Category Archives: Political economy

Clean Clothes hits global corporate offenders where it hurts: Their brands

What can we do about global corporations that exploit vulnerable workers? Everyone who follows the news knows that products we buy in wealthy countries are manufactured in countries where poor people hope to sweat their way out of poverty by taking factory jobs. Global corporations invest in the third world for cheap labour and because they will enjoy relative freedom from regulation.

The results are predictable. As I pointed out in a recent blog entry, freedom from regulation inevitably leads to unsafe working conditions and exploitation of workers. Typically, the companies that sell us clothes and other products manufactured in the third world contract the production out to companies you’ve never heard of. Continue reading

From Henry Ford to Walmart: How North America went from innovation with labour to innovation against labour

The “Occupy” protests – now winding down, but not forgotten – were effective in expressing rage against what was seen as a fundamentally corrupted social, economic and political system, and polls indicated that many agreed the demonstrators had a point. At the same time, many of us were uneasy about the absence of a bill of particulars.

Apart from the obvious – the obscene juxtaposition of extreme wealth and dismal poverty – what exactly is rotten? Continue reading