Gettin' Sweaty with Jennifer Love Hewitt

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Just months after exposing her plus-size figure to the lissome tabloid readers of England (thanks Daily Mail!), Kids' Choice Award-winning actress Jennifer Love Hewitt, whose credits include Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit and Garfield, has outraged a group of perpetually outraged college students. The anti-trade group United Students against Sweatshops (USAS) has launched a website called "Jennifer Loves Sweatshops" (It's funny because it's her name!), accusing the actress, who is a spokesperson for Hanes, of shilling for "sweatshop underwear" and "selling products made in unsafe factories overseas where women are abused." On the site's homepage, the group juxtaposed an US magazine cover featuring Hewitt—headline "Stop Calling Me Fat!"—with a lame magazine mockup of an overworked, mistreated stock photography model. ABC News explains:

On its site, USAS paired it with a cover for a fake "Worker" magazine showing a woman with a drawn face and the headline, "Stop Starving Me!" A footnote explains the quote is not attributable to an actual Hanes worker and the photo is not of a Hanes employee.

A Haynes spokesman called the charges that its factory abused workers "incomprehensible." USAS, he said, is "trying to pick fights with celebrities and other people, it just doesn't make any sense." (The group previously attacked Kevin Bacon.)

Now, I know nothing about the factory in question—USAS could be right about conditions there, though I think a healthy skepticism of claims made by the "living wage" student set are in order—but a few points about sweatshops: As economist Benjamin Powell notes here, few of us lazy Americans would last a day in a Third World textile factory. But that's mostly because we have other options; most of us have far better employment alternatives. This, obviously, is not the case in a place like Vietnam, where a Nike factory worker can earn three times the minimum wage of a worker employed by a state-owned company. In Saigon, the dreaded "sweatshop" position has long been a prized job in a slowly liberalizing economy. This was a revelation to New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who understood that his readers would think his admiration for the mustache-twisting, whip-cracking factory owners was simply mad:

The Gentle Reader will think I've been smoking Pakistani opium. But the fact is that sweatshops are the only hope of kids like Ahmed Zia, a 14-year-old boy here in Attock, a gritty center for carpet weaving.

[…]

By this point, I've offended every possible reader. But before you spurn a shirt made by someone like 8-year-old Kamis Saboor, an Afghan refugee whose father is dead and who is the sole breadwinner in the family, answer this question: How does shunning sweatshop products help Kamis? All the alternatives for him are worse.

"I dream of a job in a factory," said Noroz Khan, who lives on a garbage dump and spends his days searching for metal that he can sell to recyclers. He earns about $1.40 a day, and children earn just 30 cents a day for scrounging barefoot in the filth—a few feet away from us, birds were pecking at the bloated carcass of a cow, its feet in the air.

Of course, Western anti-sweatshop activists mean well and aim only for improved conditions and a "living wage." But the reality is that the bad publicity becomes one more headache for companies considering operating in international hellholes (where the only lure is wages so low that it would be embarrassing if journalists started asking questions about them), and so manufacturers opt to mechanize their operations and operate in somewhat more developed countries.   

Incidentally, if you want to join one of USAS's balkanized subgroups (choose from the Womyn/Genderqueer, People of Color, or Working Class Caucus), click here.

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  1. I’d happily have a go with the “fat” JLH. very happily.

  2. well, I suppose it makes sense to go after Kevin Bacon first. Every actor in Hollywood would then be guilty by association.

    Aim high, USAS!

  3. Wait, that skinny chick in the 2-piece is supposed to be fat? I think they must be using the wrong picture.

  4. I’m torn between wanting to fuck Jennifer Love Hewitt or wanting to stick my (Kevin) bacon in a “living wage” slit.
    Hippie chicks fuck like oyster-eating rabbits on Spanish fly, but most of ’em have tits hanging around their hairy knees.
    I think I’ll take Hewitt. Those are some sweet-ass badonka-donks.

  5. I recall almost being kicked out of the second or third meeting of my Post-Colonial Literary Theory class during a discussion of factory workers in third world countries. I raised the point that “less than a dollar (American) per day” (the mantra chanted by my grad-student cum professor) was likely able to go much farther in certain countries than we in America were aware, and that factory work, while not desirable for us, was likely a bright alternative to living in utter destitution, especially when education and technology were going to be slow in coming to places where people still needed to eat and have shelter.

    She told me that if I was going to continue on with my capitalist pig sentiments, I could leave the class and return only when my sympathies with the poor and blighted peoples of the world were more aligned with enlightened 21st century wisdom. Literally a DAY later, the WTC towers were attacked, and she continually used that as a reason to denounce my (and one or two other students’) sentiments about neo-colonial territories and their helplessness in the face of big, bad USA.

  6. I remember going to see Heartbreakers when it was released. Miss Love Hewitt induced a kind of personal sweatshop for me-if you know what I mean.

  7. Thinking, Reason-style: “People you don’t like are against it, so it’s OK to support ChildLabor.”

    P.S. What’s the correct libertarian position on this issue? Let’s ask Mary Ruwart!

  8. “plus size” lol

  9. Here’s the best thing you can do to one of those ugly “living wage” bitches.
    Tell ’em you’re a social activist, fuck ’em until they get all in love with you, then tell them they’re full of commie shit and break their hearts. It really fucks them up, and they go off hating humanity more than they did before.
    Just a little hobby of mine.

  10. Glad they changed “People” to “Worker.” We wouldn’t want to think that the woman in question had an identity beyond that of a cog.

  11. Lone Wacko joining us once again so that he can point out that he never actually reads what was written..

  12. Hippie chicks fuck like oyster-eating rabbits on Spanish fly

    Must…stop…trying…to…visualize….

  13. Sweatshop fctory owners do not drive paddy wagons into the countryside looking for women and children to abduct. The women and children happily flee the back breaking poorly paying and speculative nature of agriculture to takre a sure thing that pays more. It was like that when the US and England industrialized.

    You would think that the university would teach the younguns some history.

  14. A Haynes spokesman

    Damn, fraudulent autopsies must really pay if he can afford a spokesman…

  15. Sweatshop fctory owners do not drive paddy wagons into the countryside looking for women and children to abduct. The women and children happily flee the back breaking poorly paying and speculative nature of agriculture to takre a sure thing that pays more. It was like that when the US and England industrialized.

    Well you have to understand that if it were not for the capitalist owned factory already being there those workers would have spontaneously made their own communal factory and payed themselves the “correct” student mandated wage.

  16. When the subject is men’s undershorts and tees, dollar for dollar, Hanes is the best on the market.

    Yeah, I’m a selfish bastard who factors in self interest when shopping.

  17. Warty, you beautiful bastard!

    I don’t think it’s very efficient to goof on JLH for her larger-than-it-used-to-be ass when the shockingly retarded The Ghost Whisperer is right there to mock her about.

    As for the rest… in Bangladesh $1.40 a day is a living wage, you dipshits.

  18. Glad they changed “People” to “Worker.” We wouldn’t want to think that the woman in question had an identity beyond that of a cog.
    I noticed that too, and had an image in my head of the students having a five hour debate over the choice, leading to slammed doors, tears, and punches thrown before they reached the consensus that they are not a cog for some kind of bizarre post-modern justification.

  19. No way, Hanes is crap. It’s all about Jockey.

  20. Well you have to understand that if it were not for the capitalist owned factory already being there those workers would have spontaneously made their own communal factory and payed themselves the “correct” student mandated wage.

    Joshua, been with the Workers World Daily for long? 😉

  21. No way, Hanes is crap. It’s all about Jockey.

    You’re a bonehead. You probably use a Mac as well.

  22. Hmm, I think I would rather get sweaty with her Party of Five Co-Star Lacey Chabert, now SHE is a HOTTIE!
    http://www.Ultimate-Anonymity.com

  23. The last I heard, the “living wage” was $30,000 a year for everyone, ditch diggers, sweatshop workers, Reason contributors, doctors, lawyers… everyone.

    Has this been adjusted for inflation?

  24. Jim, oh, sure, if it’s Lacey v. Jennifer, give me Lacey. but if it’s Jennifer v. no one, give me Jennifer or give me death.

  25. WTF? She is NOT plus sized. It’s one thing to really be fat, but when people start calling 130 pounds or so “fat”, then no wonder women are getting so screwed up.

  26. Jesus Christ, Jaime Kelly!!! How do you come up with this shit? It’s like you channel dead crazy perverts or something!!!!

  27. J sub D,

    Does your hatred for Mac’s extend to iPhones? Cause I’m gettin’ one in about a week and your opinion on apple products is dear to me.

  28. actually a lot of women are screwed up because Jamie Kelley isn’t stuck in a sweatshop making a dollar a day with no access to a computer.

  29. Standards are different for actresses/singers. You can’t have any flab or cellulite or whatever, and of course wide camera lenses add a few pounds.

    Obviously it also is important to look good for someone like Hewitt who got where she is almost exclusively on her looks. A lot of mainstream entertainment is about escapism which means we want to look at very attractive people who we can either enjoy looking at or pretend we are instead of dealing with all the homely individuals in our day to day life.

  30. Well, I guess Vietnamese peasants can eat, as long as they don’t take our union jobs.

    Looking at South Korea, one has to weep for what S Vietnam might have become by now.

  31. Did someone say peasant?

    I have a solution to her complaints.

  32. well, I suppose it makes sense to go after Kevin Bacon first. Every actor in Hollywood would then be guilty by association.

    lawl

  33. *You’re a bonehead. You probably use a Mac as well.*

    Hey, don’t take it out on me if you don’t have the support and comfort you deserve.

    Good guesses, though. I am a bonehead and I do use a Mac.

  34. You’re a bonehead. You probably use a Mac as well.

    I knew I liked J sub for a reason.

  35. Naga Shadow. I don’t hate macs anymore than I have passionate preferences in drawers. But I would wait a few more months on the iPhone. It’s still too new. The price will fall further and a superior value may emerge from a competitor soon.

    But what do I know? I once paid $700 for a VCR with mechanical tuners and a one event timer.

  36. Although I didn’t get stuck with a Betamax machine like my father did.

  37. KT, the proper response was “I guess you just don’t need the same support I do.”

  38. J sub D,

    I’m paying $200 for mine. I got a friend at AT&T who will unlock it for my T-mobile account. I sold my 80gb ipod for $250(it was a gift) so I’m basically being paid $50 bucks for getting an iPhone. Rockefeller would be proud of me.

  39. Beta rocked. I bought a top-of-the-line SVHS after my Beta died and was appalled by the picture compared to my Beta.

    Sony was just run by idiots. :::sob:::

  40. Beta rocked. I bought a top-of-the-line SVHS after my Beta died and was appalled by the picture compared to my Beta.

    Sony was just run by idiots. :::sob:::

    Some folks bought RCA videodisc players. They had phenomenol picture quality. Alas …

  41. If the factory workers want to negotiate for a better contract, I say more power to them. If activitst are trying to impose their views on the workers, I say back off. There is a reason the US is most popular in the countries we meddle the least.

  42. OLS: Thinking, Reason-style: “People you don’t like are against it, so it’s OK to support ChildLabor.”

    P.S. What’s the correct libertarian position on this issue? Let’s ask Mary Ruwart!

    Actually, you are confused. Let me break it down for you:

    I hold conservative positions because they piss off the right people.

    I hold libertarian positions because they confuse the right people.

    I hold pragmatic positions because I would rather that other people be poor and downtrodden than that I be poor and downtrodden, and I’m pretty certain that the right people will arrange for one or the other. Which is odd, given that they are always “visualizing abundance” or some such nonsense.

  43. Anybody click on the link to the “workers?” They looked pretty damn healthy to me. Heck some were even a bit on the plump side, downright fat if you JLH in the swimsuit is fat.

    Gee they all appear to be wearing clean clothes, and the pics are taken inside what appears to be nice homes, finally they appear contrary to the testimonials appear to be pretty healthy.

    PS

    In college I worked in a sweat shop, and all I can say is that I’m glad I don’t anymore, what was sad is that most of the people who worked there didn’t know how much it sucked and lacked any motivation to do anything else.

    Regards

    Joe Dokes

  44. It’s an outrage that this group would attack Kevin Bacon! Haven’t they seen Footloose, man that dude has got some moves.

  45. I thought Kevin Bacon was only a supporting player in the Michael Jordan films? Why didn’t they go after Michael Jordan, Chandler, or Cuba Gooding Jr ( Perhaps an Academy Award winner being reduced to saying “Michael, I’m wearing your underwear” to make a living is punishment enough?) ?

  46. This Canadian Boy would happily drop his Stanfield’s for Ms. Hewitt. Hell, in order to facillitate things, I would even go commando for the occasion.

  47. Jennifer love Hewitt’s entire career was built on being a skinny “girl next door” who happened to have big tits. It was not as a bangbros model.

  48. It’s probably true that the workers in the sweatshops are getting one of the better deals available to them.

    I think the opposition to the sweatshops is that the owners know completely well about how pitiful the opportunities in these nations are, and they take advantage of an incredible difference in bargaining position to get these people to enter into deals that bring great benefits to the owners in return for admittedly better than usual but still crazy low benefits to the workers. The owner makes tons, the worker makes pennies (though a few more pennies than he may have made elsewhere) largely because the workers alternatives (often due to the state he lives under btw) are terrible. We call that taking advantage of folks. Whatever else it is, it’s not something to celebrate…

    A rich guy who finds a starving single mom and offers to give her a bit more money than she currently makes if she acts as his “escort.” He treats her like a cad but he does buy her a new dress every now and then. According to MM’s line of thinking he’s a great guy and should be lauded as a savior of troubled women…

  49. United Students against…

    So many ironies, so little time.

  50. Joe Dokes says:In college I worked in a sweat shop

    I’m going to have to question you on this, unless it’s a stripper joke (in which case, good show). Though the definition of sweatshop is a bit slippery. it is not generally compatible with college (though I certainly used the term metaphorically to refer to my department in Uni, which employed me at about 10% of market rate for a couple years).

    When I was the right age to go to college I worked for an oven company for a bit. They make most of the pizza ovens sold in the US- the next time you’re in a pizza shop take a look- probly a Blodgett.

    The employees of Blodgett are generally pretty happy. There is no move to unionize that shop. I was hired from a temp agency though, so I got only $5.00/hr to do the worst job in the factory.

    I cut fiberglass (it goes in the panels of the ovens to keep them cool enough that you don’t get third degree burns if you brush against them) with a machine made in the 1920s in a loft above the factory floor where it was generally 110 degrees.

    It took me weeks to figure out how to tape my uniform so that the fiberglass didn’t get all over me. Even after I figured that out it still got all over my face, so I looked like I had a sunburn even though I was inside all day.

    I would not call that a sweatshop for a number of reasons. I’m curious about where you worked.

  51. What’s bangbros?

  52. Middle class people who work for a living understand what it’s like to face the choice of Crappy Job vs. Starvation. Upper class academes probably figure that if we closed the sweatshops, all the Third Worlders could just eat cake.

  53. What’s bangbros

    I’d help you out, but if I put any more pr0n on here, it’d probably cause the space-time contiuum to collapse.

    I heard of this great program called “Google”…you should check it out. ;-D

  54. by bangbros that dude was just referring to one of the more popular prons that focus on big butts. That was his point. Some of the bigger butt sites/companies will take the big ass even if its a little sloppy.

  55. Ah, the “best available alternative” defense. How original.

    James sub D,

    Actually, it’s a lot more likely that, rather than fleeing farm work, they were forcibly *deprived* of the alternative of working on their own land. The U.S. government, in collusion with feudal landed oligarchies and dictatorial regimes, has been in the business of limiting “available alternatives” for the past several decades. It’s essentially a reenactment of the Enclosures.

    Incidentally, apologists for the “Dark Satanic Mills” use the same “best available alternative” argument about the industrial revolution in Britain. But in fact the wage labor pool was created by driving people off the land against their will. They didn’t “flee” agricultural labor. They overwhelmingly chose to continue it when they had a choice. The press of the late 18th and early 19th century is full of demands for Enclosure by the British propertied classes, based on their complaint that it was impossible to get people to work hard enough or for low enough wages so long as they had independent access to the land.

  56. Wait, that skinny chick in the 2-piece is supposed to be fat? I think they must be using the wrong picture.

    She’s Hollywood fat, which isn’t the same thing as real-life fat. Sort of like Ren?e Zellweger in Jerry Macguire or Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada were Hollywood plain.

  57. Guess who wrote the following:

    And yet, wherever the new export industries have grown, there has been measurable improvement in the lives of ordinary people. Partly this is because a growing industry must offer a somewhat higher wage than workers could get elsewhere in order to get them to move. More importantly, however, the growth of manufacturing–and of the penumbra of other jobs that the new export sector creates–has a ripple effect throughout the economy. The pressure on the land becomes less intense, so rural wages rise; the pool of unemployed urban dwellers always anxious for work shrinks, so factories start to compete with each other for workers, and urban wages also begin to rise. Where the process has gone on long enough–say, in South Korea or Taiwan–average wages start to approach what an American teen-ager can earn at McDonald’s. And eventually people are no longer eager to live on garbage dumps. (Smokey Mountain persisted because the Philippines, until recently, did not share in the export-led growth of its neighbors. Jobs that pay better than scavenging are still few and far between.)

    The benefits of export-led economic growth to the mass of people in the newly industrializing economies are not a matter of conjecture. A country like Indonesia is still so poor that progress can be measured in terms of how much the average person gets to eat; since 1970, per capita intake has risen from less than 2,100 to more than 2,800 calories a day. A shocking one-third of young children are still malnourished–but in 1975, the fraction was more than half. Similar improvements can be seen throughout the Pacific Rim, and even in places like Bangladesh. These improvements have not taken place because well-meaning people in the West have done anything to help–foreign aid, never large, has lately shrunk to virtually nothing. Nor is it the result of the benign policies of national governments, which are as callous and corrupt as ever. It is the indirect and unintended result of the actions of soulless multinationals and rapacious local entrepreneurs, whose only concern was to take advantage of the profit opportunities offered by cheap labor. It is not an edifying spectacle; but no matter how base the motives of those involved, the result has been to move hundreds of millions of people from abject poverty to something still awful but nonetheless significantly better.

    Why, then, the outrage of my correspondents? Why does the image of an Indonesian sewing sneakers for 60 cents an hour evoke so much more feeling than the image of another Indonesian earning the equivalent of 30 cents an hour trying to feed his family on a tiny plot of land–or of a Filipino scavenging on a garbage heap?

    The main answer, I think, is a sort of fastidiousness. Unlike the starving subsistence farmer, the women and children in the sneaker factory are working at slave wages for our benefit–and this makes us feel unclean. And so there are self-righteous demands for international labor standards: We should not, the opponents of globalization insist, be willing to buy those sneakers and shirts unless the people who make them receive decent wages and work under decent conditions.

    This sounds only fair–but is it? Let’s think through the consequences.

    First of all, even if we could assure the workers in Third World export industries of higher wages and better working conditions, this would do nothing for the peasants, day laborers, scavengers, and so on who make up the bulk of these countries’ populations. At best, forcing developing countries to adhere to our labor standards would create a privileged labor aristocracy, leaving the poor majority no better off.

    And it might not even do that. The advantages of established First World industries are still formidable. The only reason developing countries have been able to compete with those industries is their ability to offer employers cheap labor. Deny them that ability, and you might well deny them the prospect of continuing industrial growth, even reverse the growth that has been achieved. And since export-oriented growth, for all its injustice, has been a huge boon for the workers in those nations, anything that curtails that growth is very much against their interests. A policy of good jobs in principle, but no jobs in practice, might assuage our consciences, but it is no favor to its alleged beneficiaries.

    You may say that the wretched of the earth should not be forced to serve as hewers of wood, drawers of water, and sewers of sneakers for the affluent. But what is the alternative? Should they be helped with foreign aid? Maybe–although the historical record of regions like southern Italy suggests that such aid has a tendency to promote perpetual dependence. Anyway, there isn’t the slightest prospect of significant aid materializing. Should their own governments provide more social justice? Of course–but they won’t, or at least not because we tell them to. And as long as you have no realistic alternative to industrialization based on low wages, to oppose it means that you are willing to deny desperately poor people the best chance they have of progress for the sake of what amounts to an aesthetic standard–that is, the fact that you don’t like the idea of workers being paid a pittance to supply rich Westerners with fashion items.

    In short, my correspondents are not entitled to their self-righteousness. They have not thought the matter through. And when the hopes of hundreds of millions are at stake, thinking things through is not just good intellectual practice. It is a moral duty.

    Paul Krugman

  58. Actually, it’s a lot more likely that, rather than fleeing farm work, they were forcibly *deprived* of the alternative of working on their own land. The U.S. government, in collusion with feudal landed oligarchies and dictatorial regimes, has been in the business of limiting “available alternatives” for the past several decades. It’s essentially a reenactment of the Enclosures.

    Um, yeah. How’s the weather up there on the Grassy Knoll?

  59. I didn’t have to guess. I knew, immediately, who had written that. Too bad he became so partisan- he would repudiate that now, I think.

    Still, it raises an issue. If aid is effective, why don’t the people favoring aid each chip in 10 bucks? That would raise 100 million dollars. I’ve been told, over and over, that 100 million dollars would be enough to end poverty, globally. So I wonder why the people who keep saying that don’t just go ahead and do it, instead of trying to get 10 bucks from other people.

  60. dpsc
    I don’t know what foriegn aid supporters you talked to, but the ones I know have happily chipped in more than 10 bucks but think 100 million is not going to do much. Many of them would be happy if our foriegn aid budget were HALF what our blow up foriegners budget is.

  61. I think our foriegn aid budget (counting military aid) is around 15 billion a year while our defense budget is around 350 billion…Like I said most aid supporters would like to see the first figure go up and the second down (if the boost in the first came from the second that would be nice)

  62. “Guess who wrote the following: …You may say that the wretched of the earth should not be forced to serve as hewers of wood, drawers of water, and sewers of sneakers for the affluent. But what is the alternative? … -Paul Krugman”

    Yeah, but he’s a quasi-socialist.

  63. Get those kids OUT of the factory and back onto the streets prostituting themselves! Wouldn’t want those USAS members to have to go without next trip to Vietnam.

  64. You just don’t understand, Michael C. Moynihan, because you are not as enlightened as the people of USAS. Either that or you’re an evil corporatist, which they probably think is more likely in your case.

  65. Um, yeah. How’s the weather up there on the Grassy Knoll?

    Yeah, because the idea that multi-national corporations might collude with corrupt governments to illegitimately appropriate land and suppress wages is just so out there, man.

  66. Remind me to pick up some Hanes on the way home.

  67. “The owner makes tons, the worker makes pennies (though a few more pennies than he may have made elsewhere) largely because the workers alternatives (often due to the state he lives under btw) are terrible. We call that taking advantage of folks. Whatever else it is, it’s not something to celebrate…”

    Data. Specificity. Otherwise people point and laugh here in the adult world. That sort of self-righteous sermonizing only works well when the audience is the (poorly educated) choir.

  68. When I was sixteen I got “protected” from factory work that paid a living wage. I got beat out kitchen work by illegal immigrants. F*** a bunch of college pricks. The alternative in the third world is often selling your anus to chickenhawks to eat. Oh, I forgot, that happens in the US also.

  69. We have been monitoring Nike factories in Vietnam for 10 years now and none of them pay 3 times the minimum wage. They all paid the minimum wage which is quite low, $45 per month and some Nike factories paid a lower wage of $30 per month. Such low minimum wages were set before Vietnam experienced 25% inflation in the last two years. Workers in Vietnam have staged over 750 strikes in the last 6 months asking for higher wages.

    Mr. Moynihan should do some research before making uninformed statement such as, the dreaded “sweatshop” position has long been a prized job in Saigon. These jobs are not prized. They are just a notch above prostitution and slavery.

    Rgds, Thuyen Nguyen
    for Vietnam Labor Watch

  70. Quoth J sub D: “You would think that the university would teach the younguns some history.”

    Ha! That’s the funniest thing I’ve read all week. Well done, Sir!

    As for Kevin Carson, Blake’s ‘dark satanic mills’ were the universities, as any fule kno.

  71. Mr. Nguyen,

    With all due sympathy to the plight of third-world labor:

    They all paid the minimum wage which is quite low, $45 per month and some Nike factories paid a lower wage of $30 per month.

    OK, your statement seems to contradict itself. “They all paid the minimum wage,” is followed by “some…paid a lower wage.” Please clarify.

    If they are not paying the local minimum wage, why is the government not enforcing its own minimum-wage laws? If Nike is indeed in violation, then they bear some responsibility for the situation, but that doesn’t excuse the government’s inaction.

    These jobs are not prized. They are just a notch above prostitution and slavery.

    It would seem that if the jobs were so unpopular, that Nike would have trouble filling them. Sorry that the economy of Vietnam isn’t all you’d like it to be, but that’s not Nike’s fault.

    Slavery is not a “job.” Is slavery actually a reality in Vietnam? I suspect not. Overly-emotional, false statement such as this do nothing to inspire confidence in you or VLW.

  72. While many market economy reforms were implemented in the 80s, Vietnam is still a “Socialist Republic”.

    In other words, I imagine there is a definite relationship between the state and the corporations to keep the mobility of workers in check. I’m just guessing here, but you don’t need to be a PHD economist to see how a totalitarian state might have a vested interest in keeping their country viable to corporate interests.

  73. In other words, Krugman (who has always begrudgingly admitted that the free market is best for increasing wealth) seems to be presupposing that the workers in these sweatshop countries are being allowed to benefit from the growing economy by the state. I could see how that might not be the case.

  74. These jobs are not prized. They are just a notch above prostitution and slavery.

    These two statements are a bit contradictory. There might not be actual slavery in Vietnam but there certainly is prostitution. If these jobs are actually a notch above prostitution, and there are still prostitutes, it follows that these jobs are in fact prized by prostitutes.

    Frankly, I think y’all would have been a lot better off if the US had won the war over there. We didn’t though, so I’m not sure why you’re complaining about current conditions to us, or to our large-breasted proxies/doxies (who we prize, by the way). Leave JLH alone!

  75. Mr Nice guy: I think our foriegn aid budget (counting military aid) is around 15 billion a year while our defense budget is around 350 billion…Like I said most aid supporters would like to see the first figure go up and the second down (if the boost in the first came from the second that would be nice)

    Interesting. Let’s take a look at a reasonably close neighbor of Vietnam (from the US perspective), Japan. If I recall correctly Japan’s GDP more than doubled over the course of the Korean war. A lot of the credit for the post-war “miracle” should be given to our bomb-foreigners initiative.

    Now, I’d agree that the Korean war was a strangely targeted (no pun intended) aid package, but it was much more effective than most of our more precisely targeted aid packages.

    I’d gladly pay some thousands of dollars into a fund that actually ended global immiseration, or even significantly ameliorated it. Not only would that be the correct moral choice (about which I give not a fig), but by the end of my life the increased economic activity in currently non-productive nations would likely pay me back, indirectly, ten-fold.

    The problem is that aid does not usually help much. And I don’t want to give even a thin dime to the despots that enforce the immiseration of their nations.

    The one-hundred million figure comes from a Nation article published in the late eighties or early nineties. I should note that I am far too young to have ever read that article, but I buy its premise. That is all the money that would be needed to kick-start the economic development of the third world if the correct cionditions were in place.

    Those conditions are not in place, so all the money we send goes down a shithole at the moment. I refuse to feel bad about not wanting to throw even more money down a shithole, and I think the people who profit from shoveling said money into said shithole ought to feel bad about it because they are really standing in the way of improving things, and they are profiting from it, handsomely.

  76. That “Garfield” movie she was in sucked. I have never seen a more obviously-bored actress in a role.

  77. Liberal college students….half the time they don’t know what they are protesting much less have any insight to it. Once they have to experience “life”, they may acquire some common sense.

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