American Sweatshops

(Part 2)


Individuals in third world countries have had no such advancement and struggle for survival. Unemployed populations in third world countries suffer having to pick from a short list of very few survival possibilities available. Agricultural jobs are the second most sought after sources of income but pay must be spread out between many workers and is scarce especially in comparison to those who once worked in a sweatshop, while the environment is tremendously more dangerous, the pay is greater than that of those working agriculturally. Factories known as sweatshops are the best economic advantage acquired by countries with financial hardship, which are attributed to richer economies involvement in producing cheaper products and labor as a financial strategy in business. Money supplies a healthier lifestyle, a chance for education, and a higher sense of financial liberation. Popular clothing and footwear made by companies nationally known such as NIKE, American Apparel, Abercrombie& Fitch, L.L Bean, Hanes and Burberry, and several popular apparel corporations manufacture and import products from cotton production plants in economically disadvantaged nations. Stopping the sale and import of all sweatshop made goods would be destructive to those varies countries and their obviously disadvantaged economies and would destroy the homes and families of its workers, as it would once have done to America if the twentieth century textile mills and steel mills would have been shut down due to the poor working conditions and Instead of moving forward and fighting in unions; had been sent to the fields to earn less money and food as a result of the factories demise. A fate America could potentially be forcing on an under privileged society.

Many colleges around the US have staged sit ins to bring awareness and outrage to the treatment of people in third world countries but if Nike is raising the standard of living and bringing thousands of jobs that wouldn’t otherwise be available to a poor deprived country, then maybe outrage is not the correct response. Closing the sweatshops or crippling it by reducing their revenue may morally seem to be the answer, but diplomatically and economically can destroy the already poor country and its people. While Americans and rich economies are more than welcome to be appalled by the circumstances, as they should, the fact reminds that the people working in these factories are not Americans with running water and simple things like food at home, and jump on the opportunity to better their lives by working in factories. It is horrifying to those who treat their progeny as opportunities to display conspicuous consumption like America, but in much of the less privileged world, it’s natural to view children as an economic asset in areas where schools are not available or affordable, it would be limousine liberalism on a global scale to insist that children stay home and consume valuable resources. The idea that the destruction of sweatshops will better and/or save the lives of workers is bias, very unrealistic and misguided. Simply by getting rid of sweatshops does not create a better environment in third world countries but rather prohibits and cripples their ability to one day attain the economic wealth and freedoms similar to America’s. The current popularity to prohibit sweatshops through organized sit-ins in over 100 colleges comes from a generation accustomed to results quickly and efficiently, nicknamed the now generation. The intentions are in the right direction but the solution is morally geared and not realistically examined which causes the people they think they’re helping to work just as hard for less pay. Protests can be incredibly effective and detrimental if misguided. A positive solution takes decades and America must continue to invest money in these companies, the impulsive and impatient nature of the now generation causes great negative long term effects.

Most “exploited” are more than happy and willing to get these jobs because it is a ticket to slightly less impoverishment. Economic development in third world countries makes that country’s population wealthier, which means the population is freer, healthier, and better equipped in protecting and protesting against their lack of workers’ rights and the mistreatment occurring in their environment. American is hindering that with the ideology that working conditions less than the American standard shouldn’t exist even outside of American boundaries and sense of economic wealth.

Americans should be fighting for sweatshop and labor reforms not seek annihilation of what could be one of the nation’s only sources of privileged income. While not condoning the support of exploitation in third world countries and its people, it remains unjust to demand that developing countries meet all United States labor standards. If Americans were to enforce a minimum wage and U.S’s current work conditions in factories in the developing world, then there would be no reason for companies and manufacturers to build there. The only answer is to let the country itself develop through the slow but steady incline of economic and environmental standards. But to remove the advantages such as sweatshops would force workers back into destitution or relying on unpredictable subsistence farming.
As outrageous as it may sound, far from being evil sweatshops are a necessary rung on the ladder of economic development and lifts millions of people out of poverty across the still developing world. The current generation greatly impacts the lifestyles of others and with such responsibility breeds ignorance; People should educate themselves in any aspect before forming prejudice.



American Sweatshops