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March 25, 2011

Racing To The Bottom

-- by Dave Johnson

35 cents an hour, beaten if you protest. THAT is what Americans are competing with. Democracy allowed us to build protections against this. Our trade policies remove those protections and we see the result of that clearly now. We can use trade to lift others instead of to drag us down. We can say, "You are not going to bring that product into the United States unless the people who make them have rights."

Watch this video:

Workers are again trapped and burned to death behind locked exit gates...

The tragedy of the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire struck a nerve in the American people, who demanded reforms which remade our industrial landscape and guaranteed the rights of workers. Today these rights have been wiped out in the race to the bottom in the global sweatshop economy, where workers in the developing world toil 14 hours a day, seven days a week for wages just one tenth of what the Triangle workers earned. Workers are again trapped and burned to death behind locked exit gates. One hundred years ago, the outrage over the Triangle fire led to the rallying cry, "Who will protect the working girl?" Where is that cry today?

Posted by Dave Johnson at March 25, 2011 12:06 PM


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