Ventura nonprofit is following wrong rules

Gov. Jesse Ventura’s new, nonprofit organization, Ventura for Minnesota, Inc., is going to use Chinese labor to manufacture its Jesse Action Figures. This decision is disappointing and suggests that Ventura might really stand more for his own gain than for the “little guy.”
It is not as if the organization has no choice in the matter. According to Larry Weiss, the coordinator for the Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition, there are several companies in our state that could make the figures. However, if Ventura for Minnesota, Inc. chose to operate in the United States, they would be forced to pay their employees at least the U.S. minimum wage and would likely need to offer health insurance and other benefits.
Presumably to avoid those costs, the organization has decided to operate in China. China is a country that does not allow political dissent and badly mistreats those citizens who attempt to defy the strict regime — the nonexistence of basic human rights is well documented. It is ironic that Ventura, who affects the posture of supporting less-represented citizens, chose China to be the manufacturer of his dolls.
The situation also creates a misleading image for consumers. The name of the company seems to indicate that the items are made in Minnesota. Those who purchase the dolls may be disillusioned when they discover they were made not by Minnesota laborers at well-paid industrial jobs, but by Chinese workers making less than $1 per hour.
Ventura seems to be playing a cruel trick. He created an image of a man willing to break all the rules, but now that it comes to money, he is going to follow the old corporate rules in order to sell that manufactured image. Using poorly paid foreign labor to make products is unfortunately nothing if not traditional business practice.
It is not as if operating in Minnesota would be wholly disadvantageous to Ventura. Although operating in Minnesota would force the company to pay its workers more, it would save a lot of money in shipping costs, and the company would likely need to hire fewer employees, as the technology available in the United States is much better than that widely available in China. Additionally, manufacturing within our state would allow the organization to advertise that it truly is for Minnesota, which might lead to additional sales. The higher cost of labor is unlikely to impact sales very much. Given Gov. Ventura’s popularity, even if the dolls cost a few cents, or even a few dollars, more than the typical action figure, they are still likely to sell extremely well.
Ventura for Minnesota, Inc. certainly has every right to use foreign labor to manufacture its dolls and any other item it produces. Rather than exploiting more Chinese workers, Ventura would do well to blaze another trail. By using Minnesota workers to produce his action figures, he would not only prove that he really is for Minnesota, but he would also illustrate that it is possible to employ ethical business practices and still make a healthy profit.