Every time I read this strip I feel like Dee in the 3rd panel. But the truth is the manufacturing of the majority of the things we buy follow this thinking.
Unfortunately, in many lands, a child in a factory job is better than a child sold into slavery.
So a factory job making $1.25 a day is much better than that.
@War_Pig, I edited down your comment. I know this is a somewhat adult topic, but I don’t want to list the horrors of slavery here since it’s an kid-friendly site.
But I’d like to refute a bit, I think your argument is what a lot of people in business think. “It’s better than what they got,” which I think slides too too easily into “I only have to treat them SLIGHTLY better than how they’re treated, so I’ll go somewhere with a low bar.”
I don’t find that humanitarian. i think the philosophy should be “would I want my child working there” if not, don’t do it.
The last panel and last bubble balloons is really sad when you think about it.
It’s also a transparent lie. For centuries the Chinese have referred to steady employment as “my rice bowl.” And to screw up badly enough to get fired is “to break your rice bowl.” Not that it makes the joke any funnier, really.
Chris, you’re absolutely right. In fact, you would be shocked how many times I’ve heard complaints from people who want to do away with child-labor laws so they can hire kids for a dollar an hour or so. With absolutely no sense of irony or even of comprehension. They’ll profit, they’re paying kids who wouldn’t get paid otherwise, so what’s the problem?
@Christopher: Sorry, I get carried away. I despise slavery so much that I think it is one of the few reasons to invade and conquer a nation that does not threaten us. You acted quite correctly. I do not think that child labor is ideal, but having been around the world a few times, I can say that the lives of kids with those low-paying (by US standards) factory jobs is MUCH better than those without. What is, is, and it is not what we would wish it to be. Personally, I prefer not having ANY manufacturing take place outside the USA. It costs American jobs. I would also tariff products made outside the USA, but then, that would doom many children to the unnameable horrors I described and you rightly pared down. For every action, a reaction. As sure in human lives as in physics. The kids working in those overseas jobs also make roughly five times the average wage of the average adult worker in “native” work. So it behooves their parents to keep them healthy and working, while other children are, well, you know. In a perfect world, there would be no “excess” children, no slavery, no mistreatment. We’re one heck of a long way from that. Thousands of years, at the very least, IF EVER. Even Jesus said there will always be poor people. As long as people want cheap shoes and products, replaceable when broken or worn, and not at all repairable, the trade in cheap international labor will thrive. As long as it is cheaper to take dirty clothes to Chinese laundries in Hawaii than to do it in Alaska (think the gold rush), then it will take place. People always find the cheapest possible way. Even the socialists and communists were no better than the most rapacious of the capitalists in this area. Until we’re willing to go back to paying $5,000 for a 32-inch flat screen TV, or $200 for a pair of average, durable, daily shoes and do away with government-sanctioned union bullying in the US, this is exactly what we’ll have. Overseas manufacturing, companies going to part time here in the states because of federal-mandated benefits, etc.
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