Preserving the Way of the Artisan

I listened to this segment on Marketplace and was rather surprised. I did not know that I could be so ignorant about the issue that has inspired my business: preserving the way of the artisan.

Jeff Tyler finds out how even artisans from Zambia suffer from the competition of cheaper products coming out of China and Vietnam. The story is surprising to me because I thought that wages in Zambia were very low, and to think that one can make a basket and ship it to Zambia for less than the local artisan seems hard to believe.

Do China and Vietnam have robotic plants making baskets? As far as I know their factories are very labor intensive. So exactly how much, or how little, do they pay their workers? Is it possible that workers in the world’s second economy earn less than the workers in Zambia?