TRAITORS

    Posted by Jon Palmer on April 08, 1998 at 08:07:54

    In reply to TRAITORS posted by Lance Del Goebel on April 08, 1998 at 01:27:38

    Guh... sometimes people really make your faith in the First Amendment waver, you know? I'd just love to see some of the people who talk about "the evil of the American system" spend some time in one of these countries they idolize so much... it's a shame Soviet Russia isn't around anymore, that was a solid example of how great life is when you're not oppressed by the white male American capitalists.


    Re: Re: TRAITORS

    Posted by TRG on April 08, 1998 at 10:52:52

    In reply to Re: TRAITORS posted by Jon Palmer on April 08, 1998 at 08:07:54

    What a load of crap! If the companies are so irresponsible as you say then why in the hell are ALL of their shoes selling like crazy. We're not just talking basketball here, we're talking track, football, soccer etc. The good ol American middle class is buying them up in droves. If our country hasuch a problem with this issue, we wouldn't buy the shoes but we DO! Besides, most of those athletes are idiots when doing anything off the court anyway, so I'm not sure I want the athletic costituancy telling my kids and the rest of the country how to run their lives. There are just enough idiots out there who would listen and oh how our country would go down the crapper then! As for traitors and slavery...what kind of crack have you been smokin? Man! talk about revisionist history! Widening social gaps??!!?? Who's the idiot? The middle class has expanded and our economy has gotten to its best state in recent memory! What country do you live in? If anything, the middle class has become more accessible and more opportunities exist than ever. Jeez!!!


    TRG should lay off the pipe

    Posted by David Grigsby on April 09, 1998 at 14:36:48

    In reply to Re: Re: TRAITORS posted by TRG on April 08, 1998 at 10:52:52

    Dude, if you don't think that the middle class in the US is splitting, with some moving up, and some dropping out, you aren't paying attention. The trend has slowed, in small part to Clinton's policy (one good thing he's done), but it's still there. This is an indisputable fact. Even the apologists for this trend acknoledge it, they just say there is nothing we can do about it.


    Why so much??

    Posted by Mark Klone on April 08, 1998 at 01:29:04

    The thing that bothers me the most is the fact that Nike execs and Reebok execs say that the price of their shoes would double if they moved their factories to the US. Its amazing that they can pay people like Micheal Jordan, Tiger Woods, Shaq, and many others sponsored by these two companies, the large sums of money, but they can't build cheaper shoes in the US. Yes, it would cost more to make the shoes, but if they cut the salaries they pay to these big name athletes, then they would be able to cut the price of the shoes considerably, besides, probably 30% of the price of the shoe goes to pay endorsements.


    Re: Why so much??

    Posted by Jon Palmer on April 08, 1998 at 08:30:14

    In reply to Why so much?? posted by Mark Klone on April 08, 1998 at 01:29:04

    There's probably a simple answer to this... I'm sure the companies have done studies predicting what will happen to sales if X representative is dropped, or if the price of Y shoes goes down... apparently, in order to keep sales maxed out, it's better to keep prices (relatively) high and high-priced spokesmen... I guess anybody who's going to buy the shoe is going to buy it at $180 anyway. Or, at least, that's what Nike & Co. think.


    Homework? Does the topic warrant such?

    Posted by SC on April 07, 1998 at 23:19:21

    The energy in this forum is enlightening! Two determined people have spent decades of their lives addressing this problem. One from a practical hands on point of view. The other from an academic perspective [but the work is both thorough and empirical - so don't discount it!]. They were kind enough to write down their findings. Please consider them as a basis for discussion. The hands on point of view comes from Henry Ford, who created a lot of wealth and also paid people enough money to purchase the cars they made. Before he became surrounded by flatterers who distorted his view of the world and his workforce, he wrote the good stuff down in a book called, Today and Tommorrow. First published in 1927 [?] it reads like it was written for the active minds of today's youth. It is also relevant to today's Nike discussion. The academic perspective comes from Michael Porter, who has spent a chunk of his life ( and other peoples lives! ) on the study of competition. He has refreshingly progressed in his understanding as his perspective has broadened. In a paper that explains why UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University, and other North Carolina Universities dominate in basketball, he also explains how Nike could have made American inner cities the basketball shoe and basketball culture export capital of the world - much like Reggie White suggested. The paper is titled: The Competitive Advantage of Nations. You can find it in the library by asking the librarian for HBR reprint number 90211. I think that means second issue in 1990. Or buy it from them directly online in acrobat format using this link. http://www.hbsp.harvard.edu/hbsp/prod_detail.asp?90211.html Pop Quiz #1: 1. Are you purchasing a product or hiring an employee? If some part of your purchasing dollar goes to actual product cost (COGS) and the other part is not COGS you can sort this out. 2. If the part that is not COGS is considered employee pay, are you paying the employee [Nike] to: a) flatter you, or b)inspire you or c) design the best shoes in the world. 3. If you are not happy with the way your employee spends your money do you: a) fire them, b) make your position clear and put them on notice, or c) don't worry about it because they are flattering you or otherwise doing "a good job." By the way, if you can't find find Ford's book in the bookstore you can order it from Amazon.com. If you use their search engine, they get the commission. If you use this link, I think I get a dollar or something. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0915299364/wwwmmitcomA/ I hope this can be a positive contribution to the discussion! SC


    Asian salaries

    Posted by Nick Bass on April 07, 1998 at 23:03:15

    I am an Olympic level coach. Over the last two years I have spoken with Chinese coaches about everything from training schedules to salaries. I was very surprised when I learned that they made $100 per month. They claim they make a good living and they are comfortable with their current income. I think that it is very important that people understand the economic situations of many foreign countries can not and should not be compared to ours. I am not for taking advantage of people or children. I am sure that goes on, however be careful with your stats. Make sure they are indeed accurate and represent fairly what the current economic position of the workers are.


    Re: Asian salaries

    Posted by SAM FULLERTON on April 08, 1998 at 19:31:30

    In reply to Asian salaries posted by Nick Bass on April 07, 1998 at 23:03:15

    ABSOLUTELY CORRECT. MIRRORS WHAT I SAID ABOUT OUR ETHNOCENTRISM AND IMPOSING OUR VALUES AND STANDARDS ON OTHERS. I AM CURRENTLY RESIDING IN NEW ZEALAND, AND WHILE THERE IS A CERTAIN INTEREST IN ALL THINGS AMERICAN, THEY HAVE THEIR OWN STANDARDS AND ARE NOT INTERESTED IN BECOMING OUR 51ST STATE.


    Fentress' mistake

    Posted by Dave Nezelek on April 07, 1998 at 21:50:00

    Fentress argues that senior citizens benefitted by Nike's Wall Street success. He conviently overlooked the fate of those unfortunate brokers who sold these Nike shares in the first place! There is no such thing as a "free lunch!" The cost of gourmet prune juice for some golden oldie came out of, say, a young child's college fund, or a young couple's vacation fund. Is this fair?


    Nosey Americans

    Posted by Lance Canaday on April 07, 1998 at 20:19:42

    Once again, America is putting it's nose where it doesn't belong. Whether Nike (and Reebok) are obeying the laws of the country (the plants are in) or not, It is none of our business. I am sick and tired of stupid American's worrying about other countries. Someone needs to inform these people attacking Nike that they need to start looking for problems around them and not so far off. Just maybee, if they concentrated on our country more, they may be able to do something about minimum wage here, or better yet, help America's homeless.


    Society's Sad State

    Posted by Sportsczar on April 07, 1998 at 19:45:26

    How unsensitive and desentized we have become in this country. No longer are we outraged at what is taking place in society, be it the White House,the streets or the schools in America. Why should I not be surprised by today's Sportszone poll that as of this evening, indicates 63% of the respondents say they will not be dissuaded from buying Nike's or Reeboks, even in spite of the conditions in the foreign factories and their sinful prices compared to what they pay to have them made. Our society places its values in the wrong places. Is it any wonder, our values and morals are, for the most part,non-existent? Athletes like Michael Jordan do have a responsibility, but their greed blinds them. However,those in society who see no evil or immorality in all of this are more blind. This is what contributes to sports being a dirty business. Nike's money has tainted college sports and is working its way down to high school and lower. Shame on them and us!


    Re: Society's Sad State

    Posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 11:24:27

    In reply to Society's Sad State posted by Sportsczar on April 07, 1998 at 19:45:26

    we can thank the babyboomers for the condition of our sad state of society. they have the jobs, power and money in "our" society. if you ask the age of the ceo,s of rebok and nike, you will see who is in control. this trickles down to pac,s and control of "our" elected leaders. so to all you babyboomers- think again if you believe the gen-xers will take care of you when you need it. you have taught us well!


    Exploitation extends beyond shoes

    Posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 18:32:13

    The recent awareness about the exploitation of third world countries by U.S. shoemakers is a problem that persists in all aspects of business. Being from Cincinnati, I recently discovered that our richest resident, Carl Linder (owner of practically everything in Cincinnati, Chiquita Banana, United Dairy Farmers, major share holder of Proctor & Gamble, Paramount's King's Island,...) has been importing bananas from Central America where the men that collect these bananas are paid pennies a day and basically BATH in pesticides that have made ill or killed several of the workers. Who's complaining? "Not me, I want banana's at the grocery for $.39 a pound." Our immediate response to such atrocities is one of shock and horror. However, Reggie White mentions that if the shoe factories come over to America, the shoes will cost $250 instead of $180. In the minds of the ignorant people who think a weeks salary (I'm a poor graduate student) is acceptable to pay for shoes, it seem a fair practice to run sweatshops to keep the price down. For the athlete's (not including those that stayed in school and received a diploma -- like I did) that, by their God given talent alone, have made tremendous amounts of money, they should find some morality. Perhaps these black athlete's (Micheal Jordan, Tiger Woods) are descendents of the blacks that themselves sold black slaves to America (i.e. they're sell outs) Although we think these people are living the "American Dream", they are in fact the foremost violators of freedom. If the money comes so easy as an athlete, why incriminate yourself by endorsing these companies. The only way to get the attention of the companies is to hit them in the only spot that hurts -- not letters of reprimand, not hate mail,... -- don't buy their products. You'll get a more comfortable shoe, pay less, and feel better about yourself. Sure, your friends will make fun of you for wearing "Zips" but when you jam the ball in your $45 shoes over your buddy in his $135 pair - don't say anything - just smile. It's not the shoes -- it's you. ACTION NOT WORDS


    Athletes on world problems?

    Posted by Paul on April 07, 1998 at 17:20:36

    It is sad that there are countries where the workforce receives only subsistence wages. It is also sad that people expect athletes to simply "speak out" against Nike and other athletic companies for paying such a low wage; this is the same wage that all factories over there are paying. If Nike were paying such a ridiculously low rate, relative to everyone else, no one in that country would work there. The problems are not solely, or even primarily, the fault of the manufacturer. Countries have different standards of living, different wages, and such; that is where the solution must come. These third world countries, when they become more affluent, will naturally demand higher wages. Please don't ask athletes to put their footwear in their mouths by telling them to speak up against labor abuses. Even if you convinced Nike, you'd still have to convince every other company, in every other industry. It's like asking Jordan to comment on the Middle East peace process.


    Athletes on world problems?

    Posted by Paul on April 07, 1998 at 17:20:36

    It is sad that there are countries where the workforce receives only subsistence wages. It is also sad that people expect athletes to simply "speak out" against Nike and other athletic companies for paying such a low wage; this is the same wage that all factories over there are paying. If Nike were paying such a ridiculously low rate, relative to everyone else, no one in that country would work there. The problems are not solely, or even primarily, the fault of the manufacturer. Countries have different standards of living, different wages, and such; that is where the solution must come. These third world countries, when they become more affluent, will naturally demand higher wages. Please don't ask athletes to put their footwear in their mouths by telling them to speak up against labor abuses. Even if you convinced Nike, you'd still have to convince every other company, in every other industry. It's like asking Jordan to comment on the Middle East peace process.


    Re: Athletes on world problems?

    Posted by Alan Cole on April 07, 1998 at 19:24:27

    In reply to Athletes on world problems? posted by Paul on April 07, 1998 at 17:20:36

    Unfortunately, that argument is disengenuous. The fact remains that Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods actually get paid by Nike. They are in effect profiting off the backs of these workers. They have a responsibility to divest themselves from the exploitation that Nike engenders.


    By a show of hands...

    Posted by Jack Webber on April 07, 1998 at 17:20:23

    ... whom of those among you would tell your mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, sister, or brother to just shut up,make the shoes, and think about how much worse your life would be without Nike. Never mind. Just have another happy hour microbrew on your parents' (or company's) credit card ...


    Re: By a show of hands...

    Posted by Jon Palmer on April 08, 1998 at 08:24:20

    In reply to By a show of hands... posted by Jack Webber on April 07, 1998 at 17:20:23

    Funny, I and plenty of my friends have been told that by our parents/employers when complaining about wages. Shut up, if you don't like it, find a better job. And if there's a better job out there, I'll take it. If NOT, I should be happy with the one I've got.


    Its only a big deal because we make it that way

    Posted by Scott Robinson on April 07, 1998 at 17:02:19

    Question. Does anyone think that the individuals that were given the choice to make sneakers for the large athletic apparel companies thought that they were being treated unfairly? Probably not. If the conditions are as bad as we hear in these areas of the world, we as a society should take solice in the fact that we are helping their economy by our own demand for these shoes. The issue isn't are they being mistreated or not being treated fairly. The larger issue is a shoe company reaping the huge profit margins on these shoes and not passing it on to thier employees. What the companies should do is set up a good old fashioned profit sharing system where the workers get a percentage of the company's earnings based off of their work. Irregardless of what that percentage is, the companies save face, the workers in our eyes are being treated "more fair" and we can put this issue to rest. Another thing, are we going to stop buying Air Jordan's because of this recent probe into the ethics of the athletic shoe business? Come on. Its our own inherent, insatiable need to "have it" that will continue to keep companies like these from changing their practices. One UNC class, an internet forum on the subject and an Outside the Lines series won't change anything permanatly unless WE change our thinking first.


    Re: Its only a big deal because we make it that way

    Posted by Bo Knows Bonus on April 07, 1998 at 19:00:24

    In reply to Its only a big deal because we make it that way posted by Scott Robinson on April 07, 1998 at 17:02:19

    Actually Nike passes on a percentage of it's profit to all it's employees in the form of a bonus. The factory workers are not included in this bonus because they are not employed by Nike (or any of the other name brand footwear companies). The factory workers are employed by subcontractor shoe makers. Your idea would work, these subcontractors do well when Reebok, Nike, etc do well so the factories could share their profits.


    Tiger Woods denies his heritage

    Posted by Ex-Nike Sucker on April 07, 1998 at 17:06:46

    Does anyone but me find it ironic that Tiger Woods took forty million dollars of Nike hush money, won't say a word on the sneaker controversy, and his heritage is Southeast Asian? Granted, Malaysian, but plenty of US companies commit labor abuses there too. You would think it was a cause near and dear to his heart, but I guess the only time that heritage matters was when it was to draw crowds to the golf tournament held over there. Just another hypocrite


    Re: Tiger Woods denies his heritage

    Posted by Armando Colpa on April 07, 1998 at 17:15:15

    In reply to Tiger Woods denies his heritage posted by Ex-Nike Sucker on April 07, 1998 at 17:06:46

    This may be just a guess, but you sound like a white person. You also sound very ignorant and quick to jump on any majority-bandwagon. You may very well be a minority. Either way, let me try and educate you a little bit. I am a young black male of Panamanian descent who's married at 25 years of age. My wife and myself are trying to define our careers (I'm a mechanical engineer, she's a guidance counselor). We both make very good money (well over six figures combined). Do you think we got where we are today by complaining. I could easily complain that black males make up only three percent of the engineering population. Sure, I could have said this during my interview. I could have cried about all of the times I have been discriminated against (many) because of my color. I could have made a stand! Constantly, my wife has to deal with racism. Parents asking her questions like, "How does it feel to work with 'these kind of kids'" (rich, white kids)? I could go on and on. The bottom line is this: we did NOT get where we are today by making a stand concerning the injustices our race has to go through daily. Tiger Woods would destroy his marketability by taking such a stance. If he feels compelled by such an issue, then more power to him. However, he has a family like everybody else and is trying to make a buck just like everybody else. This is a capitalistic society, PERIOD!!! Don't blame Tiger Woods for the sneaker situation. Why not direct your anger at the local TV stations that air the commercials in the first place? Surely they have a lot more power than a youngster who hasn't a political bone in his body. Now I must comment on the statements you made regarding his race. You find it hard to believe that he wouldn't find this cause "near and dear" to his heart. This is the comment that lead me to believe that you were another ignorant white person who hasn't a clue what non-whites go through (although you have no problems commenting, anyway). Why do you find it hard to believe that Tiger Woods has no interest in this matter? Because he's partly Asian? So what? Did you ever stop using Texaco gasoline because of their racist treatment of black employees? Did you ever not call Dominos Pizza because of their treatment to blacks and gays? Do you still frequent A&S even though they strip-searched a black man with no cause (he's now suing). Why do people like you think that because Tiger Woods is good at swinging a golf club, he's also a master of politics? Why not attack the stores who have no problem selling the sneakers? What about you? What kind of sneakers do you wear? Am I trying to say that I don't care about what goes on with this issue? Of course not. Hoever, the root of this problem is a hell of a lot deeper than Tiger Woods! The root of the problem is closer to the fact that the sneaker company left the U.S. in the first place. Reebok and Nike are simply interested in making a buck. A lot of individuals couldn't give a damn about what's going on in Asia. They're simply interested in attacking the minority who's finally learned how to play the game well. The game is called Capitalism.


    Re: Re: Tiger Woods denies his heritage

    Posted by Anand Raghunath on April 08, 1998 at 10:00:48

    In reply to Re: Tiger Woods denies his heritage posted by Armando Colpa on April 07, 1998 at 17:15:15

    I'm a colored American and I have to say that the way you tout capitalism and the gains you've made while disregarding your race is quite abominable. Just because you can easily push aside the brutal treatment of the black race and live amongst the rich whites, doesn't mean that this formula applies to all blacks. You obviously don't care about the plight of your race since you find it so easy to "not complain about it". MJ and Tiger should speak out instead of being tools for the white capitalist establishment. They do play a game well though, and you're pretty good at it yourself, and that is called selling out your race for money. Hope your proud of yourself the next time you check your bank book Tom.


    Re: Re: Re: Tiger Woods denies his heritage

    Posted by Armando on April 08, 1998 at 11:25:18

    In reply to Re: Re: Tiger Woods denies his heritage posted by Anand Raghunath on April 08, 1998 at 10:00:48

    You're missing me entirely. I'm not touting capitalism at all. I am simply saying that that is how our society operates from an economic standpoint. Whether that should be changed, how that should be changed, whether it's fair to some and not to others are other issues. I'm simply saying that this is part of our society. Would you at least agree with me on that point? You call me a sellout. Let me tell you a little about myself, the part that although you know nothing about you have no problem commenting on. First of all, I'm a born again christian and don't care in the least about a silly issue such as selling out. I'm more interested in pleasing God. However, I also love a spirited arguement and will oblige you. Why do you think I'm a sell out? Again, this gets away from the topic but I'll respond. Just because I'm not interested in fighting the good fight all of the time? Because I don't want to speak out every time there's racial injustice? You are making a sacrifice every time you put yourself on the line like that. So on one hand, you are fighting the system. On the other, you're trying to feed the kids and pay the bills. Look, you don't know me and I again don't feel in the least obligated to defend myself against you. However, it seems as though you are quick to jump to a conclusion without a shred of research. Just like you're quick to jump on the "blame MJ" bandwagon. I'm not saying that I like the situation in Asia. However, re-direct your anger to the corporations that are actually doing the exploiting, not to some jock who doesn't have a political bone in his body. Remember, Phil Knight (CEO of Nike) is the guy that should be attacked here. Not some jock who can put a ball in a hole. Just like you're quick to call me an "uncle Tom" without knowing me, you're also quick to jump on the bandwagon without thinking about the true root of the problem which is NOT MJ or Tiger. It's Phil. Go get 'em!


    Society's problem

    Posted by Scott Jarrett on April 07, 1998 at 17:57:20

    In reply to Re: Tiger Woods denies his heritage posted by Armando Colpa on April 07, 1998 at 17:15:15

    Well said, Armando! Fentress also said it well in his commentary. It is not a problem of athletes alone (many of the best of whom are minorities), but rather it is a societal problem. It is hard to argue that America isn't driven by greed. That's capitalism in its purist form. What is not discussed to any great extent is how many people in the U.S. are living in poverty without any hope of ever escaping. Social problems in the U.S. have always been difficult for Americans to talk about, much less do anything about. It's interesting that the focus of this discussion is on people 6000 miles away and not on those in the inner cities, the reservations, the rural ghettos.


    A difference of perspective

    Posted by David Grigsby on April 08, 1998 at 09:05:20

    In reply to Society's problem posted by Scott Jarrett on April 07, 1998 at 17:57:20

    Who makes more money from Nike, Tiger Woods or the local TV station? A corner shoe store or Michael Jordan? 2nd, it's not like Michael Jordan's family would be living on the street if he didn't get his Nike money. The money he gets from Nike is merely to add to his score in another competitive aspect of his life--how much money he can make. Both of the respondents on this thread seem to have the attitude that the point of life is to accumulate wealth. OK, I can't "prove" they are wrong. But as a Christian, I vehemently disagree with that. It is a profoundly amoral attitude. And it is an attitude that nobody wants to lead to its logical conclusion. Was the slave trade circa 1830 wrong? I mean, it was legal, and it was a very profitable venture. Is everything that is legal also morally right? These folks either have to say yes, or be exposed as hypocrites. Americans are profoundly ignorant, in general, of how the rest of the world operates, or how it operated in the past. We have this dreadful tendency to accept things as they are without looking at how we got to this point, or how other cultures have coped with the same problems. This apology based on the game of capitalism is basically ignorant and unChristian, makes no allowance for context. Why is Michael Jordan Nike's biggest salesman, rather than a football player like Joe Montana? Why is Tiger Woods a megastar, while Justin Leonard, with essentially the same credentials, barely a blip? B/c Nike is selling a subversive, counterculture image, an image that white suburban teens will accept from a minority athlete but not a white athlete. Jordan and Woods are using their race to enhance their ability as Nike salesmen. I live in NC, and Michael Jordan has run from his race like Michael Johnson, even tho it is his race that makes him so desirable for Nike. Yes, he now endorses any product that is legal and that will throw enough money his way, but he established himself with Nike. Further, notice the difference in how he is portrayed in a Nike ad compared to, say, a McD's ad. Finally, athletes with prodigious talent are like people who inherit great wealth. They are privileged. In my belief system, with that privilege, wholly unearned, come responsibilities.


    Re: A difference of perspective

    Posted by Armando on April 08, 1998 at 09:41:41

    In reply to A difference of perspective posted by David Grigsby on April 08, 1998 at 09:05:20

    Your argument is a good one. I'm a born-again christian and again do not like the situation in Asia. I simply believe that efforts should be directed to where they belong, at the corporations who are exploiting in the first place. I think you are right in saying that a total package encompaases a star athlete's career. However, I think WE could do a lot better by directing our arguments at NIKE and REEBOK and whatever other company is exploiting individuals. MJ and Tiger could really make a difference by going against these companies and it's a shame that they are appathetic about the situation. However, I notice that we have an enormous zest to go after the public figure and none whatsoever for the actual cause of the problem. That to me is a little disturbing. MJ and Tiger should have a moral obligation to do something about this situation, although I don't want to get into morality. I don't want to shove my religion down somebody's throat. However don't blame them for SOMEBODY ELSE'S actions. Even if they are in the best position to stop it. Let everyone be accountable for their OWN actions, not somebody else who happens to be in a good position to fight against it.


    Re: Re: A difference of perspective

    Posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 11:36:13

    In reply to Re: A difference of perspective posted by Armando on April 08, 1998 at 09:41:41

    Our country was built on capitalism and greed. I fail to see why this is big news for some people. Maybe they dont understand history? With this said, in our country, unfortunatly there are going to be those living in poverty. Yes, this sucks, but otherwise we would be living in a socialistic state. It seems everyone is looking for a utopian society that only exists in heaven if that is ones belief. The only way to solve this problem with the shoe companies is one person at a time. Take responsibility for oneself and envoke your first amendment rights, at the same time do not forget that the opposite view also has that same right. Either way there is no easy answer and ultimatly all we have are our thaughts, feelings, and friends.

    Attachment: from one who does care if u couldnt tell.


    Re: Re: Re: A difference of perspective

    Posted by Armando on April 08, 1998 at 13:08:34

    In reply to Re: Re: A difference of perspective posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 11:36:13

    Agreed!


    Re: Re: Re: Re: A difference of perspective

    Posted by Anonymous on April 09, 1998 at 10:50:50

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: A difference of perspective posted by Armando on April 08, 1998 at 13:08:34

    Maybe we ought to by Vans shoes instead!


    Re: A difference of perspective

    Posted by Armando on April 08, 1998 at 09:41:41

    In reply to A difference of perspective posted by David Grigsby on April 08, 1998 at 09:05:20

    Your argument is a good one. I'm a born-again christian and again do not like the situation in Asia. I simply believe that efforts should be directed to where they belong, at the corporations who are exploiting in the first place. I think you are right in saying that a total package encompaases a star athlete's career. However, I think WE could do a lot better by directing our arguments at NIKE and REEBOK and whatever other company is exploiting individuals. MJ and Tiger could really make a difference by going against these companies and it's a shame that they are appathetic about the situation. However, I notice that we have an enormous zest to go after the public figure and none whatsoever for the actual cause of the problem. That to me is a little disturbing.


    Re: A difference of perspective

    Posted by Armando on April 08, 1998 at 09:41:41

    In reply to A difference of perspective posted by David Grigsby on April 08, 1998 at 09:05:20

    Your argument is a good one. I'm a born-again christian and again do not like the situation in Asia. I simply believe that efforts should be directed to where they belong, at the corporations who are exploiting in the first place. I think you are right in saying that a total package encompaases a star athlete's career. However, I think WE could do a lot better by directing our arguments at NIKE and REEBOK and whatever other company is exploiting individuals. MJ and Tiger could really make a difference by going against these companies and it's a shame that they are appathetic about the situation. However, I notice that we have an enormous zest to go after the public figure and none whatsoever for the actual cause.


    Re: Tiger Woods

    Posted by Xavier on April 07, 1998 at 17:10:04

    In reply to posted by on

    You are not alone. Tigger missed an incredible opportunity to "change the world". He has made such a huge deal about not being "just black, but half Asian" as well. The biggest opportunity would have been to refuse the contract. Or how about ask for a tour of the factories before accepting. Donate $$ to the investigation, give some money back to increase wages, something. His silence on the matter is frightening considering he is not only a minority but a self proclainmed Asian American.


    Re: Re: Tiger Woods

    Posted by Armando Colpa on April 07, 1998 at 17:50:18

    In reply to Re: Tiger Woods posted by Xavier on April 07, 1998 at 17:10:04

    You're another ignorant fool who needs to be educated! Go ahead, Tiger. Refuse $40 million dollars! Sure, you can make the money doing something else, like... Everyone is gifter in a certain area. I happen to be a mechanical engineer. Not everyone one has the brains to do this. What's more, not every minority wants to take the risks. What do I mean? Did you know that only three percent of the engineering workforce is black? Many of my friends have asked me, "why kill yourself to get an engineering degree when the chances of you getting a job are so slim". Okay, so I beat the odds. Just like Tiger Woods did. Now you're going to ask him to make a political stand when he obviously doesn't have a political bone in his body. That's stupid! While we're at it, let's see if he can solve world hunger as well. Lord knows that the congressmen and senators aren't qualified! Asking Tiger Woods to make any kind of stance on this matter will kill his endorsement opportunities. On an issue that he probably doesn't give a damn about, no less. No should he give a damn? Let's ask this question? How many whites refuse to buy Texaco gasoline because of their treatment of black employees? How many whites refuse to buy Dominos pizza because of their treatment of blacks and gays? How many magazines refuse to advertise cigarettes because of their addictive nature? This is a capatilist society!!! Remember that! Tiger Woods is simply playing by the rules. The problem is, a lot of people can't handle the fact that a minority is actually winning the game (capitalism) and rather pretend like they actually give a rat's ass as to what's going on in some country they've probably never stepped foot on in their life! I also get very angry when I hear whites say, "...he made a big deal about being Asian. Now he doesn't want to say a word." I'm of Panamanian descent. Every once and a while, I'll get someone who asks me, "What do you think about the way Noriega treats Panamanian citizens?" Why do you think just because I'm of Panamania decent I have to have an opinion? I've only been there once in my whole life! I'm an engineer and have no political aspirations. Believe me, Tiger Woods may try and defend himself. However, he should go on the attack. What about the local TV stations who have no problem airing Nike and Rebook commercials 24 hours a day? What about the stores who sell these sneakers? The root of the problem, if you want to call it that, is capitalism. Blame the manufacturers, who in their quest to make a buck left the shores of American soil in the first place. It's so easy to attack something visible. Sure Tiger, deny $40 million dollars. Take your odds on becoming an engineer (three percent of the population) or a guidance couselor. My wife is a guidance counselor. Where she works, she is the first black person to work there since the turn of the CENTURY (no doubt any worker before that was a janitor). Why should Tiger Woods deny himself the right to make as much money as possible? Tiger Woods never made a big deal about being partly Asian. He doesn't look like your typical black person so he was asked. He simply TOLD people his complete heritage. I hope you think before you go jumping on the bandwagon. Go write your local congressman. We don't want athletes to be role models. What makes you think that they should be politicians. Remember, they are not the root of the problem. Capitalism is. And some people just can't handle the fact that a minority is benefiting from it.


    being a black engineer

    Posted by David Grigsby on April 08, 1998 at 09:36:59

    In reply to Re: Re: Tiger Woods posted by Armando Colpa on April 07, 1998 at 17:50:18

    Ummm, dude, being a black engineer is an *advantage*, not a handicap. My father is an engineer, and he used to be in management. He *wanted* to hire minorities, and in a small southern town, that means blacks. But they weren't out there. The ones who were tended to be the object of a bidding war. You are misusing the fact that only 3% of engineers are black. Elementary logic will tell you that. You are bs'ing people with this bootstrap mess. Tell the truth, being a black engineer is a benefit. An example I know of is academia. Very few blacks get Phds with the intent ot be college professors, b/c the pay isn't as good as you can get in law or medicine, while the education requirements are at least as strenuous. Those with the smarts to cut it tend to go into the more lucrative fields. C'mon, man, come clean.


    Re: Re: Re: Tiger Woods

    Posted by Tom Ryan on April 07, 1998 at 20:16:21

    In reply to Re: Re: Tiger Woods posted by Armando Colpa on April 07, 1998 at 17:50:18

    After reading the past articles I think that maybe Mr. Armando Colpa should look at a public figure like Tiger Woods in a different manner. What if he did cut his ties to Nike and openly criticized their policies with the Vietnam workers? Does anyone believe that there would be no other golfing equiptment company would want to sponser him? Of course not. Better yet, it is concievable that his value would go up simply because the American public would see Tiger Woods as a person who is only envolved with decent, moral companies. So the company that sponsers Tiger Woods looks better because he doesn't stand for the manipulation of oversea workers or whatnot. I wonder if he ever considered that? Sure we live in a capitalistic society, but when will there ever be a role moder, a public figure, an athlete that cares enough about his fellow human beings to speak out when something is wrong. Tiger Woods would not go poor and he would be even more of a role model.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Tiger Woods

    Posted by Armando on April 07, 1998 at 20:45:25

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Tiger Woods posted by Tom Ryan on April 07, 1998 at 20:16:21

    Tom, I'm not saying that I don't agree with you. If Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan cut their ties with the shoe manufacturers that have them under contract, the companies would definitely take a PR hit. However, you miss one major point. Do you think that only Nike and Reebok follow these types of practices? Just about everything we wear, drive and watch are made in third-world countries. Show me a company that doesn't have a base in a third-world country and I'll show you a company that isn't making decent profits (at least not on the scale of Nike and Reebok). Believe me, I would love it if everyone earned a decent wage. The problem is, too many people attack Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods because they're too lazy to find out who the CEO's of the shoe manufacturers are. Why BLAME sports athletes for shoe manufacturer's greed? I'm not saying that they couldn't improve the situation. However, let's put the blame where it really is. Then once you blame the shoe manufacturers, go one level deeper and blame our capitalistic society. It's the same society that allows people to buy Texaco gasoline regardless of how black employees are treated. The same society that has no problem buying Dominos pizza even though they have been known to mistreat blacks and gays. Do we have a problem that people still shop A&S when they been racist to blacks? Why don't we make a stand there? It's amazing that we want to make a stand as soon as a minority is benefiting from our capitalistic society. Simply amazing.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tiger Woods

    Posted by Cartman on April 08, 1998 at 05:01:44

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Tiger Woods posted by Armando on April 07, 1998 at 20:45:25

    >these types of practices? Just about everything we wear, >drive and watch are made in third-world >countries. Show me a company that doesn't have a base in a >third-world country and I'll show you a company that isn't >making decent profits (at least not on the scale of Nike >and Reebok). You think that a purely domestic company can't make decent profits? Please take a look at the NYSE or NASDAQ again. Also, the right to make "decent profits" is one of the cornerstones of capitalism, which you seem to despise. So why defend making profits that are made by treating people like lab animals? >A&S when they been racist to blacks? Why don't we make a >stand there? It's amazing that we want to make a stand as >soon as a minority is benefiting from our capitalistic >society. Simply amazing. I think you are missing the point. Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan are not being targeted because they are minorities. Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan are targeted because they have the most name recognition and biggest contracts. Therefore any type of stand they make will have more impact than, lets say, Tony Meola (a soccer player).


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tiger Woods

    Posted by Armando on April 08, 1998 at 09:26:37

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tiger Woods posted by Cartman on April 08, 1998 at 05:01:44

    Cartman, you are missing my point. I am NOT saying that the situation in Asia is at all tolerable. What I am saying is that our blame is misguided. Why are we blaming athletes for coporations actions? The most we can blame the athlete for is indifference. As I told Owen, we are a society that constantly wants to act as though we want to solve problems. When we can't solve the problem, we still want to do something, anyway. The team has lost 25 games in a row and the players stink? Get rid of the coach. The engine doesn't work anymore? Get four new tires. Constantly fixing things that are not broken. Again, there's a problem. Some jock who can put a ball in the hoop is NOT the problem, however. It would be nice if Mr. Jordan could use his clout (something he never wanted to achieve) to this political cause. He probably doesn't want to. What a shame. However, I repeat, he is not the cause of the problem. Don't blame him because he doesn't want to work his influence. Here's a good question. Why is your blame misguided? Why are you not blaming the people who are doing the action? Rather, you are blaming individuals who don't want to fight against it. Individuals who don't have a political bone in their body. I don't know about you, but I'd rather have an educated POLITICIAN who actually wants to fight the system represent me instead of some jock.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tiger Woods

    Posted by Cartman on April 08, 1998 at 22:29:18

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tiger Woods posted by Armando on April 08, 1998 at 09:26:37

    The point here is not to villify Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods. If you agree that things need to change, then you have to recognize that having Michael or Tiger speak up is the best (and possibly the only) way of invoking change. People here are trying to make Tiger or Michael feel guilty about the situation. If this is what it takes to get them to speak up, then I'm all for it. Some people go too far with the racial slurs and name calling, however. But the main goal is to entice them to do something about the situation, not to bash their public image.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tiger Woods + THE MODERN WORLD

    Posted by Cartman on April 08, 1998 at 21:54:44

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tiger Woods posted by Armando on April 08, 1998 at 09:26:37

    Personally, I don't "blame" Jordan or Woods for causing the problem. I realize it is the owners and shareholders of Nike who make their business decisions. This is why I've chosen to never buy a Nike product again until things improve. However, my personal boycott of Nike does very little to them. They won't miss the $70 every year that I used to pay for a sneaker. I would love for an educated politician to speak out against these companies. However, in this modern day society, entertainers have more influence than politicians. Is this wrong? Of course it is. But it stems from the political scandals and lack of knowledge that people have about the U. S. government. So who is left to influence the shareholders and owners of Nike? Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan. If they speak, the individuals at Nike listen because they bring in the biggest sales of Nike equipment. It all boils down to power and public perception. Politicians have lost much of their power due to scandals and lying. The chairman of Nike is going to take Michael Jordan's advice before he takes Newt Gingrich's. This is a fact of the modern world. Is it right? Of course not. But that's what we have to live with at the moment.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tiger Woods

    Posted by Owen on April 08, 1998 at 02:05:50

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Tiger Woods posted by Armando on April 07, 1998 at 20:45:25

    Armando, I think your points would be better served if you didn't confuse the situation with your own; the fact that you happen to be a black mechanical engineer has little to no relavance to this situation. I too happen to be a black male, but I think using this as a booster to my argument is both extraneuos and weak. After all, what does my skin color have to do with my opinions about Nike? That said, I thik your point about cheap minority labor is a good one. But I also think that there are working solutions. If you watched the program on ESPN, you would know that companies like New Balance and Converse have been feasible domestic alternatives.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tiger Woods

    Posted by Armando on April 08, 1998 at 09:11:28

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tiger Woods posted by Owen on April 08, 1998 at 02:05:50

    Again, I am not saying the situation in Asia is good. I, like everybody else, would love a solution to this problem. However, blaming an athlete for some billion-dollar corporation's greed is ridiculous. The most you can blame the athlete for is indifference. Aren't we all playing the capitalistic game. How many garments of clothing do you have in your closet that are made in the U.S.A.? If you have a piece of clothing made in a third-world country I guarantee you the situation is not good. My main point is NOT that the situation is bad. More power to you for trying to make the world a better place. However, do not take the easy route and blame MJ because it's easier to do than actually doing some research. Blame the company that's actually doing the injustice, not some minority that is benefitting from it. Finally, you say that I shouldn't bring race to the table. I am the last person to complain about race and don't even want to bring the topic up. I do have one question to ask you. Don't you find it strange that at a time when coporations are exploiting Asians, we instead attack the minority celebrity? That's the kind of society we live in. If the engine's broke, change the tires. If the team isn't playing well, get a new coach. We are placing blame where it does not belong. PERIOD!!! What you should be questioning are the motives behind so many people's misguided anger. Try and answer that question and you'll understand why I'm so upset about this 'public outcry'.


    Why do we blame Michael, not Nike CEO?

    Posted by David Grigsby on April 08, 1998 at 10:04:03

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tiger Woods posted by Armando on April 08, 1998 at 09:11:28

    Excellent questions, many answers. 1. Michael is about 100 times as famous as the Nike CEO (Phil Knight?) 2. For better or worse, we don't expect much from a Fortune 500 CEO, not in the way of morality and ethics, anyway. Athletes aren't entertainers, they are heroes, and we expect more from heroes than from corporate execs. BTW, if you don't think athletes are heroes, please compare the public perception toward a rock star caught with drugs to the public perception toward an athlete. Do we use the stories of actors, or of athletes, to teach our children the value of teamwork, or of hard work? 3. Michael has other things he can endorse. Nike just makes shoes. Yes, it could do it with more regard for human rights, but it still has to make shoes. 4. Michael is trading on his blackness. Nike wants him b/c white suburban teens are attracted to anything that even hints at rebellion. This makes Michael hypocreitical and/or cynical.


    Re: Why do we blame Michael, not Nike CEO?

    Posted by Armando on April 08, 1998 at 10:23:08

    In reply to Why do we blame Michael, not Nike CEO? posted by David Grigsby on April 08, 1998 at 10:04:03

    I agree on your first point: Michael is the most famous athlete in the world. If he wanted to use his clout to fight the system, he could. However, he doesn't want to fight the system. Now, the question remains. Should we fight the system, or fight those who don't want to fight the system? Now you may say, "Michael could fight the system better than any of us could because of his position." You would be right. Again, it's too bad that he and others like him don't want to. However, I repeat, he is not the CAUSE of what is going on. Don't blame him because he looks the other way. Now you may say, "Well he doesnt' just look the other way. He's benefiting from all of this". I ask you this. How many of us our making a dollar or using a product on somebody else's misfortune? Answer that question while you drive your car and watch your TV. Now I'm not saying that our capitalistic society is great (which by the way IS the root of the problem, not MJ). What I am simply saying is redirect your efforts. You said that we hold athletes in higher regard than corporate CEO's and unfortunately we do. Why do we hold these individuals, who are probably least equipped to handle such situations, in such high regard? Okay, so we do. I won't even go into that. It still doesn't explain the fact that we are attacking the wrong people. If a robber steals a lady's chain, don't kill the man who could of ran after him. Go after the robber. Let me say this for the record. Something should be done about this terrible situation. Blasting Tiger Woods and MJ is not the right solution. It's merely the easy one!


    Re: Re: Tiger Woods

    Posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 17:19:49

    In reply to Re: Tiger Woods posted by Xavier on April 07, 1998 at 17:10:04

    During a tournament last year in Thailand (Tiger's mom is Thai not Malaysian) Tiger's father, Earl visited Nike factories in that country. Earl was impressed and commented he does not know what all the controversy is about. Because of Earl's findings Tiger is satisfied. That was Thailand and not Vietnam, I am not trying to deflect the controversy on this discussion, just setting the record straight.


    Re: Re: Re: Tiger Woods

    Posted by Sunil on April 08, 1998 at 00:59:49

    In reply to Re: Re: Tiger Woods posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 17:19:49

    I don't think anyone's blaming Tiger Woods. They're just listing the multitude of reasons why he ought to speak out, and it's one hell of a long list. Mr. Colpa, while you're quick to tell everyone they need to be educated, and while you've educated all of us quite well on the statistics revolving around minorities in the mechanical engineering field (a respectable field indeed, but not the one we're here to discuss), you seem to have missed a pretty obvious point about Tiger Woods and his status as a minority: It has made him the celebrity he is today. Tiger Woods shouldn't embrace this issue because he IS part Asian...but because he wants everyone to know it. He has gained millions of dollars and a great image by telling the world all about his ethnically-mixed heritage, and as long as he's out to change the world as he says, he might as well do something to show us all why he deserves to gain off that image. Tiger's first Nike commercial flashed his many golf accolades across the screen -- three amateur championships, course record at Augusta, etc. -- and ended it with "yet there are still courses in America where I cannot play just because of the color of my skin". However, he wasn't so camera-happy when he was found playing a leisurely round of golf last summer at a club that doesn't allow female members (and oh by the way, Nike rather conspicuously stopped running the commercial after that little embarrassment). I wouldn't mind watching Tiger just play golf. Nor would I mind watching him play golf and change the world. What I do mind is watching him play golf and talk about changing the world.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Tiger Woods

    Posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 14:17:44

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Tiger Woods posted by Sunil on April 08, 1998 at 00:59:49

    You've embodied why I can't stand the guy. He tries to please everyone with his politically correct image. his problem is he keeps getting caught being a regular person. Lose the facade Tiger. Oh yeah, regarding Nike, it has nothing to do him or Michael. If my boss goes out and is being a prick, do I have to go and stand up for those people? Is it my responsibility?


    Factory war tops off already growing problem

    Posted by Matthew Despres on April 07, 1998 at 16:37:31

    I had worked at a popular sporting goods store for about two years, and was becoming increasingly disturbed at the demand and price of all Nike products. There is nothing wrong with having a successful business and doing well, but forcing consumers to fork out so much money while paying employees overseas virtually nothing is a pathetic and low act. Not only are wages poor, but health conditions are well below what should be provided. Take back some of Mike's and Tiger's money,(Like that would ever really happen) and compensate the people who make it possible for Air Jordan to lace up a new pair every night. Anyone that is endorsed by the company should consider what has gone on and seriously re-evaluate their position with the company. I personally know many people who have already said they will no longer buy a Nike product. Get this message to spread and eventually Phil Knight and his merry men will be forced to sit up and listen.


    Re: Factory war tops off already growing problem

    Posted by Ferris B. on April 07, 1998 at 16:56:46

    In reply to Factory war tops off already growing problem posted by Matthew Despres on April 07, 1998 at 16:37:31

    I agree with you and I understand all the other arguments about the 'real' problem. There are many arguments that can explain away an ethical dilemma for Nike. However, in MY gut I know it is wrong. Therefore, I can no longer buy Nike products. However, I must respond to the endorsement issue. This may be splitting hairs, but . . . : Nike does not endorse athletes, athletes endorse Nike. "Wear Nike, I do." Once they sign the endorsement contract they become a member of the Nike family. We do not know whether Tiger or MJ knew about the working conditions of Nike's labor force prior to signing, but what we do know is that they must take the bad with the good. The money is stained regardless. We should not expect them to strike out against Nike, they are legally bound not to, nor should we expect them to defer a percentage of their check, that would be Historical.


    SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by RODNEY KIM on April 07, 1998 at 16:04:43

    The whole situation with these companies taking advantage of the people of these third world countries is embarrasing! The whole purpose for this is money. Make more money. The consideration of the human beings seems to be a commodity nowadays. Have the owners of these companies forgotten what it's like to be poor? If you're a multi-billion dollar company, making billions a year, you can share that with these less than priviledged people. If they were to attempt to apply the same standards in the US, the people would spank them fast. The issue is always with the people. You cannot treat these people like lab animals. They are human beings and deserve the same treatment that we have here in America. You don't go to another country and lower your standards because they don't know any better and you do. It says alot about the character of these companies owners. Ultimatley, the criticism falls on the owners and their lack of character to take care of the peoples health and working conditions. The people need to be aware of these situations and need to speak out against situations like this. Our country was founded on this prinicple. Money has made these companies, along with the Government, forget to see that people are far more important than a profit margin. These two entities are made up of people as greedy as the next person. Some people can deal with money honestly and others worship the paper it's printed on. These are the people we're dealing with here, money hungry pigs who have no consideration for human welfare. After all these CEO's and Presidents or whoever else dies, the money's not going with them. But there will be someone to take their place and unless we start taking a hard stand against this now the future is gonna have the same results. It's very sad that we didn't learn from the past as we continue to treat people with less dignity and respect than they deserve. We want it ourselves but go to other countries and abuse it at the same time. There definitely is no shame or remorse on our behalf. It's embarrassing to be called an American when our own fellow Americans are being this kind of example to the rest of the world.


    Re: SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 00:49:14

    In reply to SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! posted by RODNEY KIM on April 07, 1998 at 16:04:43

    And just how much of your righteous American paycheck do you stick in a envelope and send to the poor Asians for better wages and education?


    Re: SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by Todd Hilkemann on April 07, 1998 at 17:11:50

    In reply to SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! posted by RODNEY KIM on April 07, 1998 at 16:04:43

    The fact of the matter is that money runs our country. That is unfortunate but true. What is a true travisty is that athletes, Universities, and other organizations that already are swimming in money accept payola from huge shoe companies to advertize so they can make even more money. Not only that but some of the target audiences for these companies are the poor urban inner-city youth who can least afford to purchase these shoes and clothing. These people are the ones who are at fault. NO one, NOT MICHAEL, NOT TIGER, NOT UNC, need to be earning multi-million dollars while others are making pennies. It is not as if you have to use this strategy to make money. Many companies make money but cut costs by not getting athletes to endorse them. I am all for increasing the pay of the workers overseas, and in this country and cutting back the endorsements these athletes get. When will this country value education and children over making a buck?


    Re: Re: SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by Armando on April 07, 1998 at 19:51:16

    In reply to Re: SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! posted by Todd Hilkemann on April 07, 1998 at 17:11:50

    I have no problem with you saying that the Asian situation should be improved. The problem I have is your belief that Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods or any other public figure is the root of the problem. How about the damn shoe manufacturers!!?? How about our capatilistic society? This is the problem. At the very least, go one level deeper and find out the names of every Nike and Reebok manager and CEO and write the a letter complaining about the situation in Asia. The problem I have is that guys like you attack Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods simply because you're too damn lazy to do some research and find out the true cause of a problem that will NEVER go away! "I guess it makes sense to attack Mike. After all, if he used his clout he could make a difference." Maybe he could. As a matter of fact I'm sure he could. The best we could say is that it's unfortunate that he doesn't have political aspirations. The fact of the matter is, he doesn't. Do you think when he was perfecting his jumper he was also learning how to master politics? The bottom line is that the root of this problem is something that can't be attacked. Why is that? Because the root of the problem, again, is our capitalistic society, NOT some athlete. I also have a problem with guys who are jealous of athletes making money. You say that nobody should be making the kind of money that athletes do. Do you think Jerry Reinsdorf is losing money on Michael Jordan? Before Jordan became a member of the Bulls, the attendance at Chicago Stadium was about 6,000 per game. Since he became a member, they've sold out every game since (if I'm not mistaken). TV revenues have increased proportionately. I don't have to justify why MJ or Tiger is worth what they're worth. Obviously, the billionare owners are only looking at the bottom line. From that regard, athletes such as MJ are damn well worth their money. Now you say that they don't NEED to make that much money. That's a horse of a different color. Now you're attacking capitalism. Sure, everybody can do just find and the world would probably be a better place if everyone make $25,000 a year. Doesn't that go against capitalism? What's even funnier is that you decide to attack Capitalism as soon as a minority figure is benefiting from it.


    Re: SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 16:46:59

    In reply to SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! posted by RODNEY KIM on April 07, 1998 at 16:04:43

    Amen! The fact that we have a free market does not give us the right to treat people like lab animals.


    Labor Practices In Asia--An Honest Perspective

    Posted by Todd on April 07, 1998 at 16:00:42

    The only thing sadder than the sneaker companies' labor practices is the excuses people use to appease them. I hear people say that what happens in Asia is none of our business; that we have no right to tell other countries how to run their economies and besides, these people need the jobs! This is extremely misleading. For one thing, the U.S. government tells countries how to run their economies all the time. A few years ago, the U.S. imposed trade sanctions against Thailand because they wouldn't allow us to sell cigarrettes there. Eventually, the Thai government buckled under the pressure. We CAN use pressure successfully and for a much better cause (human dignity). As for the second excuse, the issue of jobs. These workers aren't asking for much. A pay increase (maybe $1 an hour), the right to organize unions, freedom from physical and sexual exploitation, and improved worker safety. They're not asking for a six-week paid vacation and a free dental plan! I'm sure Nike can find it in its budget to address these concerns. Maybe they can reduce their outrageous athlete endorsement deals. Does Tiger Woods really need $40 million? Or perhaps we need the people to take action into our own hands.


    Shut Up

    Posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 16:01:27

    Nike is a bunch of capitalist, imperialist swine, all living off the blood of the workers. The proletariate will rise up and destroy them and Michael Jordan.


    Re: Shut Up

    Posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 16:03:52

    In reply to Shut Up posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 16:01:27

    Spoken like a true communist, May 1st is just around the corner. Get in line and march with your tanks!


    Re: Re: Shut Up

    Posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 08:37:35

    In reply to Re: Shut Up posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 16:03:52

    Yeah, you can celebrate all the successful communist economies in the world! Like... oh yeah, and... and also...


    Re: Re: Re: Shut Up

    Posted by Anand on April 08, 1998 at 10:11:25

    In reply to Re: Re: Shut Up posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 08:37:35

    Hold on a minute pal. There are no successful communist economies because they never truly existed. Communism in it's pure form is yet to be introduced. Russian communism was a dictatorship(as you know). Every honest attempt at communism in Asia, Africa and Latin America were crushed by American backed troops,........ hmm........I think Vietnam was one of them????? Anyway, there are a host of reasons why communist economy "failed", but before you wrap yourself around the capitalist manifesto, realize that this system is due to implode, based on the top heaviness of its largesse and ignorance of Americans like you.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Shut Up

    Posted by JP on April 09, 1998 at 03:08:52

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Shut Up posted by Anand on April 08, 1998 at 10:11:25

    Actually, I'm English, although I've lived in America long enough to pick up the speech and language. I lived in England when everything was socialized, and frankly, it was horrible. Now, conditions are better for everyone because the economy is doing better. As for there never being communism, there CANNOT EVER be communism. Communism's basic tenent of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" goes against basic human nature. Sorry, maybe if another species evolves and takes our place Communism might happen, but not as long as homo sapiens dominates this planet.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Shut Up

    Posted by I-C on April 10, 1998 at 01:27:22

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Shut Up posted by JP on April 09, 1998 at 03:08:52

    you are right. a basic part of human nature seems to be greed and lust for power. until these two instincts are somehow overcome, there will always be repression, war, etc.


    Lee Fentress misses the point.

    Posted by Chris Metzler on April 07, 1998 at 15:52:33

    Today on ESPNet, sports agent Lee Fentress argues that athletes have no "special duty" to lead on the issue of abuse of labor to make products they endorse. He suggests that there are many people in this country who profit in many ways from the business practices of companies like Nike; yet athletes who endorse the products are criticized for failing to respond to this issue, while others (e.g. universities, TV networks, etc.) are not. In saying this, he misses the point by suggesting that we only care about athletes' opinions on the topic, and not about other people's as well. Speaking only for myself, I care about everyone's stance here. I *do* consider universities and TV networks who perpetuate this situation to be pond scum. I *would* call people who don't care about such abuse of labor, and who continue to shovel money into Nike's coffers, morally bankrupt, whether they're an athlete or not. In this sense, I would say that athletes get NO SPECIAL TREATMENT -- I'm not going to withold my criticism because they're athletes. Instead, I'm going to criticize them the same way I would criticize anyone who is so unbelievably selfish.


    Re: Lee Fentress misses the point.

    Posted by Chris on April 08, 1998 at 23:40:46

    In reply to Lee Fentress misses the point. posted by Chris Metzler on April 07, 1998 at 15:52:33

    While I indeed agree that Fentress has missed the point when he states that athletes need not take a stand on this issue, I believe the point he in fact misses is this: By stating that this issue is better left to government officials and world leaders, Fentress has, de facto, relegated the athlete to the position of 'no-nothing'. Now while I'd be unlikely to take a course in world econ. or poli. sci. from either Mr. Jordan or Mr. Woods, their opinions on this topic, and hence their potential influence, are as valid, and, I daresay, more likely to produce a result, as any other person's. At the root, this is an issue that will ultimately have to be dealt with by the respective governments involved; it's unlikely Nike can truly alter age-old labor practices by itself. However, while no moral imperative exists that can compel athletes to raise their voices on this issue, one would hope that mere humanity - and a desire to perhaps prove to Fentress they are not simply 'dumb jocks'- would.


    Re: Lee Fentress misses the point.

    Posted by Armando on April 07, 1998 at 20:23:26

    In reply to Lee Fentress misses the point. posted by Chris Metzler on April 07, 1998 at 15:52:33

    I'm very angry that we refuse to put the blame where it belongs, the SHOE MANUFACTURERS!!! However, before I attack your stance, I would like to hear your opinions as to what athletes can and should do.


    Let the qualified speak

    Posted by Joe Schlesinger on April 07, 1998 at 15:33:44

    Just because an athlete is a highly paid endorsment property, does not mean he is obligated to speak out. In fact unless he is clued in to what is really going on with the manufacturing of his shoes, his creadibility is minimal. Not many paid endorsers carry the weight that makes us take action based on their stand. Hakeem Olajuan, endorseds Spalding basketball shoes. He felt the price was too high, so Spalding now sells high end basketball shoes in the medium price range. How many people do you see wearing Hakeem's Spalding shoes? Not many. What effect did his gesture have on the price of basketball shoes? None. If Michael Jordan stood up against Nike, would we stop buying Nike shoes? It will take more than a statement by one of our hero's to change our buying habits because a vast majority of consumers buy what they want regardless of who is affected by their purchase. Also, how educted in world issues is the target market for Nike shoes? For example, do high school kids know what a third world country is? Do inner city kids know where Thailand is? The responsibility for this issue rests in the hands of the shoe manufactuers. They are the ones who know the conditions under which their shoes are being manufactured. They are the ones who can change the way their shoes are manufactured. The consumers can have an impact, but they need to truly understand the problem before they will start acting with their wallet.


    Re: Let the qualified speak

    Posted by Armando on April 07, 1998 at 20:37:42

    In reply to Let the qualified speak posted by Joe Schlesinger on April 07, 1998 at 15:33:44

    Well said! We are blaming athletes for the actions of others. Of course MJ and Tiger could make a difference by turning down shoe contracts. The bottom line is that the problem does not reside with them. Why should we expect them to be the solution? Why should we expect them to put pressure on sneaker manufacturers when WE should be putting pressure on them? Believe me, Michael Jordan will NOT affect any sensible person's buying decisions!


    Re: Re: Let the qualified speak

    Posted by Chris on April 09, 1998 at 00:01:51

    In reply to Re: Let the qualified speak posted by Armando on April 07, 1998 at 20:37:42

    'Sensible' is not the word that immediately comes to mind when I think of the buying public. It's probably true that some would not be influenced by Jordan or Woods speaking out, but take away the aura of cool that surrounds these shoes - and a direct denouncement by a shoe peddling hero would do that faster than a Titleist leaving Tiger's 1 wood - and a lot of the so called sensible buying public, ( Those whose purchases are based on the prestige of the product: the same inner city kids so blithely shunted aside by Mr. Schlessinger(sp?)), would likely switch to whatever shoe their heroes said was ok to buy. Let the athlete speak out. Beg 'em to! It can't hurt.


    Re: Let the qualified speak

    Posted by Mike on April 07, 1998 at 16:13:47

    In reply to Let the qualified speak posted by Joe Schlesinger on April 07, 1998 at 15:33:44

    Joe, Based on this story, they now know.


    My 2 cents....

    Posted by Donald Hills on April 07, 1998 at 15:40:46

    In reading the two articles in the beginning of this forum, I have to agree with Fentress' position that the atheletes don't really have the power to improve working conditions in the Third World countries. And to be truthful I don't think we want them to try (unless this is something that they want to do on an individual basis). I think the responsibility for this type of effect needs to come from the Colleges and Universities (remember the divestment movements?), the NBA, MLB, NFL, the consumers (you and me). Those are the people that make the deals. This is where the big money is made for these manufacturers and if we all start to question and demand change, then change will come. Now, I don't think we can expect to see the people in these Third World countries begin to look like the people we see going to work in the factories here in the USA....there are different rules at play here. But I strongly believe that the working conditions must be improved to the standards of those here in the USA.....no matter what the laws and rules of the country. I also think someone should publish a listing of the different manufacturers that are actually doing things right. If you give consumers an option, maybe we can move in those directions.


    I dont care!

    Posted by Troy Goulding on April 07, 1998 at 15:36:04

    I dont really give a crap where my shoes, shirts, pants, etc... are made. Who are we to get holier than thou and try to tell other countries how to oversee their work force. If they have different rules and regulations SO WHAT its not our place to say. If large companies want to do business there let them, I dont care. If your disgusted with the treatment of workers, dont buy their products, its as simple as that. What if these companies werent there to employ these people? They would be begging on the streets and have no shelter at all. At least they get paid, and yes it may be minimal but its more than if Nike, Reebok, etc... werent there. In conclusion, I DONT CARE AND GIVE IT A REST.


    Re: I dont care!

    Posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 16:17:09

    In reply to I dont care! posted by Troy Goulding on April 07, 1998 at 15:36:04

    Amen to that my fellow ignorant, self interested, capitalist trained brother! Who CARES about human suffering?!? I was born on THIS side of the ocean, not THAT side so why should I give half a fuck? Anyways I'm too busy masterbating to Cindy Crawford and the NEW Ford Mustang and seeing Species II for the 8th time. I'm a happy, bought and sold westerner.


    Re: Re: I dont care!

    Posted by JP on April 08, 1998 at 08:40:22

    In reply to Re: I dont care! posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 16:17:09

    Dude, Species II is out already? Cool, I can throw out my pix of Cindy and drive the Mustang over. Cuz, of course, none of us evil capitalists are hard workers trying to succeed in life or anything. We're all greedy pigs sucking life out of the proletariet. I find it interesting that socialists and marxists in the US have now found it necessary to go abroad to find their "proletariet." Perhaps this is because capitalism is so successful in the US that anybody who wants to work hard for a living can earn a decent wage?


    Re: Re: Re: I dont care!

    Posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 17:57:02

    In reply to Re: Re: I dont care! posted by JP on April 08, 1998 at 08:40:22

    Self-interested is different from greedy, especially when it's socially conditioned (or would you argue it comes from being born on US soil?). you said: "I find it interesting that socialists and marxists in the US have now found it necessary to go abroad to find their "proletariet." Perhaps this is because capitalism is so successful in the US that anybody who wants to work hard for a living can earn a decent wage? " you can only possibly believe this if: 1. you live in a very small town and refuse to believe news from them "big cities". 2. you live in the cities but walk around with your eyes closed all the time (very dangerous) 3. have some irrational fear of "Reds" that makes you believe anyone who disagrees with capitialism/ is homeless/is hungry/ or unemployed must be a "Communist". 4. or all of the above. a Newt-loving McCarthyist.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: I dont care!

    Posted by JP on April 09, 1998 at 03:13:57

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: I dont care! posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 17:57:02

    Actually, I'm somebody who moved here when I was younger, and went out and (heaven forbid) got a job. Has the government helped me? Sure. Student loans are great. The services are good. But that's my tax dollars paying for it. About the only thing that can keep you from getting a good job (at a REASONABLE, not necessarliy what you EXPECT, but a REASONABLE salary) is lack of education, and anybody who wants to work hard in school can get an education. If you don't work hard in school, you've brought the pox down upon yourself.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I dont care!

    Posted by Anonymous on April 10, 1998 at 14:55:59

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: I dont care! posted by JP on April 09, 1998 at 03:13:57

    What you're saying is: If we jump through the right hoops, high enough and whenever whoever is in power over us asks, then we can survive. Isn't Democracy great?!? If we rent ourselves out, take out students loans to learn the best way to "most effectively" rent ourselves out then we get even bigger crumbs! Joy. And if people don't want to do this? They have the right to starve! They don't deserve MY tax dollars! The beauty of the capitalist democracy is that it's much more effective and doesn't need the state to suppress real freedom or conflicting/decenting voices, it just makes people do it to each other.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I dont care!

    Posted by Oh on April 10, 1998 at 01:30:51

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: I dont care! posted by JP on April 09, 1998 at 03:13:57

    but what is an education? is it learning the white man's history? is it being forced into a mold where everything is alike? is it being punished for being different? is it being plopped into society and worked until death? is it being force fed a religion that controls instead of loves? your "intelligence" is not your own. Read 1984.


    Re: I dont care!

    Posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 15:59:44

    In reply to I dont care! posted by Troy Goulding on April 07, 1998 at 15:36:04

    I hear that, Amen brother.


    Nike - Other reasons to not buy

    Posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 14:54:13

    I am not impacted by alleged abuse of workers abroad. I am less inclined to buy the sneakers simply because I refuse to pay $125 for what costs $5 to make to subsidize contracts of arrogant, irresponsible, and even criminal behavior of the professional athlete of the 1990's. New Balance is my shoe of choice. At least you know the shoes weren't worn by a star as he is busted with coke and hookers at the Holiday Inn or as he throws a bar patron through a window.


    "Boot camp" shoe factories

    Posted by thuyen nguyen on April 07, 1998 at 13:20:11

    There is a good article by a shoe manufacturing researcher from Australian National University, Anita Chan. Ms. Chan's article described a "boot camp" management technique used in many shoe manufacturing facilities in Asia. It was published by the Washington Post in Oct 96. You can find her article on http://www.saigon.com/nike . This "boot camp" management technique was put in place in China and Indonesia shoe factories to control workers who came from rural areas to work in a modern factory. With such a management practice, factory workers are treated as if they are joining "boot camps". The goal is to have total control over the workers lives -- making sure that they are are dedicated to one purpose which is to make shoes. Those workers who are not conforming to such a mind set is forced to suffer through the use of corporal punishment: standing outside in the sun for hours (sun-drying), kneeling on the floor with hands up in the air, sit-up, push-ups, squash-thrusts, cleaning the toilet, lock inside a cage etc. In China where the factories are located in export processing zone (a large area where one has to present passport to enter), where all workers sleep in the factory dormitories, eat at the factory cafeterias, seeing such cruelty would make anyone comply to the factory rules very quickly. The goal of such discipline measures or corporal punishment is to instill fear in these young women making sure that they work very hard, to endure hardships and sufferings without any complain. If you have conversations with these workers, they used miliary terms to describe themselves calling each other "soldier", "squadron leaders". When Nike factories transplant its factories to Vietnam, such boot camp techniques did not bode well with the Vietnamese. Having fought several wars for its independence, such treatment of Vietnamese women were not well received there. Also export processing zones in Vietnam are located right in populated areas, Nike factories do not have dormitories and therefore Vietnamese Nike factory workers are not isolated from the community at large. Therefore, accounts of abuse from these factories get out to the Vietnamese press. Nike factories has received a lot of criticism from the VNese govt, from its newspapers and the general public. This is one the reason why we have so many reports about Nike factories in Vietnam than Nike factories in China or Indonesia where the govts looked the other way. Regards, Thuyen Nguyen Vietnam Labor Watch http://www.saigon.com/nike


    Re: "Boot camp" shoe factories

    Posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 16:12:51

    In reply to "Boot camp" shoe factories posted by thuyen nguyen on April 07, 1998 at 13:20:11

    http://www.teleport.com/~scheller/china/ Happy looking boot camp. http://nikebiz.com/social/labor/ The other side of the story.


    Re: Re: "Boot camp" shoe factories

    Posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 18:53:59

    In reply to Re: "Boot camp" shoe factories posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 16:12:51

    You prefer to buy into propaganda perpetrated by Nike while ignoring independently confirmed reports of the abuses? I wonder what sort of stake you have in Nike.


    Re: "Boot camp" shoe factories

    Posted by thuyen nguyen on April 07, 1998 at 17:46:20

    In reply to Re: "Boot camp" shoe factories posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 16:12:51

    The following is a few excerpts from Anita Chan's long article on shoe factories in China in the Washington Post, Nov. 3, 1996. Boot Camp at the Shoe Factory Where Taiwanese Bosses Drill Chinese Workers to Make Sneakers for American Joggers By Anita Chan Sunday, November 3 1996; Page C01 The Washington Post DONGGUAN CITY, China -- If you doubt that many Asians think business is a lot like war, consider a gigantic shoe factory in one of south China's busiest industrial zones. Here, where athletic shoes for Americans are assembled by young Chinese peasant women supervised by Taiwanese bosses, the myth of the Confucian ideal of worker-management harmony has been overtaken by a model straight out of the military textbooks. One evening this summer, I watched as two platoons of workers were marching in a flood-lit courtyard and shouting in unison, "Be respectful toward my work! Be loyal! Be creative! Be of service!" Behind them forklifts were weaving back and forth between buildings, as production continued round the clock. ... One evening I stood outside the gates of a newly opened factory in Dongguan. Any new factory holds out the possibility of higher pay and better conditions, so at 6 p.m., a few dozen young migrant workers, all of them speaking in the accents of poorer regions of China, waited eagerly at the factory gate for security guards to let them in to take the recruitment test. There is the normal check on IDs, education certificates and statements from their hometown government attesting they are unmarried. What is new at this particular factory is that the female applicants are ordered to stand at attention as if they are applying to join the army, are told to run a mile and then to do as many push-ups as they can within a minute. The young women emerging from the gate are suspicious. The more experienced workers know that screening for strength and stamina and military-style obedience portends nights of enforced overtime in a shoe industry already notorious for its long work hours. They'd better stick to the jobs they've got, several told me. Leave this new factory to the green migrant workers. ... ... Yu Yuan is run in a decidedly military style. New recruits are given three days of "training." The first day, according to one of them, is largely spent marching around the compound, barked at by a drill sergeant. At 6:30 p.m., commands could clearly be heard in the background: "Left! Right! Left! Right! About turn! March! \. \. \. " Three formations, each of about 40 workers, were still being drilled, while thousands of other workers scurried back and forth between factory buildings and mess halls to take their meals in shifts. "The factory management is precise down to the minute," explained a worker who was taking a rest after dinner. "You see those workers waiting outside the gate to go up to the third floor for their dinner? The gate opens at 5:30 sharp. The workers file up the stairs on one side, while those who have finished their dinner descend on the other. When they get to the canteen, they sit eight to a table and wait. Only when the bell rings can they begin to eat. We have 10 to 15 minutes to finish the meal, then we file downstairs again." The factory compound is perched along a river where the company has built a pleasant promenade flanked by green lawns and dotted with flower beds. It is an unusually quiet and serene spot in a city that resembles a gigantic construction site. But each of the evenings I was there only a few workers were taking advantage of it. They are too busy, I was told. ... The amount of enforced overtime is in violation of China's labor laws, which stipulate a maximum of 36 hours of overtime work each month. Yet, all things considered, conditions at this city-sized factory are above average for the district. The meals are subsidized, and there is medical care and relatively low-density housing of 10 to a room. Nevertheless, the factory's turn-over rate is a high 7 percent a month, according to one manager I spoke with. Other factories in Dongguan that offer poorer conditions resort to increasingly extreme measures to keep workers from quitting. In violation of China's labor laws, many of them demand a "deposit" of a few hundred yuan (from two weeks' to a month's wages) to ensure workers cannot leave before their contract expires. They also lock up the migrant workers' ID cards, without which they cannot job-hop or even remain in the city. Anyone found without the right papers can be rounded up by the police and sent back to the countryside. ... The worst factories in south China do not even allow workers to leave the factory compound after work. In extreme cases the isolation and iron discipline are prison-like. The official press has reported cases of unpaid workers enslaved in heavily guarded compounds who have staged escapes. In the worst example that has come to light in this region, a Taiwan-managed joint-venture factory employs more than a hundred guards for 2,700 workers, one of whom recently died in an escape attempt. Some of the Korean-run factories in north China, which is where almost all of Korea's investments are concentrated, are even harsher and more unscrupulous in their treatment of workers. During many months of interviewing in China about factory conditions, officials and business people repeatedly confided to me about Korean employers who resort to beatings, tight military control and public humiliation to cow workers. In one case a woman worker was locked inside a dog cage with a large dog and placed on public display in the factory compound. So bad are the conditions that, according to a Chinese newspaper, nine out of 10 of the spontaneous strikes that broke out in the large northern city of Tianjin in 1993 occurred in Korean-managed enterprises. ... Anita Chan, a sociologist at the Australian National University, has published four books on China. For the past several years she has been conducting research for a book on Chinese labor issues.


    Re: Re: "Boot camp" shoe factories

    Posted by Rod N. on April 07, 1998 at 18:10:21

    In reply to Re: "Boot camp" shoe factories posted by thuyen nguyen on April 07, 1998 at 17:46:20

    I have visited China both in the South and the North. The country is communist and very militaristic in it's governmental approach. This is not an excuse for treating workers poorly. A couple of points in Ms Chen article worth noting that are pasted below. It does appear that the factory conditions are better than the "norm" for China. There is always room for further improvements. From the article; "The factory compound is perched along a river where the company has built a pleasant promenade flanked by green lawns and dotted with flower beds. It is an unusually quiet and serene spot in a city that resembles a gigantic construction site. But each of the evenings I was there only a few workers were taking advantage of it. They are too busy, I was told." "Yet, all things considered, conditions at this city-sized factory are above average for the district. The meals are subsidized, and there is medical care and relatively low-density housing of 10 to a room."


    Re: "Boot camp" shoe factories

    Posted by thuyen nguyen on April 07, 1998 at 17:46:20

    In reply to Re: "Boot camp" shoe factories posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 16:12:51

    The following is a few excerpts from Anita Chan's long article on shoe factories in China in the Washington Post, Nov. 3, 1996. Boot Camp at the Shoe Factory Where Taiwanese Bosses Drill Chinese Workers to Make Sneakers for American Joggers By Anita Chan Sunday, November 3 1996; Page C01 The Washington Post DONGGUAN CITY, China -- If you doubt that many Asians think business is a lot like war, consider a gigantic shoe factory in one of south China's busiest industrial zones. Here, where athletic shoes for Americans are assembled by young Chinese peasant women supervised by Taiwanese bosses, the myth of the Confucian ideal of worker-management harmony has been overtaken by a model straight out of the military textbooks. One evening this summer, I watched as two platoons of workers were marching in a flood-lit courtyard and shouting in unison, "Be respectful toward my work! Be loyal! Be creative! Be of service!" Behind them forklifts were weaving back and forth between buildings, as production continued round the clock. ... One evening I stood outside the gates of a newly opened factory in Dongguan. Any new factory holds out the possibility of higher pay and better conditions, so at 6 p.m., a few dozen young migrant workers, all of them speaking in the accents of poorer regions of China, waited eagerly at the factory gate for security guards to let them in to take the recruitment test. There is the normal check on IDs, education certificates and statements from their hometown government attesting they are unmarried. What is new at this particular factory is that the female applicants are ordered to stand at attention as if they are applying to join the army, are told to run a mile and then to do as many push-ups as they can within a minute. The young women emerging from the gate are suspicious. The more experienced workers know that screening for strength and stamina and military-style obedience portends nights of enforced overtime in a shoe industry already notorious for its long work hours. They'd better stick to the jobs they've got, several told me. Leave this new factory to the green migrant workers. ... ... Yu Yuan is run in a decidedly military style. New recruits are given three days of "training." The first day, according to one of them, is largely spent marching around the compound, barked at by a drill sergeant. At 6:30 p.m., commands could clearly be heard in the background: "Left! Right! Left! Right! About turn! March! \. \. \. " Three formations, each of about 40 workers, were still being drilled, while thousands of other workers scurried back and forth between factory buildings and mess halls to take their meals in shifts. "The factory management is precise down to the minute," explained a worker who was taking a rest after dinner. "You see those workers waiting outside the gate to go up to the third floor for their dinner? The gate opens at 5:30 sharp. The workers file up the stairs on one side, while those who have finished their dinner descend on the other. When they get to the canteen, they sit eight to a table and wait. Only when the bell rings can they begin to eat. We have 10 to 15 minutes to finish the meal, then we file downstairs again." The factory compound is perched along a river where the company has built a pleasant promenade flanked by green lawns and dotted with flower beds. It is an unusually quiet and serene spot in a city that resembles a gigantic construction site. But each of the evenings I was there only a few workers were taking advantage of it. They are too busy, I was told. ... The amount of enforced overtime is in violation of China's labor laws, which stipulate a maximum of 36 hours of overtime work each month. Yet, all things considered, conditions at this city-sized factory are above average for the district. The meals are subsidized, and there is medical care and relatively low-density housing of 10 to a room. Nevertheless, the factory's turn-over rate is a high 7 percent a month, according to one manager I spoke with. Other factories in Dongguan that offer poorer conditions resort to increasingly extreme measures to keep workers from quitting. In violation of China's labor laws, many of them demand a "deposit" of a few hundred yuan (from two weeks' to a month's wages) to ensure workers cannot leave before their contract expires. They also lock up the migrant workers' ID cards, without which they cannot job-hop or even remain in the city. Anyone found without the right papers can be rounded up by the police and sent back to the countryside. ... The worst factories in south China do not even allow workers to leave the factory compound after work. In extreme cases the isolation and iron discipline are prison-like. The official press has reported cases of unpaid workers enslaved in heavily guarded compounds who have staged escapes. In the worst example that has come to light in this region, a Taiwan-managed joint-venture factory employs more than a hundred guards for 2,700 workers, one of whom recently died in an escape attempt. Some of the Korean-run factories in north China, which is where almost all of Korea's investments are concentrated, are even harsher and more unscrupulous in their treatment of workers. During many months of interviewing in China about factory conditions, officials and business people repeatedly confided to me about Korean employers who resort to beatings, tight military control and public humiliation to cow workers. In one case a woman worker was locked inside a dog cage with a large dog and placed on public display in the factory compound. So bad are the conditions that, according to a Chinese newspaper, nine out of 10 of the spontaneous strikes that broke out in the large northern city of Tianjin in 1993 occurred in Korean-managed enterprises. ... Anita Chan, a sociologist at the Australian National University, has published four books on China. For the past several years she has been conducting research for a book on Chinese labor issues.


    Other cost of cheap labor - poor quality products

    Posted by Dave Parvin on April 07, 1998 at 12:33:36

    There's a corollary issue involved with cheap labor, which is the risk of poorer quality merchandise. I'm surprised no one's raised it. This is an old argument, and I grant it's not always true depending on the industry. I can think of a great example of another Oregon company that's successfully using Eastern European labor and talent to make electron microscopes. Between the strong dollar and paying roughly US $20K per worker as opposed to $60K per worker domestically, gross margins in this division are roughly 40% higher than the rest of the biz. (For socially responsible types, believe me, US$20K is a hell of a living wage there.) However, the garment industry is where this risk really shows up. For instance, there's a feeling in the men's betterwear community that no suit that retails above $300 will ever be made except in the United States or Europe. Why? A suit assembled in the Third World will start losing thread at the seams and fall apart after about a year of use. While you'd think this was good for American workers, it wasn't. The men's garment industry has spent the better part of a decade getting its costs under control. As a result, the majority of menswear manufacturers went belly up. Because of the bankruptcy of many of its members, a heck of a lot of jobs have been lost. They didn't flee overseas -- they're simply gone as there are less menswear manufacturing jobs due to fewer employers. How does this relate to shoes? I'm in the gym almost every day and have four pairs of workout shoes allowing me to use a different pair on alternate days for different workouts. Even given this gentle treatment, I've found Nikes tend to fall apart very quickly -- as have many of the other hardcore members of my gym. All four pairs are New Balance -- not because they're made in America, but because they last twice to three times as long as Nikes or Reeboks. I didn't realize they were American made before today's article, but I suspect it might have something to do with their higher quality. By and large, in other industries people make retail buy/sell decisions on either price or quality. Thanks to particularly good marketing, athletic shoes don't fit into these parameters. If they did, the debate about third world workers and socially responsible treatment probably wouldn't be ongoing.


    Re: Other cost of cheap labor - poor quality products

    Posted by Sam on April 08, 1998 at 19:41:17

    In reply to Other cost of cheap labor - poor quality products posted by Dave Parvin on April 07, 1998 at 12:33:36

    MUST BE A UNION MEMBER. THIS IS PROPOGANDA WHICH FAILS TO COINCIDE WITH REALITY!


    Re: Other cost of cheap labor - poor quality products

    Posted by Colby Weikel on April 07, 1998 at 13:14:39

    In reply to Other cost of cheap labor - poor quality products posted by Dave Parvin on April 07, 1998 at 12:33:36

    I visited the Converse factory in Lumberton and they had some interesting information regarding defects and second quality shoes. Their plant runs at between 6-8% second quality, where the typical Asian plant is under 3%. Now the plants in Asia don't care about selling second quality shoes in outlet stores so they rarely complete shoes that a defect is found on. They just scap it and save the labor time. Converse also said that people tell them that Chuck Taylors commonly will "last forever" and that people try and wear them out, but have a difficult time doing so. They stil use heavier rubber than lots of other companies. If you need a change from the New Balance try these old school shoes.


    Re: Re: Other cost of cheap labor - poor quality products

    Posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 19:32:52

    In reply to Re: Other cost of cheap labor - poor quality products posted by Colby Weikel on April 07, 1998 at 13:14:39

    I agrre taht Nike's have lower quality standards tahn most other basketball shoes I ve tried. back in High School where i was a great bench warmer I had a pair of Nike flights. These were my game shoes, I had another pair for practice and pickup games. After 2 games, for me that meant the 10 minutes before the game and 5 during the half and maybe 10 minutes during the game if I was lucky, the soles came partially off the shoes. This happened to two of my teamates with the same shoe. I try to stay away from Nike's now but its difficult since the selection of shoes available from names i trust like asics and new balance is pretty niserable in high tops. I think Nike is the exception with quality which is due to its greater concern with fashion than performance.


    Yet another school to join the Nike empire?

    Posted by Matt Krautheim on April 07, 1998 at 12:32:01

    Rumor has it that Purdue University may jump on the Nike bandwagon soon because of Champion's failure to promote or distribute Purdue gear outside of the very small market of northern Indiana. The university's current contract with Nike is for athletic dept. shoes only. Nike has proven it can distribute nationally, and the name recognition would only help the school. Champion has proven that it will only promote Notre Dame, of all of its under-contract schools, on a widespread basis. But here there is a movement brewing among concerned students who do not want to become a "Nike University" for commercial reasons as well as labor rights reasons. Also, the prospect of people wearing the school logos with no connection to the university whatsoever frightens some here, as this is one of the few large schools in the country where if you see someone abroad wearing "Purdue" on their clothing, it is near-certain that they have a connection to the university. This is the least of what would be sacrificed to get more income from athletic merchandise sales. There are many here who think that there is a "moral cost" to compromising someone's labor rights. Stay tuned.


    Re: Yet another school to join the Nike empire?

    Posted by Jon Palmer on April 08, 1998 at 09:02:33

    In reply to Yet another school to join the Nike empire? posted by Matt Krautheim on April 07, 1998 at 12:32:01

    Ah, become a Nike U. What the heck, we are and nobody's died because of it. If it's good enough for JoPa, it's good enough for me. In the grand scale of things, how important is the sneaker company that endorses the athletic teams of a place you'll spend a whole 4 years of your life?


    The Capitalist Juggernaut

    Posted by Anand Raghunath on April 07, 1998 at 09:07:17

    I've read a lot of interesting messages on this forum. The topic is quite explosive and so far the messages have been mixed in terms of pro-con Nike practices. While it is virtous to act out against Nike's practices, this forum also brings into light the most common methods of business carried on by all our beloved TNC's. Every successful domestic and international business venture in America carries on exploitative practices in terms of labor and pricing. These practices go on with the blessings of the US government, who has no intention of lambsting Nike or anyone else since they have more influence(in dollars) then anyone of us can hope to have. Any ideas on our percieved national well being is due to these unscrupulous turn of events. In an economic perspective Nike is in the right, they have no responsibility to improve Vietnam's sorry state of affairs. They are in business and the survival motive of business is carried out through increased profits. I would caution fellow message post-ers from turning a blind eye to the abominable working conditions of US garment and factory workers. Just because most of the people on this website can get a car of clothes doesn't mean the totality of Americans can. Wages in the US are stagnant, more people are applying for unemployment, yet the economy is doing "better". North Carolina students need only to look in their own backyard to discover the ridiculous practice of "right to work" legislation that only back-handidly serves the same purpose as what is overtly done in Vietnam. The destruction of unionized labor is an epidemic that will manifest it's effects in places a lot closer than south asia, one of our more exploited foriegn countries is Mexico via the NAFTA fiasco. Basically, it is great that you people get so worked up over Nike, they are shady and deserve criticism. It would be more constructive to analyze the surroundings closer to you and attack the problem at home. The problem isn't vietnamese, or Nike's, it is america's and only we can fix it through campaigning and legislating for the end of government subsidized business environments( for example, we still have a large military persence in Vietnam, think this factors in VN government decision making on corporate taxation, currency taxes, etc being levied on Nike?). For the UNC students I would implore them to think of these facts the next time they go off campus in their fancy clothes and nice cars and drive by one of the poorest neighborhoods in their surroundings i.e, Durham(I know, my brother goes to Duke). Boycott Nike, but challenge your government to break thier ties to business and start acting for the people, then you'll see real change.


    Re: The Capitalist Juggernaut

    Posted by Colby Weikel on April 07, 1998 at 13:23:04

    In reply to The Capitalist Juggernaut posted by Anand Raghunath on April 07, 1998 at 09:07:17

    If you think Durham is poor, I suggest visits to Thomasville, Biscoe, Siler City, Whiteville, rural poor places are nothing like Durham, and this is where cheap labor in textiles and furniture has been for decades. These people need jobs just like people in Vietnam. Economic growth under our capitalist system has allowed for dramatic growth from NC's rural economy of the 1930s. Research tenant farming and depression era conditions before you go back to Durham or Biscoe if you can find it. These low paying jobs help build society and capitalism allows one to move up the economic ladder. We in NC are better for industrial- hard, sweaty, dirty, sometimes even unsafe jobs without union mandates. Our unemployment rate in NC is very low and not on the rise, Lots of low paying jobs can't keep help because there are so many opportunities here right now. We don't need unions or to throw out capitalism. If people in NC want unions they can and there are some, but we southerners as a rule like freedom and unions infringe on ours. Good luck on starting a motion to overturn the MNC's and capitalism, we shouldn't deal with such managable issues like Nike poses to us.


    The Juggernaut Continues

    Posted by Anand Raghunath on April 08, 1998 at 09:43:09

    In reply to Re: The Capitalist Juggernaut posted by Colby Weikel on April 07, 1998 at 13:23:04

    I'm glad to hear that you are so happy that there is an overabundance of low-paying jobs for fellow North Carolinians. This makes me feel a whole lot better about the state of our nation. You need to get you head out of a-- and realize that real change will never come about as long as people spout unfounded capitalist propoganda as the next thing since sliced bread(which 40% of kids in NYC don't get every night) Vietnam is a result of our insane militaralistic market economics. Giving American companies the blessing to leave the US and exploit labor elsehwhere only leads to the de-unionization of labor at home. Unions protect jobs and workers, they fight exploitation of management. I admit that some leaders were quite shady, but the American worker would be abused ten-fold if not for their existence. A basic understanding of how our economy and politics work would help you get past the blinding lies of agricultural studies on Durham, NC and get you to the heart of the matter, which is NC has one of the larger bases of rural poor, which cheap jobs don't seem to remedy all to quickly.


    Re: Re: The Capitalist Juggernaut

    Posted by RODNEY KIM on April 07, 1998 at 15:03:18

    In reply to Re: The Capitalist Juggernaut posted by Colby Weikel on April 07, 1998 at 13:23:04

    I would have to agree to say that we must look at the overall picture and not be so quick to condemn Nike and Reebok so quickly. I was born is Saigon,Vietnam and I love my culture and people. I had the fortunes of my father being an American and being able to grow up in the States. I believe that there definitely needs to be more improvements on the factory conditions so that the workers don't have to worry about whether they can have children and live a healthy life the next 30-40yrs of however long they live. Money has alot to do with this issue. We live in a country they bombs its people with the idea that if you want to have the finer things in life then you need to make as much money as possible to achieve this. We get so caught up in the results and how to get it. We fail to see how many people will suffer for someone elses gain. I would suggest that we attack the issue of how the people are treated and how to improve their working conditions as well as their wages. I think that the people in these third world countries should definitely be paid more and treated as humans not animals in a lab experiment.

    Attachment: rodneyk@pacbus.com


    US Companies are good employers in Vietnam - Nike is the exception

    Posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 07, 1998 at 08:52:52

    When we started this process of investigating Nike, we were assuming that all US companies were doing the same thing in Vietnam. And we found that Nike was the exception and not the rule. Most US companies treat Vietnamese workers very well and the Vietnamese sought hard to work for US companies. US companies has a great reputation in Vietnam. The Vietnam General Confederation of Labor told us that US companies overall are probably the best employers in Vietnam: good salary, living wage for entry level jobs, great benefits etc. The labor officials are so confused as to Nike's behavior in Vietnam because it is a US company. Nike factories are probably the worst factories in all foreign enterprises in Vietnam in terms of labor practices. Nike factories has such bad reputation that there's a new Vietnamese verb -- to "Nike" -- to hit on the head out of anger. Nike is one of a few exceptions, a few bad apples among many good US companies. Nike factories are the lowest paid factories of all foreign enterprises in Vietnam. Pepsi paid bottle washers $80 per month, Nike factories paid a sewer $45 a month and then subjected her to various abuses and wage cheating schemes. It is then very reasonable that Americans tell Nike to clean up its acts in Vietnam. This company is giving American companies a bad reputation. Regards, Thuyen Nguyen http://www.saigon.com/nike


    Re: US Companies are good employers in Vietnam - Nike is the exception

    Posted by Jon Palmer on April 08, 1998 at 08:28:15

    In reply to US Companies are good employers in Vietnam - Nike is the exception posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 07, 1998 at 08:52:52

    Um... i've never thought of the Vietnamese as a STUPID people... if these other American businesses are great places to work, and Nike sucks, then why in the world does anybody work for Nike?


    Re: US Companies are good employers in Vietnam - Nike is the exception

    Posted by Colby Weikel on April 07, 1998 at 13:05:19

    In reply to US Companies are good employers in Vietnam - Nike is the exception posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 07, 1998 at 08:52:52

    I'd say the only bad name Nike is giving would be their own. If the new verb was to" America" or "Corporate" someone, then I might believe Nike affected other US firms' reputation in Vietnam. I think the labor people of Vietnam should not be surprised by Nike-- its not entirely them. If Nike owned their plants and managed them, then that would be really surprising. No one will say Nike could not exert more pressure on their subcontractors, but that is where the management problems are. Not in Nike. Nike is allowing themselves to be hurt by not taking a more positive stance with their subcontractors, but thats their decision. I don't think Vietnam will turn away US direct investment anytime soon, and I would bet they would welcome more Nike contracted factories.


    Re: US Companies are good employers in Vietnam - Nike is the exception

    Posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 10:55:47

    In reply to US Companies are good employers in Vietnam - Nike is the exception posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 07, 1998 at 08:52:52

    We have a new Vietnamese noun for making up Vietnamese verbs, it is called "Thuyen Nguyen". Nice try though.


    Vietnam

    Posted by Greg Hardy on April 07, 1998 at 02:10:06

    It amazes me that a handful of East Coast US residents think they can surmise the living conditions for workers in a developing country such as Vietnam. Sheltered in academia, it should seem apparent that years of living in Asia or Vietnam would qualify an individual to pass judgement on conditions for workers in this area. Don't let emotion get the best of you. Are any of the students or professors who traveled to Vietnam fluent in Vietnamese.


    Re: Vietnam

    Posted by Geoff on April 07, 1998 at 02:24:31

    In reply to Vietnam posted by Greg Hardy on April 07, 1998 at 02:10:06

    I'm sorry, I didn't realize you had to be from southeast Asia to qualify to judge on things like poor working conditions, sweat shop cruelties. You're right, we can all go home now and stop our altruistic concern. It's all relative in a postmodernist kind of way... After all, they aren't complaining(never mind who would they complain to??) so it's none of our concern??


    Re: Re: Vietnam

    Posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 10:41:47

    In reply to Re: Vietnam posted by Geoff on April 07, 1998 at 02:24:31

    You are right, you can't be an objective judge until you have been there and have something to compare it to outside of your surroundings here. If you believe only the media, or only Nike you are not being objective. Sensational journalism and corporate propaganda are the same, nothing like first hand experience to see how things really are.


    Re: Re: Re: Vietnam

    Posted by Geoff on April 07, 1998 at 10:59:58

    In reply to Re: Re: Vietnam posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 10:41:47

    Your right. Maybe I'm being too hard on the Nazis. I should go over to Europe and see first hand what happened there too before I form an opinion. Maybe the Nazis were just trying to help the Jews and Gypsies reach a higher plane. And maybe working in atrocious labor conditions is a figment of the imgination as well and unless I go to Vietnam I should withold judgment. Sweet Dreams are made of this, who am I to disagree...


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Vietnam

    Posted by Anonymous on April 10, 1998 at 19:19:06

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Vietnam posted by Geoff on April 07, 1998 at 10:59:58

    Hell, what are you talking about? The Holocaust never occurred!!! And I'm not the only person believing this either!


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Vietnam

    Posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 13:29:35

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Vietnam posted by Geoff on April 07, 1998 at 10:59:58

    This is absolutely pathetic.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Vietnam

    Posted by Geoff on April 08, 1998 at 20:27:18

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Vietnam posted by Anonymous on April 08, 1998 at 13:29:35

    Just taking the pathetic reasoning here and taking it to its natural conclusions...if the only people who are qualified to determine human rights abuses are the victims themselves, that the rest of the world has no right to judge, well, look what happens...


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Vietnam

    Posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 12:01:46

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Vietnam posted by Geoff on April 07, 1998 at 10:59:58

    Good song, poor taste in analogy.


    I've visited those factories

    Posted by Alberto Cailao on April 07, 1998 at 01:01:41

    When I was in Vietnam, my dad took me to the factories since he was dealing business with the company. To our surprise, we were not allowed to go insde the factories themselves...we were just allowed to walk around the complex. (I wonder why....) Email me if you have any qustions.


    Re: I've visited those factories

    Posted by SAM FULLERTON on April 08, 1998 at 21:07:23

    In reply to I've visited those factories posted by Alberto Cailao on April 07, 1998 at 01:01:41

    MUCH THE SAME ALL OVER THE WORLD. KELLOGGS RECENTLY TERMINATED FACTORY VISITS IN MICHIGAN. MANY AUTO ASSEMBLY FACILITIES ARE VERY SELECTIVE ABOUT OUTSIDE VISITORS; WHEN I WAS A PRODUCTION MANAGER FOR FRITO-LAY IN MEMPHIS, PLANT VISITS WERE NOT ALLOWED. TRY TO TAKE A PICTURE INSIDE VIRTUALLY ANY PRODUCTION FACILITY IN THE WORLD; IT SIMPLY ISN'T ALLOWED. DON'T ASSUME THAT THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG JUST BECAUSE THEY DON'T WANT TO SHARE THEIR PRODUCTION METHODS WITH PEOPLE THEY DON'T KNOW. THE REALITY IS THAT SUCH POLICIES ARE STANDARD ACROSS THE GLOBE.


    Re: I've visited those factories

    Posted by Mark on April 07, 1998 at 10:47:00

    In reply to I've visited those factories posted by Alberto Cailao on April 07, 1998 at 01:01:41

    I was with a group a grad students from BYU, we wanted to see a Nike factory in Guangzhou, China. We made prior arrangements with Nike and were allonwed to tour the facility and see anything we wanted. We had our own interpreter and could ask any questions we had away from factory (or Nike) management. Your problem may be that you just "showed up" and wanted a tour, you would not even be allowed that at most factories in the USA. What kind of business does your father have with the factory?


    Re: Re: I've visited those factories

    Posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 19:14:25

    In reply to Re: I've visited those factories posted by Mark on April 07, 1998 at 10:47:00

    Duuhhh is right! That's like police giving fair warning before busting a drug house (hey, it was clean! no kidding) These Nike endorsed, planned, executed tours of a specific factory at a planned specific time remind me (I'm not trying to draw any other connections or compare the level of brutality, just the production of so-called "evidence") the Nazi propaganda films they would put out for the world to "really see" just how health and happy people in the camps where. People who wanted to beleive everything was alright used them as evidence, people who knew otherwise had it horrifically demonstrated. It's a no win situtation. Look into other sources. There's lots and lots out there, unless you just really want to beleive Nike out of trust.


    Re: Re: Re: I've visited those factories

    Posted by Mark on April 09, 1998 at 15:31:16

    In reply to Re: Re: I've visited those factories posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 19:14:25

    No where in my previous posting did I mention what the conditions of the factory were in when we visited. You should READ the posting, then think, then respond. As Steve mentioned in his posting, do you really think Nike has a showcase facility just for tours? The factory employed 45,000 workers and was the size of a small town. There is no way you could clean-up this big of a place for the benefit of a few students. The factory produced Adidas, Asics, New Balance as well as Nikes.


    Re: Re: Re: I've visited those factories

    Posted by Steve on April 08, 1998 at 13:08:13

    In reply to Re: Re: I've visited those factories posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 19:14:25

    It sounds like some people are pretty gullible to me. To back up my fellow BYU compratriot who said he visited a Nike factory, I only have two question for "Anonymous": Do you think Nike keeps a separate "touring" factory in China just in case any Americans may want to visit it? Or do you think that when they hear of Americans coming to visit, they clean a "bad" factory up and make it look all nice doing the tour, only to trash it back up again when the Americans leave? I think we have too many conspiracy theorists out there, who are given only to their emotions. If "Anonymous" is right, then Nike would have to be spending more money on a "Good" factory or in cleaning up a "bad" factory than they save by paying people in Asia so low. Think about it. Use your head.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: I've visited those factories

    Posted by Anonymous on April 14, 1998 at 03:03:06

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: I've visited those factories posted by Steve on April 08, 1998 at 13:08:13

    Hey dumbass. I didn't say that Nike would clean up their factories in preparation for visitors. What I meant to convey was that the supervisors would clean up their act and be on their best behaviors. Damn morons


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I've visited those factories

    Posted by Anonymous on May 05, 1998 at 14:55:51

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: I've visited those factories posted by Anonymous on April 14, 1998 at 03:03:06

    Wrong again...but you are used to it by now.


    Re: Re: I've visited those factories

    Posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 18:50:20

    In reply to Re: I've visited those factories posted by Mark on April 07, 1998 at 10:47:00

    Uh, he didn't say he wanted a tour. He said that he wasn't even allowed to go inside. Sounds fishy to me. Duhhhh, I is graduate student.


    I've visited those factories

    Posted by Alberto Cailao on April 07, 1998 at 01:01:41

    When I was in Vietnam, my dad took me to the factories since he was dealing business with the company. To our surprise, we were not allowed to go insde the factories themselves...we were just allowed to walk around the complex. (I wonder why....) Email me if you have any qustions.


    Three profs, 18 students, a ton of posts and Todd Pugatch

    Posted by Drew on April 06, 1998 at 22:41:31

    There have been a multitude of posts on this subject. While I have not read all the posts, I have read quite a few and think (w/o getting into the technical business side of it all) that the ethical side come down onto two sides. It's wrong, what should I do and it's wrong, so what, what isn't, or who isn't doing wrong things, why point fingers? What do I think should be done? I'm glad you asked. Why wouldn't Nike, instead of saying that they're giving their employees nearly twice the per capita yearly salary, give their employees a fair price for the labor they do? Why push the burdens off onto subcontrators rather than face the problems/sanitation, discipline, etc. themselves? Often we look to the bottom line, are we making money? Our success is dictated by the amount of the dollar figure at the end of the fiscal year. What about intangibles? What about values put into people? What about people as a valuable asset? Why should the bottom line be the only line? I suppose there's the old adage, "money makes the world go round", my question would be, should it or need it? As per the ethics, I guess it would depend upon your moral foundation. Are you a deontologist, ethical egoist, utilitarian, etc.? These are the larger groups that fit smaller, more specific ethical philosophies into them. Depending on what you want to achieve, Nike's business practice may or may not be ethical. Something that I've seen in some of the posts calls for a worldwide minimum wage. Or something akin to workers of the world unite. The difficulty with this is why do that when we have a more immediate, reasonable alternative right here in affecting change in a company's business practices, stop buying the product. Write a letter, once funds begin to trickle to nothing, perhaps the bottom line and it's signifance to the company will urge them to different practices. In the meantime, we may find that we didn't actually like Nike that much anyway and then refuse to buy the shoes even after their practices change. Well I'm a law student, and like any good law student (no, I'm not necessarily calling myself a good student), I have no shortage of opinions about how the world can be ran better. I rarely need someone to ask my opinion, I give it freely. I have much more to say, but I'm sure that it would be repititive and not necessarily as eloquent as many of the other posts have been. The last thing, who is Todd Pugatch and why does he receive all that flak? Drew


    Re: Three profs, 18 students, a ton of posts and Todd Pugatch

    Posted by Me on April 06, 1998 at 23:18:59

    In reply to Three profs, 18 students, a ton of posts and Todd Pugatch posted by Drew on April 06, 1998 at 22:41:31

    As you mentioned it is unfortunate that business has come down to the bottom line, especially with public held companies. When you pass the bar make sure you represent the poor people for little or no fee. When you think about recuperating your tuition, all that you have invested both time and money to be what you are, just remember the bottom line is not about money. As for Todd Pugatch I have no idea who he is, but he takes his abuse like a man..ecxuse me, a person.


    Re: Re: Three profs, 18 students, a ton of posts and Todd Pugatch

    Posted by Drew on April 06, 1998 at 23:28:28

    In reply to Re: Three profs, 18 students, a ton of posts and Todd Pugatch posted by Me on April 06, 1998 at 23:18:59

    As per the bar passage and recovering my tuition, that's something that I'll worry about when I get there. I haven't gone into law to be rich or even slightly wealthy. I do want to affect change. My parents are no icons of wealth and status, they barely finished high school. I have roots, I have people that I've known who will never get anywhere and I do see it as my responsibility to do something for them. I have been given opportunities and talents by God and it is His interest that I work for. My labor here is not about accumulating wealth, but about being successful in investing in the lives of people. My bills will always be paid, somehow, from somewhere, so long as I'm diligent and not wasteful with what I'm entrusted with. Thank you for the reminder to watch out for those who are sometimes unable to battle the dragons, or watch our for themselves.


    Re: Re: Re: Three profs, 18 students, a ton of posts and Todd Pugatch

    Posted by Drew on April 06, 1998 at 23:36:51

    In reply to Re: Re: Three profs, 18 students, a ton of posts and Todd Pugatch posted by Drew on April 06, 1998 at 23:28:28

    out for themselves, not our, typo.


    Re: Three profs, 18 students, a ton of posts and Todd Pugatch

    Posted by Me on April 06, 1998 at 23:18:59

    In reply to Three profs, 18 students, a ton of posts and Todd Pugatch posted by Drew on April 06, 1998 at 22:41:31

    As you mentioned it is unfortunate that business has come down to the bottom line, especially with public held companies. When you pass the bar make sure you represent the poor people for little or no fee. When you think about recooperating your tuition, all that you have invested both time and money to be what you are, just remember the bottom line is not about money. As for Todd Pugatch I have no idea who he is, but he takes his abuse like a man..ecxuse me, a person.


    Mining for Gold

    Posted by Steve Mosher on April 06, 1998 at 22:30:07

    Nike's cultural message (see previous posting forget the economics) is inextricably wound up with its shoes. Looking at Nike's appropriation of political songs from various artists (specifically John Lennon and the use of Instant Karma as well as Revolution) and turning them into anthems for selling sneakers speaks volumes about their corporate arrogance. Nike has stated it was surprised to find out that the Instant Karma campaign resulted in many young people asking about the music and whether the artist has any other work out there. I hope some of these kids actually listened to the entire song so that they could see the audacity of the marketers. The Revolution campaign was offensive, the Mo colors, the mo better campaign immediately responding to the LA riots in 1992 was self serving, the Bo Knows campaign reeks of racism (Bo knows everything except, ice hockey, tennis, and Diddly? Gee what sports are the refuge of white people?) But the most offensive commercial of all (perhaps you didn't see it since it got pulled very quickly) was the one that debuted during the 1993 NCAA Men's title game. The commercial, shot in black and white and in slow motion, shows a night scene on a city basketball hoop where the race of all participants is either black or indistinguishable . . . all to the lyrics, "We are miners, hard rock miners, to the shaft house we will go, . . . til the shift boss comes to tell us . . . lay it all on the line for this mining for gold" Is Nike serious? To use a slave song (actually a song from the West Virginia coal miners union movement and the unedited lyrics speak of dying from miner's lung disease for the shift boss . . . but who cares if our houses are warm at night?) as the inspiration for black city kids playing baseball is so offensive that even the dullest person on the face of the planet gets it!!!!! Nike has yet to respond to my regular queries regarding how and why this commercial got made. But there it was on prime time NCAA Basketball television! (If you'd like to see this commercial and make up your own mind, tell me where to send it) Try looking seriously at the current "Fun Police" campaign and determinging if Nike actually cares about its own consumers. Phil Knight is proving P. T. Barnum right - "There is a sucker born every minute." And I would add Pogo's oft-repeated quote: "We have met the enemy and he is us."


    Re: Mining for Gold

    Posted by JP on April 08, 1998 at 08:48:21

    In reply to Mining for Gold posted by Steve Mosher on April 06, 1998 at 22:30:07

    Funny... I didn't find these commercials offensive, or degrading, or anything. I found them to be... commercials. Heaven forbid. Bo don't know hockey... at the time that commercial was filmed, a hockey player of Bo Jackson's size would have been rarer than one of his skin color. The NHL has several black stars (Grant Fuhr and Jarome Iginla coming to mind immediately) but only one I can think of that even rivals Bo in size (Eric Lindros). Tennis? Okay, you've got me on the white snob part there. Diddley? Um, in case you missed it, Bo Diddley is black. That was what we refer to as a 'joke.' As an aside, professor, are you still mourning for the loss of that forward thinking, progressive country, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics? As a history student myself who's studied what happens when Marxist regimes take over (such as the Ukranian Terror Famine, Mao's various agricultural reforms and Pol Pot's massacres) I'm not mourning in the least.


    Re: Re: Mining for Gold

    Posted by Steve Mosher on April 08, 1998 at 11:35:49

    In reply to Re: Mining for Gold posted by JP on April 08, 1998 at 08:48:21

    P.S. You make an inference about what I may be thinking about re the USSR and other totalitarian governments that is incorrect. I'd just like to see the movers and shkaers of the capitalist enterprise show a little social responsibility that is somehow connected to "feelings" rather than the bottom linee "$$$"


    Re: Re: Mining for Gold

    Posted by Steve Mosher on April 08, 1998 at 11:29:36

    In reply to Re: Mining for Gold posted by JP on April 08, 1998 at 08:48:21

    I guess you missed the "Mining for Gold" commercial. Here's something else you may have missed . . . several studies show that most children 10-12 actually believe that Jordan, Barkley, Agassi, et al pay Nike to be in the commercials! Most adults do understand the propagandistic nature of commercials . . . many children do not . . . I appreciate a good joke (re:Diddley) and Nike's advertisers make some wonderful ones . . . but to deny all they do is sell a product and not shape a culture is mypoic. Most recent Nike commercials don't even refer to the "product" they sell . . . because Knight has moved way beyond that I'm worried about children


    Re: Mining for Gold

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 22:52:53

    In reply to Mining for Gold posted by Steve Mosher on April 06, 1998 at 22:30:07

    Nikes advertising can be controversial, but their advertising firm that writes them (not Nike) wins awards each year. Nike is number one in the world and that did not come by chance.


    Re: Re: Mining for Gold

    Posted by A. Nguyen on April 07, 1998 at 18:17:17

    In reply to Re: Mining for Gold posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 22:52:53

    Nike's advertising firm may be writing all these commercials but it is always Nike's management that has to approve these commercials. Therefore, Nike is accountable for their advertising.


    Re: Re: Mining for Gold

    Posted by Steve Mosher on April 06, 1998 at 22:56:03

    In reply to Re: Mining for Gold posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 22:52:53

    I know they are number one . . . I know their ad agency is clever . . . I know they have multinational messages . . . as well as nationally specific ones . . . So what? They are still arrogant. . . self-serving . . . and in many instances careless with their throwing around symbols. Their Dream Team goes to Barcelona cartoon commercial ends with a giant Nike sneaker stomping on and obliterating a red rose . . . the symbol of the city of Barcelona is a red rose . . . Effective?, yes! Inventive, yes! Clever? Yes! Arrogant, most definitely!


    Re: Re: Re: Mining for Gold

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 23:06:02

    In reply to Re: Re: Mining for Gold posted by Steve Mosher on April 06, 1998 at 22:56:03

    I agree with you. Arrogance and victory in sports go together. The days of the gracious winner are long gone. Not saying that is right, just the way it is.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Mining for Gold

    Posted by Steve Mosher on April 06, 1998 at 23:09:49

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Mining for Gold posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 23:06:02

    If you want to talk about winning and sports. The research shows quite clearly that people (adults as well as children) rate winning as relatively unimportant in why they play. The most often cited reasons are having fun, getting better at something, meeting people with similar likes, exercise, etc. In fact, winning doesn't even make the top ten reasons until people are nearing the end of their athletic careers (for most of us high school) . . . Look at Nike's PLAY commercial running right now with the college kid trying to teach basketball skills. This volunteer coach couldn't coach his way out of a paper bag. The kids would eat him up in the classroom. Fortunately, it's only in the world of spectator sports that graciousness has left the building. . . Right now, I'd settle for civility . . .


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mining for Gold

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 23:27:39

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Mining for Gold posted by Steve Mosher on April 06, 1998 at 23:09:49

    I have been coaching little league baseball for many years. I tell my team that winning is not everything, that just getting out an playing your best is what it is all about, etc, etc. They understand that but deep down they want to win, and win every game.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mining for Gold

    Posted by Steve Mosher on April 07, 1998 at 11:24:24

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mining for Gold posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 23:27:39

    Part of my job at Ithaca College is to prepare students to become professional coaches . . . and in my class on youth sport in American culture, we explore the many reasons why kids play sports and what sport can (and cannot teach them). We focus most of the semester on Little League and the 10-15 age range (since this is the time when they leave childhood and enter young adulthood). I have also coached at this level in a variety of sports for 30 years. The research shows clearly that deep down 10-12 years olds will, when given the opportunity win as often and by as big a margin as possible - - - they can be quite cruel. It is when the adults running the show take a zero-sum game (for every winner their is a loser) and then attribute moral superioroty or deficiency to the children as a result of the W or L. Little League is an extremely complicated sub culture and the best book ever written on the subject is G. A. Fine's "With the Boys"(U of Chicago Press c. 1989). When left to their own devices, children will self-select teams that are balanced and guarantee victory and defeat as close to equal as possible. When the teams they make up are proven to be out of balance, they rectify the situation. It is only when they are taught that winning is better (morally) than losing that they get interested in it. It is also true that the greatest drop out of organized sports occurs at 11-13 just when kids are developing their own sense of autonomy and when the system requires they increase their compliance with it. Those kids who are best suited psychologically for competitive sport run into the autority of a coach who is sincere but usually an ignorant volunteer . . . and since they are the kid . . . they leave sport . . . usually for good. The research is overwhelming . . . kids do not play sports to win . . . but when told by authority figures (implicitly) that they should . . . they comply of give up. Here's what kids say when they lose - - the other team was better; the other team was luckier; it was a close, exciting game that could have gone either way, the umpires made bad calls - - Here's what their coaches say when they lose - - you didn't try hard enough. Kids aren't stupid . . . but how do you reply to a coach who says you didn't hustle? Any Little League coach who ever suggests to a kid they weren't trying hard . . . just doesn't get it. Kids are not adults - their version of trying hard is fluid and inconsistent and confused . . . but it is honest and authentic. The problem here lies with the grownups . . . sorry for going on . . . but I run my pre-season Little League clinic on sport and character development next week!


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mining for Gold

    Posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 13:06:45

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mining for Gold posted by Steve Mosher on April 07, 1998 at 11:24:24

    I could not agree with you more. The point I made earlier is kids like to win, you picked up on it and as you mentioned they can be really cruel victors. Coaches/parents can ruin a kids little league experience very quickly as you pointed out. Being on the receiving end of the "you didn't try hard enough" in my youth has made me a much more aware coach. Also I don't let my team use the "they are better than us" when we lose. They are not "better" they only won todayís game. As long as kids try and more importantly have a good time that's what it is all about. I have a parent meeting prior to the season about our teams rules. Rule number 1 in no belittling any player or umpire (I will take care of the umpire in a professional manor). As parents (fans) their job is to encourage all the players on both teams. Seems to work fairly well. I can honesty say I have had players from other teams tell me on the side they want to play for our team next year. That is the only reward I need. I started out as a less than willing "volunteer" but quickly became an eager supporter. Thanks for the tip on the book, I will try to find a copy of it.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mining for Gold

    Posted by Steve Mosher on April 07, 1998 at 14:49:02

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mining for Gold posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 13:06:45

    Excellent news. . . You seem to be doing all the right moves. Especially with the parents and telling the kids that the opponents are to be respected. Heck, most of them know each other and are friends anyway. I routinely have players from other teams practicing with mine . . . their managers hate it . . . but my response is how could you be opposed to a kid's enthusiasm for the game? One last bit of advice that you probably already know from experience. . . but most newer coaches don't . . . the post game talk/speech should be something like this "OK, that's was a pretty interesting experience, wasn't it? See you Thursday, practice is at 4:30 . . . Have fun in school and, remember, do your best." I try to wrap it up in 30 seconds or less. I've seen some coaches, win or lose, take ten or fifteen minutes . . . and then run the "punishment" drills! Have a good season! Steve


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mining for Gold

    Posted by Yang C. on April 07, 1998 at 15:13:39

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mining for Gold posted by Steve Mosher on April 07, 1998 at 14:49:02

    This was a very interesting thread to follow and very educational. There was one thing that came to my mind that I wanted to address and see if others have thoughts on. This is the sort of the "ultamite winner" worshipping, which is what I think Nike's ads are really about. Like Steve said, most amateur athelets play because they love the sport and the social aspects of playing. Yet Nike is always trying to recruit the winningest (Jordan) or showmen (hot-doggers etc) who love to be really good at something and brag about it. I think this shows that athlelets are not their target customers. It's the rest of the non or semi athletic people they are targeting. And here they are entering the realm of winners and losers in a broader sense. I think the connection is closer to business people and the ideology. In business, individuals stand-out, seem to do it all themselves. Talk to business people and they talk about suceeding in terms of winners and losers. It's a type of "social Darwinism", survival of the fittest, only now it's applied (absurdly I think) to managers, executives, accountants, bank managers etc. In business ideology this is naturalized, so everyone wants to be the winner instead of the "inevitable" loser. This means a whole host of personal and (very importantly) material representations, "dress for success" or "thinking like a winner". Positive-thinking books, BMWs, armani suits, $60 haircut, and when active, $200 Nike shoes, matching Nike outfit $300 (newest styles only of coarse). They feel like a winner because they buy/dress like one. Nike, for their part, presents athletes like another representation of this "social Darwinist" theory and the prevailing business ideology (now found in almost all sectors of life) picks up on it and identifies with it. This is, of coarse, a real stretch of Darwin's theory of survival which he never made a connection to humans other than as monkeys who did some things better than other money-type animals (we are all the same species). But in the present cases it's a very constructed (far from natural) arena to gage performance by. Basketball is a game built on a set of rules custructed by humans, as is business. What does it really mean that Jordan is incredible at basketball? What does it mean that Gretzky is incredible at hockey? Could either do half as well in each other's sport? Not very likely. They excel within a specific framework we've constructed (which is not to take anything drom them but to point out the limits of their "abilities"). This use of Darwin's theories to apply in human "social" areans is most notable in two historical circumstances. Early American settler period (the western settler, lawless towns etc.) which is the foundation of our present business ideology (the long history of the "self-made man" etc.). The second (this is going to get an emotional rise for sure, but I'm NOT insinuating a connection, just an interesting historical similarity) can be found in Nazi Germany, a horrific application of "social Darwinism". Their propaganda (the old word for advertising) often showed strong, muscular men and women of great height and stature. Sure, blonde, blue-eyed but that's not as important as the "ultimate human" the biggest winner of the human species. Again, I'm not making an overt connection. But I do think it's important to look at similarities and differences and the history of these things. I think there are some definate similarites in the busness ideology's take on Darwin and the Nazi one. Nazis were of coarse the ultimate capitalist, Hitler was a big fan of Ford and his assembly line production, his biggest supporters were the big business owners (this was true in every new fascist country at the time, Italy, Spain, etc.) every in Germany who financed his campain partly because they beleived that they were the product of this type of "social Darwinist" theory. We should all know our history, just so we can look at today with some perspective. Just some food for thought.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mining for Gold

    Posted by Steve Mosher on April 08, 1998 at 10:30:33

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mining for Gold posted by Yang C. on April 07, 1998 at 15:13:39

    My introduction to the internet and the "threads" it can produce has been a really great experience for me. C. Yang's comments, I think, show the links between youth culture, advetising, Nike, the global economy, etc. Just two weeks ago at NYU the history department offered a conference on black intellectuals' response to John Hoberman's controversial book "Darwin's Athletes." It is definitely a must read, in spite of the possible racist overtones. In a very real sense one of the most basic questions that should be adressed here is whether or not athletes should participate in their own exploitation. . . . of course, that would require a huge investment in educating a largely apathetic or resistent audience. College athletes are obviously underpaid considering the revenue they produce. But professional athletes also labor in an economic monopoly that abuses virtually everyone in the system except the owners and the media. How would taxpayers really vote on the next publicly financed stadium bill is proposed if they were to discover that not one publicly financed stadium built in the past 50 years has generated a profit for the city? Trickle down economics just doesn't work in this arena. The benefits, are largely hard to measure and psychological in nature - i.e. "I live in Charlotte, a major league city." As a sport studies scholar, I have long since chosen not to attend in person any "major league" sports events. I still satisfy my craving in the minor and local leagues. Let's keep this discussion going.


    Re: Re: Re: Mining for Gold

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 23:06:02

    In reply to Re: Re: Mining for Gold posted by Steve Mosher on April 06, 1998 at 22:56:03

    I agree with you. Arrogance and victory in sports go together. The days of the gracious winner are long gone.


    The bigger picture

    Posted by Playmaker on April 06, 1998 at 22:33:51

    Unfortunately, we cannot blame Nike and other sneaker companies for their exploitation of labor in other countries. The bottom line remains the same - businesses are run to maximize profits and that is how this bastion of capitalism is supposed to run. As long as people exist who are willing to work for wages lower than that of the American worker, companies will be forced to provide them with employment - if they don't, someone else will. We, as consumers, are certainly not willing to pick up the tab for paying higher wages and we cannot expect these sneaker companies to take the loss. I realize it would hardly be a loss to them, considering the immeasurable mark-up, but it really would constitute a foregone opportunity cost if they were to pay higher wages and not charge higher prices. Unfortunately, as long as people are willing to work under the current conditions, nothing will change. It will the unionization of the Vietnamese workforce for change to happen any time soon. Nevertheless, it is always important to point out unethical practices and bring them to light, because if we fail to do that, companies will certainly exploit workers far more than they do now, so I commend you all on your efforts down there in Chapel Hill. Go 'Heels!!


    Re: The bigger picture

    Posted by Frogstomper on April 07, 1998 at 16:23:34

    In reply to The bigger picture posted by Playmaker on April 06, 1998 at 22:33:51

    And let me tell you, any foregone opportunity cost on Nike's part would certainly break my heart! Are you picking up my sarcasm? What the previous post fails to take into account is that there is NO WAY that a pair of shoes which costs Nike something like three bucks to make should have to cost over ninety dollars resale here in the US. We've seen that the workers don't reap the benefits of this disparity, so where does it go? The board officers, the stockholders, Michael Jordan and his ilk. My point is that it is very possible for a company either to produce a quality shoe which retails at far less than most Nikes do these days OR to pay the people who make these shoes a civilized (but not necessarily a US-level) wage. It may be possible to do both. Or rather, it would be possible if not for the limitless greed of Nike, Reebok, et al.


    Re: The bigger picture

    Posted by rodney kim on April 07, 1998 at 15:35:31

    In reply to The bigger picture posted by Playmaker on April 06, 1998 at 22:33:51

    I believe that you are right on about looking at the overall picture of how these people are treated and being taking advantage of. In a poor country as this, the people are going to be willing to work for cheap because they have mouths to feed just like you and I. But, that doesn't justify the fact that these companies come in and take advantage of the poverty of the people. I think that you should attack the issue of how these people are being treated financially, physically and mentally. This goes for any country, third world or not. When there is people involved we need to look closely and carefully at the conduct of all parties before we draw any conclusions. We can't view these people from a financial report and expect them to not be a factor. The people in these situations need more consideration than money. Who do you think help these companies make the products to get the money? I think people have their priorities on backwards. People first, the money comes after yoy take care of the people. They are not expendible, they are humans. They want to have children and a life after work too.


    Re: The bigger picture

    Posted by Ted Everson on April 07, 1998 at 03:02:04

    In reply to The bigger picture posted by Playmaker on April 06, 1998 at 22:33:51

    Your "bigger picture" seems to be that Nike has no choice in its decisions to send production overseas because "businesses are run to maximize profits" - why is this the bigger picture? Do you examine or question the foundations or underlying assumptions of capitalism? No, you simply state the Supreme Law of Businesses, and then explain that this law must supercede human morality and dignity. Thanks for the insightful analysis.


    Re: The bigger picture

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 22:48:47

    In reply to The bigger picture posted by Playmaker on April 06, 1998 at 22:33:51

    Go Nike!


    NIke

    Posted by Terry Lambert on April 06, 1998 at 21:50:34

    I will certainly boycott Nike products, I might add I am a runner that uses two or more pair of shoes a year. I find it especially unconsionable that Nike will pay one athlete a fortune in endorsement money yet when the news comes out about their sweatshops all they do is damage control. Nike has lost a customer forever and I must also say that everone that I run with feels the same way. Nike used to be the shoe of choice for runners because of their hisstory, but now I would be ashamed to be seen in a pair of Nike shoes, and I would feel it my duty tp point out someone that I saw in a pair of Nike shoes how they were supporting a disgusting corporate policy.


    Re: NIke

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 22:41:55

    In reply to NIke posted by Terry Lambert on April 06, 1998 at 21:50:34

    What are you going to run in? New Balance makes 75% of their product in the same factories as Nike. Reebok, Adidas, Asics all in Asia. Going to be tough to find anything a serious runner would wear.


    Re: Re: NIke

    Posted by Nick on April 06, 1998 at 23:57:17

    In reply to Re: NIke posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 22:41:55

    Maybe Zola Budd had it right? Didn't she run barefoot? Am I showing my age...?


    Re: Re: Re: NIke

    Posted by Jon Palmer on April 08, 1998 at 09:23:57

    In reply to Re: Re: NIke posted by Nick on April 06, 1998 at 23:57:17

    (Flashback to Zola Budd tripping Mary Decker, Los Angeles, 1984) Man, that was freaky. Next thing you know, somebody will be citing Carl Lewis' 4 gold medals or something :-)


    sweatshops and sneakers

    Posted by Big Rob on April 06, 1998 at 20:25:49

    The shoe companies pay $22.50 for a pair of shoes that sell retail for $90. They go overseas to save money yet continue to raise prices in the U.S. I will NEVER pay $150 for a pair of sneakers. NEVER. That is entirely too much, I don't care what anyone says. If it means wearing a lesser name brand then so be it. Does Nike need to charge that much? No! They do it because "They can". As long as we go for it they'll continue to do it. of course we'll keep going for it because their ads are targeted towards kids who don't know better or don't care at their age. How do you spell hypocrisy? NIKE.


    Re: sweatshops and sneakers

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 22:37:58

    In reply to sweatshops and sneakers posted by Big Rob on April 06, 1998 at 20:25:49

    What about retailers. If Nike buys the shoes for $22.50 from the factory and sell wholesale for $45, the retailer charges $90.


    Re: Re: sweatshops and sneakers

    Posted by Mike on April 06, 1998 at 23:03:22

    In reply to Re: sweatshops and sneakers posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 22:37:58

    Both Nike and the retailers are all greedy bastards! I think I'll stick to my Bass loafers!!


    Re: Re: Re: sweatshops and sneakers

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 23:10:02

    In reply to Re: Re: sweatshops and sneakers posted by Mike on April 06, 1998 at 23:03:22

    Bass loafers are great, but Bass's mark-up is probably the same % as the athletic shoes. Problem with bass is the offer no support when running the baseline.


    Manufacturing Facilities

    Posted by Dennis Littrell on April 06, 1998 at 19:30:12

    How many manufacturing facilities does NIKE operate in the United States?


    Re: Manufacturing Facilities

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 19:48:19

    In reply to Manufacturing Facilities posted by Dennis Littrell on April 06, 1998 at 19:30:12

    For shoes alone they do not operate any. A large percentage of apparel is produced here. They also produce all the air bag units for footwear production in the US. Some equipment is made here. Hockey skates in Canada. They are a global company.


    The Bottom Line: Profit

    Posted by Jim on April 06, 1998 at 18:01:14

    As long as shareholders (you, retirement plans and me)invest in a company only for a profitable return and who wouldn't, then we are just as guitly as Nike and Reebok. Does some teacher in Calf. or anywhere, care that a contractor in a third world country is paying its employees below US wage standards or and I think this is the correct answer, are they concerned about there investments with the possibilty of retiring comfortably(forget about Social Security)or losing everything. Nobody invests in a company because they have a great human rights record. They buy into a company because they make money. Sure, Nike and Reebok's stock is probably taking a hit because of this series but, I can garantee you that a press release with negative financial results would effect the stock price more. UNC should be commended for the amount of money they receive from Nike. That money is being used, I hope for the general scholarship fund to recruit the brightest students who someday will develope the technology to manufactor shoes for example in the US. If you were a taxpayer in NC, would you want to pay higher taxes because your beloved Tar Heels didn't accept Nike's money or certain classes were dropped. I bet your science or medical school accepts money from companies with a shaded background. If I remember from my history classes, the US was in the same situation back in the early 1900's from a labor standpoint. Unions (which serve no purpose now, except to make US companies non-competative with their extortion tatics) and the federal goverment addressed the labor issues not Britian and France or whoever was the Super Power at the time. It should be the workers(people)of the respective countries, not the US who dictate there working conditions and wages. With information so readily available it will be only a matter of time. This is not like South Africa. In conclusion, if Nike or Reebok's stock starts falling and people start losing there investments then the "big boys" will get nervous. To do that, then stop buying there shoes and apparel.


    Re: The Bottom Line: Profit

    Posted by Geoff on April 07, 1998 at 02:35:03

    In reply to The Bottom Line: Profit posted by Jim on April 06, 1998 at 18:01:14

    A couple of historical corrections. One, the government in Britain did things to eliminate sweat shops before the US did, as evidenced by the fact that unions in Britain and Europe in general have had less government harrassment, intimidation and opposition. Two, unions do have a purpose today, as evidenced in the recent UPS strike, supported by the majority of the population. Unions are the only power ordinary working people have to fight against corporate unfairness in the working place and to ensure that the rights that people have in there are not taken away.


    Re: Re: The Bottom Line: Profit

    Posted by Jon Palmer on April 08, 1998 at 09:26:45

    In reply to Re: The Bottom Line: Profit posted by Geoff on April 07, 1998 at 02:35:03

    Funny, the only purpose I saw in the UPS strike was to annoy the hell out of me, the consumer, whose only method of getting a certain product was via UPS. And boy, I felt about as bad for those striking $21 an hour UPS drivers as I do when the baseball players went on strike.


    Re: The Bottom Line: Profit

    Posted by Dan F. on April 06, 1998 at 21:33:35

    In reply to The Bottom Line: Profit posted by Jim on April 06, 1998 at 18:01:14

    <> Well, at least you are admitting here that Nike is in fact guilty. I disagree that shareholders are as guilty. Aside from expecting high returns, most of us also expect them to do their business in a moral, humane fashion. That's why we complain when they do something wrong. Even most shareholders aren't THAT greedy. <> First of all, how many people's retirement are riding on Nike's success? I have this gut feeling that it's not too many. Second of all, contrary to popular opinion, Social Security (or some form of it) will be around in years to come. Third of all, having a good human rights record certainly can't hurt you when investors consider buying your stock. Plus here's a little thing we seem to be forgetting: considering human rights is just the right thing to do. <> Commended for taking the money? I'm sorry, but I value human rights more than money, research, technology and tax breaks. But maybe that's just me. Sure, my science or technology school may take "money from companies with a shaded background", but in either case IT'S STILL WRONG. <> This really has nothing to do with the discussion at hand. But Unions' purpose today is to ensure that the workers get a fair amount of the company's earnings. When a company makes a ton of money, everyone in the company should, not just the top dogs. I can't remember which nation addressed the labor situation first, but I don't see it's significance to this discussion. <> So it's NOT OK for the US to dictate the working conditions, but it is OK for Nike to dictate them? <> Well, I think the goal of many people on this list is to get people to stop buying their products.


    Re: Re: The Bottom Line: Profit

    Posted by rodney kim on April 07, 1998 at 15:25:36

    In reply to Re: The Bottom Line: Profit posted by Dan F. on April 06, 1998 at 21:33:35

    I would have to agree that money has alot to do with how these companies do business. Our society is brought up how one can have the finer things in life if you have alot of money. How do you achieve this? The same way these companies are. Is it right? I don't think so. Will it continue to happen? Yes. Why? Businessmen over the years have grown callous to something called a conscience and substituted that for money. They also shoved their morals out the door for money too. I agree with you that we must consider the people before the profit. Make the conditions safe and healthy for the people. Since these companies make billions of dollars every year, why don't you give some to the people helping you make it. Pay them more because the companies definitely make hundreds of times more in profit. They need to have some dignity and moral and treat these human beings with respect. When they die the money is not going with them. They need to get a conscience and look past money.


    What is Fairness??

    Posted by Matt on April 06, 1998 at 19:04:54

    Speaking from an economic and business perspective there is NOTHING wrong with what Nike is doing. The factory workers are being paid more than their next best alternative. The Austrian economist, Friedrich Hayek, would argue that the only just income distribution reflects a free market outcome. Ethics is a question that will be answered differently by different people.


    Re: What is Fairness??

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 22:52:29

    In reply to What is Fairness?? posted by Matt on April 06, 1998 at 19:04:54

    Let's just all jump on the cultural relativist bandwagon here. . . that way no one ever has to accept responsibility for anything . . . We'll just say it's different for us, we believe this, and when it's convenient we will believe that. Across all societies, cultures and time - there are universal truths. And fortunately, most of us know it when we have violated them.


    Re: What is Fairness??

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 22:18:01

    In reply to What is Fairness?? posted by Matt on April 06, 1998 at 19:04:54

    Speaking from a business standpoint, sure, Nike isn't doing anything wrong. Too bad God doesn't judge us based on our business decisions.


    Re: What is Fairness??

    Posted by Kenneth Phan on April 06, 1998 at 21:08:28

    In reply to What is Fairness?? posted by Matt on April 06, 1998 at 19:04:54

    I seen the majority of messages posted in here are wages related. There is other issue as well. For example physical, verbal and sexual abuse by NIKE sub-contractor. Regardless of one economic and ethical standpoint is, those abuses are clearly unethical. NIKE in their website clearly stated that they will discontinue their contract with any sub-contractor who physically, verbally, and sexually abuse the employees. The question is: Has NIKE done what they promise to do. If not, Why?


    Re: Re: What is Fairness??

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 22:58:21

    In reply to Re: What is Fairness?? posted by Kenneth Phan on April 06, 1998 at 21:08:28

    According to US & Vietnamese new reports Nike subcontractor supervisors have been fired, fined and in one case I know of jailed and deported. Looks like Nike is living up to its promise. With 500,000 factory workers and hundreds of subcontractors in many countries this process of "educating" the subcontractors will take some time.


    Re: Re: What is Fairness??

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 22:58:21

    In reply to Re: What is Fairness?? posted by Kenneth Phan on April 06, 1998 at 21:08:28

    According to US & Vietnamese new reports Nike subcontractor supervisors have been fired, fined and in one case I know of jailed and deported. Looks like Nike is living up to its promise. With 500,000 factory workers and hundreds of subcontractors is many countries this process of "educating" the subcontractors will take some time.


    labor wages

    Posted by Michael Redden on April 06, 1998 at 17:34:54

    As a person that has received two masters degrees in business and has worked in business for 5 years, I ceratinly understand the necesity for profits. However, every company has a moral obligation to uphold fair labor practices. For the workers, they have no choice but to take low wages and accept the conditions they are given, but that should not make them a target for exploitation. If Nike and Reebok cared about its workers, they should design policies for the shoe apparel industry and seek agreement with its competitors. Finally, just because electronics companies and other companies treat their laborors as if they are sub-human, that does not make it right or justifiable for an extremely successful company such as Nike and Reebok to stoop to such levels.


    Re: labor wages

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 18:34:18

    In reply to labor wages posted by Michael Redden on April 06, 1998 at 17:34:54

    http://nikebiz.com/social/labor/ Having two degrees and being in business you should appreciate the above sight. As for Nike, when they first established their code of conduct they did contact Reebok about a joint effort. Reebok wanted nothing to do with it. This all came out as public record when Nike joined the President Clinton's committee for eliminating sweatshop conditions in off-shore apparel factories. Nike is far from perfect but it appears they are doing something.


    How much do you get paid...

    Posted by Geoff on April 07, 1998 at 02:30:03

    In reply to Re: labor wages posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 18:34:18

    ...to be Nike's PR man at this sight?? All I ever see is you pumping out there statistics verabitm. I'm sure you are making more than all their factory workers in Vietnam and Indonesia combined.


    If we are blaming Nike?, why not complain about toys and other goods made in Asia

    Posted by Chris on April 06, 1998 at 17:18:57

    I think that everything that says: Made in Taiwan, China India has some sort of factory that has "exploided" workers inside. This facination of american corporations about coming out with a profit makes wages in different countries always seem less. Third-World countries get exploided in many different catagories of goods, so why do we make it such a big deal against the shoe that Micheal Jordan wears, when your kids favorite cartoon has action figues made by these same kind of factories


    Re: If we are blaming Nike?, why not complain about toys and other goods made in Asia

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 17:27:51

    In reply to If we are blaming Nike?, why not complain about toys and other goods made in Asia posted by Chris on April 06, 1998 at 17:18:57

    Right on, the problem is gigantic. All the large multi-national corporations need to be examined. Do you remember the suit brought against Toys R' Us last year. They were accused of strong-arming manufacturers into only selling them (Toys R' Us) the hot toys for the season. A bunch of the other toy retailers brought the suit. Who loses from this. The consumer loses becuase he has to buy the toy from Toys R' Us, they are the only ones who have them. And boy are they expensive, over-priced. I have been quoting Chomsky, here is another one: An interesting thing happened in Alabama involving Daimler-Benz, the big German auto manufacturer. Under Reagan, the US managed to drive labor costs way below the level of our competitors (except for Britain). That's produced consequences not only in Mexico and the US but all across the industrial world. For example, one of the effects of the so-called free trade agreement with Canada was to stimulate a big flow of jobs from Canada to the southeast US, because that's an essentially nonunion area. Wages are lower; you don't have to worry about benefits; workers can barely organize. So that's an attack against Canadian workers. Daimler-Benz, which is Germany's biggest conglomerate, was seeking essentially Third World conditions. They managed to get our southeastern states to compete against one another to see who could force the public to pay the largest bribe to bring them there. Alabama won. It offered hundreds of millions of dollars in tax benefits, practically gave Daimler-Benz the land on which to construct their plant, and agreed to build all sorts of infrastructure for them. Some people will benefit -- the small number who are employed at the plant, with some spillover to hamburger stands and so on, but primarily bankers, corporate lawyers, people involved in investment and financial services. They'll do very well, but the cost to most of the citizens of Alabama will be substantial. Even the Wall Street Journal, which is rarely critical of business, pointed out that this is very much like what happens when rich corporations go to Third World countries, and it questioned whether there were going to be overall benefits for the state of Alabama. Meanwhile Daimler-Benz can use this to drive down the lifestyle of German workers. German corporations have also set up factories in the Czech Republic, where they can get workers for about 10% the cost of German workers. The Czech Republic is right across the border; it's a Westernized society with high educational levels and nice white people with blue eyes. Since they don't believe in the free market any more than any other rich people do, they'll leave the Czech Republic to pay the social costs, pollution, debts and so on, while they pick up the profits. It's exactly the same with the plants GM is building in Poland, where it's insisting on 30% tariff protection. The free market is for the poor. We have a dual system -- protection for the rich and market discipline for everyone else. I was struck by an article in the New York Times whose headline was, "Nation considers means to dispose of its plutonium." So the nation has to figure out how to dispose of what was essentially created by private capital. That's the familiar idea that profits are privatized but costs are socialized. The costs are the nation's, the people's, but the profits weren't for the people, nor did they make the decision to produce plutonium in the first place, nor are they making the decisions about how to dispose of it, nor do they get to decide what ought to be a reasonable energy policy. One of the things I've learned from working with you is the importance of reading Business Week, Fortune and the Wall Street Journal. In the business section of the New York Times, I read a fascinating discussion by a bureaucrat from MITI [Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry] who trained at the Harvard Business School. One of his classes was studying a failed airline that went out of business. They were shown a taped interview with the company's president, who noted with pride that through the whole financial crisis and eventual bankruptcy of the airline, he'd never asked for government help. To the Japanese man's astonishment, the class erupted into applause. He commented, "There's a strong resistance to government intervention in America. I understand that. But I was shocked. There are many shareholders in companies. What happened to his employees, for example?" Then he reflects on what he views as America's blind devotion to a free-market ideology. He says, "It is something quite close to a religion. You cannot argue about it with most people. You believe it or you don't." It's interesting. It's interesting, in part, because of the Japanese man's failure to understand what actually happens in the US, which apparently was shared by the students in his business class. If it was Eastern Airlines they were talking about, Frank Lorenzo, the director, was trying to put it out of business. He made a personal profit out of that. He wanted to break the unions in order to support his other enterprises (which he ripped off profits from Eastern Airlines for). He wanted to leave the airline industry less unionized and more under corporate control, and to leave himself wealthier. All of that happened. So naturally he didn't call on government intervention to save him -- things were working the way he wanted. On the other hand, the idea that corporations don't ask for government help is a joke. They demand an extraordinary amount of government intervention. That's largely what the whole Pentagon system is about. Take the airline industry, which was created by government intervention. A large part of the reason for the huge growth in the Pentagon in the late 1940s was to salvage the collapsing aeronautical industry, which obviously couldn't survive in a civilian market. That's worked -- it's now the United States' leading export industry, and Boeing is the leading exporter. An interesting and important book on this by Frank Kofsky just came out. It describes the war scares that were manipulated in 1947 and 1948 to try to ram spending bills through Congress to save the aeronautical industry. (That wasn't the only purpose of these war scares, but it was a big factor.) Huge industries were spawned, and are maintained, by massive government intervention. Many corporations couldn't survive without it. (For some, it's not a huge part of their profits at the moment, but it's a cushion.) The public also provides the basic technology -- metallurgy, avionics or whatever -- via the public subsidy system. The same is true just across the board. You can hardly find a functioning sector of the US manufacturing or service economy which hasn't gotten that way and isn't sustained by government intervention. The Clinton administration has been pouring new funds into the National Bureau of Standards and Technology. It used to try to work on how long a foot is but it will now be more actively involved in serving the needs of private capital. Hundreds of corporations are beating on their doors asking for grants. The idea is to try to replace the somewhat declining Pentagon system. With the end of the Cold War, it's gotten harder to maintain the Pentagon system, but you've got to keep the subsidy going to big corporations. The public has to pay the research and development costs. The idea that a Japanese investigator could fail to see this is fairly remarkable. It's pretty well known in Japan.


    Re: If we are blaming Nike?, why not complain about toys and other goods made in Asia - Can you say ESPN

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 17:36:13

    In reply to If we are blaming Nike?, why not complain about toys and other goods made in Asia posted by Chris on April 06, 1998 at 17:18:57

    Are you aware that the corporate parent for ESPN has apparel made at thousands of factories around the globe. This includes"ESPN" logo apparel. If the problems ESPN reported finding from factories which have representatives from Nike & Reebok present on a daily basis, think of the hell holes that must make ESPN product? Hey ESPN how about opening the doors to these third world factories for us to take a look at. We would like to see how you treat your workers!


    Re: youda'man

    Posted by Swoosh on! on April 06, 1998 at 17:43:30

    In reply to Re: If we are blaming Nike?, why not complain about toys and other goods made in Asia - Can you say ESPN posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 17:36:13

    A lil' self analyzing please. Can you say hypocritical???? Where was the piece on the ESPN factories?


    Re: Re: youda'man

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 17:48:53

    In reply to Re: youda'man posted by Swoosh on! on April 06, 1998 at 17:43:30

    ESPN just happens to be another multi-national corporation whose parent company is I think DISNEY. That is another can of worms. Charging $30 to get into DIsneyland. Then buy some over-priced souvenirs you don't need. Then $6 for a shit hamburger. I won't get started all over again.


    Re: Re: youda'man - Third to bottom paragraph.

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 17:48:17

    In reply to Re: youda'man posted by Swoosh on! on April 06, 1998 at 17:43:30

    STATEMENT BY NIKE REGARDING ESPN's "Made In Vietnam: The American Sneaker Controversy" Nike's ardent supporters and vocal critics are both correct: we lead the athletic footwear industry, we care about our workers and are working hard to create safe working conditions. If problems arise, we simply fix them. We have made a lot of progress but we need to continue to improve daily. No abuse of any worker anywhere in our contract world is tolerable. None. Zero. When any such abuse occurs, we take action and expect our contract factory management to take action to punish the violator, make restitution to the victim, and to put in place training and other steps that help to prevent any further such behavior on the part of a manager. In the incident cited by ESPN, where a Vietnamese line supervisor acted in an inappropriate manner toward workers, we asked for assistance in identifying the supervisor involved. When no such assistance was forthcoming from ESPN, we asked the factory management to re-double its training on management, and to assure NIKE that any such behavior would be promptly dealt with. The identity of one supervisor was revealed in the broadcast. The contractor will be required to investigate and take appropriate corrective action. In a separate incident reported by ESPN that occurred at the Sam Yang facility, Nike acted swiftly and meted out an appropriate monetary fine and disciplinary action to the supervisor involved. That is the NIKE standard. However, the ESPN broadcast also raised two other fundamental issues that require more detailed explanation: wages and worker health and safety. Wages Wages may seem low by Western standards, but Vietnam is a country where the average person earns $240 per year. The salary of the average NIKE contract factory worker in Vietnam, $552, exceeds that level by a factor greater than two; exceeds the mandated government minimum wage; and far outstrips most other indices of what constitutes a good salary in Vietnam. That would include the average incomes of many other Vietnamese professions, such as teachers, soldiers and peace officers. A growing body of research on our worker wages from Dartmouth College, local in-country non- governmental organizations and our auditing firm Ernst & Young give us great confidence that the wages paid these workers are sufficient to provide income well beyond their basic needs. One such study indicated that workers are able to save varying percentages of their incomes and 54% of the workers owned TVs and VCRs. Environmental health and safety of the factories The broadcast also focused on the use of toluene as a potential health hazard and a contributor to poor air quality in our factories. Toluene -- when used in harmful concentrations and unchecked by ventilation and proper personal protection -- can be injurious to health. Indeed, toluene can be found in many household products, such as the spray paint used to touch up a rusty piece of garden furniture. At Nike, we are very concerned about worker exposure to toluene. During the past four years, NIKE contractors have been converting their assembly lines to safer non-toxic water- based adhesives. Like shifting from turpentine- based paints to water-colors, this changeover has had a tremendously positive impact on the indoor air quality in NIKE contract factories. Three out of four assembly lines in NIKE contract facilities now use this water-based adhesive. Our goal is to lead the industry by eliminating solvent-based adhesives and potentially harmful substances such as toluene, the current standard in all other buyers' contract footwear factories, by June 1999. At the one factory ESPN did visit, Tae Kwang Vina, NIKE also oversaw installation of new ventilation systems, and the training of managers. Though the factory is not perfect, the $500,000 it invested in these improvements, coupled with a greater awareness of the health issue, has definitely had a positive impact. A recent re-audit of that facility by Ernst & Young found marked improvements. Even ESPN's report acknowledged acceptable ventilation within the factory. In January 1998, NIKE's outside health expert met with Vietnamese testers to review their methodology. Clearly, Vietnamese testers have the health and safety of the worker in mind, as do we, they admittedly do not possess the equipment nor even the basic laboratories to be able to conduct precise industrial hygiene testing. In addition, it is time to put to rest the absolutely false claim that 18 months ago workers in the Tae Kwang Vina factory were exposed to levels as high as 177 times the Vietnamese standards for permissible exposure. This concept -- and that specific figure -- was identified over a year ago in an Ernst & Young audit. That audit cited a local Vietnamese government health survey that indicated levels of solvent fumes extremely harmful to health, and many times in excess of the Vietnamese standards. We knew these test results were inaccurate based upon earlier testing conducted at NIKE's request in July, 1996 by an international environmental specialist. Using a second internationally certified tester, Reliance Insurance, we have since re-verified that no worker at that factory or any other we have tested faces anything like the levels, or frequency, of exposures cited. Epilogue The report served to illustrate the global nature of today's economy. Indeed, ESPN is itself a part of that economy, in that its corporate parent has apparel (including ESPN logo apparel) manufactured in thousands of contract factories around the globe. The task of overseeing the labor practices in a universe of factories that numerous and diverse is a daunting task. We know, as we appreciate how difficult it is with even a few hundred NIKE contractors to oversee. We take our manufacturing responsibilities seriously. We are concerned about the health and safety of our workers and would never willingly or intentionally place our workers in physical jeopardy or unhealthy environments. We welcome an ongoing dialogue with labor and human rights groups, universities, other global manufacturers and consumers and are always open to solutions to enhance the experience of the 500,000 workers who manufacture our product daily.


    amen brotha -- Disney anyone

    Posted by looney tunes on April 06, 1998 at 17:26:32

    In reply to If we are blaming Nike?, why not complain about toys and other goods made in Asia posted by Chris on April 06, 1998 at 17:18:57

    Those aren't actually puppets in that damn "small world" ride -- those are the children that Disney employees. when they finish their tour in the small world ride, they have to report to the sweatshops underground to make the clothes and toys.


    The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam

    Posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 06, 1998 at 12:16:24

    There is a myth on this forum that Nike factory workers in Vietnam got pay more that doctors, and that comparatively their minimum wage is very good. This is an attractive myth but does not reflect the reality of this country. Doctors in Vietnam are employed by govt. hospitals. For this employment, they got a nominal stipend and also received free housing and various perks. Doctors in Vietnam also have private practices from which they derive the majority of their income. They are making a lot more in total take home pay than any Nike factory workers. Let me set this straight once and for all. There are no doctors lining up at the Nike factories' employment offices in Vietnam. Most of the people in lines are poor young women, with 9th grade education, coming from rural area of VN. Things are cheap in VN, but not that cheap. Also remember that these factories are located in semi-urban, non-rural areas of VN. The economic force of purchasing parity continues to push prices in VN upward especially in urban areas $45/month is not enough to make ends meet for a factory worker in the those Nike factories around the Saigon area. I think the ESPN program did a good job showing what it's like to be one of these shoe workers in Vietnam. ESPN picked her out randomly and it showed that she is not living in luxury with Honda and TVs. She is living in a rented room with only one straw mat and a few dishes. She wakes up everyday at 4 AM and comes home at 7PM. She bikes every day for 9 miles. At work, she is cursed at, screamed at often. She breathes in fume and carcinogens every day. Yet at the end of the month, she wasn't even pay the correct wage. Regards Thuyen Nguyen Vietnam Labor Watch http://www.saigon.com/nike


    Re: The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam

    Posted by JB on April 06, 1998 at 14:05:13

    In reply to The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 06, 1998 at 12:16:24

    http://nikebiz.com/social/labor/ Take a look, you might be surprised. Before you come back with a "corporate propaganda" response read it and try to remain objective. It is somewhat self-serving but then so is your web sight.


    Re: Re: The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam

    Posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 06, 1998 at 17:03:53

    In reply to Re: The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam posted by JB on April 06, 1998 at 14:05:13

    I know the Nike web site on labor issues by heart. I read it so many times. It is easy to gloss over the issues and just make nice and feel good announcement like "Nike do not tolerates" this and that and all other evils. Because that's not the issue. We have never suggested that it is Nike corporate policy to exploit workers. This issue is that workers, however, are currently being exploited in factories making Nike shoes. For an in-depth look at the issues, check out http://www.saigon.com/nike, there you'll find numerous articles from the New York Times, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, and other US news organizations, giving us a very in-depth understanding of the issues involving Nike labor practices. This thread is about what it's like to be a factory worker for Nike factories in Vietnam. The physical abuse is real. The boot camp treatment of the young women is real. The wage cheatings is real because we have hundreds of paystubs proving that Nike factories do pay workers below minimum wage in 96, in 97 and now in 98. We also have documentation to show that Nike factories violate Vietnamese law on overtime in 96, in 97 and now in 98. I'm not so sure which topics address on this web site do you want to discuss. But please go ahead and make your case. Regards Thuyen Nguyen


    Re: Re: Re: The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 17:21:39

    In reply to Re: Re: The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 06, 1998 at 17:03:53

    If Nike's business practices are in violation of Vietnamese labor laws why does the Vietnamese government allow it to happen. Do you honestly believe that every worker, or even a large percentage are physically, verbally or sexually abused? Your cause has merit, however it is a regurgitation of a few facts over and over. The factories are not perfect, but the siuation has improved and will continue to do so.


    Re: The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam

    Posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 18:43:31

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 17:21:39

    The factories are not perfect. No one is perfect. Why should we expect Nike to be perfect? Let them go on abusing people's human rights. Besides, Nike is making great improvements. Heck, Nike's abuses were identified almost two years ago. Nike is finally admitting their shortcomings and is vowing to improve things. Don't worry, ten years from now, after Nike has reaped millions of dollars of profit, things will get better. It will get better. It will!!


    Re: Re: Re: Re: The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam

    Posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 07, 1998 at 08:03:35

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 17:21:39

    The reason you feel it is a re-urgitation of a few facts, and I feel the same way, is that Nike has not improved its factories. 18 months ago CBS News found the similiar problem as ESPN did two months ago: physical abuse, wage cheatings, health hazzards, and illegal overtime. Nike denied to the public 18 months ago that it has fixed all the problems. Nike now is doing the same thing with ESPN -- all problems are fixed. It's hard to determine what is true, but we know for sure: Nike was either lying 18 months ago or it is lying now. After 2.5 years of operationg in Vietnam, we have two Nike factory managers convicted of physically abusing workers, one supervisor left the country to avoid prosecution from sexual harassment. Just a week ago, another incidence of abuse occurred. Nike factories also has the most number of strikes. Nike factories have been found to be the lowest paid of all of the foreign enterprises in Vietnam. This is the reality of Nike factories in Vietnam. There's only so much relativism and excuses one can make about such a horrible records. Thuyen Nguyen http://www.saigon.com/nike


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam

    Posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 10:32:23

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 07, 1998 at 08:03:35

    Actually Nike has said they will address all problems and fix them. They have not said all problems are fixed. What will you do when Nike has fixed all the problems, will you then get a real job?


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam

    Posted by Joe Castle on April 07, 1998 at 17:19:07

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 10:32:23

    This post may irritate a few readers, but if it does, so be it. I recently bought a pair of Nike`s and when I got them home, I noticed that they were made in Vietnam. I immediately returned them to the store where I had purchased them. Not because of the labor problems, but because I carry enough of VN with me every day. I do not believe that Nike or any other manufacturer forces the people of any country to come to work at the factories that they operate. If the people believe they are mistreated, let them go elsewhere for employment. If someone wants to campaign for fairness, why not take a look at the poultry workers in North Carolina or the textile workers in New York and Virginia. They cannot even go to the restroom when they need to. To close, I would say that the problem at the Nike factories will get little sympathy from the Americans who spent their formative years trying to help the Vietnamese people who in turn despised even those of us who, at that time were sympathetic to the plight of the people of South Vietnam. Thank you for your time. Joe Castle


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam

    Posted by Lam Tran on April 08, 1998 at 11:24:29

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam posted by Joe Castle on April 07, 1998 at 17:19:07

    Many of these posts have already provided a good view of what Nike is actually doing in Vietnam so I do not want to repeat them here. I am only wondering why you are having such a hard feeling about Vietnam and its people especially you are what I think you are, a Vietnamese VET. Please accept my apology if you are not. I also want to come up with reasons why and what made you think that Vietnamese people despise those of you who helped us to fight the freedom war. In my opinion, most Vietnamese, especially South Vietnamese people, are grateful for everything the American soldiers did to help us during the war. I remember not so long ago, we were side by side fighting for freedom and at the end, we were running like hell side by side when the communists came into Saigon! Please also remember that many Vietnamese people have been and are still now suffering since the end of the war because of their stand during the war. My heart is beating so terribly bad for the Vietnamese people NOT for the Vietnamese (communist) government. It is an awkward situation isnít it? The way I understand it is, for whatever reason, the American people back in The U.S. were the ones who turned their back on the Vietnamese Vets when they came back from Vietnam. However, from what I have seen on TV for the last few years, the American public seems to be recognizing the honor that these Vietnamese Vets did not get and very well deserved. I think I need to stop here before I get into trouble or far away from the focus of this topic. Your suggestion about the poultry workers in North Carolina or the textile workers in New York and Virginia is very valid for another seminar. This is a "Nike Seminar".


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam

    Posted by Anonymous on April 09, 1998 at 16:10:27

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam posted by Lam Tran on April 08, 1998 at 11:24:29

    Actually the poultry and textile workers in the USA referred to is appropriate for this seminar. After all many of the postings on this board are wanting to compare US working conditions and wages to those in Vietnam. Mr. Castle has a very valid point (that a lot of others in the debate agree with). His point being why are we as Americans so concerned with conditions in other countries when we have many industries here at home that have major problems. By asking other countries to up their standards to ours, all they have to do is look at the above mentioned industries or the migrant farm workers in this country and say, no thanks, we donít want your help.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam

    Posted by David Mayeda on April 06, 1998 at 19:49:35

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 17:21:39

    The reason that NIKE and other transnational corporations from 1st world nations are allowed to transplant into Vietnam is because Vietnamese elites work in collaboration with 1st world industries. Unfortunately, many third world governments do not look out for their larger public, and what perpetuates exploitation is companies like NIKE coming in and taking advantage of that situation. In my opinion, there are 3 parties to blame here. One, an American government that allows for "free" trade, two, third world governments who exploit their public in order to industrialize and gain meager profits, and three, the American corporations that take advantage of third world laborers. If there is a 4th party to blame, it would be a first world public that would not let its own people be exploited the way Vietnamese laborers are, yet accepts a "racial other" being expolited to such a great extent. The real tragedy will occur when NIKE and other corporations find cheaper labor elsewhere. Then the situation will not improve, as you claim it will. At that point, all of Vietnam (elites and laborers) will lose out.


    Re: Re: The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam

    Posted by Lester on April 06, 1998 at 14:49:56

    In reply to Re: The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam posted by JB on April 06, 1998 at 14:05:13

    It is self serving but it is interesting. I had no idea Nike was this involved with the issue. Most likely the attention given to the issues by activists have helped Nike get involved, or at least made them intensify their effort. Does anyone know if Reebok or Adidas has any effort such as these?


    Re: The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 13:42:26

    In reply to The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 06, 1998 at 12:16:24

    The Tuck business school survey indicated the $45 per month is enough to live on as well as save money. The same $45 is over twice the Vietnamese national average for income. Not bad for a 9th grade education. Working conditions can be improved. Based on information from nikeworker.com & nikebiz.com websights improvements are being made. Obviuosly not fast enough to your liking but they are improving. I have no problem with people asking for better working conditions. As to the hourly wage, this is fair for the work being done. These standards are set by the Vietnamese government. Just because it is a US based company they should not have to pay anymore than a local company. This would be a double standard.


    Re: Re: The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam

    Posted by A. Nguyen on April 07, 1998 at 18:37:31

    In reply to Re: The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 13:42:26

    Sure, the boys at Ivy league business schools would know that $45/month is enough to live in Vietnam. Let me point out the obvious: It really depends on what part of Vietnam you live in. If it's rural, it's more than enough. But if it's anywhere close to urban areas like Saigon, forget it. Rent alone will kill you.


    Re: Re: The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam

    Posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 07, 1998 at 07:56:30

    In reply to Re: The myth of a Hapy Nike factory worker in Vietnam posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 13:42:26

    18 months ago, CBS News went to VN and found that Nike workers are being abuses, paid below the minimum wage, forced to work many hours of overtime, are subjected to corporate punishment, and exposed to dangerous and unhealthy working conditions. ESPN went to VN feb 98 and found many similar problems. How long does it take before these problems are cleaned up by Nike? Here are some problems with the Tuck School survey 1. This Nike-paid survey was conducted and authored by MBA students at Tuck as a class assignment. I have an MBA from NYU and I can tell you MBA students are not qualified to determine whether a certain wage is a living wage. None of authors of this survey were professor or research staff of this famous university. Why didn't Nike hire one of the numerous US professors who have done years of research on the living wage? 3. The survey made many mistakes which are clearly spellout in a response by TRAC, www.corpwatch.org including ignoring contrary informations from the workers themselves. 4. Bad methodology: Basically, the students went to VN and determined that it costs about $100 for a household to live per month. They then divided the number by 4 to determine the average cost of living for one person. Nike paid $45 per month and therefore the workers must have $20 left over. This method presumed that all members of a household works for Nike factories which does not fit the reality of a Nike factory worker and her family. Beside using false assumption, such a method in calculating a "living wage" is not scientific. 5. Nike's own internal report from Ernst & Young said that only 42% of workers managed to save money. But Nike decided to hype up the Tuck report because it made the co. looked better. 6. The Tuck study is simply a PR opportunity for Nike. Nike's own actions demonstrate this fact. Nike did a press release on this study in Oct 97 but tell the public that the report was not ready yet. In Dec, it did another press release on this study without releasing the report until Jan. When the Nike critics got the report, we realized that Nike left out the appendices which contained the hard data. It took us another month to get the appendices and when we looked at the hard data, the data itself does not back up the conclusions of this report. Regards, Thuyen Nguyen http://www.saigon.com/nike http://www.corpwatch.org for a response to the Dartmouth study.


    The happy Nike worker myth

    Posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 06, 1998 at 12:16:24

    There is a myth on this forum that Nike factory workers in Vietnam got pay more that doctors, and that comparatively their minimum wage is very good. This is an attractive myth but does not reflect the reality of this country. Doctors in Vietnam are employed by govt. hospitals. For this employment, they got a nominal stipend and also received free housing and various perks. Doctors in Vietnam also have private practices from which they derive the majority of their income. They are making a lot more in total take home pay than any Nike factory workers. Let me set this straight once and for all. There are no doctors lining up at the Nike factories' employment offices in Vietnam. Most of the people in lines are poor young women, with 9th grade education, coming from rural area of VN. Things are cheap in VN, but not that cheap. Also remember that these factories are located in semi-urban, non-rural areas of VN. The economic force of purchasing parity continues to push prices in VN upward especially in urban areas $45/month is not enough to make ends meet for a factory worker in the those Nike factories around the Saigon area. I think the ESPN program did a good job showing what it's like to be one of these shoe workers in Vietnam. ESPN picked her out randomly and it showed that she is not living in luxury with Honda and TVs. She is living in a rented room with only one straw mat and a few dishes. She wakes up everyday at 4 AM and comes home at 7PM. She bikes every day for 9 miles. At work, she is cursed at, screamed at often. She breathes in fume and carcinogens every day. Yet at the end of the month, she wasn't even pay the correct wage. Regards Thuyen Nguyen Vietnam Labor Watch http://www.saigon.com/nike


    Re: The happy Nike worker myth

    Posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 21:59:31

    In reply to The happy Nike worker myth posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 06, 1998 at 12:16:24

    Then maybe they shouldn't work there. You complain that the labor practices are abominal, and inhuman, yet people line up to wokr there. They are making the choice, themselves, to become employed at one of these factories, that is not even owned by Nike. Why don't you redirect your energy toward getting the workers to not work at the factory. If conditions are as common as you say, and not just isolated incidents, then you should have no problem in getting the workers in striking. I guarantee you people would still line up at the doors to be employed in the abominal conditions! Gee, as bad as it seems, maybe they are willing to work there!


    September 1997 "Inside Carolina" article on Nike.

    Posted by Thad Williamson on April 06, 1998 at 12:17:52

    The following article was published in the September 1997 issue of InsideCarolina magazine, a monthly covering UNC sports. (Also published on the web, www.northcarolina.com .) This article is also posted on the web site (www.northcarolina.com) , along with an interview with Marion Traub-Werner of the Nike Awareness Campaign at UNC. best, Thad Williamson Inside Carolina/Union Theological Seminary, New York Carolina's Got New Shoes--And Tough Questions to Answer by Thad Williamson How much claim should a profit-seeking corporation have upon the good name of a public university? When does cutting a good deal cross the line to selling out? Should all the stakeholders in a public university have a say in negotiating contracts with private organizations or is it reasonable for a small handful of key players to work out the deal behind closed doors? Should public institutions use non-financial criteria--including ethical concerns--as a basis for deciding whether to form alliances with corporations? These are the kinds of questions that might occupy a graduate-level seminar in business ethics at places like Harvard, Columbia, or North Carolina, with young MBA's in the making knocking out position papers on the substance (or lack thereof!) of corporate good behavior en route to landing that first big job. And they are also the kinds of questions which have made a surprisingly large splash in the North Carolina media during the summer months of 1997 following the announcement of the UNC Athletic Department's 5 year , $11-plus million deal with Nike, Inc. The agreement with Nike will provide all of North Carolina's athletic teams with a complete complement of uniforms, practice gear, and related equipment over the next five years, as well as special (still undisclosed) payments directly into the bank accounts of Tar Heel head coaches, in particular those of Dean Smith and Mack Brown. (Smith has used part of his payment from the previous Nike agreement to capitalize a trust fund for former players in need.) In return, North Carolina athletes will wear Nike shoes on national television (30-40 times a year between the hardcourt and the gridiron), bear the Nike swoosh on uniforms, and the shoe company will be given special full page advertisements gratis in game programs. Proposals by Nike to have the swoosh logo displayed and Kenan Stadium and the Smith Center were flatly rejected by the Athletic Department's negotiations team, headed by John Swofford and Dick Baddour. Shortly after the announcement of the contract an array of critical questions organized around 5 key issues began to be aired. Three of the issues at stake regard the conduct of UNC and other universities in dealing with shoe companies; the other two issues, with the specific behavior and reputation of Nike, Inc. 1. Cutting a Public Deal in Private: A Legitimate Process? "I wonder what the reaction would be if I decided to sign a contract with a publisher to permit only their donated books to be used in history department classes, putting its logo on all the course syllabi in return for a substantial chunk of money." So spoke UNC History Department Chair Richard Soloway in a July interview with the News and Observer regarding the contract. Is it right that exactly three people (Swofford, Baddour, and UNC legal counsel Susan Ehringhaus), none of whom are directly involved in teaching students, should be permitted to negotiate and consummate a deal with Nike that will affect the reputation and public image of the entire university community? Don't tenured faculty members whose professional reputations are intimately intertwined with that of the university have a right to be at the bargaining table? Does not the taxpaying public as a whole--before the agreement is announced? Soloway's comments point to the peculiar status of the Nike agreement. If it were a strings-free charitable donation, the $11 million would be no problem. On the other hand if the agreement were a government contract in which UNC paid Nike for work done, formal, established criteria for selecting the vendor and terms of the contract would have to be adhered to. What happens when you have an agreement to essentially sell a piece of the university's accumulated positive reputation? This is unchartered territory. The approach of UNC so far has been simply to put it in the hands of its best athletic department people and have faith in a good outcome. In the narrowest sense, it be said that this Nike deal was a good one from the point of view of the athletic department's near-term interests, and that the contract itself contains no egregious violations of the university's larger mission and norms--this time around. But the current decisionmaking process, in which faculty concerns are not directly represented in the actual negotiations, is an open door to future damaging blunder. Indeed, a process involving substantive faculty input--and decisonmaking power--might open the door to a larger question: 2. Should state universities have formal ties to corporations? "I oppose giving up institutional authority, autonomy and control for money. Shoe contracts are one more example of that, regardless of whether they are negotiated by the university or by individual coaches. Carolina and other ACC schools have not avoided the dilemma." The author of this comment to the Greensboro News and Record is perhaps the only Chapel Hill resident in the past 35 years to carry more moral and political authority than Dean Smith: Retired UNC President William Friday. Friday's words testify to a vision of the university as a truly independent center of a research and inquiry, in which faculty and students can exercise free speech and advocacy without fear of tampering from commercial or private interests. While this vision has never been fully accurate at UNC or elsewhere--only a few years ago the state legislature threatened funding cuts after a Chapel Hill research center planned an anti-smoking public education campaign--it is undeniably true that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has made a lasting contribution to the cultural and political development of the entire state in the past half century as a bastion of free speech and a safehouse for unconventional views. Some no doubt find such concerns a bit esoteric, not sufficiently "pragmatic" in an era of "public-private" partnerships and widespread collaboration between university research departments and corporate entities nationwide. But the "authority, autonomy, and control" concerns cited by Friday remain real. What if a group of student protesters showed up at the Smith Center on game day carrying signs and chanting about Nike's labor practices in Vietnam? How would the university react? Would the contract with Nike affect how university police were instructed to respond? Wouldn't the weight of that $11 million in the bank affect the chancellor's outlook? Avoiding even the (fairly unlikely) possibility of such an entanglement would be a central goal of maintaining a firewall between university policies and decisionmaking and corporate interests. 3. Should coaches get the money? Interestingly, while concerns about both process and university autonomy have been raised by academic critics of the Nike deal, relatively little attention has been given this year to the once- controversial concept of Division I coaches, particularly in men's basketball, being empowered to cut six-figure deals with shoe companies as a polite "thank-you" for wearing a particular sneaker. Such arrangements became a prominent part of college basketball in the early 1980s, raising charges of hypocrisy that coaches could pocket substantial profits while their "amateur" players were left out in the cold. Today, shoe contract dollars are an important salary supplement for every major college coach. Nike and Converse place value on making their shoes visible, as well as in sustaining contact with potential star endorsers, a process that now starts with the high school summer camps. (To be sure, wearing a shoe in college doesn't mean one will endorse it as a pro--Jerry Stackhouse, not wishing to be overshadowed by another Tar Heel, bypassed Nike for Fila upon turning pro in 1995.) Today's climate of acceptance for coaches' shoe deals hardly means that the underlying moral issues have been resolved. Ironically, Carolina's new Nike deal originated in part with Dean Smith's embarrassment at the amount of money being shoved his way--Smith's idea, in contrast, was to cut a deal that would be good for the athletic department as a whole, with additional money given strings-free for use on academic activities. But the question remains: Why are individual coaches allowed to cash in--at all--on the inherited reputation and stature of the university's athletic teams? Coaches are not owners of the teams--at state universities at least, the public is supposed to be; and the coaches themselves did not create the economic value of college basketball--the players did, over a long period of time. 4. Nike's Record in the Inner City Apart from the general issues relevant to any shoe deal, concern has been raised about Nike's particular role in targeting urban youth as consumers of $130 status-symbol sneakers. Apart from well-publicized incidents of teenagers mugging, beating, or even killing for shoes, consumption surveys show that low-income households spend a disproportionate amount of money on athletic shoes, and Nike has helped make sure that this is no accident. Turn on the television during a weekend sporting event and one is sure to encounter a commercial featuring a voiceover from an obviously African-American youth talking about how cool a visiting team's Nike shoes are in rhythmic words intended to drip with envy. To be sure, Nike has invested money in urban sports-for-youth programs, but it is obvious that such exceptionally well- advertised efforts are as much reputation enhancement and market development as sincere charity. It does no good to argue that Nike has no other choice in selling its shoes: It quite obviously does. The difference between a $65 and $130 basketball shoe is at best 10% technology and 90% the status value of a given shoe, as derived from its association from a particular player (like Jordan) or an especially novel design. Clearly, selling an $130 shoe offers a much wider profit margin than selling a $65 shoe--but you have to create a market for the shoe first, which is where the advertising, celebrity endorsements, and athletic department deals come in. Nike has very self-consciously created and then filled the "basketball shoe as luxury good" market for the purposes of profit maximization, not as a response to the intrinsic economics of shoe-making. One hoops star who has helped show that another way is possible is Houston Rocket Hakeem Olajuwon. Disgusted with the phenomenon of inner city shoe obsession, Olajuwon worked with the Spalding company to develop a relatively affordable $35 basketball shoe. Perversely, the low price of the shoe itself downgrades the shoe's value in the minds of status- oriented consumers, and Spalding has not come close to devoting the amount of advertising resources needed to challenge Nike's hegemony. It's a nasty business, this inner city shoe marketing, and the University of North Carolina now stands to make a nice profit off of it. 5. Nike Abroad However, the nastiest, most difficult question to be raised about the Nike deal has to do not with the youth of Durham, Charlotte, New York or Chicago but with the teenage and young adult workers in places like Indonesia and Vietnam where Nike shoes are actually manufactured. Public sensitivity to the issue has been raised in the past 2 years by the Kathie Lee clothing line sweatshop controversy, a Labor Department-backed effort to adopt industry-wide codes on theuse of 3rd World labor , and most recently this spring by charges from watchdog groups that Nike's subcontractors were brutally mistreating and exploiting its poorly paid Vietnamese workforce. Specific charges ranged from permitting only one bathroom break a day to beatings of workers. A Nike-appointed commission chaired by Andrew Young cleared Nike of direct culpability in the worst abuses but failed to even address the underlying issues of low wages being paid to nonunionized workforces, or the cooperation between Nike and authoritarian governments in maintaining labor "peace". Nike has also signed on to the voluntary "codes of conduct" in using 3rd World labor announced by the White House this spring, although many critics note that Nike itself promulgated its own code of conduct in 1992 with little observable effect. (A New York Times editorial said the most recent agreement "is so littered with loopholes its impact will probably be limited unless public and press attention remains fixed on the problems of sweatshop workers. ") Labor costs for Nike shoes account for an estimated $1.20 of the average $60 pair's pricetag. Even in an age of instantaneous communication across borders, it's still quite difficult for relatively affluent Americans the fully grasp the social reality of the flesh-and-blood human beings who go to work to make sneakers for the American market. Prize-winning journalist William Greider's fine new book, One World, Ready or Not? helps supply the sense of reality needed to make an informed judgement about Nike's labor operations. Greider interviewed youthful workers at a Nike contractor plant outside Jakarta, Indonesia. Two of the workers had been fired for trying to organize a strike (with actual payment of the legal minimum wage as the key demand); "I was scared because we were fighting for our rights", said one, referring to her personal safety, not job security, further explaining that "The pay is very poor." Another worker quoted in a June LA Weekly article describes life at one Nike factory in Indonesia as "Work, go home, sleep, eat, go to factory, work. Sometimes I dream of a weekend holiday, but it's only a dream." Greider's book goes on to comment that "The young Indonesians...thought, perhaps naively, that if the American kids would stop buying Nike shoes, their own grievances might be heard, and some of them had signed a petition asking other young people around the world to boycott a company that collaborated in their oppression. I did not try to explain to them why American young people were oblivious to their plight." Again, it does no good to insist that this is the way the world must be, and it is flat out self-deception to believe that Indonesian workers are grateful for any dollar-a-day job at all, as the above testimony suggests. (3 in 4 workers quit during an average year.) To argue against setting a basic floor of labor and human rights, including a livable wage, which corporations operating in 3rd World settings must meet is equivalent to arguing against basic health and safety standards for workers in North Carolina's textile mills and poultry plants. Are Nike's celebrity endorsers such as Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and the University of North Carolina morally responsible for ensuring that the goods they endorse do not, in the production process, contributed to the degradation of other human beings? To be fair, Jordan and Woods did not create the situation--though they handsomely benefit from it--and dramatic changes in the situation of workers in Indonesia will depend upon long-term political changes more than the action of celebrity endorses. On the other hand, Kathie Lee for one became convinced that she morally responsible and make a difference, and went on to push for changes in her clothing line and to join forces with activists speaking out against sweatshop labor. The comic strip Doonesbury, in a two-week series run in July and August, sketched a scenario whereby Jordan and Woods are convinced to actively speak out about the sweatshops, instead of continuing to plead the fifth. As for UNC, perhaps it should simply be reiterated that the university will receive $11 million over a 5 year period for having its athletes wear swooshes on their jerseys. According to recent reports, Nike's 115,000 Indonesian shoe workers were all paid the legal minimum wage of roughly $850 a year, total wages paid in Indonesia would amount to approximately $100 million. Nike's total annual marketing budget is an estimated $650 million. * What then is to be done? The debate should continue, and at the least college sports enthusiasts, whatever their ultimate views, should open their eyes to the reality that what appears as magical moments of passion and entertainment in a gym in Chapel Hill are now intimately linked to long days in wire-fenced factories on the other side of the world. There are no neat solutions to the shoe contract question that can satisfy all the issues raised here. In the opinion of this writer, perhaps the best way forward for the future is for conferences, not individual schools, to assume the role of negotiating with shoe companies and other sponsors. Shoe companies would then provide equipment and a payment to the entire conference, with, ideally, none of the money going to individual coaches' bank accounts. This arrangement would also help mollify the concerns raised by Soloway and Friday about particular public institutions maintaining their autonomy and not being identified with particular private interests. Equally important, future shoe contract negotiations should no longer cast a blind eye to how the benefactors-to-be make their money. Whereas a single institution might have relatively little bargaining power, surely the ACC as a whole would have sufficient clout, if it wished, to insist that a Nike seriously upgrade its labor standards--and tone down its baddest-boy-in-the- hood-wears-this-here-$130-shoe marketing strategy-- as a condition for conference sponsorship. Such an arrangement would not be perfect, but it would help answer some of the questions raised this summer by Carolina's Nike deal. Nike says it wants to help America's underprivileged kids as well as outfit the best athletes in the country. State universities like UNC should be looking at how to use their clout to leverage Nike and others into meeting not only those goals but also the less glamorous but morally imperative objective of providing livable wages, decent working conditions, and basic human rights to all who contribute to Nike's formidable wealth--especially the nameless thousands a world away who don't know the difference between Duke and Carolina blue. Thad Williamson is a graduate student at Union Theological Seminary and a consultant to a Washington, DC thinktank. He has written on business ethics, economics, and related issues for numerous publications.


    Campus Activism

    Posted by Ann Krohn Rick on April 06, 1998 at 11:20:56

    Professors Andres, Didow, and Peacock, Thank you very much for placing the Nike debate into the context of a university course that focuses on the impacts of the global economy. While Nike activism and public education campaigns have erupted spontaneously on many campuses that have signed contracts with Nike, I know of no other university that is sponsoring a course and web discussion. Please know that my employer, the University of Colorado at Boulder, is being asked by students and concerned employees to consider a ďcode of conductĒ for businesses which license to sell university-logo products. Your course and its public web presence may ALSO influence corporate behavior and the future of the apparel industry. It is extremely important what you are doing, and I thank you. Ann Krohn Rick


    Re: Campus Activism

    Posted by Nick Didow on April 06, 1998 at 12:02:03

    In reply to Campus Activism posted by Ann Krohn Rick on April 06, 1998 at 11:20:56

    Thank you so much for your kind, supportive note. It is rather iconic that the three of us (Andrews, Peacock, and Didow) who are doing this represent among us decades of academic research in enviornmental policy issues, anthropology research, and marketing theory and research methods, but we will now be known forever as "those guys who did that Nike thing"! We are also involved with broadening the CLC licensing agreement and met last week with the head of CLC who came up from Atlanta. Thanks for your work on this as well. Would you be interested in exchanging drafts of broadened CLC agreements?


    Re: Re: Campus Activism

    Posted by Ann Krohn Rick on April 06, 1998 at 15:54:54

    In reply to Re: Campus Activism posted by Nick Didow on April 06, 1998 at 12:02:03

    The University of Colorado is not affiliated with the CLC (Corporate Licensing Corporation I believe). To my knowledge it works with universities in the east. We are just in the beginning stages of drafting new language for future licensing agreements. Any examples of work that is already being done will help us refine our own! I'd love to see what you have already, and as soon as we have something substantial hammered out, we'll post it! Thanks, AKR Univ. of Colorado at Boulder


    Re: Re: Re: Campus Activism

    Posted by Nick on April 07, 1998 at 11:39:19

    In reply to Re: Re: Campus Activism posted by Ann Krohn Rick on April 06, 1998 at 15:54:54

    Thanks. We are probably two or three weeks away from a draft of a revised licensing agreement and would be delighted to exchange with you.


    workers

    Posted by Michael on April 06, 1998 at 10:52:58

    There are some neat correlations between the sneaker industry workers and the smoking industry's drive to "earn" more smokers. The smoking industry is suffering from "killing itself" by killing its customers. Kill your buyers, and suddenly you are left with a product you cannot sell. Similarly, the sneaker industry is killing its workers. The chemicals from the glues, etc. is causing birth problems. Kill your workers, and you can no longer make a product. For a huge company such as Nike who made a "huge capital investment" in these "factories" it seems silly to kill your future work force. I guess they feel that they could always afford to fly in a new crop of workers or move the factories elsewhere. But, that might effect their bottom line. The question to ask is: would you want to work there? I didn't think so.


    Re: workers

    Posted by Nick on April 06, 1998 at 12:08:50

    In reply to workers posted by Michael on April 06, 1998 at 10:52:58

    It is interesting to note that even the Converse plant located in the USA still uses toxic glues in some of the shoes they manufacture in Lumberton, North Carollina. In fact, the plant just received a $15,000 grant for the North Carolina State EPA to phase out their current form of glue and convert over to entirely water-based glues, just as many people are asking the Nike contractor firms to do in Asia.


    Re: Re: workers

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 12:16:10

    In reply to Re: workers posted by Nick on April 06, 1998 at 12:08:50

    For the record Nike uses alomst %80 water based cements today. With improvements to this technology they will soon be at %100. Problem today is getting good bonds with injected outsole plates for cleated product. The ESPN article was referring to a Reebok factory when is was talking about cement fumes. All of Nike's competitors still use mainly slovent based cements. I am not trying to deflate the main issue or take the heat off Nike, just setting the record straight.


    Re: workers

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 12:07:54

    In reply to workers posted by Michael on April 06, 1998 at 10:52:58

    If it was a choice between working and not working I would work in the factory. These people do not have the luxury of wellfare to feed them if they choose to do nothing.


    Re: Re: workers

    Posted by Nick on April 06, 1998 at 12:13:18

    In reply to Re: workers posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 12:07:54

    You are correct, and this makes it even the more difficult for their respective governments and labor organizations who are trying to diversify an agriculture-based economy and make progress in this sometimes painful thing called economic development.


    Expensiveness

    Posted by Paul on April 06, 1998 at 08:50:45

    All this talk and debate is just fine, but my family is working/middle class, and as I see it, even though they make the shoes overseas, they still put a 90-100 dollar tag on those shoes. And I can't afford those types of shoes. I don't believe that if they made shoes in the U.S. that their prices would go up that much. It's called maximizing return on their investment. These shoe companies (Nike, Reebok, etc.) have invested their money into this business, and they want to maximize their return no matter what the consumer thinks, or has to pay. As long as kids are willing to shell out $200 dollars for a pair of Air Jordans, these companies will keep on selling them for that much. It's like their eating up your wallets and you're not doing anything about it. That is pathetic. And for those who say they "have" to buy those shoes, you're going to be broke so soon, you won't know what to do with your life, except steal, and plunder, and cheat, and be a criminal for the rest of your life. That is my opinion.


    Re: Expensiveness

    Posted by Bo knows Economics on April 06, 1998 at 16:59:30

    In reply to Expensiveness posted by Paul on April 06, 1998 at 08:50:45

    The cost of labor for Nike products varies slightly by model, volume and source. As a general rule, labor represents about 15% of the price Nike pays the factory for the product. Because Nikeís cost is about 25% of retail cost, labor accounts for about 4% of the retail cost. The breakdown is roughly as follows: Consumer pays: $90 Retailer pays: $45 to Nike, and then doubles the price for retail. Nike pays: $22.50 and then doubles the price to retailers for shipping, insurance, duties R&D, marketing, sales, administration and profits. The $22.50 price paid the factory includes: Materials: $14.60 Labor: $3.37 Overhead: $3.41 Factory Profit: $1.12 Total Costs: $22.50 Nike's profit is in the selling of bulk my friends... Blame the retailers as well like athletes foot, foot action, etc -- they're making just as much as Nike -- and for what? Selling you the shoe that you already want -- so basically they're making the same profits as Nike for what, just being there????


    Could there be a world-wide minimum wage?

    Posted by Chuck Darby on April 06, 1998 at 00:48:13

    Could there be a world wide minimum wage? I can't imagine how it would be enforced. Until recently neighboring Thailand's wages were rising with clothing and shoe manufacturing supporting an expanding economy. Along came lower wage workers in China and Vietnam and a significant fraction of that buisness went elsewhere. Its obviously tough work, but alot of the displaced workers haven't found other jobs. The government borrows to support them and is left with less to invest in infra-structure to move the economic base toward a more remunerative high technology base. As for Nike, has anyone got a list of clothing manufactures doing a better job? How many articles of clothing are you wearing that didn't pass through Asian factories?


    Re: Could there be a world-wide minimum wage?

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 08:52:42

    In reply to Could there be a world-wide minimum wage? posted by Chuck Darby on April 06, 1998 at 00:48:13

    The idea of a word wide minimum wage is interesting. There would obviously be need for some form of global enforcement. However you won't see much support of that in this country. Hell, it's hard enough to convince Americans of the importance of staying in the UN. What usually freaks out the public here is the thought that many (if not most) national economies around the world are based around some form of socialism. The knee-jerk reaction is to confuse socialism with communism. But the difference is that socialism exists with a democratic system. Communism exists with a dictatorship. The countries of western Europe voted for their socialist structure. And since there is a widespread belief that the UN, and other global unions, are communist in nature, Americans become rather isolationist in their approach. Whether we like it or not, the world is becoming a global economy. How this will affect the shoe company employees in Vietnam is unclear. But ask youself, how would a worldwide minimum wage affect the price of the Honda you drive, that was built in Marysville, Ohio? Or the BMW from South Carolina? Or the Toyota from Kentucky? Or the Mercedes from Georgia? Or the Isuzu from Indiana? We, as Americans, would then fit in the same mold of "exploited worker." We like to think that Vietnamese should be paid American wages, but should the American working for an overseas auto company be paid Japanese or German wages? Just something to think about.


    Capitalism=freedom

    Posted by Geoff on April 05, 1998 at 23:45:11

    Gee why does this sound so familiar...ummmmmmm...hmmmm...I got it!! It sounds just like that slogan "freedom=slavery" Yes that's it!! Obviously there are a lot of people who emulate Orwell's society here..


    Re: Capitalism=freedom

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 10:39:07

    In reply to Capitalism=freedom posted by Geoff on April 05, 1998 at 23:45:11

    May 1st is just around the corner. Time for the big communist celebration!


    Re: Re: Capitalism=freedom

    Posted by enuff on April 10, 1998 at 01:35:48

    In reply to Re: Capitalism=freedom posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 10:39:07

    GET A NEW LINE!!!!! I'VE SEEN THAT ONE 20 TIMES HERE ALREADY!!! IT JUST ISNT FUNNY ANYMORE!!!


    Re: Re: Capitalism=freedom

    Posted by Geoff on April 07, 1998 at 01:50:32

    In reply to Re: Capitalism=freedom posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 10:39:07

    Actually I'm an anarchist, no thanks...


    Earning their keep

    Posted by David M. Jagodzinski on April 05, 1998 at 23:00:23

    I want to express my disgust towards the idea that powerful American manufacturers turn to foreign labor to produce their overpriced products only to pay those workers barely enough to live on. For example the Nikes' that are produced in Vietnam pay their workers the going wage of 53 cents an hour. Yes this may be the going wage in Vietnam, but I find it totally unethical that our country's business' would take advantage of the situation by exploiting Vietnam's poverty. I know the biggest argument against my statements is that they are being paid the going wage but who's kidding who. I think that this is were the U.S. government should step in with some kind of international labor agreement so that these foreign workes could get paid American wages for producing American products for American business' that sell them to American people in America. The only loop hole that gives these profiteering jackass' the apparent right to do this is that the labor resides in another land. And if American business really think sweat-shopping forein countries for labor is fair then let them reveal the fact that there is almost no market for their products in the countries that produce them. Why? Because they don't make enough money, that's why. The bottom line is that it maybe ok legally to do this but in my opinion, it is totally wrong


    Re: Earning their keep

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 02:01:20

    In reply to Earning their keep posted by David M. Jagodzinski on April 05, 1998 at 23:00:23

    Can we think for a minute please? Why would any company be dumb enough to pay U.S. wages out of the county. Let me let you in a little secret- even though we have very low unemployment right now, we still have many unemployed workers. If the companies were willing to pay those wages, they would do so here. But their not because I won't buy their sneakers for over $200 a pair- will you? Nike (their subcontractors) pay competitive wages that push up the wages over time- look at Taiwan and Korea. Your suggestion is absolutely ridiculous.


    Re: Re: Earning their keep

    Posted by Geoff on April 06, 1998 at 02:52:08

    In reply to Re: Earning their keep posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 02:01:20

    First of all the idea that we must keep these people miserable and wretched so that we may buy our sneakers for lower prices is inhumane and goes against all the ideals of the western enlightenment. Second of all is the only reason they would go higher with higher wages is because the company would obviously not take a lower profit margin:translation-Phil Knight won't take a cut in his pay(one of the 5 richest men in the world), Nike won't cut what it pays in endorsements, nor will it cut back on marketing. Your argument might have merit if Nike was just getting by, and it needed to keep these wages down to stay in business. But as an EXTRMELY rich corporation, it doesn't. So why don't you think for a minute??


    and I would know you from???

    Posted by and you are??? on April 06, 1998 at 17:07:38

    In reply to Re: Re: Earning their keep posted by Geoff on April 06, 1998 at 02:52:08

    The cost of labor for Nike products varies slightly by model, volume and source. As a general rule, labor represents about 15% of the price Nike pays the factory for the product. Because Nikeís cost is about 25% of retail cost, labor accounts for about 4% of the retail cost. The breakdown is roughly as follows: Consumer pays: $90 Retailer pays: $45 to Nike, and then doubles the price for retail. Nike pays: $22.50 and then doubles the price to retailers for shipping, insurance, duties R&D, marketing, sales, administration and profits. The $22.50 price paid the factory includes: Materials: $14.60 Labor: $3.37 Overhead: $3.41 Factory Profit: $1.12 Total Costs: $22.50 Nike's profit is in the selling of bulk my friends... Blame the retailers as well like athletes foot, foot action, etc -- they're making just as much as Nike -- and for what? Selling you the shoe that you already want -- so basically they're making the same profits as Nike for what, just being there????


    Re: Re: Re: Earning their keep

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 10:31:32

    In reply to Re: Re: Earning their keep posted by Geoff on April 06, 1998 at 02:52:08

    Geoff - I think you have made a common mistake in your assesment of Nike - and other large companies. Without question, Knight and other CEO's make large sums of cash. Do they deserve it? Some would argue they do - due to their experience and ability to make critical decisions that could cost their company and stockholders millions of dollars. Additionally, they have lousy job security. If the stock does not perform, they are out on the street. However, your argument that Nike will not lower profits because it would cut into Knight's salary is off of the mark. Nike would not intentionally reduce profits because it would damage the market value and stock price of the company. Now before you go into the argument of "Everyone who owns stock is rich, and they can afford a little loss," consider that the average stock owner is lower/middle class. Pension funds of factory workers are tied to the market, as are investment and retirement plans of a majority of Americans. If stock prices fall, especially for a company as large as Nike, it affects alot of people. And as a CEO - Knight's number one responsibility is to make money for his stockholders. Now if Nike shareholders decide that they do not approve of using cheap overseas labor, fine. Let them vote to take a loss and pull out of Vietnam. Until then, I certainly can not blame Knight and the Board for using cheaper labor elsewhere.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Earning their keep

    Posted by Geoff on April 07, 1998 at 02:00:24

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Earning their keep posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 10:31:32

    First of all, 90% of the stock owned in this country is owned by the richest 20% of the population. Also I don't give a damn about Nike's falling in the world economy. What is important is to treat human beings with respect and dignity, two things Nike doesn't give a damn about, only about it's stockholders. If you value stock value and profit over the rights of human beings, whatever their race or nationality, then that is your right. But don't complain about the conditions then if you find yourself someday working in one of these factories. And as for Phil Knight being out on the street, do you really think that someone with that kind of wealth will really be out on the street, even if the stock takes a crash?? He will get what every God-damn blood sucking CEO gets when the company goes south, a golden parachute, while the workers whose backs the profits are earned upon get put out on the streets, with no golden parachute and with no money saved up thanks to below poverty wages.


    Re: Earning their keep

    Posted by Anonymous on April 05, 1998 at 23:31:32

    In reply to Earning their keep posted by David M. Jagodzinski on April 05, 1998 at 23:00:23

    You can't pay those workers $5.25 per hour. When the rest of the country makes 1/20 of that (at their minimum wage). Keep in mind that doctors in Vietnam make about $40 a month and teachers less than half that. You idea would ruin their emerging economy. They make Dodge Caravans and Jeeps in China, should GM pay these workers $25 dollars per hour?


    Re: Re: Earning their keep

    Posted by Geoff on April 05, 1998 at 23:40:04

    In reply to Re: Earning their keep posted by Anonymous on April 05, 1998 at 23:31:32

    How would paying them that much ruin their economy?? SOunds like it would infuse more money into their economic system, in which these workers could pay doctors more, go out and buy more "stuff" and the greater money flow would stimulate the economy and not ruin it!!


    Re: Re: Re: Earning their keep

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 01:27:24

    In reply to Re: Re: Earning their keep posted by Geoff on April 05, 1998 at 23:40:04

    So who gets the $5.25 an hour? How many people will pack up and leave the farm to get in on a chance to make a years salary in a month in the city? Better have lots of jobs!!


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Earning their keep

    Posted by Geoff on April 06, 1998 at 02:49:05

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Earning their keep posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 01:27:24

    Well gee,I see Nike and Reebok are employing lots of people...


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Earning their keep

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 10:16:26

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Earning their keep posted by Geoff on April 06, 1998 at 02:49:05

    Every Vietnamese doctor, lawyer, engineer, teacher, etc. quit their jobs and go make shoes. Gee, makes a lot of sense to me.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Earning their keep

    Posted by Geoff on April 07, 1998 at 02:07:30

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Earning their keep posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 10:16:26

    You're right. Kinda like in this country why we have a problem in the inner cities with kids wanting to become athletes(in no small part thanks to Nike and other companies who push this sports lifestyle in their marketing). Besides, show me some stats that support what you are saying about workers there making more than doctors and teachers. I have yet to see anything supporting your claim. The only thins I see is that they get paid half the average salry in Vietnam in those factories.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Earning their keep

    Posted by Rod N. on April 07, 1998 at 14:18:53

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Earning their keep posted by Geoff on April 07, 1998 at 02:07:30

    http://www.ide.go.ip/English/1997/h11000.html You can find per capita earning information from many Asian countries at the above sight. The 1997 figure for VN is $271. The Nike factories pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 + overtime, but that is in the Ho Chi Minh area which probably has a local higher per capita. The doctor and teacher salaries referred to are probably close to those the figures quoted during this discussion. Sorry I can not direct you to a sight for verification. I can speak for China where surgeons earn $30 and college professors in Beijing earn $17. Both are communist countries so these professions work directly for the government. This salary does not include any outside money they might make by private practice or lectures, etc.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Earning their keep

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 21:39:44

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Earning their keep posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 10:16:26

    Under the assumption that the dr., lawyer, teacher, etc salaries would not rise proportionately and that those who are in those professions are only there to make a living. Yes you are right, they would leave what they've gone to school for years to accomplish to make more money. Anyone here ever listen to Steve Taylor's "Cash Cow"?


    Nike, "sports are an integral part of youth development"

    Posted by Hing Wun NIP on April 05, 1998 at 20:55:08

    Great work ESPN! I'm very pleased someone's finally addressed this issue in a public forum. Has anyone seen the Nike commercial promoting youth involvement in team sports? "Nike believes sports are an integral part of youth development..." Perhaps Nike is still stuck in nineteeth century London. Anyone need some child chimney sweepers? Nike: $10 billion 3rd world youth: 25 US pennies Go Nike Go! rah!rah!rah! Yeah, Jordan!


    Re: Nike, "sports are an integral part of youth development"

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 15:07:01

    In reply to Nike, "sports are an integral part of youth development" posted by Hing Wun NIP on April 05, 1998 at 20:55:08

    Promoting sports amoung our youth is a noble cause. Sure beats the hell out of selling crack and car jacking.


    Re: Nike, "sports are an integral part of youth development"

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 02:07:40

    In reply to Nike, "sports are an integral part of youth development" posted by Hing Wun NIP on April 05, 1998 at 20:55:08

    What are you suggesting idiot- don't criticize what you can't improve upon you unathletic non-sports involved wimp.


    Where's all the money going to?

    Posted by Marc on April 05, 1998 at 20:51:14

    It said in the article that NIKE buys the shoes for $X ammount. It then doubles it and then doubles it again. Where is the other 75% of that money going too!!! So for a hundred dollar shoe, where does the other $75 going. In this $75 why couldn't NIKE make the shoes in the U.S.A.. Maybe that they couln'dt survive of only $40 profit per shoe. Anyways it all comes down to GREED!!


    Re: Where's all the money going to?

    Posted by Econ 201 on April 06, 1998 at 17:13:53

    In reply to Where's all the money going to? posted by Marc on April 05, 1998 at 20:51:14

    Naive, you? Yes. Figure it out, if it cost more to manufacture here, the profit has to stay the same -- Hell, Nike just laid off a bunch of employees, which means you have to suck up the difference in manufacturing costs. The cost of labor for Nike products varies slightly by model, volume and source. As a general rule, labor represents about 15% of the price Nike pays the factory for the product. Because Nikeís cost is about 25% of retail cost, labor accounts for about 4% of the retail cost. The breakdown is roughly as follows: Consumer pays: $90 Retailer pays: $45 to Nike, and then doubles the price for retail. Nike pays: $22.50 and then doubles the price to retailers for shipping, insurance, duties R&D, marketing, sales, administration and profits. The $22.50 price paid the factory includes: Materials: $14.60 Labor: $3.37 Overhead: $3.41 Factory Profit: $1.12 Total Costs: $22.50 Nike's profit is in the selling of bulk my friends... Blame the retailers: like athletes foot, foot action, etc. -- they're making just as much as Nike -- and for what? Selling you the shoe that you already want -- so basically they're making the same profits as Nike for what, just being there????


    Re: Where's all the money going to? To their employees and stock holders.

    Posted by Paul on April 05, 1998 at 23:22:24

    In reply to Where's all the money going to? posted by Marc on April 05, 1998 at 20:51:14

    In the Nike article you mention; nike buys the shoe for $25 from the factory. Nike doubles the price to $50 for the wholesale price. The RETAILER then charges $100 bucks for the shoe. Nike has a $25 dollar profit, the retailer has a $50 dollar profit. Both have to pay expenses so actual profit is much less. Nike has become a multi-billion dollar company by selling volume, not by selling a few high priced shoes.


    Trickle Down Economics?

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 02:10:09

    In reply to Re: Where's all the money going to? To their employees and stock holders. posted by Paul on April 05, 1998 at 23:22:24

    Good point Paul- also, has anyone ever heard of a term called Trickle Down Economics?


    Re: Trickle Down Economics?

    Posted by sadam on April 06, 1998 at 17:23:57

    In reply to Trickle Down Economics? posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 02:10:09

    yah, it means the retailers are pissing all over us... The cost of labor for Nike products varies slightly by model, volume and source. As a general rule, labor represents about 15% of the price Nike pays the factory for the product. Because Nikeís cost is about 25% of retail cost, labor accounts for about 4% of the retail cost. The breakdown is roughly as follows: Consumer pays: $90 Retailer pays: $45 to Nike, and then doubles the price for retail. Nike pays: $22.50 and then doubles the price to retailers for shipping, insurance, duties R&D, marketing, sales, administration and profits. The $22.50 price paid the factory includes: Materials: $14.60 Labor: $3.37 Overhead: $3.41 Factory Profit: $1.12 Total Costs: $22.50 Nike's profit is in the selling of bulk my friends... Blame the retailers as well like athletes foot, foot action, etc -- they're making just as much as Nike -- and for what? Selling you the shoe that you already want -- so basically they're making the same profits as Nike for what, just being there????


    Made in the USA?

    Posted by Anthony Crotti on April 05, 1998 at 18:26:13

    I wonder if the Japanese bitch as much as we do about their cars being manufactured in the US? Another question...Why do we buy Nike and Reebok shoes? Are they better made or just better sold than their competitors? With this sudden outpouring of outrage, will the consumer suddenly run out and purchase Adidas shoes?


    Re: Made in the USA?

    Posted by tommy tom on April 05, 1998 at 18:38:50

    In reply to Made in the USA? posted by Anthony Crotti on April 05, 1998 at 18:26:13

    man, adidas rocks man... i've stopped buying nike since i heard of this


    Re: Re: Made in the USA?

    Posted by Anonymous on April 05, 1998 at 19:07:00

    In reply to Re: Made in the USA? posted by tommy tom on April 05, 1998 at 18:38:50

    tommmy, get a clue buddy. adidas are made in the same sweatshops that Nike uses, check out that label on that phat pair that you own...


    Re: Re: Re: Made in the USA?

    Posted by tommy tom on April 06, 1998 at 19:41:19

    In reply to Re: Re: Made in the USA? posted by Anonymous on April 05, 1998 at 19:07:00

    but do you see adidas getting in this kind of trouble?.. nope, cuz nike has been mistreating their workers


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Made in the USA?

    Posted by Dr Doogie on April 07, 1998 at 16:49:34

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Made in the USA? posted by tommy tom on April 06, 1998 at 19:41:19

    No you see Nike getting into this trouble because they are the biggest. Everybody does it


    Re: Re: Re: Made in the USA?

    Posted by tommy tom on April 06, 1998 at 19:41:19

    In reply to Re: Re: Made in the USA? posted by Anonymous on April 05, 1998 at 19:07:00

    but do you see adidas getting in this kind of trouble?.. nope, cuz nike has been mistreating their workers


    Re: Re: Re: Made in the USA?

    Posted by JoeMomma on April 06, 1998 at 12:26:14

    In reply to Re: Re: Made in the USA? posted by Anonymous on April 05, 1998 at 19:07:00

    haha... why don't we just NEVER BUY SHOES AGAIN!!!!!!! just wear those good ol' MADE IN THE USA flip-flops hell yeah!


    New Balance-Made in USA

    Posted by E-Man on April 06, 1998 at 14:55:30

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Made in the USA? posted by JoeMomma on April 06, 1998 at 12:26:14

    We live in a capitalist system. We have the power $1 at a time to decide who to support and who not to. The main problem is that we don't have the courage of our convictions. I just went out a nbought a pair of New Balance running shoes. They aren't as "cool" as Nikes, but are very comfortable and made in the United States. They were $85 dollars similar to a Nike. I'm sure that the labor costs were higher, but because NB doesn't ahve to suport a $650 million marketing and advertising budget, the cost equals out. This same kind aof consumer chioce can be made in all walks of life. Sometimesd we just have to say," I don't have to have the lastest and greatest, or the least expensive." You can make a moral choice with your dollars-JUST DO IT!


    Re: New Balance-Made in USA

    Posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 23:20:30

    In reply to New Balance-Made in USA posted by E-Man on April 06, 1998 at 14:55:30

    New Balance sources about 85% of their raw materials in the same Asian countries, and then assembles them in the USA. I guess made in the USA is doesn't mean exactly what it says


    Re: New Balance-Made in USA

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 15:28:30

    In reply to New Balance-Made in USA posted by E-Man on April 06, 1998 at 14:55:30

    New Balance produces %75 of their product in Asia. A lot of this production is in the same Pou Chen factory that makes Nikes, Adidas, Asics. You may of bought one of their American made products but you still are supporting a company that adds to the problem being debated here. You should of just bought the Nikes, at least you would have a better pair of shoes. Just Do IT.


    Re: Re: New Balance-Made in USA

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 16:40:55

    In reply to Re: New Balance-Made in USA posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 15:28:30

    Nike would have been a better buy?? I think not. Nike's are crap shoes. The only thing they have going for them is the marketing arm at Nike. They are in effect figure-head shoes. You wear them, they look "trendy", but then they crap out on you, because they are made poorly out of poor materials. Converse shoes last much longer, So do Vans tennis shoes. Nike doesn't make a better product, they only sell their product better (I have to give them credit for that), but to say the product is better is ludicrous and outrageous. I have bought Nike before, not anymore. They don't last. My Vans last forever, even after basketball, skating, bicycling. The Nike's crap out after a few months.


    Re: Re: Re: New Balance-Made in USA

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 17:54:48

    In reply to Re: Re: New Balance-Made in USA posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 16:40:55

    The majority of professional baseball, football, basketball, and T&F athletes are NOT under any endorsement contract. Athletes getting paid to wear shoes is relatively small compared to the whole. The number one choice of these non-contracted athletes is Nike. Have not seen a single one in a pair of Vans. Nike is the number one choice amongst amateur athletes as well. This is partially due to the professionals they see in the product. I myself wear Nikes not because they are trendy, but because they fit me and perform better than anything else I have tried. I admit I have not tried Vans.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: New Balance-Made in USA

    Posted by Drew on April 06, 1998 at 21:48:44

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: New Balance-Made in USA posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 17:54:48

    I disagree with the person on the second post in their attitude toward E-man. Part of the problem with Nike is everyone is saying, "Nothing will ever get done, so why cry about it, do what you want and worry about the consequences, if there are any later." I happen to further disagree that Nike is better than the NB, but I also don't think that Nike's are "crap", like the third follow-up post. I have had a pair of Nike cross-trainers for 2 years now, and a pair of acg's that I've had for 3 years and I have put miles on each of them. But I digress. I too have recently been wondering what I should purchase when I get a new pair of sneakers. I have heard before that we vote with our dollars, and the older I get, the more I see it. I think that we stay true to our convictions. If we sell out, just because we think we're the only ones who will stand, then we are cowards and worse than those who don't care at all. I commend e-man for making a purchase that you feel good about doing. For doing something that was "right" not just going along with everyone else. Don't you all think that Nike would move a little faster at remedying the sub human conditions in their plants if for a week, no one purchased their products? What would that say to a multi-national conglomerate? I think that it might say, spend all you want on marketing, we're still not buying because of your choice to exploit people where you can.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New Balance-Made in USA

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 23:35:03

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: New Balance-Made in USA posted by Drew on April 06, 1998 at 21:48:44

    Good points and I agree to vote with you dollar. The working conditions are shocking to many people, especially those who compare everything to their hometown. Myself I lived, worked and studied in China for 5 years and have seen much of what is being referenced. I would not call the working conditions sub-human, it is a labor-intensive industry that requires repetitive tasks. I believe Nike is making positive change to the working conditions, not as fast as everyone wants but improvements are happening. As for the product I wore the same pair of cross trainers for 4 years in China. Just bought a new pair of ACG's and they are great, not because they are Nikes but because they fit and function the way I would expect a $70 dollar product.


    Re: Made in the USA?

    Posted by Anonymous on April 05, 1998 at 18:33:16

    In reply to Made in the USA? posted by Anthony Crotti on April 05, 1998 at 18:26:13

    And your point?? Out-marketing the competition excuses Nike from Human rights abuses. What a farce. The Japanese are probably doing the same low-balling to their own workers. I wouldn't be surprised if US auto-workers were cheaper than Japanese. Any statistics out there. Please provide links or citations to references please.


    Point by point

    Posted by Ben Gum on April 05, 1998 at 16:51:51

    It seems like there are a number of issues, three brought up by the original report and others by readers, so I wanted to comment on them individually: 1) low wages the fact is nike et al could and should do better here. we cannot expect american level wages, as that would make it economically infeasible to have facotries overseas, but at the very least, us companies should strive for the average, and as they are a wealthy american company they should even do a bit better than that. a minor amount of research will tell us companies what a decent living wage is for the country and the company should provide at least that to the entry level workers.. 2) unsafe conditions while the above is shameful, this is downright criminal. shoe companies know full well (or could easily find out) about the health hazards of their chemicals and their are plenty of means available to protect their workers (eg. better masks and venhilation, or even fume hoods) 3) harsh disipline this is probably more of a function of the culture, but still if a company sets guidelines for conduct they should make sure that they are enforced OTHER TOPICS: 4) MJ alright in many ways mj is great for basketball and a great influence for youth, but he has a key place with nike and certainly has the influence to effect considerable positive change if he wished to. surely nike would clean up conditions and double saleries overnight if mj threatened the one-two punch of leaving nike and denouncing them for their labor practices. it is true that there are many ahead of mj at nike in the line of blame, but as mj has the opportunity to improve conditions, he also has some responsibility. 5. "things are tough all over/other companies do worse" both are very likely true, however this does certainly not excuse inaction. if we have opportunities in even small ways to improve workers conditions, then we should take advantage of these opportunities (eg dont buy their shoes, write letters, picket, spread the information about inhumane conditions). eventually this can help a specific situation and can serve as a warning to other companies. 6. "we're hypocrits unless we make all our own clothes....." true. but it is impossible to not be in a world of so many contradictions. we should instead of worrying about being hypocrits try to create a balance, where we always attempt to do the most socially responsible thing within our means. if you are incredibly wealthy then certainly youd be able to buy products made by companies which all treat their workers well and do not polute. if we arent then well have to pick our battles, ie try to boycott the products of the companies that we know to be the worst offenders. in the case of nike/reebok/... certainly we can all afford to boycott $150 shoes. 7. "before we focus on overseas, we should focus on the us" a) lets consider nike et al and the us. these companies market $150 shoes to us teenagers. thats all well and good if you have loaded parents... but for poor kids its out of the question... the results are theft and even violence to get these highly valued sneakers b) a large comaplint of us workers in that us companies are going overseas with jobs. if the companies are pressured to improve conditions overseas -- then having facories overseas will not be as profitable and companies will more strongly consider creating jobs in the us


    Re: Point by point Re: beatings not cultural

    Posted by Yang C. on April 05, 1998 at 18:18:54

    In reply to Point by point posted by Ben Gum on April 05, 1998 at 16:51:51

    Although I largely agree with what Ben has written, I did want to point out one thing. The "harsh treatment" part about it being maybe a "cultural" thing. No one wants to get beaten, not even "culturally", they feel the same amount of pain and humiliation. Even if it is "normal" for bosses to beat their workers, it is only normal because the boss is in power, and the wage-slave worker is not in a position to change things or openly complain. They certainly wouldn't CHOOSE to be beaten. This docile Asian-people image is false, propagated by wealth Asian business men and conveniantly accepted by western business men and corporate media. They tell you things like Asian workers don't form unions because it's part of their "nature" (always a dangerous word) not to disagree with their bosses. Meanwhile union organizers in these very countries are often intimidated, threatened, beaten, jailed, or killed - in attempts to silence them. This is often carried out by (again conveniantly) a co-operative effort between business and government. The degree to which this is true depends on the government (although this is even true in the few (weak) democratic countries in the region). I would go so far as to call this "cutural" reasoning racist. I'm not calling Ben a racist by any means. It's just this type of cultural reasoning is akin to past (or not so far past) notions that blacks were "naturally" timid or Jews "naturally" greedy, Irish, Hispanic, etc, etc...


    Re: Re: Point by point Re: beatings not cultural

    Posted by Ben Gum on April 05, 1998 at 18:59:26

    In reply to Re: Point by point Re: beatings not cultural posted by Yang C. on April 05, 1998 at 18:18:54

    my apologies if my remarks offended or were misconstrued. it seems i have fallen into a "damned if you dont, damned if you do" pit here. it would have been easy for me in the past letter to say that "beating workers is dispicable" and by my own beliefs it is. however a lot of things pass for status quo in places: lack of women's rights in some parts of the middle east, canings in singapore, and for that matter institutional racism in the us, which i would oppose. however only the last of which am i in some kind of a position to deal with. from the article i got the understanding that the violence in the workplace was korean on vietnamese or even vietnamese on vietnamese.. i dont see how nike is the root cause of this -- though as i stated in my first post i do believe that nike should set and enforce humane standards of conduct. finally i must object to the racism label you place on my remarks. if you read my remarks thoroughly i can only imagine that you made the judgement in the spirit of selfrighteousness and not by any reasonable means. your comparisons between slavery/the holocaust and harshness in the factories are so far off that i must assume that you either know little about the former two or know a lot more about the latter than the report described (which was obviously the basis of my remarks). i hope if you read this you will save your energies that you would use to slur me and my remarks again and direct it towards something positive like writing a letter to nike. if however you insist on writing another flame, i provide my reply in advance: "bite me"


    Re: Re: Re: Point by point Re: beatings not cultural

    Posted by Lam Tran on April 07, 1998 at 14:25:33

    In reply to Re: Re: Point by point Re: beatings not cultural posted by Ben Gum on April 05, 1998 at 18:59:26

    I agree with you on "if a company sets guidelines for conduct they should make sure that they are enforced". I also agree with you on other points. "harsh discipline : this is probably more of a function of the culture" Being a Vietnamese, I want you to know that slapping other people on the face just to make a point is not our culture. I do not even think it is the culture of any country in the world. In my opinion, the woman in the report was caught violating the codes of conduct and she tried to get out of her trouble, maybe to keep her job, by lying that "this is how we do it here in Vietnam." To believe her is naÔve. Let me give you one example. If a guy here in The U.S. is caught sexually abusing his children and comes out saying that "hey, everyone does it here in America, what a big deal!" It would be a big mistake to believe that this is a function of the culture.


    Re: Re: Re: Point by point Re: beatings not cultural

    Posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 07, 1998 at 12:50:32

    In reply to Re: Re: Point by point Re: beatings not cultural posted by Ben Gum on April 05, 1998 at 18:59:26

    As to the physical abuse and to whether it is cultural or not, there is a good article by a shoe manufacturing researcher from Australian National University, Anita Chan. Ms. Chan's article described a "boot camp" management technique used in many shoe manufacturing facilities. It was published by the Washington Post in Oct 96. You can find her article on http://www.saigon.com/nike . This "boot camp" management technique was put in place in China and Indonesia shoe factories to control workers who came from rural areas to work in a modern factory. With such a management practice, factory workers are treated as if they are joining "boot camps". The goal is to have total control over the workers lives -- making sure that they ares are dedicated to one purpose only which is to make shoes. Those workers who are not conforming to such a mind set is forced to suffer through the use of corporal punishment: standing outside in the sun for hours (sun-drying), kneeling on the floor with hands up in the air, sit-up, squash-thrusts, running about the factory, lock inside a cage etc. In China where the factories are located in export processing zone (a large area where one has to present passport to enter), where all workers live in company dormitories, seeing such cruelty would make anyone comply to the factory rules very quickly. The goal of such discipline measures or corporal punishment is to instill fear and discipline in these young women making sure that they work very hard, to endure hardships and sufferings without any complain. If you have conversations with these workers, they used miliary terms to describe themselves calling each other "soldier", "squadron leaders". When Nike factories transplant its factories to Vietnam, such boot camp techniques did not bode well with the Vietnamese. Having fought several war for its independence, such treatment of Vietnamese women were not well received by the Vietnamese. Export processing zones in Vietnam are located right in populated areas and workers are not isolated from the community at large. Nike factories received a lot of criticism from the VNese govt, from its newspapers and the general public. This is one the reason why we have so many reports about Nike factories in Vietnam than Nike factories in China or Indonesia where the govts looked the other way. Regards, Thuyen Nguyen Vietnam Labor Watch http://www.saigon.com/nike


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Point by point Re: beatings not cultural

    Posted by A. Nguyen on April 07, 1998 at 19:00:49

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Point by point Re: beatings not cultural posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 07, 1998 at 12:50:32

    I know you mean well...but you're overdoing it. It's getting rather annoying seeing the same info pasted into your writings over and over and over...and over... I think it's sufficient to make your own arguments and then leave a web address for further info. Please!!!


    A Clarification for Ben

    Posted by Yang C. on April 05, 1998 at 22:28:10

    In reply to Re: Re: Point by point Re: beatings not cultural posted by Ben Gum on April 05, 1998 at 18:59:26

    Hi Ben, I was NOT calling you a racist. I had said "I am not calling Ben a racist by any means." I thought I made that very clear. I apologize that you thought I did. Like I said, I agreed with almost everything you wrote and noted that you must have gone out on your own to have known some of the things you metioned. The part that I addressed seemed to stand out in an otherwise well reasoned list. This is indeed my opinion but what I wrote about the "cultural" argument is not merely my opinion. It's something I have studied and read about. This is an argument that has been gradually contructed over the last few years to explain the "Asian Miracle" (oft quoted in business press). That asian workers (people) are essentially passive and docile (don't form unions etc.) and that this, combined with a "natural" love of hard-work, explained why asian workers were working so hard while being paid so little. They often call this "Confusionism", seen as a type of religious/spiritual belief. Almost all of the economically booming countries (the "asian tigers") have very different religious beliefs ranging from Buddism, taosim, folk religion to Christianity. None of them share one religion. If there was a shared belief like "Confusionism" it must have been around for thousands of years which fails to explain the sudden economic boom of the past 20-30 years. In the earlier days of industrialization and the expansion of capitalism in the US this same "Confusionism" view was used as an explaination as to why asian countries weren't economically booming. They were seen as docile, not really interested in making money, etc. This same reasoning works in reverse to explain South American workers (which has low production values due to a whole different host of factors), who are regarded as "naturally" lazy, slow and uninterested in work. You can see how this is connected to the "institutional racism" that you (and I) despise. And it's really not that surprising, it's in the same structure. If you just read the mainstream corporate-owned media, you just get the institutional view of the day; convinient and undebated. Nike isn't a "root cause" of this, but it is part of the powerful business elite who have a lot of weight in both the media and public perceptions though massive PR spending (they spend almost $1 billion in advertising each year) . Nike only makes about 1% of its own shoes. They don't own very many factories and buy from "contractors" which saves them a lot of money because they don't have to engage the govn'ts of the various countries. The owners of these factories are the local business elites who largely own the local economy and have close ties to the often corrupt non or weak democratic governments. Quite a few of these govn'ts have made many documented (Amnesty International) serious human rights abouses. There are many local grassroots organizations and activist groups, in the form of unions and people's groups, fighting the conditions in their countries who face intimidation, beatings, imprisonment and death for doing so. By supporting the local business elite and govn't, companies like Nike, Shell, Nestle, Pepsico, Texaco, and many others are complicit and profiting from the suffering, exploitation and suppression of the people in these countries. "your comparisons between slavery/the holocaust and harshness in the factories are so far off..." I wasn't comparing it to slavery or the holocost, just racism in the form of the naturalization of "racial characteristics" that we have seen (and still see). "i hope if you read this you will save your energies that you would use to slur me and my remarks again and direct it towards something positive like writing a letter to nike." I apologize for any perceived slurs. I am actually a member of a very active... activist community in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Among the actions we regularly do is monthly picketing the large Nike temple (store) on the expensive shopping street in the city and hand out info flyers. I learned a long time ago that letter writing does NOT work. I can suggest numerous sources for more information/analysis involving human rights, corporate power, or mainstream media. I entered my email address.


    Policy and Consumer Options

    Posted by U.Sinclair on April 05, 1998 at 15:17:07

    Two things I gathered from the ESPN report are 1) buy New Balance 2) public policy can have a huge influence. Look at the example of Converse, which, according to ESPN, they produce their canvas shoes in the US because of a tariff law. We can change how things are done and too few good ideas are tried since people like Phil Knight buy our Congress representatives.


    no they are not

    Posted by jeffrey datto on April 05, 1998 at 10:33:16

    Working for Nike in Vietnam is not the most glamourous of jobs, but it is putting food in their stomaches, clothes on their backs, and sneakers on their feet. In a country plagued with poverty, I feel that Nike is providing a job opportunity which wouldn't be there before. Seriously, atleast Nike is taking a step to give these women an opportunity to earn a living which wasn't there before.


    Re: no they are not

    Posted by Geoff on April 05, 1998 at 13:31:48

    In reply to no they are not posted by jeffrey datto on April 05, 1998 at 10:33:16

    I hate to break this to you, but the wokers over there cannot afford to put the sneakers that they make on their feet. And in many instances the choices they have are either food or clothing for the month, and not necessarily both.


    Re: Re: no they are not

    Posted by Anonymous on April 05, 1998 at 22:22:55

    In reply to Re: no they are not posted by Geoff on April 05, 1998 at 13:31:48

    They can't buy the shoes they make because the Vietnamese government does not currently allow Nikes to be marketed in thier country. You do see a lot on the black market stolen by the factory workers. As for foor AND clothes, their minimum wage allows to buy both and save a good portion of their money. Unless you disregard the independent survey conducted by the most prestigious business school in this country recently conducted. Working conditions are not to your liking but don't bitch about the wages. These semi-skilled teenagers are making more than doctors in thier country.


    Re: Re: Re: no they are not

    Posted by A. Nguyen on April 07, 1998 at 19:05:08

    In reply to Re: Re: no they are not posted by Anonymous on April 05, 1998 at 22:22:55

    Even if the Vietnamese government did allow the people to buy Nike's products, do you think they will ever be able to afford it? Hmmm, at $45/month, I would have to starve a couple months to do it. The stuff you find on the black market is really only affordable by the elite upperclass. These people are making more than doctors? Maybe doctors from rural areas only. Otherwise, we would expect to see doctors lining up for Nike jobs so they can feed their families. Now, if you ever find a doctor doing such a thing, please tell me. I'd drop my medical profession and go do something else. Don't place such emphasis on the Tuck School of Business' survey. $45/month is good enough for rural areas but not in the cities. Costs of living differ between various areas, even here in the US. The locations of these Nike factories are not exactly rural.


    Re: Re: no they are not

    Posted by Anonymous on April 05, 1998 at 19:14:52

    In reply to Re: no they are not posted by Geoff on April 05, 1998 at 13:31:48

    I really don't know what the workers wages can buy, a more relevant issue is what they get paid compared to other jobs in Vietnam. Their wages are said to be above the national average. If the minimum wages were raised in Vietnam, NIKE would just move the factories elsewhere. Of more concern to me is the health and environmental issues.


    Re: Re: Re: no they are not

    Posted by Geoff on April 05, 1998 at 23:09:27

    In reply to Re: Re: no they are not posted by Anonymous on April 05, 1998 at 19:14:52

    The average national wage in Vietnam(and this is just focusing on Vietnam, not on Nike's plants in China, or Indonesia) is $850.00 American dollars. The average wage for a Nike worker is $350. Per year for both of them.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: no they are not-Your figures are wrong

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 15:13:33

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: no they are not posted by Geoff on April 05, 1998 at 23:09:27

    The average wage in vietnam is currently $220 per capita. At 23 cents per hour workers making sneakers make almost $500 per year without any overtime. This wage is over twice the per capita income.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: no they are not-Your figures are wrong

    Posted by Thuyen Nguyen on April 07, 1998 at 08:36:14

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: no they are not-Your figures are wrong posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 15:13:33

    Be careful of using the average per capita income for a country like a Vietnam where the distribution of income is very skewed. In any statistics course, you will find that average becomes meaningless when the data is not distributed "normally". The income data in VN is not "normally" distributed. It's true that per capita income for Vietnam is about $250-$300 but in the urban area of VN where all Nike factories are located this figure jumped to $800. These factories are located in developed area where less than 20% of the population is dependent on farming (semi-urban). When we started this process of investigating Nike, we were assuming that all US companies were doing the same thing in Vietnam. And we found that Nike was the exception and not the rule. Most US companies treat Vietnamese workers very well and the Vietnamese love working for US companies. Nike is a few exceptions, or bad apples among very good US companies. Nike factories are the lowest paid factories of all foreign enterprises in Vietnam. Other US companies like CocaCola, Pepsi paid $80 per month vs. $45 per month. Nike factories are probably the worst factories in all foreign enterprises in Vietnam in terms of labor practices. It is then very reasonable that Americans tell Nike and Reebok to clean up their acts in Vietnam. Regards, Thuyen Nguyen http://www.saigon.com/nike


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: no they are not-Your figures are wrong

    Posted by Geoff on April 07, 1998 at 02:14:17

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: no they are not-Your figures are wrong posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 15:13:33

    Yes, but that $220/capita represtns things such as sustenance farming in which farmers don't receive a wage. My figures represtn actual paid salaries. Also Nike is paying these people the minimum wage in Vietnam, this does not represtn more than waht is being paid doctors and teachers as some here have claimed. Also what has not come up here enough is that Nike is paying just as low in Indonesia, where average wages for the population are comparitively higher and thus wages in a sweatshop buy even less.


    Re: Re: no they are not

    Posted by Bert on April 05, 1998 at 19:14:52

    In reply to Re: no they are not posted by Geoff on April 05, 1998 at 13:31:48

    I really don't know what the workers wages can buy, a more relevant issue is what they get paid compared to other jobs in Vietnam. Their wages are said to be above the national average. If the minimum wages were raised in Vietnam, NIKE would just move the factories elsewhere. Of more concern to me is the health and environmental issues.


    no they are not--wages above the average doesn't mean very much

    Posted by Anti Capitalist on April 05, 1998 at 19:34:14

    In reply to Re: Re: no they are not posted by Bert on April 05, 1998 at 19:14:52

    > I really don't know what the workers wages can buy, a more relevant issue is what they get paid compared to other > jobs in Vietnam. Their wages are said to be above the national average. The following is merely a speculation, but please read on: The problem is that other jobs in a traditional economy such as Vietnam's are often jobs that would mean working in the household on family farms, whatever, which would generate no income, thus making the the income they get from Nike sound like more than it is. > If the minimum wages were raised in Vietnam, NIKE would just move the factories elsewhere. That's probably true, but that doesn't make it right what Nike does.


    Re: no they are not--wages above the average doesn't mean very much

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 15:21:23

    In reply to no they are not--wages above the average doesn't mean very much posted by Anti Capitalist on April 05, 1998 at 19:34:14

    So Nike should not provide an alternative to sustenance farming? These jobs are the first step in the evolution of their country's economy. There has been a lot of argument that the US should leave them alone, not provide any jobs, let them eveolve on their own. I think that is best answered by the Vietnamese people who line up by the hundreds for each open position in these factories.


    Re: Re: no they are not--wages above the average doesn't mean very much

    Posted by Drew on April 06, 1998 at 22:09:53

    In reply to Re: no they are not--wages above the average doesn't mean very much posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 15:21:23

    >>So Nike should not provide an alternative to sustenance farming? These jobs are the first step in the evolution of their country's economy<< And what an important first step they are too. Could you imagine what might happen to a country if they decided to start with a shoe factory, or some other manufacturing facility? They'd get hungry awfully fast.


    1%!!!!

    Posted by Geoff on April 05, 1998 at 01:31:53

    1%!!!! That's all it would take of Nike's advertising budget for a year to ensure that all of these workers lived above the poverty level!! But oh boy, we can't do that because it would cut into profits, and we can't interfere in the free market, and we don't want to pay extra for our sneakers, and blah blah blah! Your denials, cognitive dissonance, rationalizations and smug naieve knee jerk patriotism are benath all of you.


    Re: 1%!!!!

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 19:20:04

    In reply to 1%!!!! posted by Geoff on April 05, 1998 at 01:31:53

    Who's poverty level? They Vietnamese factory workers are already well above their poverty level. These workers currently make over twice the Vietnam national average. Nike could give them 1% and then they could be the upper class in Vietnam. Sounds like a great idea.


    Re: Re: 1%!!!!

    Posted by Geoff on April 07, 1998 at 02:19:22

    In reply to Re: 1%!!!! posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 19:20:04

    Well above their poverty level??? You must be reading way too much Nike propaganda, Jack, or excuse me anonymous. These people cant afford decent housing with running water, to pay for enough food to eat per month, etc. They live in shanty shacks without electricity and poor sanitation. I defy you to live on a Nike wage for even a month!! You'd probably miss playing golf too much...


    Take a good look around you!!!

    Posted by Old Man on April 05, 1998 at 00:01:08

    I have really enjoyed reading this interesting debate. However, for those of you who have a problem with these companies producing products in Vietnam you must be naked, without any electrical appliance, walk to everywhere you travel, and eat food from your own garden. Almost every consumer good you own including an American automobile was made or has components from third world countries. If you think the working conditions in any of those factories are any different (except for worse) you are so naÔve. I have been in manufacturing and importing for 49 years. I have visited more countries than a UNC geography major could identify. I have seen it all and tell you to get out and see the world before you try to analyze it. The history lessons posted in some of these messages on American industrialization and the forming of unions has jogged my memory, thank you for that. History will repeat itself in these third world countries. I am glad you young people take such an interest in our world. Personally I would like to see us all take more interest in this country which is in decline, trust me on that. God bless you all.


    Re: Take a good look around you!!!

    Posted by Dan F. on April 05, 1998 at 18:19:46

    In reply to Take a good look around you!!! posted by Old Man on April 05, 1998 at 00:01:08

    << However, for those of you who have a problem with these companies producing products in Vietnam you must be naked, without any electrical appliance, walk to everywhere you travel, and eat food from your own garden. Almost every consumer good you own including an American automobile was made or has components from third world countries. If you think the working conditions in any of those factories are any different (except for worse) you are so naÔve.>> I'm sorry Old Man, but come on! I don't care if workers get tortured in other factories, it doesn't change the fact that what NIKE is doing in Vietnam is wrong! Sure, this might be a big, bad world we're living in, but can you blame us for trying to improve things?? What you said above is just yet another way to try to get NIKE off the hook for taking responsibility for its actions.


    Re: Re: Take a good look around you!!!

    Posted by tommy tom on April 05, 1998 at 18:35:06

    In reply to Re: Take a good look around you!!! posted by Dan F. on April 05, 1998 at 18:19:46

    you rock dan f.!... the old man should stop talking


    Re: Take a good look around you!!!

    Posted by Dan F. on April 05, 1998 at 18:19:46

    In reply to Take a good look around you!!! posted by Old Man on April 05, 1998 at 00:01:08

    << However, for those of you who have a problem with these companies producing products in Vietnam you must be naked, without any electrical appliance, walk to everywhere you travel, and eat food from your own garden. Almost every consumer good you own including an American automobile was made or has components from third world countries. If you think the working conditions in any of those factories are any different (except for worse) you are so naÔve.>> I'm sorry Old Man, but come on! I don't care if workers get tortured in other factories, it doesn't change the fact that what NIKE is doing in Vietnam is wrong! Sure, this might be a big, bad world we're living in, but can you blame us for trying to improve things?? What you said above is just yet another way to try to get NIKE off the hook for taking responsibility for its actions.


    Re: Take a good look around you!!!

    Posted by OLD WOMAN on April 05, 1998 at 12:00:50

    In reply to Take a good look around you!!! posted by Old Man on April 05, 1998 at 00:01:08

    Why don't you live in one of these countries?


    Re: Re: Take a good look around you!!!

    Posted by tommy tom on April 05, 1998 at 18:36:59

    In reply to Re: Take a good look around you!!! posted by OLD WOMAN on April 05, 1998 at 12:00:50

    why don't you?.. and i have lived in vietnam....


    Re: Re: Re: Take a good look around you!!!

    Posted by old woman on April 06, 1998 at 10:37:59

    In reply to Re: Re: Take a good look around you!!! posted by tommy tom on April 05, 1998 at 18:36:59

    You SHOULD HAVE STAYED THERE!!!


    Factory Workers

    Posted by Gerd Eysser on April 04, 1998 at 22:53:56

    How much of this sweat labor profit does Nike use to show us how socially conscious they are. And for Michael Jordan to remain silent on this issue is dispicable (sp?). It doesn't take character or integrity to get paid $$MMMMM's from Nike. How much does this guy need? More millions at the expense of these kids making the shoes with his namesake? If MJ had any class, character, he could put an end to this practice immediately. Instead, Mr. Greed keeps his hands open and turns his head. He may be the greatest BB player of all time, I wonder how he will be viewed in later years as a "person"?


    Re: Factory Workers

    Posted by Alex on April 04, 1998 at 23:48:29

    In reply to Factory Workers posted by Gerd Eysser on April 04, 1998 at 22:53:56

    He will be remembered for what he is, a great person. A true role model to children, a great athlete, and a good human being. Just because he is a tremendous athlete and can generate millions of dollars for endorsements does not make him a bad person. The companies that pay him millions (not only Nike) reap huge returns from using him as a spokesperson. If you really believe that the factories producing Nikes are as bad as the cheap journalists make it out to believe than that is really sad. Look at both sides of the story befor you think you have a clue. These factories as bad as they are portrayed are the best working environments in the countries they are located. Stop blaming American business for 100% of the problem and start asking these governments to take care of their own people. We have enough problems at home that need our attention.


    Re: Re: Factory Workers..HELLO? WHERE'S YOUR BRAIN?

    Posted by Anonymous on April 05, 1998 at 06:47:37

    In reply to Re: Factory Workers posted by Alex on April 04, 1998 at 23:48:29

    >He will be remembered for what he is, a great person. A >true role model to children, a great athlete, and a good >human being. Just because he is a tremendous athlete and >can generate millions of dollars for endorsements does not >make him a bad person. The companies that pay him millions >(not only Nike) reap huge returns from using him as a >spokesperson. If you really believe that the factories >producing Nikes are as bad as the cheap journalists make it >out to believe than that is really sad. Look at both sides >of the story before you think you have a clue. These I suppose you have in-depth interviews with the workers in Vietnam. Make sure you know what you're talking about before using terms like "cheap journalists". >factories as bad as they are portrayed are the best working >environments in the countries they are located. Stop Again, how do you know that? Did you study in Vietnam? Or did you let Hollywood mold your thoughts? I'll bet you still think all they do is grow rice. >blaming American business for 100% of the problem and start >asking these governments to take care of their own people. Finally, something remotely intelligent: Start asking these governments to take care of their own people. In order for this to happen you need to educate your friends and politicians about the subject. >We have enough problems at home that need our attention. That doesn't mean we should ignore the world around us. History will tell you that other country's problems can quickly become our problems. Change is not out of our control. The classic economist feels that the market takes care of everything, when in reality this is not the case. Political pressure and social disdain can force a company or government to change its policies. Get involved, YOUR FUTURE IS AT STAKE.


    Re: Re: Re: Factory Workers..HELLO? WHERE'S YOUR BRAIN?

    Posted by Anonymous on April 05, 1998 at 22:33:05

    In reply to Re: Re: Factory Workers..HELLO? WHERE'S YOUR BRAIN? posted by Anonymous on April 05, 1998 at 06:47:37

    My brain is in my head, whats left of it. I currently live in Vietnam (visiting the USA until the 15th). I am sure I have a better perspective than you do on what goes on in the country. I own (through my wife) a very well known bar in Ho Chi Mihn city where a lot of the expatriates hang-out. Also when most journalists are in town they come to my place for beers, we talk and I get their angle. Funny when the stories hit print or the TV none of the positive things they have discussed seem to make it past editing. "Cheap journalist" probably was not fair, but certainly they are not objective.


    People want products to be cheap.

    Posted by Anonymous on April 04, 1998 at 21:49:18

    To the protesters at UNC people haven't paid much attention because they are more likely to be outraged by the price of Nike shoes if they were produced in the US, then the conditions of workers in other countries.


    Re: People want products to be cheap.

    Posted by crazy joe devola on April 06, 1998 at 17:33:19

    In reply to People want products to be cheap. posted by Anonymous on April 04, 1998 at 21:49:18

    Cheap? Retailers are the ones making bank... The cost of labor for Nike products varies slightly by model, volume and source. As a general rule, labor represents about 15% of the price Nike pays the factory for the product. Because Nikeís cost is about 25% of retail cost, labor accounts for about 4% of the retail cost. The breakdown is roughly as follows: Consumer pays: $90 Retailer pays: $45 to Nike, and then doubles the price for retail. Nike pays: $22.50 and then doubles the price to retailers for shipping, insurance, duties R&D, marketing, sales, administration and profits. The $22.50 price paid the factory includes: Materials: $14.60 Labor: $3.37 Overhead: $3.41 Factory Profit: $1.12 Total Costs: $22.50 Nike's profit is in the selling of bulk my friends... Blame the retailers as well like athletes foot, foot action, etc -- they're making just as much as Nike -- and for what? Selling you the shoe that you already want -- so basically they're making the same profits as Nike for what, just being there????


    Re: People want products to be cheap.

    Posted by JoAnn Ailes on April 05, 1998 at 11:35:41

    In reply to People want products to be cheap. posted by Anonymous on April 04, 1998 at 21:49:18

    You're missing the point. The price doesn't have to be higher because the product is made here. CORPORATE'S PROFITS would be lower. Instead of BILLIONS they'd only make MILLIONS


    Re: Re: People want products to be cheap.

    Posted by close talker on April 06, 1998 at 17:39:25

    In reply to Re: People want products to be cheap. posted by JoAnn Ailes on April 05, 1998 at 11:35:41

    Wrong -- thanks for playin'...that's NOT gonna happen. See Crazy Joe Devola's comments on the previous follow-ups. Nike's getting a raw deal here. How 'bout the damn retailers? They're cleaning-up.


    Re: Re: Re: People want products to be cheap.

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 17:42:12

    In reply to Re: Re: People want products to be cheap. posted by close talker on April 06, 1998 at 17:39:25

    Nice try, shifting the direction of the attack to the retailers won't work here. The retailers aren't sub-contracting the employees in Vietnam, Nike is. Sure the retailers profit might also be exorbitant, but that doesn't excuse Nike for the sweatshops they sub-contract. Nike is still culpable. Try again.


    Re: People want products to be cheap.

    Posted by Geoff on April 05, 1998 at 01:28:58

    In reply to People want products to be cheap. posted by Anonymous on April 04, 1998 at 21:49:18

    You're right. I want to buy sneakers made by companies who obviously regard human life as cheap, and can't make snekaers in the US because that would mean raising prices in order to keep Phil Knight as one of the 5 richest men in the world. God forbid he take a pay cut.


    Athletics as an Integral Component of Education

    Posted by Jennings Durand on April 04, 1998 at 17:09:52

    Based solely upon a business viewpoint, UNC-Chapel Hill and other universities with multi-million dollar apparel contracts have hit the jackpot. Clearly, such institutions have no complaints about the acquisition of free uniforms, footwear, and equipment; the deposit of NIKE's (or other companies') cold, hard cash into University coffers; and other spin-off benefits to the school's club and intramural sports programs. What gives me concern is the question, "What does NIKE get out of the deal?" The answer: advertising. Pretty cheap advertising, actually. This is not a disputed point. NIKE clearly seeks the omnipresent connection to highly watched and respected athletes. When Antawn Jameson wins player of the year honors after playing all but one game on TV -- wearing sweet NIKE gear all the while, NIKE's investment in UNC athletics pays off. Athletes of all ages watch Mr. Jameson and his fellow collegians on men's and, to a point, women's basketball and football teams; in following the general idea of marketing and advertising, we can presume that many of the spectators will remember what their favorite players wear when they buy their next pair of shoes. Sounds great? Too good to be true . . . both NIKE and UNC win? It is. This marketing scheme is great for a professional environment, but UNC does not employ any professional athletics teams. Colleges and universities operate AMATEUR programs. Note that NIKE and its peers are not the problems. Rather, they are an obvious symbol of the systemic problems in college athletics. We need to reign in the system. In order to be competitive in the search for TV cash, "big game" payoffs, and NIKE contracts, universities are forced to compromise their academic credentials to increase their talent pools. Not only do Universities commonly accept athletes whose high school academic records are not competitive with the records of their peers, they actually accept athletes whose academic preparation is below the admissions departments' minimum requirements. These young people, already at a disadvantage compared to more prepared students, are thrown into the rigors of college academics in addition to hours upon hours of weightlifting, film tapes, practice time, traveling, and playing games. In remarkable hypocrisy, university officials -- the same ones who sign the multi-million dollar TV and apparel contracts -- respond to calls to pay athletes for the time with quick criticism that you should not pay amateur athletes. Also, consider the role of athletics as an academic pursuit. Many argue that college athletics should be a component of education, not an extracurricular activity. Athletics participation is an wonderful learning experience. It works just like any other course of study: students set goals for the course of study; they learn the techniques needed to achieve those goals; they practice those techniques until they are mastered; and, finally, they put their newly gained abilities to a series of tests. However, at most colleges, athletics might be given good lip-service as an integral component to education, but it is rarely treated as an extra-curricular activity. Athletics is not an accredited activity; if an athlete is lucky, she might get one credit for a PE class. Thus, in pursuing cash to fund the program and luring public attention and support that spill over into other university fundraising programs, a college admits a large number of students who are not as prepared for college as their non-athlete peers. Next, the college gives them scholarships so that they can pursue a course of study (athletics) which is not even an accredited course at the school. A NIKE contract is the perfect case-study to demonstrate that college sports has spun away from its genuine, educational mission and obligations. If we truly valued athletics as an integral part of education, we would accredit the program. Second, we would fund the athletics department just as we do any other department: through donations and through TUITION! A quick glance at the enormous popularity of college's participant-funded club sports programs and student fees-funded IM sports programs reveals that students would be happy to pay for varsity athletics' education opportunities. And for those students who would not be admitted who might have been under the current system, ponder the true goals of higher education. Those students can still go to college, IF they are encouraged to concentrate on academic pursuits while they are in elementary, middle, and high school. Lose the TV contracts and huge stadium-construction projects. If an extremely talented young athlete is more interested in getting a job instead of going to college, he can join the many other non-college graduates in the work force; he can try to play professional sports. For fans who shudder at the possibility of not having the big Duke game. . . that's we have DC United and the Chicago Bulls. Without special admissions and without the misguided philosophy that athletics should be a self-supporting extracurriluar activity, college students could continue to set goals, to train, and to compete against one another and against perceptions of their own limits. Without special admissions and the money-raising frenzy, colleges could get back to doing that which is their specialty: educating.


    It's Not Just About Shoes

    Posted by N. Chomsky on April 04, 1998 at 16:04:56

    First of all, I'd like to address the "economic reality" arguements. During the worst times for US workers in the early American industrial periods (1930's and 40's), barely livable wages, terrible conditions etc. there were unions being formed which were violently suppressed by federal & state govn'ts. Their eventual and bloody victories brought about the spending boom of the 1950s because people now had money to buy new cars, frig. stove etc. It's easy to see similarites in the "third world". In the last 20-30 years large manufacturers have moved from the developed (unionized) countries to poor, often non or weak democratic countries, sometimes brutal regiems like in China or Indonesia (where Nike also makes shoes). There's a connection here. These countries (China, Indonesia, and recently Vietnam) are favoured nations for trade with the US (business & govn't) and given extra attention and "encouragement" (tax-breaks, subsidies etc.) for "investing" (build factories) in these countries. Unioniztion in these countries are supressed, often brutally, organizers are beaten, killed or imprisioned. Again we have PEOPLE suffering/expoited for the PROFIT of business and with the BLESSING of government. People go hungry in those countries for many reasons. (Note that they've had subsistance (self-sustaining) farming for hundreds of years) They go hungry because of governments that are either corrupt (but US supported) or under pressure by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or World Bank to force economic reforms similar to those in the very different developed countries upon their population. They also go hungry because land-ownership is extremely unequal, much land owned by a few big businesses (local and foriegn). Although there is strong local resistance (grassroots & community organizations), they are kept out of the power structure. The few upper-middle class and rich hold powerful positions in decision-making (their sons often educated in US colleges) and maintain things. It's not hard to figure out who benefits from these types of situations: the local business elite, and foriegn investors (ie. US business elite, top 5% own 80% of stocks). We, in the rich and privilaged countries, are being used as well. We COMSUME. They PRODUCE; BILLION$ in advertising tell us we need it; we buy it; profits are made. I participate, you participate, we participate, many people suffer and a few greatly profit.


    Re: It's Not Just About Shoes

    Posted by Steve on April 06, 1998 at 18:26:21

    In reply to It's Not Just About Shoes posted by N. Chomsky on April 04, 1998 at 16:04:56

    "Professor Chomsky's" little discourse seems to ignore one important aspect of labor practices in the United States: Slavery. If it weren't for slavery, this country's infrastructure, and agricultural output would have been shot to hell in 1930 so it wouldn't have mattered what the labor leaders would have done, people would have starved to death and endured unemployement anyway. Also the United States after world war one was one of the world's most vibrant and fastest growing economies. And despite the crippling effect of the Great Depresion, it was already competing with Europe for world economic dominance. This is no where near the economic dynamics of Vietnam or even South Korea before the financial crisis. I agree that it is important to pressure companies over human rights violations, I have heard of instances where employees have even been raped in these factories. Companies do have the influence, and should use it accordingly, to reduce human rights violations significantly within their factories, in Vietnam and other third world countries. But to clamor for a union as the answer is both premature and could end up hurting the workers themselves. Unions can increase wages, and work to improve workers conditions, but many workers that would otherwise have a job would end up unempoloyed. If Nike's workers organize and succeed in doubling their pay, then, easily, one third of the work force would be layed off. What sort of alternatives lie ahead for these women who have endured significant health risks, corporal punishment for a $500. These women are not stupid, they show up for work every day, they are not forced into this factory to work as the slaves were forced into the fields onehundred years ago. What alternatives do these women have if they are layed off from a minimum wage job? Where would they work? Probably in something economists call the "informal sector" like house cleaning for half the going wage at Nike, or maybe, if they're desperate enough, even prostitution. I think that's too high a price to pay for any war.


    Re: Lack of "Free Market" Fantasy-types responding

    Posted by C. Guevara (not really) on April 05, 1998 at 14:33:35

    In reply to It's Not Just About Shoes posted by N. Chomsky on April 04, 1998 at 16:04:56

    Why is it that all those who beleive religiously to the mysterious hand of the "free market" missing from responding to this particular message? They seem to weigh in on any other insignificant, provoked topic. ps. I really don't think it's actually Chomsky. I don't know who did it but check out the post "The Connection Between Consumption and Brutality" on April 3rd.


    Re: Re: Lack of "Free Market" Fantasy-types responding

    Posted by Anonymous on April 05, 1998 at 17:20:01

    In reply to Re: Lack of "Free Market" Fantasy-types responding posted by C. Guevara (not really) on April 05, 1998 at 14:33:35

    I posted the Chomsky quote on April 3. I am a graduate student at USC, (LA) and WE all better look around quick. I concurr, where is the dissension to the article. Chomsky goes unscathed once again. Can anyone argue with the man. Place your links here or links to the facts. My friends, I want facts, figures, Chomsky for President. I think the overriding problem here is the money, perks, and priviliges that flow to politicians from these mult-nationals. Eliminate campaign contributions, take money out of the system. How did it get there in the first place?? Take the money out, and we will have people left in office who seek to do the will of the people. Now we have people in office who are there because there is so much money to be had in Washington (err. back room politics). They represent the corporate-fat cats and doe their bidding. Take the money out of the system. We as citizens have an obligation to amend our system when it is flawed. It is flawed. How would the tobacco companies get away with the smoking crap, lies they have been spewing. The examples are endless: 1. Silicon breast implants, yeah they are safe no problem (yeah right, a deliberate attempt to injure women). 2. NutraSweet gains FDA approval even though it causes cancer This drug took years to slither it's way through the FDA. The politicians do what the fat cats pay them to do. They are not acting in the interest of their constituents. We can attack our politicians, demand the truth, Take the money out of the system. We should have publicly funded elections, I think some elections in Europe are facilitated through public funds.


    Re: Re: Re: Lack of "Free Market" Fantasy-types responding

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 14:54:19

    In reply to Re: Re: Lack of "Free Market" Fantasy-types responding posted by Anonymous on April 05, 1998 at 17:20:01

    your point about breast implants are wrong. the New England Journal of Medience did a study of the silicon scare and found that the % of women who had implants and got diseases like cancer are the same as women who didn't have implants. the reason this exists is because in a civil lawsuit almost anyone can decleare themselves an expert and testify. who gets most of this money won in court. the lawers of course along with paying that so called expert. this isn't to say that the implants are totally safe just that more indpendent research needs to be done.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Lack of "Free Market" Fantasy-types responding

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 16:34:20

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Lack of "Free Market" Fantasy-types responding posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 14:54:19

    You quote the New England Journal of Medicine, what Volume, issue, date, etc. A pretty useless quote without this information. How old is the study, do more recent studies contradict this study. More meaningless drivel. What about the other points, The tobacco industry wasn't lying all those years?? Of course they were and are about to pay big for it. Dow Corning settled some lawsuits over breast implants. Why settle if you will win because of your innocence. They settled because they were guilty. Why are implants made out of saline now. Why not silicon. The facts don't support your argument.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lack of "Free Market" :Breast Implant Example

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 18:14:52

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Lack of "Free Market" Fantasy-types responding posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 16:34:20

    A quick search on Lycos brought up the following URL from the FDA: http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/995_implants.html#known The opening paragraph states: "Recently published studies have shown that women with silicone gel-filled breast implants do not have a greatly increased risk of some well-defined autoimmune diseases, which were among the serious health concerns surrounding the devices. These include potentially fatal connective tissue diseases such as scleroderma and lupus erythematosus. The new studies do not, however, rule out the possibility that a subset of women with implants may have a small increased risk of these conditions, or that some women might develop other immune-related symptoms that don't conform to "classic" disease descriptions. Nor did the studies address other important safety questions, including implant rupture rates and the incidence of capsular contracture (shrinking of scar tissue around the implant, which can cause painful hardening of the breast or distort its appearance). Answers to these and other questions await the results of new or ongoing studies." The rest of the silicone portion of the article covers a number of studies that show no statistically significant link between silicone breast implants immune-related diseases. As to why people don't buy them anymore, they are scared of unproven data blasted at them from the media. The facts do support the argument in relation to breast implants. I disagree on the tobacco side, and I am not very informed in that situation, so I withold comment.


    Re: Re: Re: Chomsky no President

    Posted by C. Guevara (not really) on April 05, 1998 at 17:40:33

    In reply to Re: Re: Lack of "Free Market" Fantasy-types responding posted by Anonymous on April 05, 1998 at 17:20:01

    Noam Chomsky would definatly NOT want to be president. In addition to some obvious reasons, he is a self-proclaimed anarchist. anarchist don't believe in that type of top-down structure or representative governent. Not to say he doesn't believe people shouldn't vote for the people they want, just that I really don't think he would actually participate in running for. Just to clarify.


    Re: It's Not Just About Shoes

    Posted by JoAnn Ailes on April 05, 1998 at 11:42:04

    In reply to It's Not Just About Shoes posted by N. Chomsky on April 04, 1998 at 16:04:56

    You are 100% correct. I wish I had worded it that well. But the fight needs to continue. Because of CORPORATE GREED and our GOVERNMENT taking advantage of the American worker again, Just like they did in the 30's and 40's. The working class have had it too easy for too long. They don't realize what it took to get us where we are today. Too much has been handed to the younger generations. They don't realize, had it not been for the labor movement in the 30's and 40's, we wouldn't have an 8 hour work day, breaks and lunches, vacations, sick pay and sick leave,safety laws and human rights. What we need is LABOR EDUCATION from elementary thru high school.


    listen to the professor (Noam Chomsky)

    Posted by bucky badger on April 05, 1998 at 06:18:34

    In reply to It's Not Just About Shoes posted by N. Chomsky on April 04, 1998 at 16:04:56

    read professor Chomsky's message. (assuming of course that "N. Chomsky" really is the professor). his expert opinion casts a brilliant light on this entire discussion.


    Re: It's Not Just About Shoes, it's about corporations

    Posted by bucky badger on April 05, 1998 at 05:53:36

    In reply to It's Not Just About Shoes posted by N. Chomsky on April 04, 1998 at 16:04:56

    As a young consumer i am often faced with the difficult question of what to buy. should i buy nike's shoes soiled with the blood of oppressed workers or reebok's shoes soiled with the blood of different oppressed workers and brought to me by a corporation that had the gall to suggest a "no disparagement" clause in the atrocious exclusive contract signed with my university (wisconsin). I shouldn't have to be weighing what is worse. corporations should adhere to ethical environmental and labor practices so i can buy what is best with the few dollars that i have. If multinational corporations do not stop their injust and unsustainable practices, and there is no indication that they will, it is up to the consumer to actually consume less. the economist insists that we need growth but i disagree. we need sustainability and the ability to live with nature, not against it. multinational corporations engage in far more atrocities than sweatshop labor and opress workers in far more countries than vietnam. they are everywhere and dangerous new treaties (MAI) are giving them even more power. it's time for them to stop and we have the power to do it. buy locally and buy less. don't support corporations


    Re: It's all about Human Rights

    Posted by Tim Kuhn on April 04, 1998 at 17:10:39

    In reply to It's Not Just About Shoes posted by N. Chomsky on April 04, 1998 at 16:04:56

    I'd like to echo and add to Professor Chomsky's opinion . . . what I find problematic in the discourse in and around this issue (and several other like it around the world) is that the debaters seem to be falling into a too-simple nationalistic argument. Too often, this is framed as a "we vs. they" (US vs. Vietnam, Mexico, China, etc.) discussion, and talk centers on abstract issues of international politics and economics--and too often is concerned with decrying "their" backward political systems and "their" need for economic stimulation that "we" can provide. Though this is a fascinating discussion, it seems that this obscures the heart of the issue: that this is about basic, fundamental HUMAN RIGHTS that transcend national boundaries. Indeed, if we think of this as a human rights issue, we begin to see that violations of workers' rights happens all around the world, yes, even in "our" country (see the L.A. garment workers' struggle). And when we conceive of the issue in this way, it becomes much easier to understand each individual's role in the creation and maintenance of the system that makes these inhumane practices possible--and I think it's clear that this is the direction in which this discussion needs to move.


    Re: Re: It's all about Human Rights

    Posted by John B on April 04, 1998 at 19:32:39

    In reply to Re: It's all about Human Rights posted by Tim Kuhn on April 04, 1998 at 17:10:39

    ...and as soon as we fix all the HUMAN RIGHTS abuse here in the USA we can then (and only then) FORCE our ideals on the rest of the world. If not we are a bunch of hypocrites. Like it or not it is that simple. It is far too easy to sit around and dicuss this whole topic than get off our butts and make a difference at home.


    Re: Re: Re:Fighting in Unity

    Posted by Yang C. on April 05, 1998 at 17:51:29

    In reply to Re: Re: It's all about Human Rights posted by John B on April 04, 1998 at 19:32:39

    I agree that human rights abuses in North America is just as unacceptable as elsewhere and we should all become more aware of them (especially indiginous peoples rights/history). But I want to stress two points. One. We must recognize the connections between the abuse and exploitation here with it abroad. Just like we must recognize the connections between womyn's rights, animal rights, and the capitalist system. Two. We should never "FORCE" anything on anyone. In the case of the Asian countries, there are already many couragous activists and proponents of freedom and democracy working and organizing. People who are resisting here simply must support the people resisting elsewhere.


    Nike's Story, worth looking at.

    Posted by Josh on April 04, 1998 at 14:00:40

    Visit nikeworker.com and NikeBiz.com to see what their company has to say. It is interesting. I am sure it is somewhat self-serving but corporations ARE held legally responsible for anything that they publish. News media, ESPN, and self-interest groups are NOT. Something to consider,there are two sides to every story.


    what's the problem?

    Posted by doug on April 04, 1998 at 11:46:58

    I don't understand why people jump on NIKE's back without jumping on the entire industry? Why do they have to bear the burden on the entire shoe manufacturing industry? The fact is they have better working conditions than all the other athletic shoe companies. Period. That IS a fact. They pay better and have better benefits. A factory worker in China makes more money per month than a college professor in China. And to say that these people's salary could barely pay for food and lodging is stupid, their lodging is paid for by the factory!! I am not saying that the working conditions there are anywhere near US standards, but neither is the rest of their country. Should industry just ignore these countries, or give them a chance to better themselves. You are using the same arguement in places like Vietnam now that people were using 20 years ago in Taiwan. Look at how far they have advanced, in at least some part due to companies like NIKE investing in their workforce. While you are investigating people, why don't you look at how little work has to be done in the US for a company like New Balance to claim to be "Made in the USA"?


    ESPN = Hypocrite

    Posted by Jason on April 04, 1998 at 11:22:28

    Are you aware that the corporate parent for ESPN has apparel made at thousands of factories around the globe. This includes "ESPN" logo apparel. If the problems ESPN reported finding from factories which have representatives from Nike & Reebok present on a daily basis, think of the hell holes that must make ESPN product? Hey ESPN how about opening the doors to these third world factories for us to take a look at. We would like to see how you treat your workers!


    Re: ESPN = Hypocrite

    Posted by William Lott on April 04, 1998 at 16:33:51

    In reply to ESPN = Hypocrite posted by Jason on April 04, 1998 at 11:22:28

    After reading arguments from this board, it seems that the greatest support for the Nike labor practices is coming from people who simply point their fingers in another direction. The observation that worker exploitation is common does not make it acceptable. Knowingly contracting the work through another company that exploits workers is also an invalid defence. In fact consumers who BUY the product are tacitly approving and even supporting the practice by generating a market for exploitation. I say that any US company who manufactures products overseas should be bound by US labor laws, even going as far as requiring contracted foreign companies to do so. Goods produced under violation of US labor law should be banned from import.


    Re: Re: ESPN = Hypocrite

    Posted by Pete K. on April 04, 1998 at 19:14:00

    In reply to Re: ESPN = Hypocrite posted by William Lott on April 04, 1998 at 16:33:51

    That will never happen. The leadership of a foreign country is not going let another counrty tell them what is right or wrong with working conditions in their country. I certainly would not. If I did allow it I would not look to the US for an example (as if our labor laws are not without problems). You have obviously never been in a US apparel factory in San Ysidro, CA. or seen migrant farm workers conditons. This country has a long way to go and everyone wanting to help poor Asia is taking the heat off of getting things improved at home. Fix the US before you feel the need to make everyone else follow your rightous beliefs.


    Re: Re: Re: ESPN = Hypocrite

    Posted by Dan F. on April 05, 1998 at 19:53:28

    In reply to Re: Re: ESPN = Hypocrite posted by Pete K. on April 04, 1998 at 19:14:00

    <> The whole point is that it doesn't matter if exploitation happens in California, Vietnam, or on Mars: it's still immoral. You're trying to point the discussion in another direction rather than face the simple truth that what Nike (and all these other companies) is doing is wrong. <> OK, what pressing problems do we have here at home?? Huh? We bicker about things like how tax money should be spent, foreign policy, and unions' place in society. These people in Vietnam have to worry about cute little problems like hunger, shelter, and their very health. Which country has a longer way to go?? We got it easy here in the States, be thankful.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: ESPN = Hypocrite

    Posted by Anonymous on April 05, 1998 at 22:51:52

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: ESPN = Hypocrite posted by Dan F. on April 05, 1998 at 19:53:28

    Count the homeless, look at the horrible working conditons in garment factories here. Vietnam has a much longer way to go to equal the USA, but you make it as if it is %100 our responsiblity to take care of their problems. Providing them jobs, good jobs, with better than their average working conditions is enough for a start.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ESPN = Hypocrite

    Posted by Dan F. on April 06, 1998 at 00:11:23

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: ESPN = Hypocrite posted by Anonymous on April 05, 1998 at 22:51:52

    <> Working conditions in some factories may be bad, but the people that work there can afford food, clothing, and some means of transportation better than a bicycle. Also, every nation has homeless and unemployed people, and I guarantee that Vietnam has many more than the U.S. <> We ARE 100% responsible for taking care of the problems that we are causing!! I'm not saying that it's the U.S.'s responsibility to solve ALL of their problems, just the ones that we are causing. The underlying problem is that Vietnam is just a very poor, underdeveloped nation, and Nike is taking advantage of that fact.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ESPN = Hypocrite

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 10:19:51

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ESPN = Hypocrite posted by Dan F. on April 06, 1998 at 00:11:23

    Taking advantage of a poor nation by providing jobs? These jobs seem horrible to you, but they are paying these workers over twice their country's per capita income. The Tuck business school survey indicated this wage is enough for them to buy food, clothing, shelter, and save a significant portion of their money.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ESPN = Hypocrite

    Posted by Dan F. on April 06, 1998 at 20:57:07

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ESPN = Hypocrite posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 10:19:51

    <> Why is NIKE providing these jobs to Vietnam? Out of the goodness of their heart? I think it might be TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF the extraordinarily low wages, lack of unions, and probably their low workplace health standards. Just a hunch I have. Granted, these jobs do provide some $$$ for the people there, but would Nike be there if the minimum wage in Vietnam was a little higher? I didn't think so. Sure, the Vietnam government has to take part of the blame, too, but Nike is still the one who hired these subcontractors. I'm not asking Nike or the other companies to pay them $5/hr or anything. I'd just like to see a small wage increase, make the jobs safer, and stop any worker abuse that may be going on. My whole point that I've been trying to convey in this discussion is that what Nike, Reebok and the others are doing is wrong. Period. Any statistics you may come up with isn't going to change that fact. The issue isn't HOW bad the situation is over there, the issue is that it IS a bad situation.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ESPN = Hypocrite

    Posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 23:52:40

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ESPN = Hypocrite posted by Dan F. on April 06, 1998 at 20:57:07

    A bad situation for you, a good situation for the factory worker who LIKES their job and what it provides for them. Yes, the shoe companies are taking advantage of the cheap labor market. All labor intensive industries are doing the same thing. That does not make it acceptable to many people but the jobs are a start to bettering the living conditions in third world countries. As long as there are efforts to improve the working conditions I have little problem with the situation.


    Economic progress? Yeah, for Nike

    Posted by Dan F. on April 07, 1998 at 13:11:22

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ESPN = Hypocrite posted by Anonymous on April 06, 1998 at 23:52:40

    I'll agree that getting the jobs in the first place is the first step to economic progress. However, do you really think Nike wants to help Vietnam make "economic progress"? Hell no they don't. They may concede to make the working conditions better, but as so many of you on this list have pointed out to me: Nike is in it for the profit. Period. If it were up to Nike, they would always pay those workers as little as is legally possible. Unless people like us complain, and stop buying their products, that is. I've heard a lot about how Nike's profits were down. They still made millions of dollars, just not as much as they raked in last year. How are they dealing with it? Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't they considering laying off some workers? Yeah, that sounds fair, they wouldn't want to cut back their advertising budget at all, God forbid.


    The 'Nam

    Posted by Anonymous on April 04, 1998 at 09:19:55

    Perhaps those people shouldn't have decided to become a communist country (and kill Americans in the process) if they wanted to be treated like workers in democratic societies. They should now just accept their excellent working conditions as just another way that communism helps workers and leads to equitable treatment (of course, Vietnamese government officials also make $.23/hr).


    Re: The 'Nam

    Posted by A. Nguyen on April 05, 1998 at 01:50:06

    In reply to The 'Nam posted by Anonymous on April 04, 1998 at 09:19:55

    Doh. Many of these people never chose to turn to communism. Remember that war they lost?


    Re: The 'Nam

    Posted by Amandeep Sandhu on April 04, 1998 at 20:37:57

    In reply to The 'Nam posted by Anonymous on April 04, 1998 at 09:19:55

    Vietnam is not communist anymore- private industry owns something to the tune of 90% of the property. Also, this explains why the US has established relations with Vietnam-the corporate pressure to find a really cheap labor supply also played a role in this. First the robber french colonist looted Vietnam and then learned a lesson at the Dien Bian Phu war. Then came the Yankees-parading thier gazateries-but all to no avail;blown up one by one by diminutive farmers taking on the Napalm spewing aircrafts. And now a sequel is played in international markets where these countries are robbed each hour and day under the name of development. As far as their becoming communist is concerned- that is their decision. Amerikkka went in their and payed for it through their noses. You butchers still have learned-numbed by your material wealth, you have lost use of your mental faculties. Amerikkka- also killed innicent people-remember My Lai(this year is the 30th anniversery. Well I am glad that whenever yankees look at their war memorial at Arlington, Virginia-they remember that they were defeated by a peasant army. It gives me boundless hope to see comrades striking down the US war machine with vengenance. You fucking yankees can develop techonological capabilities(these too by extracting the immigrant professionals and scientists from the "developing" countries)-but if there are courageous people like the paddy-farmers in Vietnam, the tyrants will have to pay. One,two and any Vietcongs would always be waiting for the tyrants.And, Ho-chi Minhs of the world will always face you murderers.


    Re: Re: The 'Nam

    Posted by Joe Castle on April 07, 1998 at 17:45:50

    In reply to Re: The 'Nam posted by Amandeep Sandhu on April 04, 1998 at 20:37:57

    What the Hell are you doing here in AMERICA if you feel so badly about us real AMERICANS? Why not go back to your Asian country and bad-mouth the citizens there. Also, you should learn to speak and spell English before you go spouting off. Sell your sister for another jewell to put in your forehead. ASSHOLE


    Re: Re: The 'Nam

    Posted by Larry Estevez on April 05, 1998 at 08:04:43

    In reply to Re: The 'Nam posted by Amandeep Sandhu on April 04, 1998 at 20:37:57

    Your post has nothing at all to do with the subject! I will reply to it anyway. It always seems that people who have a problem with America, never say where they are from. Please lets compare whatever your country has done to help others? Please tell me that we did not save the world from Fasicm. I guess if we didnt stop Germany and Japan someone else would have! Fat chance!! Oh, don't tell me that Russia would have beaten Germany. If we weren't involved, Germany would have beaten Russia in a year. No country is perfect, but the US has always had the most honorable soldiers, the actions of a few do not mar the actions of all of us. If your country had a Mai Li, we would never known about it, it would have been covered up. And it was our own soldiers who stopped the killings so that shows you, they were going to shoot their own countrymen to save innocents. How about the countless thousands that died fighting to free Europe and Asia? Go to Normandy, France, you will see thousands of American graves, soldiers who died liberating another country. We could have saved Vietnam as well, but if you know anything about history, you know we did not want to start a world war with China and Russia. Vietnamese fighters were using Chinese bases to attack us for example. We fought a limited war, which will never happen again. And look what the Vietnamese have now, the war runied the country. If our country is so bad why do people from all over the world keep coming here, and staying here. We must be doing something right, and what you say really doesnt matter! Buy the way, I feel that Nike and Reebok are not paying the workers enough! They spend too much money on advertsing and paying athleletes. Sneaker prices are artificially inflated! And I think that atheletes should see that most kids cant afford $170 sneakers! MJ do something if you care, everyone will follow your example!


    Re: Re: Re: The 'Nam

    Posted by Amandeep Sandhu on April 05, 1998 at 20:16:56

    In reply to Re: Re: The 'Nam posted by Larry Estevez on April 05, 1998 at 08:04:43

    First of, I consider myself to be internationalist-but having said that, I would like to recognize that I was born in India(where at least CIA intervened twice,according to Patrick Moniyhan-democrat from New Jersey-both time the communist party was forming government-yankees came in with their boats loaded with money-but alas both times the communist governemt were conssumated. One notable feature, of the Kerala state government(which even today is communist)-is their heavy intervention in the state economy, producing an equitable distribution of education, basic needs-as compared to Bangladesh nextdoor,where USAID(Go check you libraries for the record of USAID in Sudan in Jamieri's time) is huckstering its imperialistic agenda). I just got carried away!! Now coming back to the substance of the arguement advanced my my interlocuter. <> Now you are standing on a really slippery ground. If you back and look at the history, you will find out that inspite of decreasing trade and bussiness with the Nazi regime, the US played a policy of engagement-and bussiness interaction was increased at the end of 1937. USSR and not USA saved the world from Fascism( and hell fascism is the epitome of capitalistic system)-USSR lost 22 million people during the war and USA maybe 200,00 and you have the guts to tell me that you saved the world from Fascism. Also, in Argentina during the Fascist regime from 1976 to 1983-who do you think was the big supporter of the government that killed 30,000 leftists, if you follow the news then you would be able to decipher who was pushing Fascism all around. By the way, in Argentina Ford motor company was involed in the whole project, guess where was the biggest torture center-in the Ford factory in Bueons Aires. Then there is the case of Brazil, then there is Somozoa in Nicragua, then there is the case of papa doc in Haiti, then there is the support by the US government and corporations like GM and ford for the racist apartheid government in South Africa......... I hope you get the outline of the project by now. <> Like the motherfucker-Norman Schkorpf(Spll..) and then son of bitch Oliver North-supplying money to Sandinistas, to bomb Nicragua-in cahoots with that bastard Reagan.Like the thugs soldiers in the US embassy in Iran-some of whom were convicts back home. Then there is the whole aspect of minority youth,fucked up by the capitalistic system enrolling in the Army( in Vietnam the majority of members of the unit that carried out the My Lai massacre were minority youths. <> Yes, India has My Lai,-I mean where people die of plain hunger,but for the wheat price controlled by thug countries like US at the Chicago grain exchange. OR due to patent thuggery by US again-or the reason that US based pharmaceutical combine fuck up the poor countries. <> And these country men(Hugh Thompson and his gunner(good job guys)-were not honoured by the army for 30 years because they saw nothing good had been done by these two soldiers and the third person who is dead now. <> How about the countless who died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where the Enola Gay dropped off atomic bombs,even they were not needed at all-all a cold war warning to impress USSR. <> Now you Yankees don't get the point; you were not needed to save any one and are not needed to save anyone-if you really want to do something-please stop fucking the black people in your own counrty(where 50% black children are living below poverty line and where infant mortality rate is even higher than a "developing" country like Cuba, and where the Dead penalty still is present-to get rid of the disposable people from, the system.) Did you forget-Cambodia(where CIA carried out bombing campaign till late 1975) and Laos. And why forget Philliphines-where agin CIA was fucking the Hukballahap revolutionaries. But obviously you get taught the Yankee-centric acedemic curriculum and it shows up in your arguement. <>] Because you are sitting on a mountain of gold, but the gold my friend is stolen and preserved by many ways. << MJ do something if you care, everyone will follow your example!>> Fuck MJ.


    Re: Re: Re: The 'Nam

    Posted by Amandeep Sandhu on April 05, 1998 at 20:16:56

    In reply to Re: Re: The 'Nam posted by Larry Estevez on April 05, 1998 at 08:04:43

    First of, I consider myself to be internationalist-but having said that, I would like to recognize that I was born in India(where at least CIA intervened twice,according to Patrick Moniyhan-democrat from New Jersey-both time the communist party was forming government-yankees came in with their boats loaded with money-but alas both times the communist governemt were conssumated. One notable feature, of the Kerala state government(which even today is communist)-is their heavy intervention in the state economy, producing an equitable distribution of education, basic needs-as compared to Bangladesh nextdoor,where USAID(Go check you libraries for the record of USAID in Sudan in Jamieri's time) is huckstering its imperialistic agenda). I just got carried away!! Now coming back to the substance of the arguement advanced my my interlocuter. <> Now you are standing on a really slippery ground. If you back and look at the history, you will find out that inspite of decreasing trade and bussiness with the Nazi regime, the US played a policy of engagement-and bussiness interaction was increased at the end of 1937. USSR and not USA saved the world from Fascism( and hell fascism is the epitome of capitalistic system)-USSR lost 22 million people during the war and USA maybe 200,00 and you have the guts to tell me that you saved the world from Fascism. Also, in Argentina during the Fascist regime from 1976 to 1983-who do you think was the big supporter of the government that killed 30,000 leftists, if you follow the news then you would be able to decipher who was pushing Fascism all around. By the way, in Argentina Ford motor company was involed in the whole project, guess where was the biggest torture center-in the Ford factory in Bueons Aires. Then there is the case of Brazil, then there is Somozoa in Nicragua, then there is the case of papa doc in Haiti, then there is the support by the US government and corporations like GM and ford for the racist apartheid government in South Africa......... I hope you get the outline of the project by now. <> Like the motherfucker-Norman Schkorpf(Spll..) and then son of bitch Oliver North-supplying money to Sandinistas, to bomb Nicragua-in cahoots with that bastard Reagan.Like the thugs soldiers in the US embassy in Iran-some of whom were convicts back home. Then there is the whole aspect of minority youth,fucked up by the capitalistic system enrolling in the Army( in Vietnam the majority of members of the unit that carried out the My Lai massacre were minority youths. <> Yes, India has My Lai,-I mean where people die of plain hunger,but for the wheat price controlled by thug countries like US at the Chicago grain exchange. OR due to patent thuggery by US again-or the reason that US based pharmaceutical combine fuck up the poor countries. <> And these country men(Hugh Thompson and his gunner(good job guys)-were not honoured by the army for 30 years because they saw nothing good had been done by these two soldiers and the third person who is dead now. <> How about the countless who died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where the Enola Gay dropped off atomic bombs,even they were not needed at all-all a cold war warning to impress USSR. <> Now you Yankees don't get the point; you were not needed to save any one and are not needed to save anyone-if you really want to do something-please stop fucking the black people in your own counrty(where 50% black children are living below poverty line and where infant mortality rate is even higher than a "developing" country like Cuba, and where the Dead penalty still is present-to get rid of the disposable people from, the system.) <>] Because you are sitting on a mountain of gold, but the gold my friend is stolen and preserved by many ways. << MJ do something if you care, everyone will follow your example!>> Fuck MJ.


    Re: Re: The 'Nam

    Posted by A. Nguyen on April 05, 1998 at 01:51:47

    In reply to Re: The 'Nam posted by Amandeep Sandhu on April 04, 1998 at 20:37:57

    As a Vietnamese, I do not appreciate your comments regarding the Vietnamese people's galant efforts in surviving these tyrannies. To you, our survival may seem remarkable but I can not be proud when you use my people's history to glorify war, provoke animosity or to export your propaganda against another race.


    Re: Re: The 'Nam

    Posted by Mark Thomas on April 05, 1998 at 01:26:18

    In reply to Re: The 'Nam posted by Amandeep Sandhu on April 04, 1998 at 20:37:57

    It is this same kind of hate and trivialization of human life that leads to things like the My Lai massacre. You're no different than those that you condemn.


    Re: Re: The 'Nam

    Posted by G.I Joe on April 04, 1998 at 23:46:28

    In reply to Re: The 'Nam posted by Amandeep Sandhu on April 04, 1998 at 20:37:57

    Tell us, how do you really feel?


    Leave them alone...

    Posted by R8RH8R on April 04, 1998 at 03:36:44

    I think that what Nike & Reebok and other companies do is theyre business... what else would those women in vietnam be doing if it werent for these manufactures? $.23 an hour is a fair wage when you consider the average wages in that part of the world... By the way, werent we still bombimg them just a few decades ago?


    Re: Leave them alone...

    Posted by Bill Stover on April 04, 1998 at 11:08:25

    In reply to Leave them alone... posted by R8RH8R on April 04, 1998 at 03:36:44

    Those women would be on the rice farm living hand to mouth without these manufacturing jobs. Or their parents would be selling them into a life of prostitution because they could no longer feed them. The USA is still bombing Vietnam, only this time it is with jobs and foreign aid. All you bleeding heart liberals please wake-up. Visit that part of the world before you try to undestand what is going on. I have been to Vietnam, these foreign joint venture operations are the best working conditions in the country. The state owned communist operations are where you should be focusing your attention to bring change. Or is that the responsibility of their government, if so you have a double standard.


    Re: Re: Leave them alone...

    Posted by Lam Tran on April 07, 1998 at 12:18:14

    In reply to Re: Leave them alone... posted by Bill Stover on April 04, 1998 at 11:08:25

    << Those women would be on the rice farm living hand to mouth without these manufacturing jobs. Or their parents would be selling them into a life of prostitution because they could no longer feed them. The USA is still bombing Vietnam, only this time it is with jobs and foreign aid. >> Your remarks were so insensitive and down right stupid, it prompts me to think that the only reason you went to Vietnam was just to meet the prostitutes. It is because you think like one. Donít get me wrong, prostitution does exist everywhere on this planet including here in the U.S. Turn on your TV every night, youíll see it. But to say that without these manufacturing jobs, these womenís parents would be selling them into a life of prostitution is just like saying that selling your children into a life of prostitution when you cannot find a job in some factories here in the U.S. As hard workers, these women survived before the US companies came into Vietnam, they will survive without them. US companies are not the only foreign enterprises in Vietnam. Companies from all over the world are now investing in Vietnam and they are making great profits. Besides, most US companies treat Vietnamese workers very well and that is the reason why Vietnamese would like to work for US companies. Nike factories are the exemptions.


    Who needs to wake up?

    Posted by Dan F. on April 05, 1998 at 19:28:02

    In reply to Re: Leave them alone... posted by Bill Stover on April 04, 1998 at 11:08:25

    <> I would just like to point out that you don't have to see the abuse happening firsthand to know that IT IS STILL WRONG! What Nike is doing would still be wrong if they were doing it anywhere. <> This part doesn't even make much sense to me...but the bottom line is that it doesn't matter if Napolean rose from his grave and became dictator of Vietnam tomarrow, what Nike is doing would still be immoral.


    Re: Re: Leave them alone...

    Posted by Davide Berti on April 05, 1998 at 04:39:49

    In reply to Re: Leave them alone... posted by Bill Stover on April 04, 1998 at 11:08:25

    Bill, Bill, Bill, You want our attention focused on state-run "sweat-shops", why?? So we can replace them with more "American corporations". At least these state-owned factories reap profits for People who might put money back into Vietnam. Is Nike going to put money above and beyond what it has to to propagate its business?? Surely we jest. If we examined the state-owned shops and leave the "Nike Sweat shops (hmm factories)" alone that would be great for Nike and the other bastards hugh. Sure the state-owned shops abuse the workers too, that doesn't excuse Nike. What is wrong will always be wrong and what is right will always be right. 100 years ago, women, and minorities were second, and third class citizens. Society had established that as our "cultural norm". The same is true for Nike, society has spoken loosely and said that human rights don't apply to the third world. The societal norm was wrong 100 years ago with respect to women and minorities and its wrong now with respect to its attitude toward the 3rd world. Equal treatment to all was right 10 million years ago, 100 years ago, today and tomorrow. What is right, the truth, and just, will always be such. Davide


    Re: Re: Leave them alone...

    Posted by A. Nguyen on April 05, 1998 at 03:04:58

    In reply to Re: Leave them alone... posted by Bill Stover on April 04, 1998 at 11:08:25

    I take great offense in these ignorant posts claiming that the only alternatives to foreign investments would be to struggle in agriculture or to go into prostitution. Going into subsistence agriculture is fine. But prostitution? Who the hell do you think we are? Do you think every Vietnamese parents will sell their children into prostitution or slavery? How often have you seen it happen? You visit Vietnam a few times and you act as if you know our culture. The next time you post something, pull your head out of your ass so you can think straight.


    Re: Re: Re: Leave them alone...

    Posted by Anti Capitalist on April 05, 1998 at 19:42:57

    In reply to Re: Re: Leave them alone... posted by A. Nguyen on April 05, 1998 at 03:04:58

    > I take great offense in these ignorant posts claiming that the only alternatives to foreign investments would be to struggle in agriculture or to go into prostitution. Going into subsistence agriculture is fine. < It is possible that subsistence agriculture is the better alternative to sweatshops. At the very least it is more humane than sweatshops. > But prostitution? Who the hell do you think we are? Do you think every Vietnamese parents will sell their children into prostitution or slavery? How often have you seen it happen? You visit Vietnam a few times and you act as if you know our culture. The next time you post something, pull your head out of your ass so you can think straight. < Yes! I know of the Vietnamese culture and the only thing Vietnamese people might value more than kids is elderly people. It is capitalism that makes objects out of people, not poverty that makes monsters out of parents!


    Re: Re: Re: Leave them alone...

    Posted by Anti Capitalist on April 05, 1998 at 19:42:57

    In reply to Re: Re: Leave them alone... posted by A. Nguyen on April 05, 1998 at 03:04:58

    > I take great offense in these ignorant posts claiming that the only alternatives to foreign investments would be to struggle in agriculture or to go into prostitution. Going into subsistence agriculture is fine. < It is possible that subsistence agriculture is the better alternative to sweatshops. At the very least it is more humane than sweatshops. > But prostitution? Who the hell do you think we are? Do you think every Vietnamese parents will sell their children into prostitution or slavery? How often have you seen it happen? You visit Vietnam a few times and you act as if you know our culture. The next time you post something, pull your head out of your ass so you can think straight. < Yes! I am of Vietnamese origin myself and the only thing we might value more than kids is elderly people! It is capitalism that makes objects out of people, not poverty that makes monsters out of parents!


    Nike's far reach

    Posted by Marc Isenberg on April 04, 1998 at 00:22:08

    Nike is a fascinating topic. From their labor practices, to their controversial marketing, and to their involvement in athletics, they have left themselves open for criticism. Also troubling to me is the increasing involvement of shoe companies in youth basketball. It's a hot topic in college basketball especially at UNC, but I am more troubled by their involvement in AAU and recruiting. Because the NCAA rules regarding recruiting has effectively put the AAU programs in business(most of the open recruiting dates are during the summer), shoe companies are everywhere. The top teams get major shoe deals, in turn attract the best players, and, usually end up at school wearing the same brand of shoes. That is not part of the charter of these AAU programs, but they know very well that their funding is based in no small part on their ability to deliver them to Nike(or other shoe company) sponsored schools. Nike's been good to you, you be good to Nike. There's already enough pressure from the college coaches during recruiting. I feel strongly about these issues, and have helped created a website for athletes(AthleteNetwork.com) which deals with these kinds of subjects and would welcome your input. Thanks. Marc Isenberg


    Re: Mark, athletenetwork.com can make a difference

    Posted by H. Thomkins on April 05, 1998 at 13:59:43

    In reply to Nike's far reach posted by Marc Isenberg on April 04, 1998 at 00:22:08

    I think that this whole discussion is excellent. I have been reading post after post wondering, What can I do? Each one of us can do something, whether it's on a national, global or community/local level. I think one of the reasons why the discussion of labor practices in lesser developed nations is such a hotly debated issue is the juxtaposition with how out of line our priorities in this country are. We're buying $100 shoes that were manufactured by workers who were paid substandard wages, in substandard conditions. Something is wrong with this picture. Through your website, you are providing an important message to athletes, parents, and coaches. You are educating them on the issues they need to be made aware of, and helping to gain perspective. I hope people are listening. Keep up the great work. Good luck.


    Re: Nike's far reach

    Posted by Barry Cooper on April 04, 1998 at 00:57:00

    In reply to Nike's far reach posted by Marc Isenberg on April 04, 1998 at 00:22:08

    I've already stated my opinion on what I've experience as a varsity athlete at Stanford- the overwhelming majority want to where Nike here. If I wasn't getting their shoes and clothes at discount or free, I would be buying them full price.


    Re: Re: Nike's far reach

    Posted by Marc Isenberg on April 04, 1998 at 01:10:15

    In reply to Re: Nike's far reach posted by Barry Cooper on April 04, 1998 at 00:57:00

    Unlike athletes at schools like Stanford and other programs receiving this stuff, the world doesn't operate on the theory that life is about the pursuit of free shoes. It's a rude awakening when some of these athletes find out Nike didn't become who they are GIVING shoes away. --marc


    Re: Re: Re: Nike's far reach

    Posted by Barry Cooper on April 04, 1998 at 01:34:20

    In reply to Re: Re: Nike's far reach posted by Marc Isenberg on April 04, 1998 at 01:10:15

    I think Nike became exactly what they are giving shoes away- giving them to Michael Jordan, Andre Agassi, and now Tiger Woods. In fact they have a name for this- marketing!


    Re: Re: Re: Nike's far reach

    Posted by Paul Koopman on April 04, 1998 at 01:23:55

    In reply to Re: Re: Nike's far reach posted by Marc Isenberg on April 04, 1998 at 01:10:15

    Good point.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Nike's far reach

    Posted by Anonymous on April 04, 1998 at 01:36:21

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Nike's far reach posted by Paul Koopman on April 04, 1998 at 01:23:55

    bad point


    A0: Exclusive Photos: Children at Nike Factory

    Posted by Anonymous on April 03, 1998 at 23:27:29

    http://www.teleport.com/~scheller/china/


    Re: A0: Exclusive Photos: Children at Nike Factory

    Posted by Erin on April 04, 1998 at 00:38:00

    In reply to A0: Exclusive Photos: Children at Nike Factory posted by Anonymous on April 03, 1998 at 23:27:29

    Does anybody know who put these photos out? They seem like propaganda to me. What shiny, happy faces!


    Re: Re: A0: Exclusive Photos: Children at Nike Factory

    Posted by Anonymous on April 04, 1998 at 01:51:37

    In reply to Re: A0: Exclusive Photos: Children at Nike Factory posted by Erin on April 04, 1998 at 00:38:00

    Did you ever stop to think that maybe things are not as bad as you want to believe. The propaganda here is all this negative crap about American based companies producing products offshore to keep cost in-line. Like it or not we all live in a global economy.


    Re: A0: Exclusive Photos: Children at Nike Factory

    Posted by Anonymous on April 03, 1998 at 23:30:31

    In reply to A0: Exclusive Photos: Children at Nike Factory posted by Anonymous on April 03, 1998 at 23:27:29

    I had no idea that Nike was so involved in the welfare of the the workers and their children. It's a breath of fresh air. Thank you (whoever you are) for sharing the images of children in China. How can I learn more about what is really going on?


    Re: A0: Exclusive Photos: Children at Nike Factory

    Posted by Anonymous on April 03, 1998 at 23:29:12

    In reply to A0: Exclusive Photos: Children at Nike Factory posted by Anonymous on April 03, 1998 at 23:27:29

    This is great! Nike really is trying to make a difference!


    AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Barry Cooper on April 03, 1998 at 22:42:35

    Everyone talks about how bad the conditions are in Nike's factories (which are by the way subcontracted, not owned by Nike). Why don't they examine the other jobs in these Less Developed Countries (we don't use third world anymore)? The fact is, Nike's jobs are no worse, and in most cases far better than the others available. The fact is, the people need the jobs; they want to work. Additionally, everyone posting messages thinks they know about economics. Let me explain something- a foreign country can have a comparitive advantage in manufacturing sneakers even if the United States figures out a way through technology to produce sneakers as cheaply as they are now produced elsewhere. It is the opportunity cost when the U.S. produces sneakers that is much, much greater than the foreign countries- if the U.S. opens sneaker factories instead of pharmaceudical factories for example, it not only gives up the pharmaceudical prodcution, but the gains of trade from that industry. If Vietnam is producing sneakers and the U.S. is producing pharmaceudicals(assuming Vietnam is not as good at producing pharmaceudicals), then the U.S. can trade for sneakers. Since the the U.S. has a comparitive advantage, it is worth while to do this. Similiarly, Vietnam will produce only sneakers, and no pharmaceudicals. Both countries will have gains from trade. NEW BALANCE may actually be hurting American consumers by lowering the amount of total products in the country, thus increasing prices. Lastly, in response to groups on college campuses against corportate sponsorship, ask the athletes. I know as a member of the Cross Country and Track teams at Stanford, I want to wear NIke, regardless if its given free or not.


    Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Mr. Spellchecker on April 04, 1998 at 02:44:08

    In reply to AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by Barry Cooper on April 03, 1998 at 22:42:35

    Barry...is pharmaceudiCAL anything like pharmaceutical? You may know your economics but you shure could build a better case if you would spell correctly.


    Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Anonymous on April 04, 1998 at 02:48:14

    In reply to Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by Mr. Spellchecker on April 04, 1998 at 02:44:08

    Look who's talking- the guy who spells "sure" with an "h" and uses an adjective to modify a verb (try "surely" next time).


    Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Anonymous on April 07, 1998 at 16:46:44

    In reply to Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by Anonymous on April 04, 1998 at 02:48:14

    Surely you can't be serious. I am serious...and don't call me shirley


    Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Barry Cooper on April 04, 1998 at 03:14:07

    In reply to Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by Anonymous on April 04, 1998 at 02:48:14

    thank you


    Re: Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by JoAnn Ailes on April 05, 1998 at 10:42:56

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by Barry Cooper on April 04, 1998 at 03:14:07

    All of you are missing the point!! None of this would be taking place if it wasn't for corporate greed. We wouldn't be losing jobs, they wouldn't be exploiting third world countries. Take one moment to think. Where is all that profit going? Are we seeing it here on our retail market? It's going in the pockets of the CEO's and the shareholers. What will they do with it, build more factories across the borders or build here and put the American people back to work. Yes our labor costs are higher. Do you want to have to live like the people in those third world counties. Well that's just what we'll be doing if CORPORATE GREED doesn't stop sending our jobs out of the country. There's only one way to stop this!!! BUY AMERICAN MADE PRODUCTS!!!!!


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Anonymous on April 10, 1998 at 10:53:10

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by JoAnn Ailes on April 05, 1998 at 10:42:56

    Who cares where the money is going, this is out of our control. What we can do is act on our individual behaviors in either buying in on whats "cool"- nike shoes, or avoid buying them. The only thing "cool" is what the kids in society today deem to be cool. With that said are we not all pawns in our own sociaty? Are we not the results of the dreaded babyboomer generation? This is all nothing more than a capitalistic system perpetuating itself in an economic manner. Our debate should focus on the long term effects of this greed. We have seen the results in the gen-xers, and I can't imagine what it will be like for gen-black. I'm not saying a socialistic system would be better, but whats going on now sucks!!!!!!!!!!


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Anonymous on April 10, 1998 at 10:53:10

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by JoAnn Ailes on April 05, 1998 at 10:42:56

    Who cares where the money is going, this is out of our control. What we can do is act on our individual behaviors in either buying in on whats "cool"- nike shoes, or avoid buying them. The only thing "cool" is what the kids in society today deem to be cool. With that said are we not all pawns in our own sociaty? Are we not the results of the dreaded babyboomer generation? This is all nothing more than a capitalistic system perpetuating itself in an economic manner. Our debate should focus on the long term effects of this greed. We have seen the results in the gen-xers, and I can't imagine what it will be like for gen-black. I'm not saying a socialistic system would be better, but whats going on now sucks!!!!!!!!!!


    Actually....

    Posted by steve on April 06, 1998 at 18:58:20

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by JoAnn Ailes on April 05, 1998 at 10:42:56

    If Nike is smart it would reinvest this money in technology so it can make a better shoe (such as Nike Air, as opposed to the old Nike's) and technolgy that would reduce costs so that other companies don't undercut their prices and make more money than they do, and advertising so that people will actually buy the product, and charity (because its tax deductable), and sponsorships of various tournaments, camps etc, and then it distributes the left over profits, (which were less than stellar this past quarter) to its shareholders. With these left over profits, Phil Knight buys other goodies such as cars, and houses, and food, that employs other people who buy other goods, etc, etc. If we want to pay less for sneakers, we should encourage other companies that are "cool" to sell their products at a cheaper price. Although Nike is the leader now, it knows that this fact could change very easily within the next five years, and then it wouldn't be making any profits.


    Actually....

    Posted by steve on April 06, 1998 at 18:58:20

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by JoAnn Ailes on April 05, 1998 at 10:42:56

    If Nike is smart it would reinvest this money in technology so it can make a better shoe (such as Nike Air, as opposed to the old Nike's) and technolgy that would reduce costs so that other companies don't undercut their prices and make more money than they do, and advertising so that people will actually buy the product, and charity cause its tax deductable, and sponsorships of various tournaments, camps etc, and then it distributes the left over profits, (which were very low this past quarter) to its shareholders. If we want to pay less for sneakers, we should encourage other companies that are "cool" to sell their products at a cheaper price. Although Nike is the leader now, it know that it could change very easily within the next five years, and then it wouldn't be making any profits.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Marc on April 05, 1998 at 20:47:32

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by JoAnn Ailes on April 05, 1998 at 10:42:56

    you are absolutly correct with the gread issue. It said in the article that NIKE buys the shoes for X ammount. It then doubles it and then doubleit again. Where is the other 75% of that money going to!!!


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Marc on April 05, 1998 at 20:47:32

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by JoAnn Ailes on April 05, 1998 at 10:42:56

    you are absolutly correct with the gread issue. It said in the article that NIKE buys the shoes for X ammount. It then doubles it and then doubleit again. Where is the other 75% of that money going too!!!


    Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Mr. Spellchecker on April 04, 1998 at 02:48:08

    In reply to Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by Mr. Spellchecker on April 04, 1998 at 02:44:08

    and I could probably use a few lessons myself, s-u-r-e


    Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Geoff on April 04, 1998 at 01:18:10

    In reply to AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by Barry Cooper on April 03, 1998 at 22:42:35

    Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhh yes!! The single production theory. I suppose that the US cannot produce both sneakers and pharmaceuticals and provide lots of jobs for workers, as a result providing with more income so that they may go out and buy more...never mind, it's too obvious. And that still doesn't explain why the need to have horrible working conditions. These shops wouldn't have anything to do without Nike, so Nike surely is in a position to influence working conditions. Also there are many examples of multidimensional production throughout history that went the wayside when western style capitalism came along; Hispaniola was able to produce enough to eat for the entire populace of the island in addition to pharmaceuticals, etc. Then ole Chris Columbus came along and turned it into slave plantations producing almost exclusively sugar cane. Now they are dependent on foreign foodstuffs; in Bengal the British turned lands that produced the finest textiles in the world to opium production and are ruined today; God bless the economics of opportunity.


    Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Paul Koopman on April 04, 1998 at 01:38:26

    In reply to Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by Geoff on April 04, 1998 at 01:18:10

    Finally someone here I can agree with. As to the standard of living, I think it's safe to argue that generally, the native population has ALWAYS been better off before contact with the west. We've had a long and shameful history of exploitation, and unfortunately we have yet to figure out that it is wrong.


    Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Tonto on April 04, 1998 at 15:28:26

    In reply to Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by Paul Koopman on April 04, 1998 at 01:38:26

    You live in a country that that was doing just fine until your ancestors came and fucked it all up. If you want to really make a difference pack up and go back to where you originally came from. Give this country back to those who have been here for thousands of years. You care so much for the Vietnamese but could care less about the Native Americans. I guess any current issue that brings attention to your self serving bleeding heart liberal causes.


    Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Anonymous on April 04, 1998 at 01:32:35

    In reply to Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by Geoff on April 04, 1998 at 01:18:10

    But what about the standard of living- people may be independent and surviving, but are they better off?


    Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Geoff on April 04, 1998 at 01:36:06

    In reply to Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by Anonymous on April 04, 1998 at 01:32:35

    Uhhhh...just what are we talking about here?? The fact that there is so much poverty in the third world, and whether corporations should do something about it!! By what do you define standard of living?? 2/3 of the world today lives at bare substinence levels or below. The US may have a higher "standard of living" because we have cars and TV's and all kinds of gadgets, but most of the world does not. If every person in the world were to have a car the world would die very quickly. Look for example at many of the native populations that were here before ole Chris Columbus came over on and started slaving and chopping off hands and committing genocide; the native tribes here flourished, without poverty, without prostitution, and without starvation(other than that brought about by the elemtns). That is not to totally glamorize them; they had problems too, warfare being the chief one(although next to Europena standards of warfare they look tame). If you think that technology is what increases standard of living, I'd say you are buying merely into modern mytholgy


    Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Paul Koopman on April 03, 1998 at 23:59:51

    In reply to AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by Barry Cooper on April 03, 1998 at 22:42:35

    By focusing on economics, you are both missing the point. This has never been an economic issue. It's about human rights -- the treatment of workers -- and politics. Maybe you confuse the politics for economics. I've found that people who get tied up in economics miss the bigger picture. Sure, if you look at this from an economic view, it's easy to say things like "God bless America!" or "long live capitalism!" However, this issue needs to be looked at from a moral and a political perspective. So what if the conditions and pay at other local companies are similar or worse? Does that excuse Nike? Economically, slavery was quite beneficial to America. In fact, many Americans wouldn't be in their comfortable positions (they've inherited) today if not for slavery. You can argue all you want to about free trade, but the bottom line is that it hurts developing nations, period. The governments in these nations look at it the same way their people do -- they need the jobs, so they take what they can get. Maybe they don't understand how much money people like Knight and Jordan make off of their exploited labor, or maybe they don't care. The point is, Nike and other multinational corporations are in a poisition to help, but they do not. They MAKE THE PROBLEM WORSE by perpetuating the system. Did slavery ever undermine itself through competitive free market principles? Of course not. It did not stop until the government stepped in and said it was morally wrong. The problem is the government can't do that here because of free trade -- US rules and regulations (and sanctions) don't apply. So, in essence, by excusing these horrible practices and shameless exploitation of labor (ortherwise known as slavery), you are supporting slavery itself. You better think about that.


    Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Alex on April 03, 1998 at 23:27:00

    In reply to AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by Barry Cooper on April 03, 1998 at 22:42:35

    There is no such thing as a natural comparative advantage in labor. Two factors together produce a comparative advantage in labor: minimum wage laws and other government interventions that increase the cost of employing labor, and borders closed to immigration which prevents those living in countries having few natural resources from moving to countries rich in natural resources. If it were not for these two factors, the phenomenon of offshore branching of manufacturing would not exist.


    Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Barry Cooper on April 03, 1998 at 23:56:16

    In reply to Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by Alex on April 03, 1998 at 23:27:00

    Whats your point- the fact is that the way things are now, Vietnam has a comparitive advatage in sneakers- whether it is natural or not.


    Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Anonymous on April 03, 1998 at 23:52:04

    In reply to Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by Alex on April 03, 1998 at 23:27:00

    You're close, but not entirely correct. Those two factors do cause manufacturers to move labor overseas, but your statement that offshore branching would not exist if those factors were eliminated is wrong. As long as countries have different currencies, those currencies' values will fluctuate relative to each other. This discrepancy in currency values will cause some companies to produce overseas in any free-trading environment.


    Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by A. Nguyen on April 03, 1998 at 23:19:02

    In reply to AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by Barry Cooper on April 03, 1998 at 22:42:35

    Thanks for the lesson on Economics 101. However, many of us have already conceded that the presence of foreign investment offers jobs that better the lives of these people financially. The other issues that you overlooked are the hazardous working conditions and the abuse of the workers on the part of their supervisors.


    Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Tom H. on April 03, 1998 at 23:34:05

    In reply to Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by A. Nguyen on April 03, 1998 at 23:19:02

    Although there has been much written about poor conditions in the factories, most if not all would pass OSHA standards. The abuses by supervisors is more than meets the eye. Many of the supervisors are Taiwanese supervising Vietnamese. There are language and cultural barriers to consider. Nike is actually forcing many of it's sub contractors to send supervisors to training programs on the subject.


    Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Tom H. on April 03, 1998 at 23:34:05

    In reply to Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by A. Nguyen on April 03, 1998 at 23:19:02

    Although there has been much written about poor conditions in the factories, most if not all would pass OSHA standards. The abuses by supervisors is more than meets the eye. Many of the supervisors are Taiwanese supervising Vietnamese. There are language and cultural barriers to consider. Nike is actually forcing many of it's sub contractors to send supervisors to training programs on the subject.


    Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by A. Nguyen on April 03, 1998 at 23:56:00

    In reply to Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by Tom H. on April 03, 1998 at 23:34:05

    Until there is an official OSHA inspection, I don't think you should bring up that point regarding these factories being able to meet most OSHA specifications. As for the language and cultural barriers, those are not justifications for human rights violations. That would be equivalent to "You're different from me. I don't understand your language and customs so I'm going to abuse you and get away with it." That argument doesn't fly with me. Nike can send these supervisors to all the classes they want. But until there are stringent ways for observing and disciplining these supervisors, gross abuses will continue.


    Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Tom H. on April 04, 1998 at 00:27:38

    In reply to Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by A. Nguyen on April 03, 1998 at 23:56:00

    There are no excuses for human rights abuses. There are situations that lead to unjust reprimands. If you've ever supervised people you know that there are many situations that arenít what they appear. You may see a group chatting and laughing,. Are they goofing off or talking about work issues? Cultural and language barriers often lead to miss understandings. Will education solve the problem....Not completely but itís one place to start. another place to start is employee feed back procedures. Did you know that Nike has initiated such procedures? Why is it unfair to make a statement about factories being OSHA compliant when anyone else with little or no knowledge can say they are sweat shops? I've spoken to people who have been in some of the factories and they are amazed at how nice they are. These are people who were looking for problems.


    Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by J.D. on April 03, 1998 at 23:13:36

    In reply to AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by Barry Cooper on April 03, 1998 at 22:42:35

    This was the most intelligent post I have seen on this board. Nobody is forcing the overseas workers into the plants, they are aggressively seeking the job because it increases their quality of life more than the other options, however limited they may be, that they have.


    Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Paul Koopman on April 03, 1998 at 23:32:23

    In reply to Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by J.D. on April 03, 1998 at 23:13:36

    By focusing on economics, you are both missing the point. This has never been an economic issue. It's about human rights -- the treatment of workers -- and politics. Maybe you confuse the politics for economics. I've found that people who get tied up in economics miss the bigger picture. Sure, if you look at this from an economic view, it's easy to say things like "God bless America!" or "long live capitalism!" However, this issue needs to be looked at from a moral and a political perspective. So what if the conditions and pay at other local companies are similar or worse? Does that excuse Nike? Economically, slavery was quite beneficial to America. In fact, many Americans wouldn't be in their comfortable positions (they've inherited) today if not for slavery. You can argue all you want to about free trade, but the bottom line is that it hurts developing nations, period. The governments in these nations look at it the same way their people do -- they need the jobs, so they take what they can get. Maybe they don't understand how much money people like Knight and Jordan make off of their exploited labor, or maybe they don't care. The point is, Nike and other multinational corporations are in a poisition to help, but they do not. They MAKE THE PROBLEM WORSE by perpetuating the system. Did slavery ever undermine itself through competitive free market principles? Of course not. It did not stop until the government stepped in and said it was morally wrong. The problem is the government can't do that here because of free trade -- US rules and regulations (and sanctions) don't apply. So, in essence, by excusing these horrible practices and shameless exploitation of labor (ortherwise known as slavery), you are supporting slavery itself. You better think about that.


    Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Anonymous on April 04, 1998 at 00:01:50

    In reply to Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by Paul Koopman on April 03, 1998 at 23:32:23

    So there's something fundamentally wrong with the world- why blame Nike.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Paul Koopman on April 04, 1998 at 00:06:51

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by Anonymous on April 04, 1998 at 00:01:50

    Because if you excuse Nike, it continues. In cases like this, I would blame the government, but there is no governing Nike when it comes to overseas labor practices because of "free" trade (which is basically an excuse for the US to take advantage of all other developing nations in a "free" market). If you don't blame someone, the problem doesn't get better, and in this case, the villain is multinational corporations (including Nike). That's who you blame.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Anonymous on April 04, 1998 at 00:11:01

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by Paul Koopman on April 04, 1998 at 00:06:51

    You can't just blame Nike (and Reebok)- there are hundreds of other industries out there providing the same or worse working conditions.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Paul Koopman on April 04, 1998 at 00:12:45

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by Anonymous on April 04, 1998 at 00:11:01

    That's why you blame ALL multinational corporations who are guilty of these practices. You can't excuse one because everyone does it. I hate to overuse the slavery example, but it still fits. Individual Slaveowners of the day, like George Washington, are excused because many people owned slaves. This is a moral relativist argument that just doesn't stick. It was wrong then, and it's wrong now.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Tom H. on April 04, 1998 at 01:04:57

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by Paul Koopman on April 04, 1998 at 00:12:45

    Why does everyone think that Nike (& governments) are the only ones getting something out of the deal? Most of the Factory workers are young females. By being in the factories they avoid other jobs like prostitution. They also earn money for their families which raises their status in the family. They don't live in America and are not slaves. There are waiting list to get into the factories. What would happen if shoe factory jobs were not available?


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Anonymous on April 04, 1998 at 01:15:08

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by Tom H. on April 04, 1998 at 01:04:57

    Just because Nike is the best (if not only) option, doesn't mean that it is good. Without multination corporations, the people of Vietnam would be able to focus on developing their own internal capital system, which is the only way a developing nation can ever hope to compete with the likes of the US. Look at Malaysia. Malaysia was on the rise before free trade, and they are now quite wealthy, and are able to compete and contribute in global capitalism. As long as multinationals are perpetuating the race to the bottom, Vietnam will be simply unable to dig itself out of the hole.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Anonymous on April 04, 1998 at 01:47:22

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by Anonymous on April 04, 1998 at 01:15:08

    what industries is Vietnam going to start from within?


    Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Alex on April 03, 1998 at 23:52:25

    In reply to Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by Paul Koopman on April 03, 1998 at 23:32:23

    Economics, by the way, is infused with moral lessons. If you study the subject closely you would see that. The free market is based on voluntary exchange. If an economic system is based on any other principle but voluntary exchange, then it is not a free market. There are many economic systems that are not based on voluntary exchange: communism such as exists in Vietnam today is one, and slavery is another. It does not make sense to say that slavery did not undermine itself through the working of the free market, because slavery is not a free market system.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted by Paul Koopman on April 04, 1998 at 00:01:10

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by Alex on April 03, 1998 at 23:52:25

    Don't dodge the issue. My God, FORGET ECONOMICS FOR ONE MINUTE! Is it right, is it fair, does it hurt people? those are the questions that need to be asked. By the way, where is the voluntary exchange? Do they have a choice? If you are in that position, do you turn down any job, if it means a chance to help to feed your children? What's voluntary about that? No, they're not bound in chains, but does that make them not slaves? Their labor is being grossly and unashamedly exploited, and that is the essence of slavery to me.


    Not dodging the issue

    Posted by Alex on April 04, 1998 at 00:11:43

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: AAAAAAAAA READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 posted by Paul Koopman on April 04, 1998 at 00:01:10

    The confusion of slavery with the free-market is a serious moral issue. It represents an inability to distinguish between freedom and unfreedom, thus aiding and abeting the cause of unfreedom. I can think of no more serious moral issue than that.


    Re: Not dodging the issue

    Posted by Paul Koopman on April 04, 1998 at 00:19:51

    In reply to Not dodging the issue posted by Alex on April 04, 1998 at 00:11:43

    So if you're not dodging the issue, please answer my question. Where is the freedom? Do those workers have freedom to quit their jobs when they're abused? Even if that means starving their own children? That's putting a whole lot of undue faith in free will. What would you do? How can you claim that they are free? If you want chains, I'll give you chains. They are bound by the economic chains of free trade and capitalism. You try and define slavery in a way that will make these people not slaves, and if you can do it, you deserve a spot on Steve Forbes presidential campaign.


    Re: Re: Not dodging the issue

    Posted by Alex on April 04, 1998 at 00:26:07

    In reply to Re: Not dodging the issue posted by Paul Koopman on April 04, 1998 at 00:19:51

    It is not me who has the convoluted definition of slavery. It is you. There is no definition of slavery in any dictionary that says employing somebody at a wage is slavery -- unless you count Chairman Mao's little red book as a dictionary. You cannot infer that unfreedom exists from the fact that the workers do not quit their jobs. It would make as much sense to say that I am not free to ignore you based on the fact that I respond to your Marxist drivel. What I do is in no way an indication that I am not free to do something else. Now if somebody were to show that Nike's subcontractors were holding guns to people's heads, then I would change my assessment. But until that evidence is produced, there is no reason to condemn Nike. And another thing -- the growth of trade and transnational investements in Vietnam can only help the workers because it would give them more options, not fewer.


    Re: Re: Re: Not dodging the issue

    Posted by Paul Koopman on April 04, 1998 at 00:47:00

    In reply to Re: Re: Not dodging the issue posted by Alex on April 04, 1998 at 00:26:07

    You're using the same free market myth that I've seen here so many times -- in time, the free market will make things better based on the myth of competition. That's nonsense, and it's never happened, especially not when we're dealing with a developing nation (by the way, I consider it an honor that you would compare my ideas to Karl Marx, not an insult). You fail to realize that global economics is a zero-sum game. The US cannot be so rich unless there are dirt poor nations willing to play with us on a global scale (Vietnam, Russia, maybe China now, although they're not dirt-poor yet). Based on the profiteering principles that have driven us for two centuries, multinational corporations work to perpetuate the system. It is not in their best interests to compete with one another, so it doesn't happen. Even if it does, when the cost gets too high, one corporation moves, and the cycle repeats itself. Things don't get better, they get worse.


    You are an advocate of unfreedom

    Posted by Alex on April 04, 1998 at 01:15:16

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Not dodging the issue posted by Paul Koopman on April 04, 1998 at 00:47:00

    There are only two choices: free-markets or gulags. I guess we know which side of history you are on. You stand with the greatest mass murderers of this century who between them have the blood of 150 million people on their hands. I'll take capitalism over that record any day. How can you be so ignorant?


    Re: You are an advocate of unfreedom

    Posted by Paul Koopman on April 04, 1998 at 01:25:45

    In reply to You are an advocate of unfreedom posted by Alex on April 04, 1998 at 01:15:16

    Like any good capitalist, you, my friend, appear to have cornered the market on ignorance. Stalin and Mao are indeed responsible for countless millions of deaths -- Karl Marx, however, is not. Both of these crude individuals took what Marx wrote and saw justification for totalitarianism, which is completely non-Marxian. Marx's big mistake was departing from Proudhon (the original anarchist for those ideologically impaired) in saying that government was necessary. Marx just didn't have enough faith in human nature (but that's another issue entirely). My point is, you can't judge an ideology by it's misapplication. By the way, capitalism has insured the maiximization of greed, exploitation of labor, and oppression in general for more than a century longer than communism has existed. Given the choice between despotism (capitalism in its simplest form) and communism, most rational people would take communism any day.


    Re: Re: You are an advocate of unfreedom

    Posted by Anonymous on April 04, 1998 at 01:58:47

    In reply to Re: You are an advocate of unfreedom posted by Paul Koopman on April 04, 1998 at 01:25:45

    Your f--ked up in the head. Do you really think people in this county are going to give up what they have for someone in Vietnam- fat chance- thats why communism doesnt' work- I like using my computer- if that means someone else can't use one so be it


    Re: Re: Re: You are an advocate of unfreedom

    Posted by Paul Koopman on April 04, 1998 at 02:06:48

    In reply to Re: Re: You are an advocate of unfreedom posted by Anonymous on April 04, 1998 at 01:58:47

    Thank you for that prime example of everything that is wrong with capitalism. In this society, we have no sense of empathy. We are simply unable to put ourselves in the shoes of other individuals in other cultures. That is the essence of racism -- to say that because I am in this position, I deserve something that someone else doesn't get, and there's nothing wrong with that. Well, there IS something wrong with that. We are all human, and we could just as easibly be in that situation as we are in this present situation. On a final note, is it hypocritical of me to be criticising capitalism on my shiny new Gateway 2000? Yes, it is. But at least I am using it to promote ideas which stand to help 90% of the earth's population.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: You are an advocate of unfreedom

    Posted by Anonymous on April 05, 1998 at 04:26:12

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: You are an advocate of unfreedom posted by Paul Koopman on April 04, 1998 at 02:06:48

    I have been following the discussion with vigor. Chomsky again discusses this notion of "empathy". Again from Secrets, Lies, and Deomcracy: Don't tread on me I'm not quite clear about how to formulate this question. It has to do with the nature of US society as exemplified in comments like do your own thing, go it alone, don't tread on me, the pioneer spirit -- all that deeply individualistic stuff. What does that tell you about American society and culture? It tells you that the propaganda system is working full-time, because there is no such ideology in the US. Business certainly doesn't believe it. All the way back to the origins of American society, business has insisted on a powerful, interventionist state to support its interests, and it still does. There's nothing individualistic about corporations. They're big conglomerate institutions, essentially totalitarian in character. Within them, you're a cog in a big machine. There are few institutions in human society that have such strict hierarchy and top-down control as a business organization. It's hardly don't tread on me -- you're being tread on all the time. The point of the ideology is to prevent people who are outside the sectors of coordinated power from associating with each other and entering into decision-making in the political arena. The point is to leave the powerful sectors highly integrated and organized, while atomizing everyone else. That aside, there is another factor. There's a streak of independence and individuality in American culture that I think is a very good thing. This don't tread on me feeling is in many respects a healthy one -- up to the point where it keeps you from working together with other people. So it's got a healthy side and a negative side. Naturally it's the negative side that's emphasized in the propaganda and indoctrination.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: You are an advocate of unfreedom

    Posted by Anonymous on April 04, 1998 at 13:47:12

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: You are an advocate of unfreedom posted by Paul Koopman on April 04, 1998 at 02:06:48

    So, 10% are still screwed? I really don't understand what your proposed solution is.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: You are an advocate of unfreedom

    Posted by Anonymous on April 04, 1998 at 02:33:41

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: You are an advocate of unfreedom posted by Paul Koopman on April 04, 1998 at 02:06:48

    Does the word Darwinism mean anything to you?


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You are an advocate of unfreedom

    Posted by Paul Koopman on April 04, 1998 at 02:36:00

    In reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: You are an advocate of unfreedom posted by Anonymous on April 04, 1998 at 02:33:41

    Yes, it does. It is a concept that, when applied socially, justifies racism, sexism, genocide, etc. etc. What a valuable way to look at the world.


    Re: Re: You are an advocate of unfreedom

    Posted by Alex on April 04, 1998 at 01:34:07

    In reply to Re: You are an advocate of unfreedom posted by Paul Koopman on April 04, 1998 at 01:25:45

    There is no Marxist society in which the murderers have not been put in charge. That suggest a lot more than a misapplication of Marxism. It suggests that Marxism is fundamentally flawed. That things didn't turn out the way Marx wanted is no reason to absolve Marx of responsibility. That's like saying that if didn't intend to run anybody over by running a red light, then you don't bear any responsbility for deaths of the other drivers and pedestrians. The Marxist enterprise is at root an attempt to change the fundamental character of man. Such an ambitious enterprise cannot but help trampling on the basic codes of morality that normally keep our aggressions in check.


    Re: Re: Re: You are an advocate of unfreedom

    Posted by Paul Koopman on April 04, 1998 at 01:45:07

    In reply to Re: Re: You are an advocate of unfreedom posted by Alex on April 04, 1998 at 01:34:07

    You sound like Hobbes. First of all, a better, although surely more con