All entries for Wednesday 27 October 2004

October 27, 2004

Slavery vs Sweat shop

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I was thinking what subjects could I look at in the past to compare with the present? Then it struck me… the embarrassment of "civilised" Europe (Britainís only saving grace that it outlawed it first). Is colonialism and slavery the reason for so much inequality in the world? Did OPEC need slaves in order to develop? i cannot answer these questions without significant research, but Iíd be interested in hearing other people's ideas.

How similar is slavery to the current situation in the 3rd world? We're still exploiting those who cannot defend themselves… Is a below living standards wage and the harsh rule of the company actually THAT much better than slavery? I'm sure they'd prefer it… but the comparisons are striking and frightening. It's like history's gone almost full circle. And guess what? its all done under the pretence of actually trying to develop the country (ring any bells with colonialism anyone?). Did anyone read the article which said some economists suggest our money would be better spent against AIDS than climate change, what struck me… is not the logic of the argument (which, i think is fundamentally sound) is the idea that promoting free trade is also one of the best ways to help a developing economy. How is free trade meant to help a new industrialising country against the monolithic industries of America, Europe, Russia, China? Yes i am a free trade economist; I think itís a good thing, as the theory of comparative advantage says. But surely they need to be able to produce something. If Iím wrong please show me!... Thatís just getting into conspiracy theories, and well… i donít fancy a libel case! :)

Goodnight. Mx

October 2004

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