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> Those people don't want the lifestyle afforded to Chinese factory workers but the fact is that this lifestyle is an improvement for the vast rural Chinese underclass

Why do you think this might be true? The only reason Chinese workers are poor is that they government let companies treat them as slaves. I don't think we should even consider that taking part on this is fair to Chinese people. On the opposite, agreeing with the practices of the Chinese government is exporting poverty to other parts of the world.

If you think that the advantage is that Western countries get cheaper products, this is wrong again: we could get cheap products anyway, but just using more machines instead of semi-slave labor.

No, you've misread me. I'm comparing Chinese factory workers to (more numerous) Chinese rural poor, who make four to five times less than the factory workers, and whose poverty cannot be attributed to greedy factory owners.

In objective terms, however exploited you think technology manufacturing "slave laborers" are by companies in the west, the west has done those workers a favor. The status quo ante was a poverty so grinding as to make the comparison to unemployed US auto workers laughable.

When you visit a factory, it is easy to see that this is not the case. Yeah, the work sucks, but workers are happy to have the chance in general - they save money to build businesses, give to their families, etc. Factory work is better than starving, and better than farmwork.

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