Sweatshops and Social Justice: Can Compassionate Libertarians Agree?
My latest column has been posted at C4SS – it is a response to an article written by Matt Zwolinski for the Bleeding Heart Libertarians blog. Here is a taste:
Libertarianism is not about people just getting by; it is about maximizing human liberty. Liberty cannot be achieved as long as eking out a living in dangerous conditions for 12 to 14 hours a day is an individual’s most attractive option. In such a society, the mutually beneficial arrangements that define the world of commerce have clearly broken down. There is no reason that libertarians or other advocates of a free market need to sacrifice their moral compass at the altar of economic development. Economic development can and should be achieved in many different ways, but it will take the cooperation of both labor and capital to see that sweatshops do not continue to be an acceptable path to prosperity. I hope that libertarians will be at the forefront of that struggle.