Sunday, January 09, 2011

The myth of sweat shops

Share |
If you read the HeraldSun, you will hear a beat up of 'sweat shops' being run in Melbourne, as opposed to China. Such stories are always a perversion of the truth. Here are the reasons why?
1. Chinese sweat shops are the result of the inevitable collapse of socialism, that created a Chinese under-valuing of labour that had global structural implications. Because of the restrictions on the movement of people, Chinese people are taking any opportunity they can get to join the capitalist market. Capitalism will correct the structural distortion of socialism quicker than any other system of left alone. Government's only role is to protect, not to distort. It is important to note that safety is the only legitimate concern for governments, not remuneration. These workers came to the cities for the prospect of a better life. If they are paid poorly its because they see a benefit either from their old job (in agriculture) or in training (future prospects). The notion of super-profits is actually the basis by which China has funded its rapid ascension. All the better to keep these 'unfavorable' worker conditions, lest it lose that growth opportunity to another country.
2. Sweat shops in Melbourne are similar to prostitutes kept illegally: These people might appear always to be the victim, but often they are operating on the same paradigm. They would prefer to be living in the West rather than a prostitute den in the East. Why? The environment is better, they can bet the support of guilt-ridden, middle class liberals in the West, and perhaps even a visa. Illegal immigrants would prefer to work in factories here for $2/hour than the same overseas, if only so they have a nicer environment, the prospects to meet a husband to sponsor them. Often they come to Australia to study English, but it is just a facade so they can study in a factory. If not full time, part time for supporting income.

This is not a bad thing. Of course it is not desirable, but it is the price of distorted markets which governments create. The only solution is not to creative or expand distortive governments, as that is the cause. The solution is to disband or wind back such governments.

Another popular mythology is the idea that capitalism is responsible for the squalid conditions suffered by workers during the Industrial Revolution. These conditions, in the same way, arose because of the structural distortion caused by the sudden removal of oppressive religion. It was also intensified by the forced removal of farm hands from the 'commons' by government.
Andrew Sheldon

ConvinceMe.Net - Anyone up for a debate?