It was Martin Luther King, Jr. who said, "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance." Many people in the Western world either do not know or choose to ignore the fact that a massive amount of products that come into North America from faraway lands are produced in sweatshops, including shoes, clothing, and toys. This ignorance over the inhumane and unjust labour conditions happening in factories on other sides of the globe is precisely what keeps these horrifying practices alive. China is home to one of the most enormous and concentrated sweatshop systems in the world. There are approximately 150 million people in China working in ghastly conditions, having to live off nearly unsustainable pay, and being refused benefits
A reporter entered Bangkok, Thailand and interviewed the father of a girl who worked in a sweatshop. He said, ''I hope she can keep that job. There's all this talk about factories closing now, and she said there are rumors that her factory might close. I hope that doesn't happen. I don't know what she would do then.'' This man’s daughter was making 2 dollars a day. The man went on to say that most people want jobs like his daughter has, because they pay higher and let you work longer hours than most other available jobs (Wudunn). While people here in the states protest outsourcing to these sweatshops, those working in them are grateful for the jobs they have. Their economies grow because of the additional companies in the workforce, and the United States economy grows as
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
Sweltering heat, long hours, and unfair working conditions are a few descriptive words that Americans use to describe a sweatshop. I believe our judgment is being misguided by the success of our nation, and it is imperative we redefine the word “sweatshop”. Individuals that endure life in third world countries know hardships that Americans could not imagine. If we were to recognize these economical differences it may shine a light on why these workers seek sweatshop jobs. In many of these cases, children must work to aid in the family’s survival. If these jobs are voluntary and both parties agree to work conditions, it results in a mutually beneficial arrangement. One of the worst things we can do as outsiders, to help these impoverished
Sweatshops a big issue in today’s society, even though their existence can sometimes stay hidden from the public’s eye. A famous author named Berry states, “ most of us get all the things we need by buying them and most of us know only vaguely, if at all, where those things came from; and most of us know not at all what damage is involved in their production. We are almost entirely dependent on an economy of which we are almost entirely ignorant.” The majority of people in the US have no idea where the clothes they are purchasing are actually coming from. Most people would not support the exploitation of their own race of people. If they were able to see and come to realization about what is actually happening they would have a much different change of heart.
Time and time again, there have been opposing views on just about every single possible topic one could fathom. From the most politically controversial topics of gun control and stem cell research to the more mundane transparent ones of brown or white rice and hat or no hat—it continues. Sweatshops and the controversy surrounding them is one that is unable to be put into simplistic terms, for sweatshops themselves are complex. The grand debate of opposing views in regards to sweatshops continues between two writers who both make convincing arguments as to why and how sweatshops should or should not be dealt with. In Sweat, Fire and Ethics, by Bob Jeffcott, he argues that more people ought to worry less about the outer layers of sweatshops and delve deeper into the real reason they exist and the unnecessariness of them. In contrast, Jeffrey D. Sachs writes of the urgent requirement of sweatshops needed during the industrialization time in a developing country, in his article of Bangladesh: On the Ladder of Development. The question is then asked: How do sweatshops positively and negatively affect people here in the United States of America and in other countries around the world?
A majority of the clothing worn and purchased today in the United States has been manufactured overseas in sweatshops. Since the beginning of factories and businesses, owners have always looked for a way to cut production costs while still managing to produce large quantities of their product. It was found that the best way to cut costs was to utilize cheap labor in factories known as sweatshops. According to the US General Account Office, sweatshops are defined as a “business that regularly violates both wage or child labor and safety or health laws”. These sweatshops exploit their workers in various ways: making them work long hours in dangerous working conditions for little to no pay. Personally, I believe that the come up and employment of these sweatshops is unethical, but through my research I plan to find out if these shops produce more positive than negatives by giving these people in need a job despite the rough conditions.
Sweltering heat, long hours, unfair working conditions are a few descriptive words that Americans use to describe a sweatshop. I believe our judgment is being misguided by the success of our nation, and it is imperative we redefine the word “sweatshop”. Individuals that endure life in third world countries know hardships that Americans could not imagine. If we were to recognize these economical differences it may shine a light on why these workers seek sweatshop jobs. In many of these cases, children must work to aid in the family’s survival. If these jobs are voluntary and both parties agree to working conditions, it results in a mutually beneficial arrangement. One of the worst things we can do as outsiders, to help these impoverished
In his New York Times opinion column, “Where Sweatshops Are a Dream”, writer Nicholas D. Kristof uses his experience living in East Asia to argue his positive outlook on sweatshops. Kristof wants to persuade his audience, Obama and his team, along with others who are for “labor standards”, that the best way to help people in poor countries is to promote manufacturing there, not campaign against them. He uses Phnom Penh as an example to show why working in the sweatshops is a dream for the families there. They would rather work at a sweatshop than stay in the dangerous garbage dump, searching for something to recycle for change. The writer establishes credibility through his experience
Granted, while sweatshops by all means are not a luxurious work environments, there are components that the economic and politic data is not able to fully capture. Throughout Rivoli’s book, there is the central theme that poorer countries could be relatively improved by the opportunities that they are provided with the jobs in the process of manufacturing a shirt. Rivoli sections her book off into 5 parts due to chronologically following the process of how or where the
In “Where Sweatshops Are A Dream” by Nicholas D. Kristof, Kristof uses his experience living in East Asia to argue his positive outlook on sweatshops. He also uses Phnom Penh as an example to show why working in the sweatshops would be a dream for the families living there. Kristof wants to persuade his readers that the best way to help people in poor countries is to promote manufacturing there, not campaign against them. Kristof begins his essay by painting the picture of how his village looks outside of the sweatshop. The problem he identifies is even though Americans want to “fight back” for “exploiting too many people” but really these people look at sweatshops as dream jobs. Kristof assumes that the readers are Americans he refers to in the essay. He also assumes that the readers are people who
Nicholas D Kristof begins his essay by exploring the ideas that factory jobs in poor countries are actually a means of reduce poverty. As noted in his article, “sweatshops are only a symptom of poverty, not a cause” (paragraph 8, pge 110). Although sweatshop may be harsh, present a better alternative for workers for in poor countries than what is already available to them. The problem he identifies in his article is the fact that many families would rather work at a sweatshop than stay in a dangerous garbage dumps, searching for something to recycle for a change (Kristof). He assumes that his readers know little about sweatshops; furthermore, how difficult and awful the living conditions are. He goes on to say that some of those workers have
In defence of sweatshops, Bowman quoted the works of Ben Powell and David Skarbek and their article titled “Sweatshops and Third World Living Standards” where they found data to help estimate wages for workers. Bowman then concluded that “...sweatshop wages exceed average income in between eight and ten out of ten countries surveyed, depending on how many hours were worked” which further proves their point that sweatshops provide sufficient wages to help lift workers out of poverty. Also, fatal accidents and deaths do not cause a concern for the public as told by Bowman and so he believes in persuading consumers to continue to purchase from sweatshops and constructing more in order to bring revenue and profit for big name companies by giving “them new options, not take away existing ones.” Programs have been made to help relieve some ease over the working conditions for laborers and create a more friendlier image and reputation to show consumers that they do not “exploit” their workers. They do not realize that all companies will follow through with Bowman’s requests and in fact would even take this opportunity to take advantage of Asian workers and exploit them in different
The term sweatshop came from Britain in the mid-nineteenth century. According to Annie MacLean, the world’s first female sociologist, there were the workers who were “sweated” for their production of the goods; then, there were the employers, or “sweaters”, who profited directly off those goods (MacLean 1903). A sweatshop does not refer to an exact building/location or a certain demographic amongst the employees, but rather the environment in which employees must work. Shockingly low pay rates, filthy work atmospheres, and unconscionable working hours are the main conditions that characterize a sweatshop (Ross 2004). When Americans hear the word sweatshop, their heads go immediately to third world countries or places such