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labor standards and imports

setabed
Posts: 28
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2/8/2014 4:54:52 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
When I buy something in the shops, clothes, shoes, or anything, it could be made by people in unsafe factories, or in slavery-type conditions. There's no way I can find out. I don't want to be supporting unsafe or unfair factories and working conditions by buying their products, but I want to buy products from developing countries when they've been produced under decent conditions. I bet most people feel like this.

The government should set standards so that nothing can be imported without proof of basic safety and labor standards in its manufacture.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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2/8/2014 4:35:34 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
A reasonable request, IMHO.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
ClassicRobert
Posts: 2,487
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2/8/2014 4:45:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/8/2014 4:54:52 AM, setabed wrote:
When I buy something in the shops, clothes, shoes, or anything, it could be made by people in unsafe factories, or in slavery-type conditions. There's no way I can find out. I don't want to be supporting unsafe or unfair factories and working conditions by buying their products, but I want to buy products from developing countries when they've been produced under decent conditions. I bet most people feel like this.

The government should set standards so that nothing can be imported without proof of basic safety and labor standards in its manufacture.

I recommend you read this article. If you are actually interested in why restricting yourself from buying these firms is harmful to the very people you want to help, this sums it up well.

http://web.mit.edu...
Debate me: Economic decision theory should be adjusted to include higher-order preferences for non-normative purposes http://www.debate.org...

Do you really believe that? Or not? If you believe it, you should man up and defend it in a debate. -RoyLatham

My Pet Fish is such a Douche- NiamC

It's an app to meet friends and stuff, sort of like an adult club penguin- Thett3, describing Tinder
setabed
Posts: 28
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2/8/2014 5:49:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/8/2014 4:45:16 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 2/8/2014 4:54:52 AM, setabed wrote:
When I buy something in the shops, clothes, shoes, or anything, it could be made by people in unsafe factories, or in slavery-type conditions. There's no way I can find out. I don't want to be supporting unsafe or unfair factories and working conditions by buying their products, but I want to buy products from developing countries when they've been produced under decent conditions. I bet most people feel like this.

The government should set standards so that nothing can be imported without proof of basic safety and labor standards in its manufacture.

I recommend you read this article. If you are actually interested in why restricting yourself from buying these firms is harmful to the very people you want to help, this sums it up well.

http://web.mit.edu...

I'm not suggesting that other countries be forced to adopt the labor standards of Sweden. I agree that such a standard would cause hardship. But there are other, lesser standards that would not restrict trade unfairly. For example, I think workers should have at least a day off a week, that they should have adequate safety equipment - masks for workers with raw cotton, for example - so that they don't die within a few years as a direct consequence of their working conditions. That they should not be beaten to work harder.

In your article, it talks of a western fastidiousness. Yes, indeed. These trade standards would be for my state of mind. I want to wear a shirt without the uneasiness of thinking children have died to produce it. That would make me enjoy my afternoon more.
ClassicRobert
Posts: 2,487
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2/8/2014 6:15:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/8/2014 5:49:59 PM, setabed wrote:
At 2/8/2014 4:45:16 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 2/8/2014 4:54:52 AM, setabed wrote:
When I buy something in the shops, clothes, shoes, or anything, it could be made by people in unsafe factories, or in slavery-type conditions. There's no way I can find out. I don't want to be supporting unsafe or unfair factories and working conditions by buying their products, but I want to buy products from developing countries when they've been produced under decent conditions. I bet most people feel like this.

The government should set standards so that nothing can be imported without proof of basic safety and labor standards in its manufacture.

I recommend you read this article. If you are actually interested in why restricting yourself from buying these firms is harmful to the very people you want to help, this sums it up well.

http://web.mit.edu...

I'm not suggesting that other countries be forced to adopt the labor standards of Sweden. I agree that such a standard would cause hardship. But there are other, lesser standards that would not restrict trade unfairly. For example, I think workers should have at least a day off a week, that they should have adequate safety equipment - masks for workers with raw cotton, for example - so that they don't die within a few years as a direct consequence of their working conditions. That they should not be beaten to work harder.

In your article, it talks of a western fastidiousness. Yes, indeed. These trade standards would be for my state of mind. I want to wear a shirt without the uneasiness of thinking children have died to produce it. That would make me enjoy my afternoon more.

You're missing the point though. You're peace of mind is leaving those children worse off. These countries that still have child labor legal are extremely poor. They have little to no social safety net, and the people effected by these poor work conditions are low skills people who have no better options. These sweatshops are the closest thing to an escape from starvation possible for these people. By restricting trade to them, there is an opportunity cost of human lives and welfare.
Debate me: Economic decision theory should be adjusted to include higher-order preferences for non-normative purposes http://www.debate.org...

Do you really believe that? Or not? If you believe it, you should man up and defend it in a debate. -RoyLatham

My Pet Fish is such a Douche- NiamC

It's an app to meet friends and stuff, sort of like an adult club penguin- Thett3, describing Tinder
ClassicRobert
Posts: 2,487
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2/8/2014 6:29:48 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/8/2014 6:15:45 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 2/8/2014 5:49:59 PM, setabed wrote:
At 2/8/2014 4:45:16 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 2/8/2014 4:54:52 AM, setabed wrote:
When I buy something in the shops, clothes, shoes, or anything, it could be made by people in unsafe factories, or in slavery-type conditions. There's no way I can find out. I don't want to be supporting unsafe or unfair factories and working conditions by buying their products, but I want to buy products from developing countries when they've been produced under decent conditions. I bet most people feel like this.

The government should set standards so that nothing can be imported without proof of basic safety and labor standards in its manufacture.

I recommend you read this article. If you are actually interested in why restricting yourself from buying these firms is harmful to the very people you want to help, this sums it up well.

http://web.mit.edu...

I'm not suggesting that other countries be forced to adopt the labor standards of Sweden. I agree that such a standard would cause hardship. But there are other, lesser standards that would not restrict trade unfairly. For example, I think workers should have at least a day off a week, that they should have adequate safety equipment - masks for workers with raw cotton, for example - so that they don't die within a few years as a direct consequence of their working conditions. That they should not be beaten to work harder.

In your article, it talks of a western fastidiousness. Yes, indeed. These trade standards would be for my state of mind. I want to wear a shirt without the uneasiness of thinking children have died to produce it. That would make me enjoy my afternoon more.

You're missing the point though. You're peace of mind is leaving those children worse off. These countries that still have child labor legal are extremely poor. They have little to no social safety net, and the people effected by these poor work conditions are low skills people who have no better options. These sweatshops are the closest thing to an escape from starvation possible for these people. By restricting trade to them, there is an opportunity cost of human lives and welfare.

I would just like to reiterate: If you cut off that aspect of trade, what is your alternative for these people who have no alternatives to fall on?
Debate me: Economic decision theory should be adjusted to include higher-order preferences for non-normative purposes http://www.debate.org...

Do you really believe that? Or not? If you believe it, you should man up and defend it in a debate. -RoyLatham

My Pet Fish is such a Douche- NiamC

It's an app to meet friends and stuff, sort of like an adult club penguin- Thett3, describing Tinder
setabed
Posts: 28
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2/8/2014 7:48:32 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/8/2014 6:29:48 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
I would just like to reiterate: If you cut off that aspect of trade, what is your alternative for these people who have no alternatives to fall on?

We can all agree that cutting off trade would be bad for everyone. That's not my idea.

Take one example - fire safety. Suppose the US were only to permit the import of manufactured goods from factories which meet basic fire safety standards.

Countries with low wages would still be able to implement the standards and employ labor more cheaply than richer countries and would still have that advantage.

As things are though, any company that insisted independently on safety would be comparatively disadvantaged financially.