Wage-Slavery and Sweatshops as Free Enterprise?
David S. D'Amato | November 30th, 2014
The conservative American Enterprise Institute offers yet another defense of sweatshops from a self-styled advocate of liberty and free markets, Professor Mark J. Perry. Indeed it is more than just a defense; it’s a selective compilation of quotes and anecdotes hailing sweatshops as perfectly praiseworthy routes out of poverty.
Typical free market defenses of sweatshops focus on the fact that “sweatshops are better than the available alternatives.” These defenses also tend to emphasize sweatshops’ role in a “process of development that ultimately raises living standards.”
When authority precludes other options, using systematic state violence over a course of decades to divest people of their rights and resources, of course sweatshop employment begins to look like a good option, even the best one.
But this selective redaction of history is just how so many supposed champions of free markets earn their reputation for turning a blind eye to economic injustice. ...