Thought: Everything We Knew About Sweatshops Was Wrong

Enjoyed reading the nytimes article Everything We Knew About Sweatshops Was Wrong.  Good conclusion too. Although it would be ideal to have excellent working conditions in the first place, I am pleased to read that some moved to other jobs. It means there are other opportunities to move to!

The article misses out an important conclusion: it is the government’s responsibility to protect employees. It shouldn’t be something private companies do if they want to. But that’s easier said than done… because those companies come to Ethiopia to reduce cost. And our government wants to make our country competitive, which is understandable. I do hope however that there are better ways of becoming a developed country without spending decades making our country a sweatshop for richer countries like what China and India have done.

How can we protect employees without chasing investors away?

These are the sort of things they should be debating in parliament. Consult citizens, have them elect the ideas they want, try those ideas for a few years, repeat. That’s the fastest way for our country to develop. The powers of North America and Europe don’t come from their nuclear weapons nor their banks. Pakistan has nuclear too. Democracy is much more than just an election time exercise. It is an attitude towards solving all problems.



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