Readers, it has been a LONG FUCKING DAY on the righteous indignation front. So long, in fact, that we are finding it difficult to summon the requisite moral outrage to properly address leading handbag apologist Dana Thomas's New York Times column about how fake Birkin bags are funding terrorists and the United States should, much akin to the highly successful and morally unimpeachable War On Drugs, launch a global War On Fake Handbags. In fact, know what? We would probably find it difficult on a slow day, because her point of view is so unspeakably retarded.
On a warm winter afternoon in Guangzhou, I accompanied Chinese police officers on a factory raid in a decrepit tenement. Inside, we found two dozen children, ages 8 to 13, gluing and sewing together fake luxury-brand handbags. The police confiscated everything, arrested the owner and sent the children out. Some punched their timecards, hoping to still get paid.
(The average Chinese factory worker earns about $120 a month; the counterfeit factory worker earns half that or less.) As we made our way back to the police vans, the children threw bottles and cans at us. They were now jobless and, because the factory owner housed them, homeless. It was "Oliver Twist" in the 21st century. What can we do to stop this? Much like the war on drugs, the effort to protect luxury brands must go after the source: the counterfeit manufacturers.
OH FOR FUCK'S SAKE. Dear Dana, guess who, like, basically INVENTED this modern day Oliver Twist shit? That's right, your precious brands. Where do you think the bulk of profitable counterfeiting gets done? That's right, the factories contracting legally, by day, on behalf of your precious brands. How'd you think the counterfeiters learned to be so savvy about concealing their operations from the capitalism police? Right again, they learned it from the brands. None of this is at all specific to your logo-copying evildoers; it's called globalization, and it's a double-edged sword if there ever was one, which is why it's going to be tough to convince anyone the counterfeit handbag business is doing the Universe some terrible harm by robbing a bunch of rich families and their richer hedge fund investors of their full share of those 1,000% to 1,200% markups they charge handbag consumers over the actual cost of a handbag. But you keep trying with that terrorism connection: after all, if not from the fake handbag trade, where else would terrorists find all their money? Oh right, DRUGS AND OIL.
Terror's Purse Strings [NYT]