Sweatshops

In trawling through Salient was pleased to find some interesting stuff to read including views from the left and the right on “Should we boycott companies that produce goods using sweathshop labour”.

Greg from the left gives the usual reasons based on why sweatshops are bad etc etc (and they are bad).

I must commend Chris Bishop who in his view from the right makes a compelling case for why such boycotts actually harm those they are intended to help. He correctly points out:

“The choice for workers in the Third World is not between a high-paying, cushy, unionised job, and a job in a sweatshop. The choice is between a job in a sweatshop and living on a rubbish dump. The choice is between eating and not eating. The choice is between buying a mosquito net to cover your children while they sleep, and having your children die slowly of malaria. A shit job at a shit wage is better than no job at all.”

I have never worked out why anti free trade campaigners think that third world workers should have no work at all, which is what would happen to many if developed countries are allowed to block imports from them.

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