More on Sweatshops and Free Markets
By Michael Kleen
When Paul Krugman defended sweatshops in the pages of the New York Times and Slate Magazine in 1997, he understandably raised a chorus of criticism, so when I wrote “Do Sweatshops Belong in a Free Market?” I expected at least some cognitive dissonance. After all, sweatshops are an issue that many feel passionately about. However, I was surprised at the level of the resistance that greeted what I thought was not a very controversial position on my part. This article is an attempt to clarify my argument and respond to some of this criticism.
In my opinion, a sweatshop is an antiquated form of wage slavery that does not belong in a free society any more than conscription or the Atlantic slave trade. Economists like Paul Krugman have provided an ideological foundation for sweatshops because they are an integral part of the globalist worldview, but that is a worldview that libertarians, anarcho-capitalists, and other likeminded individuals oppose. Therefore, it is in our interest to not only distance ourselves from this exploitive form of labor, but to repudiate it entirely.