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6089: Re: 6076: On low-paying factory jobs (fwd): Poincy comments (fwd)

From: Jean Poincy <caineve@idt.net>

It is true that low-paying sweatshop jobs helped these countries,
specifically Taiwan and South Korea, in their economic growth; however
Ann Fuller neglected to underline the circumstances without which the
sweatshop jobs would be no good to these countries. 

The sweatshops helped to absorb the residual unemployed labor force that
the other sectors could not absorb due to the infancy stage they were
in. In other words, they were not developed or grown enough to do so.
This is to say that at some point in time and without the sweatshops'
presence, these economies would necessarily know economic growth.

One must also remark that these sweatshops were not operated in a vacuum
and they were well coordinated with other sectors of the economy.
Indeed, the sweatshops some way or another had to use local products as
intermediary products to produce the final product. This condition alone
gave a boost to the development of other sectors of the economy. This is
the backward linkage I've been talking about in Corbettville. 

Furthermore, in regards to labor movement, labor activities were
strictly controlled in the most authoritarian way to prevent disruption
in the production process. Labors were docile and not by choice. All the
favorable conditions were there for the sweatshops to have a positive
impact in these countries economic growth. Then, it did not matter how
low wages were. 

If a country wants to reap the benefits that sweatshops can bring wages
must remain low and the production activities must be linked to that of
other sectors. From this perspective, the argument is not whether these
factories must exist or not in Ayiti. Arguments based on this ground are
quite hollow. The argument revolves around the relationship between the
sweatshops' activities with the country's other economic sector. 

The question to pose is: do the backward or forward linkages exist? If
they don't, how economic policies should be devised to create them. The
nature of the factories in Ayiti does not provide for such. As long as
such policies don't exist, I think the people would be better off
unemployed. If these policies exist, I have no quarrel against these
factories' presence in Ayiti with wages as low as they can be, and the
workers as docile as the government can keep them.

To sum up, the sound economic argument is not about the presence or
absence of the sweatshops in Ayiti and the low wages. It revolves
instead around the non/existence of linkages between the factories and
other economic sectors in the production process. This is a basic
economic logic when speaking of economic development. The failure to
address it through these lenses makes all arguments hollow and

Ayiti has lived, lives and will live