The Instigator
Smartboy103
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
b3rk
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points

The use of Sweatshop Labour.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/7/2008 Category: Education
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 8,794 times Debate No: 3941
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (7)

 

Smartboy103

Con

A sweatshop is a factory, where people(children)work for a very small wage, producing products such as clothes, toys, shoes, and other consumer goods. The term connotes a factory in which the workers are kept in a harsh environment with inadequate ventilation, and workers may sometimes be abused physically, mentally, or sexually, subjected to long hours, harsh or unsafe conditions, and the like. Sweatshops often fail to pay a living wage. Some companies have been found of using children in their subcontracting sweatshops. Also it's all young workers under the age of 10 who get forced to do all these dangerous and risk taking work.
b3rk

Pro

Well, Smartboy103, I'll be more than happy to take you up on this debate.

First of all, I have to put forth a few observations on what you've already said.

"The term connotes a factory in which the workers are kept in a harsh environment with inadequate ventilation, and workers may sometimes be abused physically, mentally, or sexually, subjected to long hours, harsh or unsafe conditions, and the like. Sweatshops often fail to pay a living wage."

If we accept this definition of a "sweatshop", then it seems upon first glance that the con side is impossible to beat. After all, who would defend a factory that abuses its workers and endangers their safety? This is what it falls upon me, as the "Pro", to do, and I'll give it my best shot.

First of all, we have to decide what we're really talking about here. Since the topic is "the use of sweatshop labor" and I am "in favor", I guess my thesis is:

I am in favor of the use of sweatshop labor.

My opponent has given a definition of sweatshop labor, which I accept.
He has also given this:
"sweatshop is a factory, where people(children)work for a very small wage"
WOW! This would lead you to believe that all people in sweatshops are children, right?
"Some companies have been found of using children in their subcontracting sweatshops."
Oh, so I guess not. It's only some companies. But wait, there's more!
"Also it's all young workers under the age of 10 who get forced to do all these dangerous and risk taking work."
Huh. So who does all the dangerous work in the majority of factories that, according to my opponent, don't hire children? Guess there isn't any dangerous work there.

One more thing... what's the source for any of this stuff? I'm not saying my opponent made all of this up or anything, but I'd like to see some evidence before we continue.

Finally, my first point...

- Sweatshop labor is preferable to mechanized manufacturing

Mass factory labor has always been and will always be dangerous and uncomfortable. Workers have fought against "unfair labor conditions" since the factory was invented, and short of fully mechanizing the process, there is no real way to make these no-collar jobs as cushy as a modern american white collar job.
These people are, more or less, a human assembly line. Their conditions are, to us, deplorable, and it makes us feel guilty to think that sweaty, overworked, coughing 3rd world workers made the t-shirts we're wearing. We'd much rather imagine a perfect, clean, automated process like the one in the automobile ads- robots doing all the work and no pain or suffering involved.
However, we forget that although these factories may be exploiting the workers, they are also giving them jobs, without which they would be in total poverty, forced to beg on the streets, become prostitutes, or worse. Granted, either career path would give them better "ventilation", but I doubt quality of life would improve.
Mechanizing the process would be the only way to manufacture the goods at prices that the average consumer can afford, and even then, prices would have to be raised dramatically to make up for the capitol investment in machinery the company would have to make.
The result is, the former workers would be put on the streets, and people in poverty elsewhere would no longer be able to afford to buy the clothes and goods the factory once produced.
The end result is one huge argument for the status quo.
Debate Round No. 1
Smartboy103

Con

It's true about what you said kids under the age of 10 are forced to work but there's also adults who are forced as well.But the young workers who are always forced will have no time for education or schooling-is this equitable? Also sweatshop labour creates an imbalance in the global markets-a company that does not use sweatshops cannot possibly sell their products at prices as low as a company that uses sweatshop labour. Also imagine all the sacrafices that are made when they are working, phisically or mentally abuse and many more and then they bring to USA or canada and it's on sale for like 4 dollars. But all those sacrafices it took just to make that jacket, carpet or more costs more than what the price is on. Like pretend a kid makes a jacket through all those days and nights and then the shipping and the packing, imagine that like seriously. Not only that but we say like oh we have no more space left for our factories or industries so then we put it on other people's land and then pollut their land and the environment. And then it goes on and on! So think about all the sacrafices the kids make, instead of going to a store and saying OMG look at this jacket it's so pretty i wanna buy and everything think about all the things and punishment they have to take while we're here just sitting and buying new things as it comes out!
b3rk

Pro

"It's true about what you said kids under the age of 10 are forced to work but there's also adults who are forced as well.But the young workers who are always forced will have no time for education or schooling-is this equitable?"

Ok, I never said that children were forced to work in any of the factories. You said that, I challenged you to back it up, and you didn't. As far as I know, all sweatshop jobs are voluntary, and the only way children would be forced into these jobs is by their parents. If you believe this is wrong then you should be attacking child labor in third world countries, not the Idea of sweatshops.

"Also sweatshop labour creates an imbalance in the global markets-a company that does not use sweatshops cannot possibly sell their products at prices as low as a company that uses sweatshop labour."

A drop in production prices doesn't cause an imbalance, it actually leads to greater stability. It leads to lower prices for consumers and therefore helps combat inflation while at the same time improving the quality of life of millions of low income families. While a store like Wal-Mart might not treat it's factory workers as well as other factories do, it's low prices keep millions of poverty-stricken Americans from having to choose between buying clothes, food or medicine each month.

"Like pretend a kid makes a jacket through all those days and nights and then the shipping and the packing, imagine that like seriously."

This argument isn't about pretending. It's about proof.
Proof of conditions like this:

http://rolfgross.dreamhosters.com...

and this:

http://events.colostate.edu...

The alternative for these children is not education. They couldn't ever afford it! Without jobs they end up either begging on the streets without shelter or protection or end up getting kidnapped and made into child soldiers. Things are bad for child sweatshop workers, but at least they have a steady source of income.

"Not only that but we say like oh we have no more space left for our factories or industries so then we put it on other people's land and then pollut their land and the environment."

Wait, so you're saying that building a factory in one of these underdeveloped communities HURTs them??! ARE YOU FREAKING INSANE?
EVERY country wants more foreign investment. Its the stuff that makes economies grow, adds value to currency and improves wages and quality of life for all citizens. Do you remember at all how upset Americans were when the companies decided to outsource the textile mills? They were horrible, polluting factories with low-income jobs that had deplorable conditions, and yet the towns were furious to lose them, because as horrible as they were they were all those towns had.
But I digress. I am in favor of sweatshop labor because of how it helps the communities the sweatshops are located in by creating hundreds of jobs.

"So think about all the sacrafices the kids make, instead of going to a store and saying OMG look at this jacket it's so pretty i wanna buy and everything think about all the things and punishment they have to take while we're here just sitting and buying new things as it comes out!"

No, you think about the sacrifices they make, and think of what happens when you don't buy the damn jacket. The company loses money, pays the workers less and less until it is forced to shut down entirely, kicking millions of workers out on the streets. Millions more low-income families in America and other developed countries, unable to cope with the sudden rise in the cost of food and goods, end up evicted and sent out on the streets as well.

If I were you, and I really cared about these people, I'd buy as many of the damn jackets as I could. Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 2
Smartboy103

Con

Okay first of all kids with labor get no education at all which sucks for their future! Though most sweatshops stop short of such wholesale abuse, work conditions are undeniably poor and human rights violations are rampant. Workers suffer from dangerous equipment and safety procedures are few or nonexistent. Hours are long and the work week is a full six or seven days. But agitating for better conditions results in termination of employment. Thus, given no leverage for negotiations and few economic alternatives, workers are forced to accept the sweatshop lifestyle or suffer even more abject poverty. Such conditions are not only tragic, they are an affront to human dignity and an extensive violation of human rights. There are no words strong enough to condemn practices which exploit human beings to the point of depriving them of their humanity. Seeing these things or even merely reading about them can cause a strong emotional reaction. It is very easy to react as the young king does, by refusing to use any objects created by so much suffering. However, this gut response only serves to placate the conscience without necessarily alleviating the problem.

The results of boycotting are dubious at best. Boycotters insist that the ills of sweatshops can be fixed by refusing to purchase products made in them. The owners of the sweatshops, they reason, will see that their products aren't being purchased and, succumbing to this economic coercion, will make the necessary changes to render their factories more safe, friendly, and considerate work environments. Kristoff and Wudunn explain, however, that when boycotts occur, rather than fixing conditions in sweatshops, large corporations will often shift production away entirely from countries with sweatshops, resulting in a loss of jobs for workers.
Such conditions are not only tragic, they are an affront to human dignity and an extensive violation of human rights. There are no words strong enough to condemn practices which exploit human beings to the point of depriving them of their humanity. Seeing these things or even merely reading about them can cause a strong emotional reaction. It is very easy to react as the young king does, by refusing to use any objects created by so much suffering. However, this gut response only serves to placate the conscience without necessarily alleviating the problem.

The results of boycotting are dubious at best. Boycotters insist that the ills of sweatshops can be fixed by refusing to purchase products made in them. The owners of the sweatshops, they reason, will see that their products aren't being purchased and, succumbing to this economic coercion, will make the necessary changes to render their factories more safe, friendly, and considerate work environments. Kristoff and Wudunn explain, however, that when boycotts occur, rather than fixing conditions in sweatshops, large corporations will often shift production away entirely from countries with sweatshops, resulting in a loss of jobs for workers.
b3rk

Pro

Ok, so any of you who are reading this are probably wondering how, after the first sentence of my opponent's last argument, he suddenly developed perfect grammar and syntax.

I was too. So I copied and pasted a line of his speech into google.

"Though most sweatshops stop short of such wholesale abuse, work conditions are undeniably poor and human rights violations are rampant."

The first result was this article:

http://findarticles.com...

My opponent blatantly copied and pasted two paragraphs of this, and that was his last arguments. Sadly, he can't even copy and paste right, so one of the paragraphs is actually in his argument twice.

Either way, none of my arguments have been refuted. My opponent has lost this debate, despite his attempt to cheat through plagiarism, and I urge you to vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by sadolite 8 years ago
sadolite
If you shop at Walmart you defend sweat shops. Almost everything they sell is produced in substandard work conditions. Why do you think the prices are so low and the quality is so inferior.
Posted by Bitz 8 years ago
Bitz
hah, pathetic.

(off topic) Hey Pro, how are things in Viloyati Mukhtori Kuhistoni Badakhshon, Tajikistan? :) lol.
Posted by bexy_kelly 8 years ago
bexy_kelly
haha, puts in a paragraph twice. Can't even cheat properly it seems!
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by Under-Aged_Voter101 8 years ago
Under-Aged_Voter101
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Vote Placed by smartboy101 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Bitz 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by bexy_kelly 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by DucoNihilum 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by b3rk 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by gahbage 8 years ago
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