To Sweatshop from the Heart
Capitalism and globalization endorse profitability through efficiency. Profit seeking through low operation cost drives most multinational corporations to move their factories to developing countries. There are significant developments due to these investments, but many people keep pushing to close the so-called sweatshops. By simple definition a sweatshop is a place where workers are employed at low pays for long hours under bad conditions. Sweatshops predominantly exist in developing countries. They also exist in industrialized countries. Anti-sweatshop supporters possess data that show unfair working conditions in the sweatshops. However, they do not possess the feeling of being jobless without any social security. Tens of millions of people in developing countries entrust their fate by working in factories. Closing factories or the so-called sweatshops does not help to improve working conditions of the workers. But rather it destroys their dream for a better future. Thus, people should weigh this issue with their heart. Because closing sweatshops in the developing countries is still a battle of public opinion; it will likely cause resentment towards the Western people; and it will deny those workers the opportunity to gain life betterment.
As other matters that close to heart, the eradication of sweatshops in developing countries is still a battle of public opinion. The anti-sweatshop supporters believe that sweatshops do more harms than good to workers. They hold an opinion that multinational corporations greedily capitalize on the globalization. The corporations control the market in industrialized countries by flooding the markets with cheap commodities and encouraging consumers to buy more. By the same token these corporations unfairly exploit the low-skilled workers in developing countries by dictating the purchase prices to maximize profits. On the other hand these corporations claim that the capitalization on the comparative advantage of developing countries do more good than harm to consumers and workers. The consumers in industrialized countries can have cheap products while the workers in developing countries can build promising future. These polarized views declare to have the workers’ welfare in their mind. Nevertheless, it is not fair to impose standards in industrialized countries to developing countries. The governments in developing countries already have laws and regulations that are suitable to address the local labour and trade.
Furthermore, closing sweatshops will likely cause extreme resentment towards industrialized countries or Western people. In many countries with the competitive advantage of inexpensive labor, closing the so-called sweatshops is not the solution but the potential problem for local and regional countries. Jobless people in developing countries are very vulnerable. They are easily tricked to do anything, lawful or otherwise, to make ends meet. Countries with high unemployment rates and no social securities have witnessed deteriorating quality of living and increasing crime rates, for example: drug trafficking, prostitution, corruption, terrorism, and other unlawful actions. When the crime rate outpaces the police capability to handle unlawful acts then the government will either become weak or dictatorial. These problematic countries are fertile soils for terrorism to plant seeds of hatred towards Western people.
Finally, closing sweatshops will deny the workers of the opportunity to achieve life betterment. Drought and other unfortunate circumstances commonly cause low-skilled people to leave their farmlands or homes and look for other jobs. New factories in developing countries usually absorb the local workers and boost the local economy. To land a job in a factory is regarded as a better alternative to work their way out of poverty. Working is good. It gives a sense of self-worthiness to these workers. Demand of higher wages, as suggested by anti-sweatshop supporters, will likely close factories and put people out of work. No work means young girls go into prostitution or work as housemaids-cum-sex slaves in the Middle East countries. Employment of these workers in the factories usually has trickle down effect to their families. They can afford to support the education of their children and families. And, it eventually affects the economic growth and development in the areas.
There is no denying that workers’ conditions in the so-called sweatshops need improvement, but demanding to cut the source of their livelihood is cruel. The anti-sweatshops supporters can work together with the policy makers, the governments, and corporations either in industrialized countries or developing countries to find the best alternatives for these workers. Concern about working conditions in sweatshops in developing countries does not need to resort to extreme resolution, i.e., sweatshop eradication. Instead, it should better give alternatives that will not harm the workers’ source of livelihood.
This is an example of Persuasive/Argumentative Essay.