Secrets, Lies, and Sweatshops

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Date Submitted: 06/17/2009 07:29 AM

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Secrets, Lies, and Sweatshops

This article does a pretty good job describing how foreign factories operate and why the conditions are the way they are. American companies outsource these skills to China and other countries because the cost is much lower than it would be here. The factories in China and other countries do not have the same operational rules and standards as we do but the labor is much cheaper. We continue to try to improve the working conditions for them but they find better ways to hide the conditions from our auditors.

I am pretty sure the author was trying to get a different point across but I have to relate this article to how Trade Can Make Everyone Better Off. I know most people will read this article and feel sorry for the Chinese people who work in these factories. The problem is they fail to see the overall picture. People in the U.S. would not be able to buy any of these products for the prices we pay now if the factories were here. We want lower and lower prices for these goods but the general consumer does not realize that this cannot be accomplished by making these products at home. If we forced the Chinese to reform these factories and follow strict wage laws the factories could not stay open. China would lose thousands of jobs and their economy would crumble. In the last paragraph of the article, Chang stated that he regularly loses skilled workers to other factories because they are willing to break the rules. The Chinese worker wants and needs to work more to make more money. The U.S. and Chinese economies are better because we trade with them.

I don't feel good about knowing how these factories operate, but I do like my standard of living. In my opinion, I think trade with China and other countries is necessary. We can continue to audit these factories and try to make everything better for them but at what cost to us. Sure I think the Chinese people would like better conditions and higher wages but I don't think they would want...