Thursday, June 9, 2011

White, middle-class professor teaches from his air-conditioned office that sweatshops have their place...

A friend of mine posted this in what I have to assume is a bit of tongue-in-cheek satire on the current state of academia.

Did you catch the fallacy there? I hope so. Yes, there are certainly worse employment conditions than sweatshops. Just like there are worse things than being poked in the eye every day, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't want it to stop if it were happening to me. The insult-to-injury step here is that I think his broader point is right. Simply passing laws to restrict goods made in these shops wouldn't solve the problem, and might even make things worse. The solution is not to pass any law. The solution in the third world today is exactly what the solution was in the 18th and 19th centuries in America and England, the hard social work of Christians preaching the Gospel of forgiveness and freedom through the finished work of Christ. "Technology", economic freedom,  and private property didn't stop a single child from heading to the coal mines in England, nor keep them off the streets in New York. It was the generosity of nominal Christians working to bring attention to the issue and forcing the people and the government to come up with a solution (usually the people on a local level, the government was often in the pockets of the businesses guilty of the abuses in question).
Anyway, that's my rant. Back to the very-much-non-sweatshop of dissertation writing...

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