The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

As long as clothes are cheap, Americans are blind to garment working conditions.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/16/2015 Category: Fashion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,268 times Debate No: 76591
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




Only 2% of clothes manufactured are made in America because the USA has the most burdensome and expensive labor costs in the world. Several USA brands have their manufacturing hubs in Asia and various other non-regulated regions allowing for 'cheap' labor costs and therefore cheap clothing.

Several retail stores that sell 'cheap' clothes have been caught exploiting sweatshop child labor including Gap, Joe Fresh, Children's Corner, Old Navy, Walmart, etc. Also, a few of the manufacturing buildings have collapsed killing thousands of garment workers.

Americans don't care where their cheap clothes come from as long as they remain cheap because cheap is more important than garment workers well-being and safety.

see jon oliver's review of the fashion industry then comment


I would like to make a few comments on the above statement.
1st of all, America is a continent, not a country. Second of all, Jon Oliver is a comedian, I doubt he has a lot of knowledge of economics, sociology or any related topics. Also note that his 'review' is comedy based.

Opening Statement:

As for the topic that "As long as clothes are cheap, 'Americans' are blind to garment working conditions", I would strongly have to disagree with the statement. The way the economy is working right now, it is cheaper to outsource any product, thus this is done. And not just with 'cheap' products. My new Adidas shirt for about US$40, made in Vietnam. My US$400 jacket, made in China. Price doesn't matter. It's all produced as cheap as possible and no one cares. Apple products are by no means cheap, yet they came under criticism for exactly the same issue you connect to 'cheap' products.
( Just as another example, the Mercedes S-Class, a vehicle starting at US$94000. Assembled in Vietnam and Thailand. ( "Mercedes-Benz Vietnam Company Overview". Daimler AG. 2010. Archived from the original"; "Thonburi Group:Serving the Thai market for more than six decades"). Now, do you think consumers care that these expensive things are made under those conditions? They probably don't even know, nor care. Western Society is build on the premise that 'lower' people are exploited in order to make the greatest profit. Doesn't matter if the end product is cheap or not, someone was exploited on the way.

Thus concluding, it does not matter if the product is cheap or not, someone worked 'sweatshop' labour for it either way, and nobody cares. This is the way society has, is and will be for the rest of its existence. Why is Jon Oliver not talking about that? About his Mercedes and his designer clothes.. Oh wait, that would make him a hypocrite.
Debate Round No. 1


Agreed. Consumers are all hypocrites. We pretend to care about human rights when it's convenient but not when it matters.
I suggest you watch Jon Oliver's Last Week Tonight segment (free on youtube). A lot of research goes into each segment along with tongue and cheek comedy, informative and funny. Do not discount research because the researchers' primary function is comedy, that's ignorant.
You made my point for me, USA consumers do not care period. Didn't you take the counter argument?


Just as for the statement that I represent the Counter Argument, yes I do. The topic is "As long as clothes are cheap, Americans are blind to garment working conditions". If you are Pro you agree with this. Con does not. If I analyse the topic statement linguistically I get the following: 'As long as', possibly meaning 'because', concluding that 'Americans' are blind to working conditions because their clothes are cheap. Jon Oliver's report was based on this premise. However, as Con, I was debating against the 'as long as' or because, while you are debating that if clothes were expensive, Americans would care about working conditions. If the topic was 'Americans don't care about working conditions of makers of cheap clothes ' you would have been correct in your assumption that I represented the wrong side. However, the inclusion of 'as long as' makes a different statement, and thus different pro and con sides.

In your above statement you agreed with me as to the evidence that I provided that even when products are expensive, Americans do not care about working conditions of any products. Your pro side however was based on the premise that they did not care about working conditions because the product is cheap. Furthermore I can switch, due to the 'As long as', the statement around and still retain the original pro and con sides, while this is not possible with statements such as 'I don't care', it is with statements like this. The solution is the following: 'If clothes were expensive, Americans would care about garment working conditions'. You would be Pro for this, I would be Con. I negated that statement in my previous round, thus rendering that you did not linguistically understand the topic you created.

Also, Jon Oliver does not make those reports, they are made by journalists. He just presents them in a comical way. I normally do not think of comedy as scientific or sociological evidence, as the focus of comedy is, well, comedy, and not science or sociology.
Debate Round No. 2


I'm new to formal debating and thank you for the tips. In the future, I'll take these lessons with me. Cheers!


As Con has proven and Pro has agreed, 'Americans' do not care about working conditions for the workers of any industry, whether the products are expensive or cheap.

I would like to thank Pro for the opportunity to debate, and hope we can debate again, in a better setting next time, hopefully.

But never mind, welcome to formal debating. It's just like non formal debating. The goal is the same. The technique might be a little different, but you'll get the hang of it quite quickly, especially judging by the other debates you are having.
I hope this did not come across as too harsh, as a law student I just very carefully analyse the linguistic as well as the factual statement, which by the way is a very good way to win any debate, whether formal or informal.
I hope you will enjoy formal debate in the future and once again would like to thank for the opportunity, kind regards, WAM
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by GreyColour 3 years ago
Citizens of any rich country*
Posted by WAM 3 years ago
What are you trying to debate? Neither the topic nor your opening statement make any sense.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by philochristos 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro didn't explicitly concede, but he did give up arguing, so I think arguments should go to Con. But I think Con won anyway. The resolution says, "As long as clothes are cheap, Americans are blind to garment working conditions," which implies that if they are NOT cheap, then Americans would NOT be blind to garment working conditions." All Pro showed was that Americans are, in fact, blind to garment working conditions, and clothes are cheap. He failed to support the "as long as" clause. Con disproved the resolution by showing that even when clothes are NOT cheap, Americans are STILL blind to garment working conditions. Pro made no attempt to defend the resolution from that rebuttal, so Con wins.