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The Economy of Anger

Looking for a real miracle.
Mark Galli|

Exactly one month before Christmas, a riot broke out at "the real-life Santa's workshop." That's what people call the Chinese city of Dongguan, because of the number of toys manufactured there. The violence erupted at the Kai Da toy factory.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the company had announced layoffs, and a group of workers and managers were negotiating termination pay. The police had been called in to keep calm outside, but instead began beating some workers with sticks. When the workers inside saw this, they rushed outside and joined other workers. They surrounded the police and began smashing police cars. They then began smashing company doors, windows, and computers.

At the time, the global economic downturn was hitting hardest in places like Dongguan, where factories were used to churning out toys, shoes, and clothing to satisfy the demand of American consumers. When demand plunged, companies began laying off workers. And workers, naturally, were not pleased.

Workers struck ...

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