Discussion in 'Economy' started by Toro, Jan 17, 2009.
From The New York Times
I was in Mexico 30 years ago, long before NAFTA, I traveled all over Mexico. There were poor people living in huts with mud floors that worked hard all day. And yet, they were better off than Mexico today. Today crime is rampant. Birth defects are at ever increasing rates thanks to lax environmental laws. Women are hired to work in the factories but not the men, too much of a chance they'll start a union. Any talk of unions and people are killed. People who work at factories live in cardboard huts in a slum worse than anything I saw while I traveled all over Mexico.
Families are breaking down as the working women don't need the men and the men can't get jobs to support a family, so they come up here. Mexico is falling apart and a lot of it is because of NAFTA and "free trade" Whoever wrote that article is an idiot. Go back and look at Thailand BEFORE those slave labor factories.
The article is correct- Most people who work in sweatshops, even historically, are people who are doing it to escape the even-shittier subsistence agriculture life. But that doesn't change the need for workers to continually demand and take action to acquire better conditions.
Exactly, and for people to sit there and be like "you should be happy with what you got" is bullshit.
I've pointed this out myself, incidentally, in response to the urge of so many to boycott products made through child labor or whatever.
This is the natural result of the spread of hierarchical wage labor; it cannot be solved by mixed-market capitalism or whatever other nonsense the political mainstream is interested in. What is necessary is a radical alteration of the economy involving mass expropriation of the means of production, and the establishment of horizontal networks of worker-owned enterprises managed in a democratic manner.
Not only that, but on payday the cops line up and the workers have to give each of them a chunk of their pay on their way home.
A Mexican family in my church came to America because they got sick of it.
I saw a good program on PBS about this topic yesterday or the day before. In some countries like Cambodia, that Sweatshop Labor is the only job for hundreds of miles around. The alternative was scavanging in the community garbage dump to make a living. Those poor people would be better off in a sweatshop.
Fact remains that as the world's population continues to skyrocket, more and more people are living in abject poverty.
Of course "free trade" has a tendency to cause deleterious effects. I've repeated the basic fact that the expansion of neoliberalism into developing countries has the effect of harming infant industries, as Ha-Joon Chang's Kicking Away the Ladder indicates. I'm still wondering when this evidence will be addressed.
I only buy products manufactured in sweatshops. It's my way of getting back at the unions.
The Kingdom of Cambodia is doing just fine, since finding oil and natural oil deposits, and beginning to capitalize on tourism.
PBS on the other hand would like to see Cambodia return to the days of the Khmer Rouge when communism was the blessed order of the day, so of course they are going to play up the pitiful situation of the citizens of Cambodia today, and glorify work camps.
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