Fair trade for thee, but not for me

 Imagine what a Tesla or wind turbine would cost if the Left followed its own “principles”

Paul Driessen

“Nobody wants to buy something that was made by exploiting someone else,” Ben & Jerry’s and Fair Trade co-founder Jerry Greenfield likes to tell us. Let’s hope he doesn’t drive an electric vehicle, doesn’t use a laptop or cell phone, and doesn’t rely on wind or solar power.

We’re constantly confronted with slogans and lectures about fair trade, human rights, sustainability, environmental and social justice, little people versus Big Corporations. Most of these subjective terms reflect perspectives and agendas of the political left, and are intended to advance those worldviews and stifle any discussion about them. But most of their self-avowed adherents never look beneath the surface of their own purchases. Indeed, they would have no standards at all if they didn’t have double standards.

Just imagine what a $35,000 to $150,000 electric vehicle would cost if it were built using “fair trade” metals. How expensive already pricey wind and solar electricity would be if manufacturers had to follow fair trade standards, pay the full human and environmental costs associated with components, and pay workers the source-country equivalents of “Fight For $15” wages. Even more challenging:

What if wind, solar and EV systems had to adhere to the “precautionary principle” – which says products must be banned until promoters can prove their technologies will never harm people or the environment?

The fair trade, et cetera rules are already enforced with an iron fist against non-renewable products by regulators, politicians, the news media and angry college students. It’s mostly the Progressive Left’s favored, supposedly renewable and eco-friendly energy “alternatives” and toys that get exempted.

ExxonMobil was fined $600,000 in 2009 for the deaths of 85 migratory birds that landed in uncovered oilfield waste pits. Compare that $7,000 per bird assessment to the zero to minuscule fines imposed once or twice on Big Wind companies for 85,000 dead eagles and hawks, and 8.5 million sliced and diced other birds and bats, over recent years. (These are artistic license numbers, but very close to the mark.)

The Keep It In The Ground campaigns against oil, gas and coal, the fossil fuel divestment movement on campuses, the anti-Israel Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) rabble, the incessant EarthJustice, Greenpeace and World Wildlife Fund lawsuits and campaigns against mining ignore all this, and more.

Just beneath the surface of cell phone, EV, computer, wind, solar and other technologies are some shocking and inconvenient truths. These products are not made from pixie dust or raw materials beamed in from the Starship Enterprise. All require lithium, rare earth metals, iron, copper, silica, petroleum and many other materials that must be dug out of the Earth, using human labor or fossil fuels.

Petroleum alone is the foundation for some 6,000 products besides fuels: paints, plastics, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and much more. Lithium is essential in computer and EV batteries, neodymium in NdFeB wind turbine generator magnets, cadmium in PV solar panels, petroleum-based resins in turbine blades.

The vast majority of these minerals and metals could probably be found in economically recoverable or even world-class deposits in the United States. However, known deposits have been taxed, regulated and litigated into oblivion, while excellent prospects are mostly in western and Alaskan lands made inaccessible by Congress, courts, activists and Antiquities Act decrees. We’re not even allowed to look.

That has forced mining companies to go overseas. With few exceptions, American, Canadian, European and Australian companies pay good wages, abide by health and environmental rules, and invest heavily in local schools, libraries, hospitals, and water, sewage and electrical systems. But they are still pilloried, harassed and sued on a regular basis by radical groups in Peru, Guatemala and elsewhere.

The late Roy Innis, chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality, nailed it perfectly when he blasted the WWF for its callous campaign against a proposed mine in Madagascar.

“These enemies of the poor say they are ‘stakeholders,’ who want to ‘preserve’ indigenous people and villages,” Mr. Innis observed. “They never consider what the real stakeholders want – the people who actually live in these impoverished communities and must live with the consequences of harmful campaigns that are being waged all over the world,” blocking their opportunities, hopes and dreams.

These well-financed, self-righteous anti-mining assaults too often leave villagers jobless and the world dependent on shoddy state-run operations like the rare earth mines and processing facilities in Baotou, Inner Mongolia, and locally operated, often illegal “artisanal” mines in Africa and Asia. The environmental degradation and human health effects associated with these operations are horrendous.

Areas north of Baotou hold 70% of global proven reserves of rare earth minerals (REMs). The region was once productive farmland. But as Australia news, Business Insider, ABC News, Britain’s Guardian, BBC and Daily Mail, and others have documented, it is now a vast wasteland, where nothing grows.

Ores are extracted by pumping acid into the ground, then processed using more acids and chemicals. One ton of REMs releases up to 420,000 cubic feet of gases, 2,600 cubic feet of wastewater and 1 ton of other wastes – all of them acidic, toxic and radioactive. The resulting black sludge – laden with acids, heavy metals, carcinogens and other materials – is pipelined to what has become a foul, stinking, lifeless, six-mile-diameter “lake.” Its toxic contents are seeping into groundwater and creeping toward the Yellow (Huang He) River, an important source of drinking and irrigation water for much of northern China.

Miners and other workers labor up to 16 hours a day for a few yuan or dollars, under health, safety and environmental conditions that would likely have been intolerable in the US, UK and Europe a century ago. Dirty processing plants have few or no maintenance crews, little or no regular cleaning or repairs. Workers and local residents suffer from lung, heart and intestinal diseases, osteoporosis and cancer, at rates much higher than pre-mining days and well above those in other parts of the Middle Kingdom.

Meanwhile, Africa’s Congo region produces 60% of the world’s cobalt-lithium ore. Over 70,000 tons a year pass through the Congo DongFang International Mining Company to manufacturers in China. Entire families – including children as young as five – toil from dawn to dusk, for a dollar or two a day, so that cell phone, computer, EV and other buyers can enjoy cheap high-tech gadgets.

Generally without permits, health and safety standards or environmental rules, the parents and kids use picks, shovels, pails and bags to excavate deep holes and vast pits, in search of valuable ores. Cave-ins and mud slides are an ever-present risk. Depending on the weather, they work in dust or muck, getting dangerous levels of cobalt, lead, uranium and other heavy metals in their tissues, blood and organs.

Gloves, face masks, protective clothing and showers to wash the toxic dirt off bodies at the end of the day are also nonexistent. Broken bones, suffocation, blood and respiratory diseases, birth defects, cancer and paralysis are commonplace, the Guardian, Washington Post, NPR and human rights groups report.

Maybe those evils are better than prostitution for mothers and daughters, drug dealing and criminal gangs for fathers and sons, or starvation and death for entire families. But it certainly smells like exploitation.

Where are the Ben & Jerry’s and Fair Trade demands for justice? The Berkeley and Brown student protests, sit-ins and boycotts against Nokia, Samsung, Apple, Lenovo, Tesla, Vestas and Trina Solar? The demands that college endowment and teacher pension funds divest from these companies? The outraged US and EU student marchers in Baotou and Beijing, to support workers, Joshua Wong and Liu Xiaobo?

Where are the calls to replace state-run and artisanal mining operations with socially and environmentally responsible Western mining companies? Where is the WWF compensation to poor villagers for the wages, electricity, clean water and improved living standards they could have had?

Environmentalist policies don’t merely represent double standards. No matter how Greenpeace or the Sierra Club might disguise or sugarcoat them, radical green policies and campaigns are unjust, unethical, inhuman, imperialistic and racist.

It’s time to apply fair trade, living wage and environmental justice principles to the anti-mining, anti-people campaigners. Their real goal is keeping the Third World impoverished, and that is intolerable.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org), and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death and other books on the environment. Aug 2017

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99 thoughts on “Fair trade for thee, but not for me

    • Their real goal is keeping the Third World impoverished, and that is intolerable.

      No, that is the effect, not the goal. Their main aim is finding a moralistic pretext to tell other people what to do.

      this explains the double standards, the anti-free speech demos, the pseudo-science. Pathetic, weak, ineffectual people who want to find a means of telling other what to do in order not to realise how meaningless they actually are.

      • If we got shot of the “Evil Triplets”: the World Bank, IMF, & World Trade Organisation + allowed poorer countries to protect their , as t’were, goods by raising import taxes on similar (often cheaper due to low import taxes) goods there wouldn’t be any need for the money grubbing profiteers to sell “Fair Trade” anything; ( though I think “Fair Trade” & similar is a giant scam anyway & just an excuse for making extra dosh)

      • Any way, most of the laws in the US are made by congresspeople. Most of them are republicans most of the time during the last 5 or 6 decades. All those lefty activist meant nothing, they are never elected for the congress in meaningful numbers at least for the congress of the US. Which are really ruling the congress of the US are the lobbyists, not the leftist in some well known university campus of the US. Then, if the there are some privileged laws in the US favoring wind-generators, PV, Electric car, and systems of mirrors gathering sunlight, with a privileged status economic status, it means the congress had approved this. Then it was the work of the lobbyists, not of leftist students. I had been often arguing with leftists students, mostly because I am a skeptical person and do not loved to be preached false doctrines.
        I do not believe either in alternative energies anyway. Those are part of a global swindle process.

      • leopoldo Perdomo August 23, 2017 at 4:15 am

        “Any way, most of the laws in the US are made by congresspeople. Most of them are republicans most of the time during the last 5 or 6 decades. All those lefty activist meant nothing, they are never elected for the congress in meaningful numbers at least for the congress of the US”

        You should go back and learn the history of the makeup of Congress over the last 60 years. Your statement is completely wrong. Ignorance of this type is a major problem in today’s world.

      • “No, that is the effect, not the goal. Their main aim is finding a moralistic pretext to tell other people what to do.”

        I agree. It’s all a ploy for power and control. They have no principles.

      • leopoldo Perdomo: “Any way, most of the laws in the US are made by congresspeople. Most of them are republicans most of the time during the last 5 or 6 decades. All those lefty activist meant nothing, they are never elected for the congress in meaningful numbers at least for the congress of the US. Which are really ruling the congress of the US are the lobbyists, not the leftist in some well known university campus of the US.”

        leopoldo, Republicans were the minority party for many years. When Republicans won the majority in 1994, it was the first time in 40 years Republicans had been in control You are correct about the lobbyists. They are the ones setting the agenda in Washington DC, and they have equal amounts of influence over both Democrats and Republicans. That’s why it is a tough job “Draining the Swamp”. The Swamp doesn’t want to be drained.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_Revolution

        “The gains in seats in the mid-term election resulted in the Republicans gaining control of both the House and the Senate in January 1995. Republicans had not held the majority in the House for forty years, since the 83rd Congress (elected in 1952).”

        end excerpt

      • Import taxes protect the wealthy and punish the weak.
        That’s why they are so popular with politicians.

      • Congress was controlled by the Democrats until the late 1980’s. That’s about 3 decades, not 5 or 6.
        Secondly, your desire to believe that Republican equals conservative is easily refuted by looking at voting records.

      • Jennifer Symonds, import taxes are a great way to make everybody but a few already well-off people poorer. They make the things the poor buy needlessly expensive, prevent developing countries develop value-added products and ensure domestic businesses face reduced competition and so remain inefficient and high priced. There is nothing worse for an economy than import tariffs and nothing that makes the poor worse off.

    • “Virtue Signalling” that is blind to, and cares not, about the horrors it is responsible for.

      “There are none so blind as those that will not see” : Eyes that have been closed by Left wing ideology, teachings and propaganda. A sickness of the mind.

  1. The hypocrisy of the left. They will fight for any cause aslong as those they fight for will fall in line behind them and follow their rules.

      • Calling the left hypocrites is often a waste. They honestly believe rules are for everyone but themselves. They are experts at projection and believe the right is doing what the left actually is. For the word “hypocrite” to mean anything, there has to be a foundation in reality. I really can’t see that in many of the left (and some on the right, too). This is more blind obedience to a cause.

      • They think it is fine to evaluate everything that comes across their radar subjectively and feel no need to maintain any kind of philosophical or intellectual structure or consistency. They shrug their shoulders and go with their ‘feelings”. Always unapologetic when it turns out that they were horribly wrong.

      • The left, rioting to protest violence, shouting down opponents to demonstrate their support for free speech.

    • Yes, as long as he (and others like him in the first world) get the greater part of the good.

    • The reply to anyone with the “greater good” statement should be “As you see it. So where to do you get the authority to force your ideas on everyone else?”

  2. More than that,it is time to apply the enviro-mentalists own standards to them, exclusively.
    Most taxpaying Canadians would love to see Dr Fruitfly forcibly living the life he espouses for you and me.
    Good post, as the hysteria peaks and fades away, citizens will begin to realize the costs.
    The virtue posturing do-gooder who claim they are saving the planet, all seem to come from a position of self loathing antilife..
    Miserable misanthropes.
    As these fools and bandits wrap themselves in the Emperor’s New Cloth, the rest of us try to avoid looking.
    It is a terrible thing to see the naked and ugly prancing about in their delusion.
    However the damage done by this mass hysteria is slowly becoming clear, seems to be much higher than even my most cynical estimates.
    The current prayer; “Dear Lord please protect me from Do-Gooders”.

  3. I’ve been saying something similar for many decades re Ngos treating Africa like a private Safari grounds. One error, you are right about cobalt, but not about lithium. Almost all Li comes from the Alto Plano in South America (brines) and hard Rock in Australia. A new large one is opening in Quebec.

    Canadian mining companies, are, by law required to follow Canadian mining, environmental and health and safety laws and regulations. I had fun some years ago trying to get quarry workers to wear, safety and health gear, particularly steel-toed boots – they previously wore ‘rubber tire’ sandals. NGOs have historically propagandized locals re mining poisoning their rivers, etc and have made many projects “uneconomic”. “Now China is taking over Africa and this continent will be lost to European and North American investors along with any chance for orderly safe development. At least the Chinese are building these poor folks coal fired electricity as part of their development plans.

    • I was surprised to hear about Li along with the cobalt. That was new to me.

      Thanks for the correction, prevented me from assimilating another false fact.

      • Despicable as working conditions and ages of working children are in Congo, I suspect some of claims about uranium etc maybe equally questionable.

      • I think the misinformation comes from the fact that the cobalt is mined for use in Li batteries. The Li comes from elsewhere.

        I always take with a pinch of salt what Paul Dreisden writes. Usually more partisan rants than objective information.

      • Greg

        whilst I largely agree with you on your last point, Paul is invariably closer to the truth than the MSM.

        What staggers me when one points this out to the greens is their response. ‘The alternative to children working in mines for pennies is starvation’.

        Well Duh! How about ensuring working conditions and pay are sufficient that parents could afford to pay taxes and have schools and hospitals built so the kids are educated, healthy and not required to work till they drop.

      • HotScot, how do you plan on doing that?
        It takes money to improve working conditions, lots and lots of money.
        If you require higher pay and better working conditions, most of those mines and factories will just close.

      • We are back to the argument that throwing bread and water once a day to people is morally correct if they would die without it. That kind of “morality” is used to justify all kinds of evil things in the world. It’s not an either/or, but it’s phrased that way to make people look mean and heartless if they oppose exploiting poor persons.

      • MarkW: HotScot, how do you plan on doing that?
        It takes money to improve working conditions, lots and lots of money.
        If you require higher pay and better working conditions, most of those mines and factories will just close.

        You also have to consider the utterly corrupt governments taking all the profits of these operations.

      • Sheri, your alternative means that we take away what little bread and water the poor have now.
        How does that help them?

    • Aa lot of people are thinking of cassiterite when they speak of Congo. It is a ‘conflict mineral’. Lithium, not so much.

  4. As the green blob basically despises people, their actions in regard to “artisanal” mines is consistent.

  5. I bet none of these types have ever seen an e-waste/recycling site in Africa. Pretty interesting reading the asset labels on some of the PC cases.

      • I think they have been pretty much doing that since the financial crisis. And before, really. Inflation is the key principle that allows governments to continually acquire debt while they make a lot of noise about defending the purchasing power of the currency. They are professional liars without any real answers.

      • Copper is er, used in other things such as the wiring in your four-banger. I don’t disagree with the principle of consistency in international trade but picking out EVs all the time is thoughtless bigotry

      • Last time i checked an induction motor had copper windings, with all the insulation and electronics to drive an induction motor. Solid phosphor/bronze bearings, if not steel/chrome ball/roller bearings. A cast aluminum housing, then all the other materials used in connecting that power unit to the road.

      • “John Hardy August 23, 2017 at 12:55 am”

        Well, you did suggest everyone was “tesla” bashing. Tesla EV’s use more resources than a conventional ICE powered vehicle.

    • John Hardy

      The conflict mineral in a Tesla is cobalt in the battery, a lot of it. LiCo is what makes Teslas run. Cobalt concentrate is a conflict mineral dug out of the ground in Congo (DRC). It is exported in raw form to China at concentrations above about 9-11%. Huge bribes are involved. It is a ‘cost of business’. One such exporter sourcing his supply in a conflict zone, ‘Michael’, told me that such bribes ‘don’t come out of my share’.

      His view was that if the DRC chooses to run itself in that manner, they are free to do so. He is just there to make business. If two thirds of the money goes to bribes, there is only one third left to pay the workers.

    • @ John Hardy “More unjustified Tesla-bashing”

      Here’s an Inconvenient Truth about Tesla and CO2 emissions that you won’t find in ‘Green’ propaganda – sorry to say it rather Bursts your Tesla Bubble.

      Every Tesla battery made releases 15 – 20 Tonnes of CO2 during manufacture – equivalent to 8 years driving a normal car. And that is if 50% of the energy in manufacture is ‘renewable energy’. But as Lithium Ion batteries for cars last between 4 – 8 years before needing to be replaced (Tesla now provide an 8 year guarantee on them) then, as the average life is around 6 years, this means there is a Net Increase in CO2 emissions from just Owning an electric car – it doesn’t include CO2 emissions from generating the electricity to power it !

      Calculations in the UK, based on its new policy of only allowing electric cars to be sold from 2040, show that this will lead to an Increase in UK CO2 emissions over the 2015 levels of between 19% and 37% in 2048.

      CO2 emission data on Tesla (and Nissan) batteries is from the recent Study by IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute carried out on behalf of the Swedish Energy Agency and the Swedish Transport Administration.
      http://www.ivl.se/english/startpage/top-menu/pressroom/press-releases/press-releases—arkiv/2017-06-21-new-report-highlights-climate-footprint-of-electric-car-battery-production.html

      • Don’t need to go to the Congo, just look at the current workforce. Slaves? You bet! We just think we’re not.

      • Everyone in the world is exploited and exploits others. It’s what makes the world go around. Unless, of course, you are trying to separate profit from exploitation. Profit is a form of exploitation. Some think it is different, I think it’s the same. Most people are happy to receive the benefits of exploitation without thinking about it. Thinking about it would make them uncomfortable.
        I am currently employed and receive far less money than my employer receives for my services.
        I’m cool with that.

      • Patrick
        Who in their right mind would have slaves? Feed them, clothe them, accommodate them. Far cheaper to have employees.

      • Alex probably being sarcastic although at some level everybody is being exploited. If you can’t manage a trip to Congo how about rereading ‘Heart of Darkness’ ‘The horror! The horror!’ but also this about our own dear Thames. ‘And this also,’ said Marlow suddenly, ‘has been one of the dark places of the earth.’

      • Nigel
        I’m actually not a heartless person. I am horrified by man’s inhumanity to man. I’ve read many books and seen movies about it. I get quite angry about it. My greatest frustration about it is that the victims stay victims and ‘allow’ the things to happen. I am a ‘give me liberty or give me death’ kind of person. I was always like this, even in early childhood. My early life was full of punishment. There are many injustices in the world and each individual person has to fight his own fight.

      • The Muses, still with freedom found,
        Shall to thy happy coasts repair.
        Blest isle! with matchless beauty crowned,
        And manly hearts to guard the fair. …

      • Alex, no suggestion that you were heartless, I was only trying to emphasise the point that this is a complicated story, hence the ‘dark’ Thames. ‘Early life full of punishment’ leaves a mark I agree having been sent to boarding school from the age of eight. It leaves one looking for answers to this puzzle for the rest of one’s life I find.

      • Patrick
        I was referring to only one form of slavery/employment. There was no mention of slavery to the financial sector. The list of what we as humans are slaves to is endless. We are slaves to our possessions, our positions in society, our lusts and desires. It’s simply human nature and I accept that it is real. I’m just not hypocritical about things. I will buy a phone made through ‘slave labour’ because it is cheap and I know it is made through ‘slave labour’. It’s actually not slave labour because the workers get benefits.
        Lifes a bitch sometimes.

      • Nigel
        I am not bitter and twisted about my past. It was simply an experience I learned from. I learned about others and the reasons they did things and I learned about myself and the reasons I did/do things. I remember my past quite well. I just moved on.

      • “Alex August 23, 2017 at 1:12 am”

        Slavery is slavery, whatever sector we choose to refer to.

    • It depends on the imbalance of power. An equal arrangement of labour for security where the employee has the option to leave is what makes the world go round. Confinement or coercion or using people who can’t understand their position or protect their interests is not. IMO deliberately attempting to keep people from bettering themselves is likewise immoral.

  6. The 85,000 eagle deaths is completely untrue: Altamont is a uniquely bad site, with old style lattice pylon towers, many small turbines, built across a narrow migration route and in a wintering area, with power poles which electrocuted eagles….

    There has been no worse or equivalent wind farm built in the world: in Europe standards were rapidly adopted which ensure wind farms are not like Altamont. None of its design or location-type has been built since the 1980s

    Repeating figures extrapolated from Altamont is not accurate -it is downright misleading.

    Here is the US eagle population data…
    https://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/pdf/management/EagleRuleRevisions-StatusReport.pdf

    check out table 8…

    check out the population figures -at 8.5 million eagles and hawks a year they are all already extinct.

  7. Quote: “Nobody wants to buy something that was made by exploiting someone else,” Ben & Jerry’s and Fair Trade co-founder Jerry Greenfield likes to tell us.

    Sounds so virtuous. Then you try to think of something made without exploiting someone for their skills or labour. Then it gets really complicated really quickly.

    But the decoding of the virtue signalling is easy. Ben and Jerry made their money using GOOD exploitation of their workers. They are only protesting about BAD exploitation.

    As I seem to be saying on a daily basis the great divide is not between left and right. Rather it is between those who think rationally and those who can’t or won’t.

    • Agreed, that is one of the divides. Another is the “I’m smarter/superior to you, so I want to force you to do what I think is right/good for you,” versus the “leave everyone be as long as they aren’t harming anybody else.” In practice, it is the former group that takes advantage of the irrational thinkers by using emotionally laden arguments devoid of any real logic or facts.

  8. We are often miss the point of the political and environmental Left’s true intentions. Why do they scream and yell supposedly caring about environmental issues in the USA but not elsewhere? They see the USA as the only evil in the world. Since at least the 1960s their primary goal is to bring down the USA as we have known and loved it. How? by ending capitalism. Even though the USA is the most environmentally conscience country in history the Left, even though they fully understand that fact, push for the USA to be environmentally perfect, knowing it is an unachievable goal. When we approach perfection in a given environmental field they move the goal post. From the end of WWII until 1990 the USA and western Europe spent several trillion dollars cleaning up 95% of the air pollution that had existed prior to the war. That is not enough for the “environmentalists,” they want 100% and they do not care if that goal cost twice what the 95% cost. Why? because cleaning up the environment is not the point, driving “evil” corporations and the USA into bankruptcy is. They believe they want so form of socialism, but socialism in its many forms is failing or has failed but more importantly the two most recent predominate forms of socialism, USSR and China have the worst environmental record in history.

    • “We are often miss the point of the political and environmental Left’s true intentions. Why do they scream and yell supposedly caring about environmental issues in the USA but not elsewhere? They see the USA as the only evil in the world. Since at least the 1960s their primary goal is to bring down the USA as we have known and loved it.”

      Today’s Leftists are the ideological children of the communists, and the communists’ goal was to bring down the United States. The American Left is just carrying on this communist tradition.

      The U.S. has foreign and domestic enemies. The Radical Left in the U.S. and abroad, is an enemy of the United States.

    • Environmental concern is not a leftist political stance.

      It is an independent concern for the environment, not based on a political allegiance or philosophy of left or right.

      Outside of the USA it is considered a necessary and useful objective for society, not allied to a political stance.

      Criticise environmentalism and environmental action by all means -but take a step back: it is not part of a ‘leftist’ movement or the left as a political stance.

      (Left wing parties and governments in Europe are less likely to embrace environmental improvement)

      • The US leftists would disagree. They constantly blaime the right for destroying the environment. Note how frantic they were when Trump was elected. There was no fear when Obama was in office, just massive approval of everything he did. It IS a political issue to the left in the US.

      • What a crock, Griff! You read the Guardian daily! Are you going to tell us you don’t vote Labour? Or is it the SNP? Were you onside with Corbyn’s support of Chavez and Maduro? How about all the nice things he had to say about IRA terrorists? One big dysfunctional, happy family of cut throat liars!

  9. People often call it “exploitation” when workers are paid less than the writer thinks is ok. I am not talking about people working in a gold mine in Brazil where they get mercury poisoning, but rather cases like making shoes in S Korea. They are forgetting that such “exploitive” factories are often the highest paying jobs available in the locality and that no one is forced to work there. Even in Dickens’ time, the urban conditions he decried were better than the life of a farmer, which is why people flocked to the cities.

    • Some seem to think that all we need to do is demand that people be paid what we think they should be paid and that working conditions must meet standards we find acceptable.
      The problem is that it takes money to do that, and these are poor areas, money is hard to find.
      Where are you going to get the money needed to buy all the fancy equipment that would raise productivity levels high enough to support higher wages and working conditions?

      • You get it from the leaders in charge. You know, the ones who take international handouts to build themselves fancy mansions and take expensive overseas beach vacations, while the people who elect (?) these idiots can barely eat. (Sounds a lot like North Korea.)

  10. Where are the Ben & Jerry’s and Fair Trade demands for justice? The Berkeley and Brown student protests, sit-ins and boycotts…?

    The issue is not the issue.

    The immediate issue is just an opportunistic cudgel. The cudgel is used to attain the ultimate issue, which is to batter the US into illegitimacy, cause its abandonment in despair, and have it replaced with a left wing tyranny. The utopia of getting to murder everyone who disagrees with you.

    The AGW ‘issue’ is one of those opportunistic cudgels.

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