Mark Magnier’s article about the “crisis of trust” in China could have a more powerful impact.
The key problem with its impact is that it is not timely – we have been dealing with fake, harmful Chinese products here in America for years, and we naturally expect that without the consumer protection laws that about here at home, consumers in China would be subject to even more terrible scams.
This should be viewed as an atrocity of the free market, one which America tamed long ago through consumer movements after we had learned our lesson during the unrestrained capitalism of the early 20th century.
But the article lacks passion. Although it is journalistically correct to end sentences in periods, this doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t have the impact of exclamation points. Take, for example, the following sentence: “[l]and that farmers have tilled for generations can be seized on a moment’s notice in a system that doesn’t recognize private property.”
It bumbles awkwardly through a critical point and is stymied by a few too many prepositional phrases. It leaves the reader unenraged about the fact that what our Founders considered a pillar of society – Property, next in line only to Life and Liberty – is totally absent from the world’s most populous country.
The author of the article is unable to bring the points home. The baby formula example could easily be reinforced by the image of a sickly Gerber baby, or the reminder that it is a product we have taken for granted for decades. In an article like this one, connecting prominent American brands to the scandals taking place abroad – placing the reader in the shoes of the foreigner – would have left a much more lasting impression than the distant, dispassionate analysis offered here.
And let’s not start on the hackneyed, irrelevant cliché that the author leads with.