Tuesday, May 09, 2006

This was going to be a post about the long weekend I spent in Seoul, but I read yet another story out of Canada that reminded me of one of the reasons why I'm not there. Has anyone heard of Cecilia Zhang? Her tragic story was actually on America's Most Wanted in 2003. She was kidnapped, killed, dumped and missing for a Canadian winter before her skeleton was found. Well her killer is being tried right now in Brampton, Ontario. It is a story that will probably be duplicated again and again before my stupid country can overcome our national pathological fear of giving offense to foreigners and face some hard facts. There was a very simple step that should have been taken that would have prevented this tragedy. But because of our hypersensativity toward foreigners, this step is no longer taken in Canada. In fact it is roundly regarded as kind of racist. Look at paragraph 5 of this article. Now, I'm no expert on student visas but Min Chen was not attending class for a long time. He should have been deported! He should not have been in the country idly whiling away his hours thinking of what rides to enjoy at the Devil's playground. I did work at a Chinese school in Vancouver for 2 years. At the time it was one of well over 200 foreign schools in that city. Half of the students in my school NEVER came to class. This is obviously a breach of their student visa agreements. Min Chen was in Canada on a student visa and had quit school months before committing his crime. Somebody at Seneca College may very well have reported his violation to the appropriate ministry, but it wouldn't have done any good. I know this because I phoned that appropriate ministry twice during my days at Kingston College in Vancouver where half of the students were illegally in Canada on false student visas. The first time, after the requisite 30 minutes of phone gymnastics you go through when you call any government agency, a woman answered the phone, heard part of my story, called me a filthy racist and hung up on me. I called again, suffered through the 30 minutes of frustration and got through to a man. He eloquently and politely told me that there is absolutely nothing that can be done. By his office or anyone in Canada. In short, we no longer enforce our student visas. I am positive that many of my students were working while studying in Canada too. Another violation. Recently in Vancouver a Chinese guy named Michael Ng became the first person on trial for human trafficking in Canada. I wonder if HE was a "student" in Canada as well. I'm not going to defend these two criminals, but I am really not convinced that the government officials who are making and enforcing our immigration and visa laws in Canada really understand what they are doing. From all accounts I've heard from people who are from China or who have lived there, and all the information I have gathered, I would guess that the average wage of a worker in China is about a dollar a day. It's a very educated guess and probably quite accurate. More in the cities, but less in the country. Let's say for convenience that minimum wage in Canada is 8 bucks an hour. An 8-hour day equates to 64 times the salary an average guy can make in China. And it only goes up from there. And let's not kid ourselves, how many Chinese people do you know who don't scoff at a lazy 8-hour day? Do you suppose this might be why? Do you suppose this might also be one of the reasons our government officials are illegally allowing so many Chinese into Canada? They are the perfect labour force. Not like us Canadians who demand worker's rights, coffee breaks, pension, health insurance, extra portions of tartar sauce with our fish etc. etc. The most recent announcement given in Canada was 2 million Chinese in our country. Go to Vancouver or Toronto and you'll understand how laughable that statistic is. But as Henry Ford once said, "There are three kinds of lies: white lies, damned lies and statistics." I don't know about you but I'd work at least 16 hours a day if I could multiply MY salary by 64. Now think of how many laws you would be willing to fracture if you could multiply your present salary by 64. We're getting close to the mentality of these people. Throw in the facts that they have 1.2 billion dependants in their country; it's not uncommon to have crooks who are cheating them out of some of their foreign salaries like the thugs who were holding Michael Ng's family hostage; and their culture is so fanatically obsessed with money and now we are even closer to understaning their mentality. They are not concerned with our laws. If Min Chen's abduction had gone off without a hitch; if he had used the ransom money to start a business or make some investments or even engage in more lucrative law breaking to become rich, would he still be considered a "bad" person by his family, friends and countrimen? In answer to that, I'd like to put a link to a common Korean folk tale here but the best I can do is give you a link to a dead page. So I'll paraphrase it as best I can. Remember, Korea has only recently had the influences of Christianity and globalization to temper their national usury and graft. These are business weaknesses China has still not really been affected by. Also remember that this is a story they tell children here. One of many that seem to have a similar central message. I'll let you figure out what that is. There once was a middle school teacher in Korea. He brought "delicious" snacks to school every day and feasted on them while his students watched enviously. I put delicious in quotes because they were dried persimmons. Ewww. He told his students that if they ate his snacks, they would die. One day the teacher had to go to town on business. He left the children unattended for an hour or so. The kids started horsing around, of course and spilled the teacher's ink all over the floor. They also opened up his sack of snacks and ate them all. When the teacher was seen returning from town the children got scared. One of the smart ones had a plan. He told the children to lie on the floor. When the teacher returned the smart kid told him that they had accidentally spilled his ink. They felt so ashamed of their mistake that they decided to commit suicide so they ate all of his dried persimmons. The kid told the teacher that they were now just waiting to die. The teacher turned away from the student with a smile on his face and said to himself, "They are learning." I could now post a hundred stories about business practices here in Korea, but I'm busy slagging Canada and China. I wonder what kind of bedtime stories Chinese parents read to their kids. Anybody know any? I DO know that the owner of Kingston College received an award for excellence in Chinese business while I worked there. He owns two "schools" in Vancouver and several others in other countries. Illegal immigrants, false visas, facilitation of an illegal work force, and I know my students who worked were making less than minimum wage in Canada but their Chinese employers could do that with impunity since they were working illegally to begin with. THIS is business excellence! And it's really enabled by our moronic government turning a blind eye to it. In both cases above, the two criminals probably don't feel all that bad about their actions because it was just business. This might explain the "chilling" lack of emotion on the face of Min Chen as he was put on trial. I'd be really interested in an interview with his parents. They might express their embarrassment, sorrow, disappointment, but would it be directed toward the kidnapping and murder, or the failed business venture? If you look at the history of the government in China, the Chinese Communist Party is far more morally depraved than the individual. Their government has been economically killing its people for decades! Not a very positive role model. Now in true Canadian fashion, I have to tell you here that I don't hate the Chinese. I really don't. I just can't stand their business ethics. And these ethics are practically unanimously accepted by the Chinese as necessary. They use excuses like population, supply and demand etc. to explain away their sins. I just can't wrap my head around this. But then again, I come from a country with a low population and rich natural resources. We have the luxury of being able to do business honestly. And some of us even DO! But get used to stories like the ones above coming out of Canada. And Americans reading this, don't worry so much about illegal immigration from the south because the Chinese are coming from the north! Ooooh I can't wait for the comments I get on THIS post!


The Histrionics of a Fat Housewife said...

I don't get it. If Canadian minimum wage is 8 bucks an hour, doesn't that come out to approximately a buck a day US?

Okay. I'm leaving now. Yankee go home.

Cory said...

Heather, if you were really a Yankee you'd be speaking spanish right now wouldn't you? Or at least singing it in your anthem :)