“There are not too many sweatshops but there are too few”

– Jeffrey Sachs.

Here are some arguments for sweatshops and the upward mobility they provide the sweat laborer.

To me this is semantically offensive (if it is actually possible for something to be semantically offensive). While there is no agreed upon the definition of what a sweatshop is, most define them as factories, usually garment factories, in which the employees are poorly paid and treated inhumanely.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think humans should not be okay with other humans not being treated humanely.

To say we need more sweatshops might as well be saying, “the world would be a better place if we treated more people inhumanely and pay them crappy.” I see the logic in Sachs thought surrounding this quote in his book The End of Poverty, but I wish he would replace “sweatshop” with something like “overseas factories.” Because, from my experience visiting factories around the world, not every garment factory is a sweatshop and the ones that Sachs talks about don’t seem to be.

The world may need more factories that provide jobs that empower their workers by providing them with a steady, livable (in the context of their own country) wage. It doesn’t need more sweatshops.


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