says, But how far do you go back in order to claim the status of 'not violating the rights of others'
Don't violate the rights of others. Pretty straightforward.How many stories of companies--sometimes multinational--employing sweatshop & child labor in order to bring products to the world?
I reject that freely offering people a job is violating their rights. You may find it offensive in various ways, but it cannot reasonably be said to violate their rights.
In the case of "sweatshops," even Paul Krugman says that both parties are better off from the arrangement than they would be without the "sweatshop." You appear to concede the same. So I don't see the problem.
You could argue children cannot reasonably given consent, or have some other problem, in regard to child labor. I won't argue the point; I'll just say that if you think it violates their rights, then so be it.Sure American person's life is enriched by finding cheaper X at retailer Y, but what about the many people employed by Y who are offered conditions that, comparatively, may be 'better' than what they had before the offer, but are still nonetheless deplorable from a human-rights standpoint?
My response to that is very simple, and blunt, and perhaps offensive to you: you are being extremely arrogant and unreasonably paternalistic. If it is better than what they had before, and they are doing it freely, their rights are not being violated.
If they want to do it, knowing full well the alternatives and opportunities, who the hell are you to get in their way?
Further -- and again, Krugman said essentially the same as I am -- the only way to get an economy from there to here is procedurally. You can't just say, "here's some jobs that pay much more than we need to pay, but we will pay it because we think we should," because economically that doesn't work.
If I am going to pay that much, it won't be in the place where I could pay less, because there's reasons why I can pay less, including education of the workforce, security of the nation and city and factory, and so on. You get what you pay for, so in those locations, I'd be paying for more than what I am getting.
Look at India, look at China, look at Taiwan ... these nations have seen massive improvements in their standards of living because of
sweatshops. The people gained more wealth, and everything else -- education, standards of living, and more wealth -- followed.Do you count those selective benefits as a 'better world' while not actually clarifying that what you mean by 'better' may be true comparatively but still quite in violation of others rights?
Similarly to your claim that the rights of those people are being violated by freely taking jobs in sweatshops, you also seem to think a "better world" is what you think it should be, rather than what other people think it should be. Yes, "better" is not specific, because it necessarily means something different to everyone, and their actions are based on that.
Indeed, it is simple tautology that a better world is one where people act freely, unless you believe either that you know what is better moreso than the rest of us do, or you believe that you know better how to achieve our own goals for ourselves better than we do.
Put more simply: my desires being fulfilled is something that I necessarily think makes the world a better place; therefore, I believe that people acting freely necessarily makes a better world. And that necessarily includes maximizing profit.How much of the 'better world' that you perceive today was built on the backs and lives of people who were enslaved by degrees against their will?
Too much. And more today than ever. Consider the trillions of dollars the American government takes from its people every year to provide what is, in their opinion, a "better world." It's extraordinarily immoral.
Perhaps you didn't mean that. Perhaps you do not consider taxpayers "enslaved." I don't either, but I do consider the government to be building its vision of a better world on the backs and lives of taxpayers against their will, regardless of whether we call it "enslavement."And, how much of that 'better' are you able to quantify as being founded upon exploitation?
Because I would quantify the good by how accurately the desires of free people are realized, the question doesn't mean much, unless you're talking about (for example) the exploitation of slaves in the United States being related to its economic successes of today. I reject that, because -- despite Chris Matthews' recent apology for slavery on behalf of me -- I generally bear no blame or responsibility for the actions of others.
I can only work with what I have, and I do not enslave people or commit crimes against them. What I do to make this world a better place is not diminished or degraded because of what came before me.
Slavery still exists today. I just got an alert on my phone that three children were rescued from sex slavers in Seattle.
Today. (The alert called them "pimps," but that doesn't well-described the greatest crime here, which was slavery.) I'd rather focus on going after actual instances of slavery than flagellating myself over something my great-great-grandparents probably didn't do.