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Sweatshop labels
Heidi Porter raised a very appropriate concern for loss of first blue collar and now white collar jobs overseas in her column ("Add it Up," Dec. 31). Her mental image of the typical overseas factory as a "sweatshop", however, is completely contrary to fact. The biggest surprise I had when I first started going to China in the early 1990's was that the factories there were as good as anything in North America or Europe. They were new, clean, equipped with modern machinery and staffed by well-trained people. Even with low cost labor, factories have to be modern to compete in cost and quality in world markets. The Chinese understand this very well. American industry that continues to drive innovation, manufacturing costs and quality levels can compete for the long term. Industries that become stagnant, however, will lose out to Asian competition.
Rob Vandewoestine
Durham

Corrections
An article in the Jan. 7 issue, "Paradise Tossed," incorrectly referred to Chatham County Planning Board member and Siler City attorney Jennifer Andrews as a developer. Andrews' husband owns Andrews Realty Co., which is not a development company, and the couple employed Planning Board Vice Chair Charles Eliason as a surveyor only for their own property. She is a general practitioner, and real estate law is just one facet of her practice. The Independent regrets the error.

A headline in the Jan. 14 issue gave an incorrect name for the Brier Creek subdivision in Wake County.

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