Wilso wrote: Thomas wrote:
A free labor market does an adequate job at creating reasonable working conditions and wages, thank you very much.
Tell that to the children slaving in Asian sweatshops. I just can't believe the level of naivety/stupidity that I see on this site at times.
No problem at all, because if these sweatshops weren't there, these children would be slaving on farms, in prostitution, and in other professions which are much worse than sweatshop labor. You see, misery was not recently introduced to East Asia for the benefit of multinational corporations. It has been existing there forever, and the contribution of global capitalism is to make things better -- though maybe not good enough for you. By contrast, labor unions played a minor role in raising Taiwanese wages from third world levels to first world levels. The same is true for Hong Kong, Singapoore, South Korea, and most other Asian countries where wages increased dramatically over the last few decades. You may well find it worthwile to check the facts before accusing your opponents of stupidity and naivite.
If you're interested, Paul Krugman, an economist with fairly good liberal credentials, gives you an entry point to what the real effect of sweatshops is in the following New York Times article, of which I quote the relevant excerpt.
In the New York Times of April 22, 2001, Paul Krugman wrote:
You can read the full article here.
For really extensive data material, the Foreign Labor Statistics
homepage at the American Bureau of Labor Statistics