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Our Possessions Reconsidered: Trauma in Sweatshops

The articles for this week truly highlight the correlations behind economic wealth and health disparities. One of the statements made in the articles that resounded to me was that as the GDP increases lives in men and women worsen. Such a statement provides the notion that while one person is getting richer, the other person is being affected.  And those who are being affected are third world countries that are now more than ever the target for American outsourcing. White collar jobs (call centers, customer service, medical billing) are all being sent to countries where their employees will not complain for $1.87 the hour. Such exploitation, while American business owners claim that they are providing relief to these people are in the end hurting them, because with this outsourcing, some situations such as sweatshops arise bringing to what Mr. Flores, in the article, states “taking advantage of ones poverty.”

Browsing through the Internet the first thought into the sweatshop scandals that have erupted have fallen along the lines of fashion, Nike and recently the infamous Kardashian family. However while we protest about wearing sweatshop clothing, we hone on our technology, love our Blackberry’s and since we are living in the Apple era, our iPads, iPhones, iPod’s and the list goes on. However, the Apple world is just as guilty as the Kardashians in the sweatshop brigade, however Steve Jobs was excellent in keeping it silent. A sweatshop is a working environment considered unacceptable difficult or dangerous. They are essential to the first world country corporations to produce an excessive amount of products with little monetary output. These corporations while they believe they are doing “good” they are not providing any economic relief to most of its workers, if anything, workers are dying, committing suicide, all to receive a meager sum of a wage. They are paid less than their daily expenses, which causes them to never save money. Conditions in sweatshops can be detrimental to health, at times contributing to pulmonary diseases, malaria, tetanus, or at times musculoskeletal disorders. While communities seek a fixed amount of money for work, they are being placed in traumatic and harmful situations, which are caused by the ultimate greed of outsourcing and large corporations. It is important for Americans, to realize where their possessions come from and to acknowledge the possibilities of their shirt, iPad, dress or shoes being made by hands who are living a traumatic life at this moment, if lucky, not dead.


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