Saturday, January 17, 2009

Are Sweatshops Bad? Are You SURE?

Read this NYTimes article about sweatshops in the 3rd World before you make up your mind. Sometimes, not wanting to accept incremental improvements can be a mistake. Yeah, clean conditions and middle-class wages would be preferred, but just a step up, to an indoor job, out of the sun and away from the rats, would be almost a dream come true for these people.

Of course, there are THESE inhuman sweatshops:



Piecework and assembly work is a middle step. It is for the relatively healthy and strong. Those with willingness to show up, every day, on time, will do well. It isn't the most exciting work in the world. Any job that requires little more of you than you to stand or sit in one place, doing the same actions over and over again, won't lead to riches, fame, or a life of leisure. But, it does pay the bills, keep a roof over your family, feed them, and allow your children to stay in school.

In America, it's looked down on, unless the wages are so high that the worker can live next door to the attorney and doctor. Even in America, those jobs are just about gone. The jobs that are left may provide a steady income, but they won't make you rich.

What they will do is give you the resources to help your children move to the next level. The trouble is, few want anything less than the top for their kids.

So, we end up with college graduates who didn't get accepted at med school, who feel like failures. Or worse, who blame a system that "won't give a person of my ethnic background a break". Hate to tell you, not everybody who wants it can be a doctor. Some will fail for lack of ability. Some will fail because the competition that year was unusually tough.

No comments: