Sunday, October 20, 2013

Cost of shirt shows zero reason to exploit workers in developing countries

Maclean’s breaks down the costs of bringing a $14 shirt to a retailer near you:

The 12 cents spent on labor in countries like Bangladesh makes up less than 1% of the total cost! The retailer on the other hand enjoys a fat 60% markup — or 78 times what workers are paid.

So the despicable idea that we need slave labor in order to produce affordable clothing is a morally-bankrupt fallacy.

Exploitation self-defeating

Preying on workers is not only a crime against humanity, it is also self-defeating.

The problem with paying workers slave wages is that it destroys customers — literally billions of them who live on $2 or less a day.

If people around the world were paid a living wage this would increase global GDP ten fold. That means Wal-Mart could open up 10 times the number of stores it has now and increase profits by 10 times.

Emerging nowhere fast

The free market approach used in “emerging countries” means they will be emerging forever — forever stuck with deplorable 19th-century living standards.

What created modern living standards in first-world countries? Certainly not free-market ideology that crashed and burned in the Great Depression. It was “big government” involvement in the economy during the post-war era: centrist mixed-market economics.

Untold wasted human potential

If we had a just civilization where modern living standards were common instead of privileged we would be decades, if not centuries, further advanced in science, technology and medicine.

So by indulging in sociopathic economic practices we are only hurting ourselves. In fact we are putting the very survival of humanity at peril with our wanton disregard and recklessness.

In order to stop this evil from flourishing, good people must stand up to the self-aggrandizing con men and bullies at the heart of it and take responsibility for our world.

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