NAME:_______________________________ DATE:__________ The People’s Republic of Capitalism Episode 1: Joined at the Hip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mtf2H4YrYVw HIGHLIGHTS: U.S. manufacturers such as Briggs & Stratton, Apple, and Ethan Allen rely on cheap, reliable Chinese labor to reduce assembly costs and remain competitive. The Chinese economy relies on U.S. capital for investment in technology and on U.S. consumers (through retailers such as Walmart) for a ready market for their goods. Companies' search for inexpensive labor inevitably displaces U.S. workers. In urban China, a growing middle and upper class has increased the demand for imported luxury goods, while most rural Chinese remain poor. QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER: 1. What is the goal for Chongqing? 2. Compare and contrast the professions of the two quality control workers. 3. Why is the balance of trade between the U.S. and China “out of whack”? 4. What is the reason the family in China says they buy American products? 5. How would you explain the interdependence of the Chinese and American economies, in your own words? 6. When you buy something at a big-box retailer (ex-Walmart), do you read the label to find the country of origin? Does it influence your purchasing decision? 7. Some of the experts interviewed in this episode see U.S.-Chinese interdependence as a "win-win" situation, because investing brings good returns and outsourcing helps keep some U.S. plants open. Do you agree or disagree? What factors influence your opinion? 8. What do you think would happen to the economy in Owenton if the Itron factory was outsourced to another country?