Ron, you say that I would paint all products of a certain country as
being the product of exploitation, and yet, the example of Taxco vs
the maquiladoras, which I cited, is a counter-example of that.
If we were to chastise all products from developing nations as
being products of brutal exploitation a hell of a lot of poor
people would starve and the developing economy would be held back.
When we support the products of developing nations we are ultimatly
making a contribution to their development.
The truth is that poor people are already starving, which is why we
call them poor people. Our continuing purchasing of the fruits of
their sweatshop labor does not benefit the exploited workers so much
as the businesses which are exploiting them. We are not
"developing" their economy by purchasing such goods- we are
financially rewarding the status quo. That is what holds them, and
their economy, back. At the same time, we exert strong downward
economic pressure on workers who are being paid a living wage.
I strongly disagree with your statement that consumers are
essentially economic animals who seek bang for the buck This is an
area in which you must speak for yourself. Consumers often
demonstrate that they are willing to boycott sweatshop produced
products, as long as they are educated regarding the conditions
under which these products are made. There is abundant evidence that
consumer boycotts of sweatshops and exploitive employers, rather
than further impoverishing workers as you claim, often forces
corporations operating in third-world countries to improve their
wages, working conditions, etc. These sweatshop boycotts also
benefit workers who are already being paid a living wage, as it
relieves them of the unfair competition from sweatshop labor, child
For a working person to knowingly buy the products of sweatshop
labor because they are a “deal,” is roughly on a moral par with
eating one’s young. For a businessperson to profit from the
exploitation of sweatshop labor, and then rationalize this
exploitation by claiming to be a benefactor of those whom he
exploits, is no less deplorable.
Dos Manos Jewelry