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View Diary: Meet the retailers that won't help victims of Bangladesh factory collapse (112 comments)

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  •  Dump the trade agreements (4+ / 0-)

    and institute tariffs. We need to quit pretending that neoliberal "free" trade is inevitable and good. It isn't either.

    If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

    by AoT on Thu May 02, 2013 at 02:22:33 PM PDT

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    •  And cast the workers in such countries (0+ / 0-)

      back into even more dire poverty. Countries like Bangladesh are selling the one thing they have in abundance: cheap labor. It may make you feel better, but believe me working your ass off for $40 a month is still way better than starving out in the countryside. We can't just walk away. We have to avoid the temptation to respond to exploitation by just washing our hands, jacking up tariffs and leaving whole countries to rot.

      For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

      by Anne Elk on Thu May 02, 2013 at 02:41:37 PM PDT

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      •  I assume you also care about the (0+ / 0-)

        joblessness and poverty right here at home.

        •  Yeah. But it's not a zero sum game. (0+ / 0-)

          For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

          by Anne Elk on Thu May 02, 2013 at 04:03:55 PM PDT

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      •  Yes, because without Americans (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stevie avebury

        to save the world it would be a horrible place. Come on, there is no reason we can't help Bangladesh move toward a more sustainable method of existence than working is deadly factories so Americans can get cheap clothes. It's absurd and colonial. The debt peons that get stuck working in these factories and get killed will be better off as will Americans. The "rising tide lifts all boats" rhetoric is just empty rhetoric and it needs to be challenged.

        The fact that people will bring up the what about the poor impoverished Bangledeshis in a diary about how they are getting fucked right now is amazing.

        We have to avoid the temptation to respond to exploitation by just washing our hands, jacking up tariffs and leaving whole countries to rot.
        Who said we'd leave them to rot? Just because they don't make our clothes doesn't mean we can't work with them to improve their standard of living. To equate not exploiting workers there with "walking away" is absurd. In fact, I bet dollars to donuts that the garment industry is either going to flee the country once real worker protections are instituted, as they always do, or those protections simply won't be instituted.

        If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

        by AoT on Thu May 02, 2013 at 03:11:33 PM PDT

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        •  I think there's a logical flaw there. (0+ / 0-)

          You comment sarcastically on how the world doesn't need America to save it, and then suggest we (the USA) help Bangladesh to improve. You can't have it both ways. The fact is that American represents 25% of the world's economy. We have enormous influence and we should be using it. We use our influence by helping buyers - who collectively have the power to create change - toward an upward trajectory for these low-wage markets. If you think economics is basically a morality play in which good people like you get to judge everyone else, then you aren't going to get far. The best example of what can be achieved is the electronics industry in China where US Companies under enormous pressure from the public caused major improvements in work conditions and pay. This is a similar situation. We do have the power to make things better, something we both want to see, I think.

          For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

          by Anne Elk on Thu May 02, 2013 at 04:03:27 PM PDT

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          •  You were the one who assumed (0+ / 0-)

            that paying Bangledishis horrible wages was the only thing standing between them and poverty. And that there is no other way we could do anything. I was pointing out that there are other ways to help. I didn't say they were necessary, but you seem to want someone to do something, so I pointed out another way.

            If you think economics is basically a morality play in which good people like you get to judge everyone else, then you aren't going to get far.
            Says the person that literally just accused me of not really caring about the people of Bangladesh. And who has been presenting the presence of the clothing industry there as a moral issue based on alleviating poverty and suffering. And I wasn't judging you, I was pointing out that you were wrong, There's a world of difference.

            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

            by AoT on Thu May 02, 2013 at 04:54:39 PM PDT

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            •  You can't defend a logical faw in your own (0+ / 0-)

              argument by simply alleging a flaw in return. That's an old trick and it won't work.

              For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

              by Anne Elk on Thu May 02, 2013 at 09:19:12 PM PDT

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      •  So what are you saying? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, berrieh, stevie avebury

        Are you saying that paying people $40/month and forcing them to work in unclean and unsafe sweat shops is ok because they live in a third world country and are somehow better off than they were before?

        These outfits are exploiting worker's ignorance not the primitive conditions they live in. What Bangladeshi worker wouldn't want $1000/month? That is what they would get if we told these guys they have to pay our minimum wage and abide by our labor and environmental policies or they can't sell their products here.

        "Live as if you will die tomorrow. Learn as if you will live forever.", Mohandas Gandhi

        by Bubbatoby on Thu May 02, 2013 at 03:15:31 PM PDT

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        •  They're exploiting the situation that's been (0+ / 0-)

          created over the years by Western countries and companies as well. Many of the people who work in these factories are essentially debt peons, although I don't know about this specific factory. I'd add that most of the countries who are in these situations have huge debts that have been built up from building an infrastructure specifically meant to allow them to do this kind of work. If we lent them money to develop an infrastructure that helps people instead of just corporations.

          If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

          by AoT on Thu May 02, 2013 at 03:34:36 PM PDT

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        •  I am saying that you work actively (0+ / 0-)

          with suppliers just the same way that Apple and other computer and device manufacturers worked with Chinese suppliers to improve standards. Public pressure works. We have to stay engaged in the process. Bangladeshis have only their labor to sell right now. Public pressure on US retailers can help to improve things for these workers. Don't make the perfect the enemy of the good.

          For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

          by Anne Elk on Thu May 02, 2013 at 03:55:10 PM PDT

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        •  I didn't say it was OK (0+ / 0-)

          but I equally don't want to see these workers thrust back into starvation just to make you feel better.

          For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

          by Anne Elk on Thu May 02, 2013 at 03:56:19 PM PDT

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