Debate Rounds (3)
Although the wages and the work conditions in sweatshops may appear not suitable for the workers and they may be exploiting them, they are actually improvements over what these workers had before and grant them jobs, without which they would be in a total poverty, forced to beg on streets, become prostitutes, or even worse.
Regardless of the misconception by some people that the definition of sweatshops is unfair places for their workers and they are too dangerous, harsh environment to work in, they are preferable to be mechanized manufacturing which provide their workers a better option rather than a bad one, such as resorting to crimes. Surely, working with low wages is better than unemployment; in other words, something is almost better than nothing. Dr. Matt Zwolinski, associate professor in political philosophy in San Diego University, said, "at least Sweatshop Corporation is bringing some form of wealth to these poor people." Indeed, if we can consider this situation from the respective of improvised people who cannot provide for their families, would we have a low-wage job, or having nothing at all? The answer is,
certainly, to have a low-wage job. The point is that people want to survive and get rid of poverty and unemployment in which they are stuck for years, so the low-wage jobs are, surely, very superior for them compared to nothing. Sweatshops are the paramount way for the unemployed, especially when the country's government fails to provide their citizens with their legitimate employment rights and fails to come up with a solution to those who want to work, here comes the role of sweatshops to fill this void. The New York Times ran a story some time ago about a South-African woman, named Nokuthula Masango. She was one of the victims of a long-term unemployment, which induced her to accept a low-wage position, below the minimum wage of the country, with an explicitly exploitative clothing company. When the government issued a law shutting down all the factories violated the country's minimum wage, she was not alone rising up her voice in protest. The point of this example is that the need of people to jobs is the force which navigates them to accept any kind of job to get their living, and any job is better than suffering unemployment. Moreover, sweatshops are obvious progress for the workers over what they had before. In Wal-Mart episode of Penn & Teller, professor, Powell, is interviewed and he argued that sweatshop-type jobs in the developing countries are improvements over other employment options, for example subsistence farming. In the United States, when new jobs began to appear in factories, people left the hard life of farming to work in these factories. Although the working conditions and wages in these factories were very poor, the agricultural nature of the economy shifted into a manufacturing one because of this industrialization. For instance, in an article about Nike sweatshop in Vietnam, Johan Norberg wrote, "But when I talk to a young Vietnamese woman, Tsi-Chi, at the factory, it is not the wages she is most happy about. Sure, she makes five times more than she did, she earns more than her husband, and she can now afford to build an extension to her house. But the most important thing, she says, is that she doesn't have to work outdoors on a farm any more. The most persistent demand Nike hears from the workers is for an expansion of the factories so that their relatives can be offered a job as well."
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