Andrew Fletcher

2/13/2015

Political Economy

 

Cambodian Sweatshops

 

Cambodian sweatshops has stunned Anniken Jorgenson. Anniken Jorgenson among three other individuals experienced a culture shock as they journey her to learn about Apparel fashion. The dehumanizing work that people do in order to make a living for three dollars a day. The three scholars are introduced to working in an environment that is mental and physical exhausting bring young Anniken to tears. The world they experienced is basically the Capitalist vampire. They are stuck in a place where it destroys you but keep you alive bearably. The article explains that the three dollars they made after standing because the chairs were uncomfortable they managed to get soup and a couple little pieces of chicken. This is what keeps them alive because you get a little light in a dark room but it destroys any though process of striving to get more out of life other than bare necessities. The repetitiveness they do day in and day out is almost brain washing stripping each individual of all hope. Marx describes a capitalists nation wants all labor workers to live in this small world because reproduction of capital doesn’t care about reproduction of worker. The clothes made in Cambodia pennies on the dollar are sold by H&M and they denied to do an interview after this article was made public. This just goes to show they have a commodity fetish which is relations between buying and selling stuff, they much rather have surplus for the cheapest price possible. This is the equation get people to work necessary labor time giving them three dollars a day and offering more time for the same amount of money which equals surplus for no more money. This 100 percent capitalist at its finest. I did not like the fact of telling the story of someone dying of starvation that was bothersome but that made me feel like H&M should have some type of punishment for the death of those who can’t even get a bare necessity. On the positive note they are the first fashion company to enable a concrete plan to sustain living wages.

 

 

As Robots Grow Smarter

 

Capitalist nations grow based off labor value and surplus of a commodity. Suck a person dry of life in order to make a good to say the least. We have entered the age of technology and as technology grows smarter the less necessary for manual labor by people. When machines were able to assemble cars there was a huge lay off of workers and that shot unemployment threw the rough. Technology is good to have it makes things convenient for our everyday life but when it starts to take away work for the millions of people living in the United States and with the technology of cars being able to drive themselves and machines making more of our cars and buildings and even making our advertisements it promotes danger in two ways to workers. In the future as technology advances we will come to find out that they will lower the amount per driver and if you don’t accept it be replaced or they entirely get rid of jobs. This problem is critical as the population grows and capitalist look to maximize profits any way possible. It is possible that we can turn into sweatshop type money system only allowing use to work day an night for the same amount or work regular hour and afford the necessity food energy just to keep working and nothing more.

2 comments on “Cambodian Sweatshops

  • Although I fully agree H&M deserves to be punished for the low wages they are paying their “employees,” they are the first company to admit to the abusive treatment of their workers. This is not to say that they did so honorably, it was a forced confession and change after the debut of Sweatshops the Reality Show. This show easily shows the story of commodity fetishism—consumers never consider the production of their goods, and the effort that a producer puts into them. This show is actually a brilliant way to cause awareness about poor working-conditions in the fashion industry. If the program had a large enough viewership, people would begin to grow concern about the way their goods are made. The show’s release forced H&M to comply to a more standard working habit in terms of sweatshops–the workers are still attacked by the vampire that is capitalism, but at least H&M’s changes can help the workers move forward.

  • Your post made me think of an interesting article I had read a while back entitled Bash Brothers: How Globalization and Technology Teamed Up to Crush Middle-Class Workers. It discussed the ways in which the forces of globalization and advancing technology have eliminated the need for many middle class jobs, growing the gap between the upper and lower class; though availability of employment is not necessarily diminished by new technology, it just changes the scope of which jobs are available to employees within the American job market, growing both high skill as well as lower-paid service sector jobs. The article makes the distinction that high corporate profits cannot be looked at in isolation from stagnant wages, as the two are not unrelated. The differences among corporate profits and worker wages are attributed to the way that globalization has opened up the market to more consumers and cheap workers, along with the advent of technology, especially labor-saving technology, that allows for business to grow while reducing the share for workers. The article showed this connection by explaining how
    “Fifty years ago, the four most valuable U.S. companies employed an average of 430,000 people with an average market cap of $180 billion. These days, the largest U.S. companies have about 2X the market cap of their 1964 counterparts with one-fourth of the employees.”
    This isn’t unrelated to what we’re seeing in other global markets, as this is where American corporations will often turn to find low cost laborers and less stringent laws that look out for the well-being of workers; as we see with these Cambodian sweatshop workers who are a part of the, often exploited, lower-paid service sector.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/08/bash-brothers-how-globalization-and-technology-teamed-up-to-crush-middle-class-workers/278571/

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