Why Cards Against Humanity paid for all its factory workers to take a weeklong vacation.

There's an elephant in the room of American manufacturing.

And its name is Chinese labor.

According to The Economist, China produces 80% of the worlds air conditioners, 70% of its mobile phones and 60% of its shoes. And countless other manufactured products have made the "Made in China" sticker that's completely ubiquitous in America.


Workers at a toy factory in Zhejiang, China. Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images.

Most companies don't address the use of cheap Chinese labor. Unless something goes wrong.

Despite the long list of American corporations employing Chinese workers, most don't talk about it. It usually takes a watchdog investigation shining a light on working conditions or the use of child labor for a company to even begin discussing it — let alone doing something about it.

For one example:

In 2014, China Labor Watch accused Samsung of employing underage workers. Samsung then launched an investigation into their factory and found evidence of child labor as well as an "illegal hiring process." In July 2014, they announced they would "permanently halt" their relationship with that supplier. Which ... according to another investigation in December 2014, they hadn't.

A glass workshop in Liuyang used by Samsung. Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images.

It's refreshing when a company takes a second to talk frankly about their labor practices.

As was the case last week with with Cards Against Humanity, the "party game for horrible people" that became famous for its ice-breaking inappropriateness and Black Friday pranks (one of which recently convinced over 11,000 people to pay $5 for nothing).

Also known as "Apples to Apples but funny." Photo by Daniel Christopher/Upworthy.

In a recent blog post, Cards Against Humanity announced that it had paid for a weeklong vacation for the workers at its printer in China.

Noting that the use of Chinese labor is something "a lot of companies don't like to draw attention to," the company stated that the way their products are made is "a part of who we are."

Along with the blog post were several pictures of the factory staff taking vacation time with friends and family and messages from the staff saying what they used their vacation time for.

While a positive gesture, it certainly doesn't solve the problem.

And Cards Against Humanity knows that. "This doesn’t undo the ways that all of us profit from unfair working conditions around the world," the blog post read, "but it’s a step in the right direction."

A step that very few companies have been willing to take.

Apple has also made efforts to improve their infamous manufacturing process.

The tech giant has come under fire several times for labor practice issues but particularly in 2010, after over a dozen people committed suicide at the Foxconn Technology plant in Shenzhen, China. Apple has since successfully reduced the workweek there to comply with the Fair Labor Association's standard of 60 hours per week.

A Foxconn recruitment center in south China's Guangdong province. Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images.

Apple's Supplier Responsibility Progress Report also highlights the fact that they have trained 2.3 million workers on their rights in 2014 and over 6.2 million since 2007.

"In our supply chain, we train everybody on their rights," said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a recent interview on "The Late Show." "That's their rights as we see them, and we have a really high bar."

While most companies stay silent, happy to rake in the overwhelming profits that come with cheap and oftentimes questionable labor practices, some know their responsibility as companies who employ humans to stand up for human rights.

How a company's products are made is undoubtedly a part of that company's identity. Cards Against Humanity at least wants it to be a good part.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

Keep Reading Show less
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less