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Jenn says:

Hey, we were in Kokomo, IN on the 25th, too! Okay, so we were in a plane in a holding pattern over Kokomo, so it’s not really the same thing, but I’m pretty sure it’s not a coincidence. Maybe this was the Election “sign” I’ve been looking for…

Kyle Timmerman says:

When I hoop it up, it’s kind of like I’m in a holding pattern above the rim! Don’t fake the funk!

Kelsey says:

Jenn, by “election sign” do you mean this primary is in a permanent holding pattern?

Kyle, you are funkless.

Sarah says:

I agree with what you said- the real tragedy is that they don’t have any other choice. A group of friends and I lead a class on the sweating system, which was supposed to come from an institutionalist perspective (John Commons), but ended up covering not onto institutionalism, but neoliberal/neoclassicalism, post-keynesianism, and marxism (my area).

My basic argument was that the anti-sweat movement, while it’s cause might be honorable, it’s exclusivity in regards to what gets dubbed “evil” exploitation as opposed to “acceptable” exploitation is the tragic flaw of the movement. It’s not the bad conditions, the low wages, or the long hours ONLY- it’s the fact that the capitalist system not only forces them, but us also to sell ourselves as commodities to an employer who doesn’t pay us justly for what we produce, but rather pockets the suplus value we produce.

In our case- we still don’t have a choice most of us even here in America but to enter the dangerous realm of the so-called “business world/real world” when we finish school else we get labeled degenerates, vagabonds, or leeches on the “system”- a system which all too often leeches off us, via the current tax system in the United States.

On a separate note, I searched my room before the presentation to see if I could find any “no sweat” clothing to wear for it.. to no avail of course. The only things I found were an American flag (which I could have easily wrapped around my body, and almost did) and a red shirt also made in the USA, then I realized, this red shirt was probably manufactured in the sweatshops of the LA textile underground that employs largely latino women and works them under the same conditions as are found in similar industries overseas.

I don’t feel that calling the factories “sweatshops” is at all demeaning to the worker- if anything it has a negative impact on the unethical practice of working people 10-12 hour days 6 -7 days a week for less than a dollar, and knowing you’ll have the labor there for you because, like you said- there isn’t anything else for them to do.

It’s “passive” forced slavery, you either do it or you die. They don’t need to tell you that, you just know.

They sacrifice so much to have the “job”, but then it implies different definitions of what a “job” is. If globalization is good, then we operate according to it’s neoliberal premise of universal or natural laws and definitions of what is and what is good/bad. Then that means what you define as a job as an American (since Globalization as it stands is largely our creation and could just as easily be termed Americanization) should be the same as a sweat laborer in China defines her job.

I don’t know about you, but I have a job. And when I need to go to the bathroom? Most of the time I can without a hitch. If I feel ill? I can call out without fearing being fired. My boss doesn’t force me to perform oral sex on her for me to keep my job. My boss is a woman- unlike overseas where the gender disparity in the “upper” work force is even more obvious than it is here. And if I quit my job for whatever reason, or I’m fired, I am vaguely certain I will still be able to eat the next day, or that my family isn’t going to die because I lost my job. My family isn’t going to contract malaria and die because I couldn’t save up a weeks wages to buy a mosquito net that costs 5 dollars when I only make 1 a day, and need to eat, among other things with just that 1 dollar.

It’s a sweatshop not only because it works people to death, it also shows no shame in the face of its transgression. People don’t deserve to be subject to such a barbarous system, simply because they had the misfortune of being born in the wrong place.

Thanks for the comment.

Kelsey says:

Sarah’s comment above is in response to a comment I left on her blog Miss Marx: http://missmarx.blogspot.com/2008/05/on-last-post-and-orientalism-of.html

I’m considering a response to her post, but I’m currently at my day job being exploited for profit and, although I can go to the bathroom when I want, I don’t think I can spend all morning looking up terms such as “neoliberal/neoclassicalism” and “post-keynesianism”. Maybe later. I find her points interesting.

Let your voice be heard!