There's been quite a few stories in the media lately about dodgy Chinese manufacturers. Lead paint on toys, bad pet food and so forth. Without endorsing these bad practices, what I want to know is, how much of this is actually our own fault?

We sit in our safe, clean and large homes well away from the factories of China. Our consumption-mad society demands ever more stuff at ever decreasing prices. We can't make most of the stuff we want to buy, at prices we want to pay, locally. Why? Because we would have to pay to maintain strict quality standards, worker safety, environmental protection and so forth. So we outsource to China, where these standards are somewhat lacking. So we get the cheap prices.

So why are we surprised when corners are cut? When we, by or actions, asked for them to be cut! Are we really that blind and spoilt?