Analysis Of Sweatshops

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Sweatshops. The image the word provokes isn’t a pleasant one. A factory where people work long hours for only a small amount of money isn’t something we like to think about. The article published by The New York Times in 2009 entitled “Where Sweatshops Are a Dream” however, proposes a different view of these grueling working conditions. The article seeks to transform the view of most Americans from disgust to support for so called sweatshops. When the article was first published in 2009, the Obama administration was considering labor standards, something the author Nicholas Kristof believes is detrimental to undeveloped countries. As he argues, “Sweatshops are only a symptom of poverty… and banning them closes off one route out of…show more content…
These standards prevent sweatshops from opening in places like Africa, where labor is cheap, and instead companies move to more developed countries where capital is cheaper in order to cut down on costs. He believes the solution to better standards of living in poor countries is “to promote manufacturing there. One of the best things America could do for Africa would be to… encourage African imports” (Kristof). Kristof’s article makes many valid points and claims, but many of his points are unsubstantiated. His evidence is entirely personal examples with a bit of logic sprinkled in. He doesn’t use any statistics or figures to back up his claims. As a result, his article and the examples he uses only apply to undeveloped countries and don’t get at the heart of the issue. He addresses many concerns people have about sweatshops and working conditions, but he only briefly glosses over the effects of labor standards and why they are so detrimental. The topic Kristof seems to dance around without actually touching on is the importance of letting the free market work without restricting the market with labor standards. The heart of the issue is that labor standards in any country hurt people, not just labor standards in undeveloped countries. In the article from the Mises Institute entitled “Even the Feds Admit Minimum Wages Cause Unemployment” Nicholas Freiling says “minimum wage doesn’t help the lower
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