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5988: Re 5880: Low Wage Manufacturing (Dorce, Knowles) (fwd)

From: Phil Knowles <Phildk@prodigy.net>

Thank you, Dorce.

It is clear that workers must not be exploited, and of course, we all
agree - except..........

I've revisited the issue, in my mind, many times.  Here's a different, but
terrible question:  If I'm General Eisenhower, and have to order the
invasion of Europe, I know thousands will die. I am a general, this is my
business. But I really do know about battlefields, and war, and dying.
Somehow, I can order the invasion.  Should I not have?

Not to belabor, but it's an example of why I think there are times where
there isn't a really nice choice.

I think I'm for low wage manufacturing, and for the chance to fight for
decent conditions at the factory, rather than against any factory. It
doesn't seem likely that Apple Computer will bring a high wage research lab
to Haiti  (they build in Ireland); or Microsoft will contract for heavy duty
reprogramming of Windows 2000 in Haiti (a lot of such work goes to India  -
distance is not a factor).  The offshore banking centered in the Cayman
Islands is not a candidate for Haiti. The population is just not literate
enough for thousands of hi tech, or hi finance, jobs  - do you think? And
thousands of jobs are needed so badly.

Tough choices, and because I don't have to work in this hypothetical low
wage factory doesn't mean I care less. I've read about clothing plants in
Central America, and in China  - terrible abuse, terrible conditions. Don't
want that.  My hope is that those conditions will be publicized enough to
get improved  (basically, they are very embarassing to the Kathy Lee's and
Nikes and all the big designer names), AND that Haiti can compete with
them - low wages, yes, but decent conditions, too. Does this make any sense?