sweatshop evidence - generally better upholders of...

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In support of sweatshops Nicholas Kristof says the unsayable in The New York Times: “It’s catastrophic for muddle-minded liberals to join in and cudgel impoverished workers for whom a sweatshop job is the first step on life’s escalator.” I remember the BBC report he cites which led to Nike leaving Cambodia. It did explain that the low-paid factory jobs were far preferable for Cambodian girls to the sex trade or staying in their impoverished villages. But the outcry that followed the accurate report overlooked those realities. Phil Jones offers an intelligent reply to Kristof’s argument. I agree that the first condition — ensuring adequate health and safety standards, even in “sweatshops” — is fundamental. I know there have been documented cases of global corporations violating these standards, but from what I’ve seen in the developing world, multinationals are
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Unformatted text preview: generally better upholders of standards than local companies. I don’t think this is altruism on their part. They are worried about reputational damage if they have woefully low standards. As to the disparity between advocating openness for western manufacturers while slamming the door shut on the south’s agricultural exports, I couldn’t agree more. See Davos Newbies passim . On Phil’s other points, there are no easy answers and he’s right to say there is need for more research. What I object to in less intelligent viewpoints is the arrogance that we need to save the world’s poor from exploitation by neo-colonialist corporations. That smacks of the “white man’s burden” fallacy. http://www.davosnewbies.com/2002/06/...
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This essay was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course ENGL 200 taught by Professor Redington during the Fall '08 term at Kansas State University.

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