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View Full Version : Exploitation or Wellbeing?


Porpoise101
August 1st, 2017, 09:54 PM
I saw this post and it got me thinking about what is considered beneficial work:My point being that other first world countries have minimum wage. Countries that don't often pay there workers pennies a day starting at 5 years old.

Often in developing countries you see workers being paid measly salaries in dangerous working conditions. They often come from more rural areas and crowd into cities trying to find work and achieve a better standard of living.

In an effort to respond to this phenomenon, the left in the developed world has often tried to stifle globalization and free trade. Maybe the individual chooses to buy products that are labeled ethical or fair trade. The rationale is that these measures will lead to a better standard of living for those in the developing world.

What do you think of these propositions? Are you in favor of these solutions? I will give my piece if others pitch their voice in first.

ShineintheDark
August 2nd, 2017, 08:29 AM
The issue with exporting indistry to other nations is that exploitation is an essential part of the process.We began in our own countries with the industrial revolution, with majorty of the workers living in measly conditions and poverty due to pitiful wages. Then came the rise of unions and workers' rights, meaning wages became too expensive and unprofitable, leading to us exporting elsewhere to China where they're happier with llower wages. But even that's unsustainable now because China is becoming too expensive, with workers' unions and workers themselves demanding better and better conditions in exchange for their work. Now we have 2 options: either we better balance profit and treatment of our workers or we move on to exploit other underdeveloped places like Africa.

Snowfox
August 2nd, 2017, 12:41 PM
There are factories that do make socks and other textile products. Most of those are firetraps. Skill level needed to do that job there is low.
On the other hand there are factories that make more sophisticated products and skills needed to work there are higher.
I would also like to point out that when ever you outsource production to somewhere you also outsource technology to produce. It doesnt take long from them (where ever they are while China is typical example) to copy it and in few years you have lost your technological advance.

There is also another example. Japan has lots of manufacturing jobs and they have not outsourced everything in hopes of quick profit. They actively improve their products and keep people employed. They use automation lots and pay really well for workers. And they succeed in that.
So its basically about attitudes. Companies can pay better and still make good profit. It needs just to make process of production lean and to put lots of effort to improve quality of products all the time. This applies to services as well.

And as side note. Companies could if they wanted to subsidize lower salaries with other benefits like subsidized housing or company owned supermarket with lower prices or company owned bus trip to work (similar to schoolbus in usa)

Porpoise101
August 2nd, 2017, 11:09 PM
Alright, here it is. My opinion is that sweatshops are good. Even if they are exploitative or cruel, they still lead to higher standards of living on both sides of the ocean. Let me explain. The wage worker, in say Vietnam, gets a better wage then she/he would get in the rural locales. They would have more access to decent community institutions. For the person on the receiving end, you get lower prices. Lower prices = lower cost of living = more commodities and expendable income. So it is pretty good for both sides. However, there is a caveat.

For resource exploitation, there are obvious qualms about sustainability and the environment. The West gets a lot of the minerals, metals, oils, and raw materials from nations that cannot effectively manage them. This could actually be harmful in the long run, as the lands tend to be more degraded. Resource exploitation also tends to see less economic benefits to the local people than manufacturing.

Another issue is child labor. This I tend to view negatively because if it is possible, it is better to send the kids to school. This way they develop more advanced skills and can apply themselves better throughout society. But if that is not possible, and the alternative is starvation/grueling farm work, then I will have to accept the institution of child labor unfortunately. It is a real scourge, and I hope that developing nations will eventually move beyond that.

DriveAlive
August 2nd, 2017, 11:13 PM
If I could stop one effect of globalization, it would be the pillaging of Africa's natural resources be foreign nations.

I am all for free trade, even if it slows down production. I do not know why maximum economic growth and profitability are now considered the best possible thing for the world.

Porpoise101
August 2nd, 2017, 11:28 PM
If I could stop one effect of globalization, it would be the pillaging of Africa's natural resources be foreign nations.I would say that some of it is good and some of it is bad. Here's a good example: South Korean importers get food from Africa. Farmers get the money, Koreans get to eat. It's straightforward, fair, and is not generally criminal. In fact, it encourages societal development to a point.

But there are plenty of bad examples, especially in regards to mineral resources. Take the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has an abundance of natural resources, but much of the mineral wealth goes to rebel groups or warlords and fuels conflict. This is an example of globalization inhibiting societal development. It also serves as a lesson: most of the time natural resources do not equate to economic well-being. Because if they are not held by a shady company, they will be held by a shady government. And if not them, some group of bandits and killers.

As for economic growth being good or bad, in general it is pretty great because it reduces absolute poverty and makes peoples' lives better in the physical sense.

Flapjack
August 4th, 2017, 09:56 AM
I used to buy all the free trade stuff but I am reallyyyy sceptical to whether or not it makes a difference and I can't help but get the feeling that the 2 extra I spend on the smoothy doesn't go to the workers but instead the corporation as they never say (or at least I haven't found) how much more the workers get paid from free trade produce.

I think we should combat it by saying no product can be sold in our country if it has been made with child labour or extremely low wages or from a known factory that has workers in dangerous conditions etc etc.

This would have the added effect of improving the lives of workers and possibly making it cheaper to produce the products in the countries where it is sold, increasing employment and reducing the pollution caused by shipping the product.

Porpoise101
August 4th, 2017, 01:42 PM
This would have the added effect of improving the lives of workersIn all likelihood it would put them out of work due to the higher labor costs. making it cheaper to produce the products in the countries where it is soldComparitively? Yes. But they could move production to some middling country that barely makes the cut regulations-wise.increasing employmentSure you might increase employment if you are lucky and they don't move the factory to Poland, for example. But in the mean time, you've taken factories out of Vietnam (making the country poorer and less developed) and forced your own citizens to pay higher prices. This adds up and makes everyone who doesn't produce that specific product worse.

The only excuse is pollution, and even then ocean shipping tends to have less emissions per product per km than a truck.

Flapjack
August 4th, 2017, 02:14 PM
But in the mean time, you've taken factories out of Vietnam (making the country poorer and less developed) and forced your own citizens to pay higher prices. This adds up and makes everyone who doesn't produce that specific product worse.
Do you think the Vietnamese government will stand by as jobs leave their country? No they'll improve working conditions and increase wages so their products can be sold abroad.


The only excuse is pollution, and even then ocean shipping tends to have less emissions per product per km than a truck.
Trucks will be used regardless

Vlerchan
August 5th, 2017, 08:03 AM
My opinion is that sweatshops are good.
This.

Do you think the Vietnamese government will stand by as jobs leave their country? No they'll improve working conditions and increase wages so their products can be sold abroad.

When the costs of production increase, companies will make the necessary changes to their supply chains in order to continue maximising profits. This will probably involve a combination of the following, (1) source their inputs from a middle-income country which produces these inputs at a higher quality level but at the same, or a lower price, (2a) automate the assembly process, where possible, and produce where transportation costs are minimised, which is already an issue for South Asian development, which may involve (2b) reshoring a much more automated process, but it would certainly be the case that (2c) supply would be lower, as the cost of production rises. Finally (3) hire more people from middle-income countries to manage this process.

The end result would be that (1) the median foreign-produced good is of a better quality, (2) middle-income countries seeing a boost in employment and (3) low-income countries seeing a fall in employment. The winners are the middle-class in rich countries and the working class in middle-income countries. The losers would be the working class in rich countries, and the working class in developing countries.

Because breif reminder, income is allocated on the basis of productivity: income is low in the developing world because the production process there is unproductive. If it was more productive, it would be creating a greater amount of income which given a finite stock of labour, would result in wage gains. [But, but, but the mean industrialists! Look at South East Asia].

I do not know why maximum economic growth and profitability are now considered the best possible thing for the world.
It's very easy to have these opinions as someone who doesn't live in gross impoverishment. Economic growth is an absolute good for the developing world.

NewLeafsFan
August 6th, 2017, 11:42 PM
I don't think that there is a connection between the left and right as you see it. I'm consider myself to be a left wing progressive (because I think Liberal has become a stereotypical word that means different things in different parts of the world.) And I agree with you that these types of labour jobs are given to people in third world countries and stimulates their economies as we advance to better jobs as well.

President Trump (one of the farthest right wing presidents in history) has continually tried to interrupt this process by taxing companies that want to build factories outside of America. He says that it will bring these jobs how and bring down the unemployment rate. I'm not trying to start a debate here. That's just a fact and I'm not even going to say what i think of this issue.