Posted by: Tobias | January 17, 2009

The follow-up to Krugman’s “In praise of cheap labor”

Nicholas Kristof in the NYT:

I’m glad that many Americans are repulsed by the idea of importing products made by barely paid, barely legal workers in dangerous factories. Yet sweatshops are only a symptom of poverty, not a cause, and banning them closes off one route out of poverty. At a time of tremendous economic distress and protectionist pressures, there’s a special danger that tighter labor standards will be used as an excuse to curb trade.


  1. This is one of the many topics that remain inconclusive: both sides use some sort of a similar reasoning to support their point of view.

    Somehow I keep on having a problem believing that keeping those sweatshops for our convenience is in the long run helping those working in it fighting poverty; it just looks all too convenient to me. However I don’t pass the stage of that gut-feeling and replicating the basic reasoning of both sides.

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