Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Don't get into a lather over sweatshops
By Benjamin Powell and David Skarbek

Powell and Skarbek simply collated data to prove what all Economists suspected. Sweatshops are located where they will produce the highest Profits for the Owners, coincident with paying the highest Wages to Workers. Attempts to curtail purchase of Sweatshop Goods injure Workers, Sweatshop Owners, and the economies where the Sweatshops are located. These endeavors are not the answer!

There are ways to distinctly affect Sweatshop operations. It requires a two-pronged attack on old business practices. The Standard Sweatshop Workday is twelve hours, not the ten hours suggested in the Article. The goal is to force Sweatshop Operators to give their Workers only a Eight-Hour day. Why? Preliminary sketch modeling by this Author suggests Worker pay will be reduced 22%, but the number of Workers employed will increase over 60%, while the after-Spread Pay must still be higher than the national Average pay to gain Workers. The Employers must migrate to a Two-Shift schedule in order to maintain Production levels, must improve Work conditions with the addition of Lights to maintain Second-Shift production (higher Production levels with Lights will engender Lights staying on both Shifts). The heavier investment in Plant will lead Sweatshop Operators to differential Pay for experienced Labor, easing of Piece-Production demands on Workers, and ease harsh Work conditions. Notice all this was achieved by a simple Work Schedule change, not by asking Anyone to be better People.

The Two-Pronged Effort to get the Worldwide Eight-Hour Workshift is to achieve Labor Treaty accords signed by all nations. National Signatories can be gained by Trade barriers if not signed. These Signatures, though, do not assure Sweatshop compliance with the Accords. Labor Organizations, of the WTO, must maintain standing supervisory personnel to assure compliance (these need not be numerous or expensive, 150 trained individuals could supervise almost all Sweatshops in the World). Rapid Post transfers, and possibly short-Period of Careers, will limit the corruption of such a Supervisory force. The World becomes a better place. lgl

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