Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the vast range of goods produced overseas and the often horrifying conditions under which workers labored to produce them. College students, activists, and certain scholars were quick to condemn “Sweatshops” and the multinational companies (MNC’s) that used them. However, this initial moral condemnation was based more on a natural sense of horror than moral reasoning, and critics often demonstrated a lack of sensitivity to both the underlying economic conditions that gave rise to the sweatshop phenomenon and to the beneficial consequences of sweatshops for both their employees and the broader economies in which they functioned. As a result, many economists quickly leapt to the defense of sweatshops. However, currently, all sides to the debate now recognize that sweatshop labor often represents the best option available for desperately poor workers to improve their lives and the lives of their family, and that any attempt to reform sweatshops should be proceed with caution lest the incentives that product this benefit be destroyed. Regardless of much view that sweatshop is the best option, some still argue that sweatshops violates the laws of the countries in which they operate, aside from charging that sweatshops labor, even if mutually beneficial, is nevertheless often or necessarily coercive or exploitative. Sweatshops may also happen to be the best option for the potential workers since they are living in poverty and perhaps unable to adequately provide for themselves and their families, MNC’s provides the worker with just enough money to make the employment offer attractive, and will demand in exchange the worker to work for long hours in dangerous and unpleasant conditions.
The most basic point made by defenders of sweatshops is that workers’ voluntary choice to accept sweatshop employment demonstrates that sweatshops were the best alternative available to them. Arnold and Hartman argued that...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document