Monday, February 1, 2010

Sweatshops and the global economy with labor outsourcing: Stephen Dimal Blog #5

In the article Santa’s Sweatshop by William Holstein et. al, they discussed the term Santa’s sweatshop and the importance of being an informed consumer. However, it is not only a one way street of being an informed consumer, but it is also about putting pressure on the corporations to maintain social justice within their ever expanding use of the global economy and labor outsourcing. In the Holstein et. al article, they mention that “the current system of global sourcing isn’t all bad. The search for inexpensive labor benefits U.S. consumers…Apparel prices have actually declined in real terms in recent years, thanks in large part to global sourcing” (Holstein et. al, p. 51). What makes it harder as a consumer and a producer to be aware of social justice issues within the global economy is because of the surface benefits that we see and use every day (i.e. lower production costs equal lower prices for the consumers). In Holstein’s article they discuss how “today’s Third World nation can be tomorrow’s developmental success story” (Holstein et. al, p. 51). In terms of the global economy, the Philippines is a country that relies heavily on the exports of products and human labor. The Philippines is a perfect example of a country whose economy has greatly improved due to the increase of remittances (or money sent back from workers with international jobs) from workers who can only find profitable work outside of the Philippines. Because the Philippine financial situation does not allow for many job opportunities locally, many Filipinos continue to find offshore job opportunities. According to the Asia Times online, in an article by Joel Adriano titled "Remittances save the Philippines" he mentions that "overseas Filipino workers' (OFW) remittances reached $7 billion US Dollars" (Adriano "Remittances" 2009). In terms of the global economy, it is very hard to fight against social justice issues, such as companies coming into the Philippines and providing jobs, albeit very low paying and inhumane jobs, because of the poor state which the country is in. While many advocates believe that there need to be more job opportunities in the Philippines, it is very hard to find a job in the Philippines that is not manufacturing clothing or toys. It is hard to tell a country like the Philippines that their economic practices are wrong because of the fact that they are functioning successfully right now do to their continued participation in the global economy. It is important to realize that business thinking is much different than an activists thinking because more often then not a business persons mentality is profit over people, while activists view the human rights as the most important trait of the world.

In terms of the compact challenge, I am very successful right now as I have not purchased any type of clothing since this class began. While I would love to say that it is because of my strong will power, it is mostly because I do not have the means to afford any clothes. I barely have enough money to afford rent, bills, and food for myself, so I do not have a lot of money to use on clothes. It does get tempting when I start to see new clothes online or on fashion blogs, however not having money and not having a credit card makes it easier to not purchase any clothes.

Holstein, William J., Brian Palmer, Shahid Ur-Rehman, and Timothy M. Ito. "Santa's Sweatshop." US News & World Report 121.24 (1996): 50+. Print.

Adriano, Joel D. "Remittances save the Philippines." Asia Times Online 8 11 2009: n. pag. Web. 31 Jan 2010. .


simplicity101 said...
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simplicity101 said...

Good but missing a visual/audio. 2/3