Arnold Van Fossen
Gathering Place
Arnold van Fossen

‘Made in China’ --
a conspiracy uncovered?

Sometimes the ducks just fall into line and make a successful turkey shoot so that everyone has a chicken in the pot. Or something like that.

Having recently moved, I have had to replace most of my furniture -- from a footstool to a bed. Things tend to get lost in a moving van. I don't know why it happens, but you put stuff into the van at one end, move the van across country and open it up again at the other end, and your stuff has vanished.

This new conspiracy involves one of our trading partners. Now you remember that after World War II, items marked "Made in Japan" or "Nippon" were supposedly junk items. We know now that was a wrong assumption as these items have now become very expensive "collectibles."

After the Korean police action, better known as the Korean War, "Made in Korea" became a watchword for junky stuff. But we bought it because South Korea was our ally and we had to support them and keep them safe from communism. Turns out these items were inexpensive rather than junk, and again, they are about to become "collectibles."

Now we have China. As far as I know, China has not actually been in combat with America unless you count the Korean police action where about two million of them got pretty testy about our coming near their border and their dams. The Chinese army also has invaded a number of countries that are religiously near and dear to us but had not a drop of oil or smell of natural gas upon which we could base a war. Since there is actually little difference between communism, religious monarchy or dictatorship, one needs the oil reserve edge to smooth the feathers of the dove element in Congress. So China is not an actual enemy.

However, in purchasing all the furniture I needed to begin apartment-dwelling again, the one thing that appeared on each and every carton was "Made in China." Now I assume that Japan and Korea have a solid, oil-based economy and their people don't have to work for pennies a day. That is an assumption based on the fact that a decent hotel room in Tokyo costs about $350 per day, and they are not empty hotels. So everything that is "inexpensive" is now coming from China.

I have a footstool "Made in China." I have three dressers "Made in China." And I am led to believe that there are airplanes and automobiles and shelving and dining tables, all of which have to be assembled and all of which are "Made in China." You can most likely get a house that needs to be assembled, which is "Made in China." Don't laugh -- at one time you could order a house from Sears Roebuck, which would be shipped in large piles of lumber, wiring and bathroom porcelain. All you had to do was put the pieces together.

Now, my theory is -- and mind you, it is only a theory -- that one day, somewhere in the remote plateau deserts of China, a little man with a round face and wearing a Chairman Mao uniform will shuffle across a huge cement bunker, gaze at the clock on the wall as it moves the minute hand closer to high noon. He will nod to his audience of similarly dressed men and women sitting in folding chairs. They will nod back. The clock will strike noon. He will push a large red button marked "Made in China," and all across America and the Free World, everything we have ever assembled will come crashing down around us. And then you can only imagine what will happen next.

Arnold Van Fossen, a former Waikiki resident and frequent contributor to the Star-Bulletin, now lives in Henderson, Nev.

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