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View Diary: Walmart clothing found in Bangladeshi factory after fire that killed 112 (75 comments)

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  •  Not better than other options (6+ / 0-)
    The horrible factory conditions there are better than other options if the garment factories didn't exist.
    I am certainly no expert on Bangladesh but if you go from the history of the Industrial Revolution it isn't true that for the worker conditions are better than if the sweatshops didn't exist.   This argument has been used as a justification for a long time eand it is not true.

    After all, people have lived in Bangladesh for a heck of a long time without having to sacrifice their lives and youth to sweatshop factories.   The problem of the factories is that industrialization warps (or changes, if you prefer) the economic landscape to favor inequality and force people to the factories.   For one simple example, the factories do raise wages but they also raise the prices of basic goods so that people are forced to go to the factories to earn enough for the new prices.   Money is relative.    You can make better wages in Seattle than Montanna, but if you try to live on Seattle wages in New York you will not last long...

    Land is a big problem.   Land gets bought up and fenced in for the factories, kicking small farmers out and forcing even more people to expensive new supplies.   Taxes raise to provide the infrastructure of the factories so people whose only wealth is the land that they own are forced to sell it rather than pass it on to their children; these now landless children have to work in the factories.  

    Small businessmen are forced out and the new workers find themselves paying a lot more for imported foreign goods of inferior quality.

    If you look at what is happening in China it is quite direct -- land used for common purposes has been taken over and sold by government officials, who also simply steal land when convienent.   I do not know enough about Bangledesh to say if it happens there as well.

    Sure, rural life is not idylic but when you can fish, farm, and hunt on "common" lands you are a lot further from starvation than a factory worker.

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