February 11, 2004

What Liberal Means

from - smijer

Once again, Body & Soul eloquently expresses what liberal values are about... in no uncertain terms. This time its labor and globalization.

I mean no disrespect to ideological libertarians and supply siders who truly believe that a free market will bring society along to an egalitarian system of fair and sufficient wages, regardless of the effects of industrialization and international trade. It's just that you see families who cannot afford basic health-care even though both parents work 40 hour work-weeks, and that's in the non-unionized Wal*Mart stores. It's that so many of the products that are most favored under a free market are made by people making starvation wages overseas.

Being a liberal is about a set of values, but it is also an acknowledgement that sometimes leaving the chickenhouse guarded by the capitalist wolves is not the most effective way to work for those values.

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Posted by smijer at February 11, 2004 06:35 PM
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Well, OK...
It certainly is not the "rich capitalists" who benefit from globalization - it is the "working poor" in this country.

How many of these families, with both parents working 40+ hours a week, will be able to afford shoes, clothing, etc paying 5th avenue prices? What about cheap TV's, stereos, and other things? How about cheap toys made in China?

There is plenty of examples of places that pass through a "sweatshop" phase on the way back to economic power - China, Japan, Taiwan, and now, even Iran is passing out of this phase.

Yes, a generation suffers, but they suffer less than the previous generation, and their children suffer less. Would you take this progress away from them?

univar.jpg Posted by CJG on February 11, 2004 07:45 PM
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In my view, sweatshops are a stage in the development of economic parity for workers in much the same sense that colonial government is a stage in the development of sovereign nations... if you catch my drift.

univar.jpg Posted by smijer on February 11, 2004 08:18 PM
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"How many of these families, with both parents working 40+ hours a week, will be able to afford shoes, clothing, etc paying 5th avenue prices? What about cheap TV's, stereos, and other things? How about cheap toys made in China?"

Damn. Reckon when we will be able to import our healthcare?

univar.jpg Posted by boortzlistener on February 12, 2004 11:45 AM
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Funny you should ask... according to the new guy in the RTB (Doug McDaniel)... it won't be long!!

http://dougmcdaniel.blogspot.com/2004_02_01_dougmcdaniel_archive.html#107645257164561838

univar.jpg Posted by smijer on February 12, 2004 12:35 PM
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