Many of the things you buy and own were touched at some point by Chinese hands, and those hands are about to get a little more expensive. The Guangdong province in China, the seat of the country’s manufacturing might, is going to get a 20% minimum wage increase starting January 1st, 2012.
If this province is responsible for making most of the world’s goods, and the workers in it are going to get 20% more expensive, you can be pretty sure it’s going to push up the price of a lot of stuff you buy.
Won’t manufacturing just shift to the next cheaper place? Nope. Because you need that mass of workers to do the job. “You might find cheaper workers outside of China, but you’ll never find the scale of labor force that you can find in China,” Geoffrey Crothall of the China Labour Bulletin told the Global Post.
“I think there’s quite a good argument now that the global race to the bottom has been concluded,” he said. “There’s nowhere else to go.”