Ensuring a Decent Global Workplace

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In an article called “In Praise of Cheap Labor,” Paul Krugman, a professor in economics at MIT, gives praise to globalization. In regards to the ill treatment and terrible work condition of Third World workers, he remains apathetic and offers the excuse that “bad jobs at bad wages are better than no jobs at all.” Before I go into further detail about Krugman’s case about sweatshop exploitation, I want to take a moment to explain what a “sweatshop” really is as this presentation will support my counterargument against Krugman and the economists. A sweatshop refers to factories often (but not always) located in developing countries in which these operations depends on the exploitation and abuse of workers to gain profit. Among the many forms of injustice that takes place in these factories include: child labor, worker imprisonment, exposure to poisonous fumes, physical abuse, sexual harassment, rape, mutilation, death, illnesses resulting from harmful work environment and lack of safety procedures. Female workers are forced to take birth control pills and abortion. In fact, all of the mentioned and many others are violation of corporate policies and labor codes. On top of the inhumane treatment of these desperate workers, they are paid so little only to live within the poverty line. Krugman argues that although these workers are paid very little compared to what they are supposed to be paid, they are nonetheless better off then living in garbage dumps. Although it is true that these poor workers do have a way to earn an income now that industries are developing in their countries, they are, however, taken advantage by their corporate capitalists due to their desperate and helpless situation. Despite the new opportunity, it is obviou...

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...else that the international community should stop. (Compa, 2001)

Works Cited

Compa, Lance (2001, July 31). Ensuring a Decent Global Workplace. The Washington Post.

Given, Olivia (1997). An Indictment of Sweatshops. In M.E. Williams (Ed.), Child Labor and Sweatshops (pp.21-25). San Diego: Greenhaven.

Joffe-Walt, Benjamin. (2010, December 17). Workers Burned Alive Making Luxury Clothes for US Brands. Change.org. Retrieved May 24, 2011, from http://news.change.org/stories/workers-burned-alive-making-luxury-clothes-for-us-brands

Krugman, Paul. (March 20). In Praise of Cheap Labor: Bad jobs at bad wages are better than no jobs at all. The Dismal Science.

McDougall, Dan. (2007, October 28). Child sweatshop shame threatens Gap's ethical image. The Observer. Retrieved on May 24, 2011, from http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2007/oct/28/ethicalbusiness.india

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