Wednesday, October 31, 2007

In praise of sweatshops: Oldie but goodie

On the opponents of globalization:
When the movement gets what it wants, the effects are often startlingly malign. For example, could anything be worse than having children work in sweatshops? Alas, yes. In 1993, child workers in Bangladesh were found to be producing clothing for Wal-Mart, and Senator Tom Harkin proposed legislation banning imports from countries employing underage workers. The direct result was that Bangladeshi textile factories stopped employing children. But did the children go back to school? Did they return to happy homes? Not according to Oxfam, which found that the displaced child workers ended up in even worse jobs, or on the streets — and that a significant number were forced into prostitution.

The point is that third-world countries aren't poor because their export workers earn low wages; it's the other way around. Because the countries are poor, even what look to us like bad jobs at bad wages are almost always much better than the alternatives.

- Paul Krugman, New York Times

Labels: ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the author, I think life in a sweatshop is much better than the life on the streets. At least they earn something to support their families & in the mean time gain good skills which help them in the future. Yes they are supposed to be studying in school, but what if their parents cannot afford it or if the government does not have enough funding for the education?

There is nothing 100% good or 100% bad as the media portrays.

9:35 AM  
Blogger V said...

Very good post - and so un-media friendly!

The point so many people forget is this is exactly where Europe and the US were 1- 200 years ago.
The woollen mills of the industrial area of Manchester were a god send to the people of the time. It was hard work, and staff turnover was very high, but at least it opened the door to education and a stable family environment.
The alternative would have been everyone staying on the farm, and today, we would still be in the same place - no wealth, no health, no computers!

2:51 PM  
Blogger EclectEcon said...

Amazing. I didn't realize Krugman was still capable of writing such a biting piece of neo-classical economics in praise of free markets.

7:19 AM  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

I did say it was an "oldie" - Follow the link to this information, "Originally published in The New York Times, 4.22.01 "

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Lauryn Hill said...

Earning money online never been this easy and transparent. You would find great tips on how to make that dream amount every month. So go ahead and click here for more details and open floodgates to your online income. All the best.

3:28 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home