Johnny’s sweatshop scooter

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Those faddish Razor scooters today’s kids are hankering for are made in a sweatshop in China, according to the National Labor Committee in Support of Human and Worker Rights.

Recent Must Reads

12/28 – UK says gay sex OK overseas

12/23 – Globalization of sushi

12/22 – The choice erosion

12/21 – Activists under siege

The NLC doled out its “Golden Grinch” anti-awards to retailers this holiday season, giving one to Sharper Image for carrying an exclusive edition of the Razor scooters (other retailers also carry the basic model). According to NLC research, the scooters are made at Yuan Da Metal Factory in China, where workers are paid just 14 cents for every scooter they produce. The scooters sell for $89 to $119 each.

Another Grinch award went to the Department of Defense for importing apparel made in Burmese and Nicaraguan sweatshops for sale at military installations. Other “awards” went to Wal-Mart, Kohl’s, Farberware, and the ubiquitous Nike.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest