Friday, February 12

Making the case for child labor and sweatshops

Economist Steven E. Landsburg:
"As any historian could tell you, no society has every pulled itself out of poverty without putting its children to work. Back in the early 19th century, when Americans were as poor as Bangladeshis are now, we were sending out children to work at about the same rate as the Bangladeshis are today.

Having had the good fortune to get rich first, Americans can afford to give Bangladeshis a helping hand, and there are plenty of good ways for us to do that. Denying Third Worlders the very opportunities our ancestors embraced, whether through full-fledged boycotts or by insisting on health and safety standards they can’t afford to meet, is not one of those ways."
There's more from him on closing sweatshops.

I recently read Landsburg's The Big Questions: Tackling the Problems of Philosophy with Ideas from Mathematics, Economics, and Physics--it's fascinating.

(ht Perry)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive