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Author Topic: Sweatshops in a realistic light.  (Read 13687 times)
LastBattle
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June 17, 2011, 09:08:33 PM
 #41

We have already covered our bases, it is just that you seem to be wearing blinkers and aren't paying attention. Protip: a short answer to a long rant is not less legitimate as a response compared to another long rant. The only reason I am even bothering is because it seems like you skip over short replies like a rock over calm water.


I think what you're failing to get is that I'm blasting out quick responses for the lulz.  There's SO much wrong with what you're saying I'm like a kid in a candy store.  I don't even know where to begin, nor am I going to put in the effort to write you a book that you'll simply ignore.  So instead I'm just shooting holes in the illogic and laughable arguments that I find to be the most ridiculous and/or contradictory.


Your bottom line: the government is ALWAYS at fault, the government is the root of all evil...

But then you acknowledge that the government is controlled by the rich and powerful.


My bottom line: If the government is controlled by the rich and powerful, and the government does bad stuff... that doesn't mean the government is the root of all evil, it means THE RICH AND POWERFUL ARE GREEDY BASTARDS THAT WILL DO ANYTHING AND EXPLOIT ANYONE FOR MORE MONEY.  If they control the government and make it do bad stuff THEY ARE THE PROBLEM, the government is just the tool used to do the deeds. Corrupt government is only a SYMPTOM OF THE PROBLEM.  If you take away the government, THE RICH AND POWERFUL ARE STILL GREEDY BASTARDS THAT WILL DO ANYTHING AND EXPLOIT ANYONE FOR MORE MONEY.  THEY WILL FIND ANOTHER WAY.  Getting rid of government or castrating it isn't the answer, because government isn't the root of the problem.

"TIMECUBE IS A REAL AND SERIOUS THEORY AND YOU GUYS ARE ALL STUPID FOR NOT BELIEVING IN IT AND I LAUGH AT YOUR FAILURE FOR NOT UNDERSTANDING THE REALITY OF TIMECUBE BECAUSE YOU ARE CONTROLLED BY SATAN"

It isn't an easy picking, you are just shooting off garbage and ignoring responses.

Also, you might want to learn what a corporation is before you talk about economics, seeing as how that is a relatively basic thing and all.

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kylesaisgone
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June 17, 2011, 09:45:08 PM
 #42

Here are some relevant quotes:

Quote
The term 'free market' is really a euphemism. What the far right actually means by this term is 'lawless market.' In a lawless market, entrepreneurs can get away with privatizing the benefits of the market (profits), while socializing its costs (like pollution). Uncomfortable with the concept of a lawless market? The far right will try to reassure you with claims that the market can produce its own laws, either as a commodity bought and sold on the market, or through natural market mechanisms like the "invisible hand" or the Coase theorem. But it is interesting to note that even if the entrepreneurs don't take the more likely shortcut of creating their own state, this type of law removes the creation of law from democratic legislatures and gives it to authoritarian business owners and landlords. And since you get what you pay for, "purchased law" will primarily benefit its purchasers. Society might as well return to aristocracy directly.
Steve Kangas


Quote
The argument for laissez-faire capitalism is built on a contradictory view of liberty. Right-wing libertarians understand that state control of all economic activity is tyrannical: that the power to determine if and how people make a living is the power to enforce conformity. But they don't see that the huge transnational corporations that own and control most of the world's wealth exercise a parallel tyranny: not only do these behemoths unilaterally determine qualifications, wages, hours, and working conditions for millions of workers, who (if they're lucky) may "choose" from a highly restricted menu of jobs or "choose" to stop eating; they make production, investment and lending decisions that profoundly affect the economic, social, and political landscape of communities and indeed entire countries -- decisions in which the great majority of people affected have little or no voice. Murray defines economic freedom as "the right to engage in voluntary and informed exchanges of goods and services without restriction." Fine -- but if an economic transaction is to be truly voluntary and informed, all parties must have equal power to accept, reject, or influence its terms, as well as equal access to information. Can anyone claim that corporate employers and employees have equal power to negotiate their exchange? Or that consumers have full access to information about the products they buy? And if we're really interested in freedom, the right to voluntary and informed engagement in economic transactions has to be extended beyond their principals to others affected -- whether by plants that reduce air quality or rent increases that chase out shoe repair shops in favor of coffee bars. The inconsistency of the belief that economic domination by the state destroys freedom, while economic domination by capital somehow enhances it, is often rationalized by attributing the self-interested decisions of the corporate elite to objective, immutable principles like "the invisible hand" or "supply and demand" -- just as state tyranny has claimed to embody the laws of God or History. But the real animating principle of a free society is democracy -- which should include a democratic economy based on enterprises owned and controlled by their workers.
Ellen Willis




rofl.

I stopped reading at 'lawless'. This absurd idea that laws can only come from codified Government dictums is laughable. Only someone hardcore in their delusions would possibly think that laws can only be handed down by Governments. You obey implicit laws on a daily basis. You're probably polite in public, and you hold doors for people behind you. These are all laws in the Hayekian sense, and there's no reason why these same types of laws can't govern our economy. I realize it's futile arguing with someone who basically admitted they are trolling, but it needs to be said.

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June 17, 2011, 09:48:19 PM
 #43

I stopped reading at 'lawless'. This absurd idea that laws can only come from codified Government dictums is laughable. Only someone hardcore in their delusions would possibly think that laws can only be handed down by Governments. You obey implicit laws on a daily basis. You're probably polite in public, and you hold doors for people behind you. These are all laws in the Hayekian sense, and there's no reason why these same types of laws can't govern our economy. I realize it's futile arguing with someone who basically admitted they are trolling, but it needs to be said.

There's actually a very good reason.  You can't enforce and prosecute offenders of implict, unstated laws, because you have nothing solid to point to and make an objective judgment.

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kylesaisgone
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June 17, 2011, 09:56:15 PM
 #44

I stopped reading at 'lawless'. This absurd idea that laws can only come from codified Government dictums is laughable. Only someone hardcore in their delusions would possibly think that laws can only be handed down by Governments. You obey implicit laws on a daily basis. You're probably polite in public, and you hold doors for people behind you. These are all laws in the Hayekian sense, and there's no reason why these same types of laws can't govern our economy. I realize it's futile arguing with someone who basically admitted they are trolling, but it needs to be said.

There's actually a very good reason.  You can't enforce and prosecute offenders of implict, unstated laws, because you have nothing solid to point to and make an objective judgment.

What I was hinting at, was self-regulation. Being polite in public and holding doors for people is self-regulation that we all engage in. That's because there are incentives and disincentives in our culture. If we made it culturally advantageous to run a completely honest business, then more people would do it. Our current culture is apathetic and uneducated. A free market economy would only happen if consumers were more involved and more knowledgeable, but this idea that Government can effectively regulate is entirely bunk. Implicit cultural laws already regulate businesses in some aspects, and there's no reason why it can't completely take over. The reason why corporations get away with what they do now is because people don't care. If you want to fix corporations, you need to fix the culture, but I reject this idea that regulation is going to fix anything. We have more and more pages of new regulation passed every year, and things never change, and in fact, they get worse.

Wanna know why? The cost to comply with laws and regulations emboldens super corporations and creates barriers to entry for smaller businesses. Regulations actually make big corporations like Walmart even bigger, because the onslaught of new regulations make it impossible to compete with Walmart, because unlike Walmart, their competitors can't afford to staff an army of lawyers and accountants. Walmart can. Regulation doesn't work.

AyeYo
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June 17, 2011, 10:02:24 PM
 #45

I stopped reading at 'lawless'. This absurd idea that laws can only come from codified Government dictums is laughable. Only someone hardcore in their delusions would possibly think that laws can only be handed down by Governments. You obey implicit laws on a daily basis. You're probably polite in public, and you hold doors for people behind you. These are all laws in the Hayekian sense, and there's no reason why these same types of laws can't govern our economy. I realize it's futile arguing with someone who basically admitted they are trolling, but it needs to be said.

There's actually a very good reason.  You can't enforce and prosecute offenders of implict, unstated laws, because you have nothing solid to point to and make an objective judgment.

What I was hinting at, was self-regulation. Being polite in public and holding doors for people is self-regulation that we all engage in. That's because there are incentives and disincentives in our culture. If we made it culturally advantageous to run a completely honest business, then more people would do it. Our current culture is apathetic and uneducated. A free market economy would only happen if consumers were more involved and more knowledgeable, but this idea that Government can effectively regulate is entirely bunk. Implicit cultural laws already regulate businesses in some aspects, and there's no reason why it can't completely take over. The reason why corporations get away with what they do now is because people don't care. If you want to fix corporations, you need to fix the culture, but I reject this idea that regulation is going to fix anything. We have more and more pages of new regulation passed every year, and things never change, and in fact, they get worse.

Wanna know why? The cost to comply with laws and regulations emboldens super corporations and creates barriers to entry for smaller businesses. Regulations actually make big corporations like Walmart even bigger, because the onslaught of new regulations make it impossible to compete with Walmart, because unlike Walmart, their competitors can't afford to staff an army of lawyers and accountants. Walmart can. Regulation doesn't work.


So the greedy, wealthy people that rape and pillage the less fortunate of the world just to make a buck, will suddenly become benevolant and loving if we eliminate all the regulations on them and do away with government?  They'll stop being greedy and committing horrible atrocities and instead become passive, caring members of society.  Mountains of regulation and cannot control them and stop their harmful actions, but if we remove all regulation they will cease and desist immediately.

That makes perfect sense.  You've really enlightened me.

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kylesaisgone
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June 17, 2011, 10:07:01 PM
 #46

Show me how well Government regulation works in combatting everything you bemoan, and maybe I'll put in some more effort to prove my point. Admittedly, my position is idealistic, whereas your position has been shown to be entirely useless. There's nuance to my position (read Hayek), whereas yours just has a long history of failure.

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June 17, 2011, 10:11:35 PM
 #47

Show me how well Government regulation works in combatting everything you bemoan, and maybe I'll put in some more effort to prove my point. Admittedly, my position is idealistic, whereas your position has been shown to be entirely useless. There's nuance to my position (read Hayek), whereas yours just has a long history of failure.

How about you address the argument that was posed to you and explain to me how no regulation at all can magically control what lots of regulation can't?

You made the statement, the burden of proof is on YOU.

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kylesaisgone
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June 17, 2011, 10:16:20 PM
 #48

In order to understand my position, you have to let go of this irrational view of law and regulation as codified bureaucratic non-sense. Like I said, read Hayek, he has done a lot of work in this area. I can sit here and type up what's on my mind, but you'll just ignore it and reply with the typical strawman. You still haven't demonstrated that you're not a troll. Give me a good reason.

AyeYo
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June 17, 2011, 10:24:16 PM
 #49

In order to understand my position, you have to let go of this irrational view of law and regulation as codified bureaucratic non-sense. Like I said, read Hayek, he has done a lot of work in this area. I can sit here and type up what's on my mind, but you'll just ignore it and reply with the typical strawman. You still haven't demonstrated that you're not a troll. Give me a good reason.


I don't have to give you shit.  You made a claim, back up that claim.

My definition of law doesn't have a damn thing to do with it. 

Your job is to articulate an argument that will convince me that implicit, non-codified law with nothing but social shunning as punishment will control or eliminate behavior that even explicit, codified law backed by imprisonment and death has a tough time controlling.

Restated in words you might better understand...

You need to tell me why, if a bad person's bad actions are not deterred by written law promising physical punishment including financial loss, freedom loss, and even death, that same person will cease to engage in those actions if the only reprocussion they face is societal shame and outcast.

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LastBattle
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June 18, 2011, 01:44:19 AM
 #50

In order to understand my position, you have to let go of this irrational view of law and regulation as codified bureaucratic non-sense. Like I said, read Hayek, he has done a lot of work in this area. I can sit here and type up what's on my mind, but you'll just ignore it and reply with the typical strawman. You still haven't demonstrated that you're not a troll. Give me a good reason.


I don't have to give you shit.  You made a claim, back up that claim.

My definition of law doesn't have a damn thing to do with it. 

Your job is to articulate an argument that will convince me that implicit, non-codified law with nothing but social shunning as punishment will control or eliminate behavior that even explicit, codified law backed by imprisonment and death has a tough time controlling.

Restated in words you might better understand...

You need to tell me why, if a bad person's bad actions are not deterred by written law promising physical punishment including financial loss, freedom loss, and even death, that same person will cease to engage in those actions if the only reprocussion they face is societal shame and outcast.

Because they won't make a profit, they will gain a bad reputation, will have problems making money or even getting a job, they might have assassins and private defense organizations out to get them (depending on what they did), etc

Meanwhile, in your "codified law", a couple of bribes, a powerful buddy in charge, or a sufficiently large amount of money (ironically enough, considering your argument) and you can become practically untouchable regardless of what you do. Look at huge agribusinesses like Monsanto; they sell unsafe goods, they violate people's property and prevent property owners from defending themselves from it, and the FDA goes out of its way to help them along, meanwhile they bust Amish farmers for selling raw milk. Look at drugs with the FDA. They prevent smaller drug companies or competition from entering with prohibitively high testing costs, but inversely don't prevent huge companies from doing a hundred tests and submitting the only one that shows that the drug in question doesn't result in death. That isn't even covering the fact that the FDA is notoriously corrupt. On one occasion, a drug company submitted a drug which was rejected 3-7. A while later, the EXACT SAME DRUG was submitted by a different company and accepted 8-2. Yeah, I am seeing some real success right there.

See, in a free society, that shit wouldn't fly because there would be enough competitors to make it prohibitively hard to screw with people and get away with it. Okay, maybe you pay off a judge or a defense agency or something; doesn't prevent the one down the street from deciding to deal with you to get itself a positive reputation.

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June 18, 2011, 10:58:01 PM
 #51

Brazillian here.


Foxconn (notorious Chinese sweatshop) decided to open factory here.

Reaction from government: TAXES! YAY!!!

Reaction from people: WORK, LOTS OF WORK, BLOODY AMOUNTS OF WORK, I WILL BE RICH!!! YAY!!!

Reaction from rich: CHEAPER IPHONE! YAY!!!

Reaction from activists: You are evil, go away.



:/ I do not understand the activists.




Now about regulations: Brazil is known to have one of the best work regulations of the world, including overtime laws, fines for firing workers for no reason, obligatory social contributions, etc...

Yet 50% of the population work ilegally. This include me (although I do a legal manuever to make it sorta legal, that is create a company and sell my work as a product to my employer).

Reason: Working legally, the best wage I got offered was 1/4 of what I get now. Plainly because a legal worker is 4 times more expensive.


Also, we have high unemployment because of the regulations... Remember the fine I mentioned for firing workers? Well, here Unions are known to make you pay the fine unless you really prove the worker did a crime, if he was only incompetent, you end paying the fine. Thus, noone hire here, because noone want the risk of having to fire a dumb guy. By the way: My company included... with the income I have, I could certainly subconract people to make my work more efficient (I desperately need a secretary and a webdesigner), but I really do not want to risk getting tangled with unions (although there are no designer union, the generic "central workers union" might still join the lawsuit fray). So I prefer to profit less, than to risk getting sued (the last guy I know that got sued, had to pay the guy he fired more than his total assets... so he went bankrupt. The guy he fired, got murdered by a neighbor that wanted to steal the expensive stuff he bought with the fine money. :/ In the end the money ended nowhere and helped noone... also the guy that went bankrupt had to fire more 3 workers, thus the union managed to put 4 people, 3 workers + businessman out of work).

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June 19, 2011, 12:17:28 AM
 #52

That AyeYo is letting Atlas get away with claiming sweatshops as a good thing is sad.

Sweatshops are NOT good things.  They are not better than the traditional occupations of people in those countries, they are just better than the occupations people are forced into by corrupt government and corporate exploitation stealing their land and the means they use for traditional livelihoods.

Without the government preventing labor organization the labor would be much more expensive because they would demand a living wage, health and safety standards, and so forth. 

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June 19, 2011, 05:57:24 AM
 #53

That AyeYo is letting Atlas get away with claiming sweatshops as a good thing is sad.

Sweatshops are NOT good things.  They are not better than the traditional occupations of people in those countries, they are just better than the occupations people are forced into by corrupt government and corporate exploitation stealing their land and the means they use for traditional livelihoods.

Without the government preventing labor organization the labor would be much more expensive because they would demand a living wage, health and safety standards, and so forth. 

Except they would have nothing to bargain with (unlike skilled Western workers) because they didn't have the resources to bargain in the first place. To get such resources, they would need to work in the sweatshops and improve from there.

Look at the Western world in the industrial revolution. The first factory jobs were pretty terrible because of an excess of labour, but workers in those factories were far better off than those stuck with subsistence farming and eventually they came out of incredible poverty to form the middle class (and, to some degree, the upper class as well).

If they "demand" higher wages, higher safety standards, etc the factory owners would more likely than not pack up and leave. After all, the owners would more likely than not be American, and they already have some problems by outsourcing their labour. If it became more expensive, why would they pick the unskilled, uneducated foreign labourers and pay extra costs for outsourcing over regular American or Western workers? Living standards, wages, etc will rise slowly over time until a middle class is firmly established, whereupon outsourcing will cease to be profitable and homegrown industries will pop up to supply the new middle class. Countries like China aren't at that point yet; they don't have much of a middle class, only a massive lower class of factory workers and farmers and a relatively small upper class composed of the rich who live like wealthy Americans.

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June 19, 2011, 04:42:34 PM
 #54

That AyeYo is letting Atlas get away with claiming sweatshops as a good thing is sad.

Sweatshops are NOT good things.  They are not better than the traditional occupations of people in those countries, they are just better than the occupations people are forced into by corrupt government and corporate exploitation stealing their land and the means they use for traditional livelihoods.

Without the government preventing labor organization the labor would be much more expensive because they would demand a living wage, health and safety standards, and so forth. 

Except they would have nothing to bargain with (unlike skilled Western workers) because they didn't have the resources to bargain in the first place. To get such resources, they would need to work in the sweatshops and improve from there.

Look at the Western world in the industrial revolution. The first factory jobs were pretty terrible because of an excess of labour, but workers in those factories were far better off than those stuck with subsistence farming and eventually they came out of incredible poverty to form the middle class (and, to some degree, the upper class as well).

If they "demand" higher wages, higher safety standards, etc the factory owners would more likely than not pack up and leave. After all, the owners would more likely than not be American, and they already have some problems by outsourcing their labour. If it became more expensive, why would they pick the unskilled, uneducated foreign labourers and pay extra costs for outsourcing over regular American or Western workers? Living standards, wages, etc will rise slowly over time until a middle class is firmly established, whereupon outsourcing will cease to be profitable and homegrown industries will pop up to supply the new middle class. Countries like China aren't at that point yet; they don't have much of a middle class, only a massive lower class of factory workers and farmers and a relatively small upper class composed of the rich who live like wealthy Americans.

Substinence farming is safer and generally preferable to factory work (depending on the wages offered)  the problem is it requires land, which has been taken by the factory owners.

American workers did not organize as skilled laborers, they organized as unskilled ones.  The factory owners, in most cases, are not American, they are Chinese, or Vietnamese or what have you and they contract with American companies to sell the products produced.  Yes, if the workers demand better treatment that may lead those contracts to go elsewhere, in which case the workers may need to eliminate the largest expense, the cut being taken by the owner, at which point they can be competitive again.

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June 19, 2011, 11:26:06 PM
 #55

While it is certainly better to work on a factory than being forced to prostitute or die of hunger, the problem is taht the sweatshops are not a product of free market. In the majority of those countries there is no respect for property rights, the governments have confiscated big parts of the land and distributed among a few people. This situation sends the majority of the people into poverty and forces them to sell their labor cheaper than they would in a free market. By removing all their options they take their bargaining power for better wages.

It is true that girls working at sweatchops statistically get schooled more and get independent quicker than the ones that reamin in the country side, but again, this does not mean that they could not be in a better position if the governments would not have violated their individulal rights so they had better bargaining power, or maybe even save and start their own business.
so, this picture clearly reflect both Africa and US.
tactic differe, strategy/state was not.
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June 20, 2011, 12:49:57 AM
 #56

"Nobody in this country (Kenya) thinks about companies exploiting them. When there is a new company opening -- a factory -- people are excited about it. I wish we had more "sweatshops" in my country."

Just like people are excited when millions of dollars in cash falls off a truck blowing in the wind and the truck keeps going, but they should instead coin their own money and get billions of people to use it, or many currencies would work too.

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June 20, 2011, 06:06:59 AM
 #57

Sweatshops are second-best patches. The best solution would have been to let the people keep the land and sell only when really needed.

But the problem is - the best solution is not possible within the present set of circumstances. The people on this board do not have sovereign territory under their control where they can invite people to homestead land and live their lives in peace, provided they don't interrupt the rights of others to do the same.

So, is the best thing to do under these circumstances, protest against sweatshops? That really depends.

Any institutional arrangement is open to getting scammed, Fair-trade and all.
(Fair trade stamps are given to products where workers are paid an artificially high wage)
There can be some broker in some corner of the world stamping the certificates of fair trade. Nobody sees the lines of people waiting to get in the fair trade shop, where due to productivity circumstances, there are only a limited number of positions. Who got in? Maybe the relatives of the guy at the gate, maybe random chance.

Almost any resource allocation mechanism other than price feels to me like it doesn't have the long term ability to improve the lives of people.

By reducing the amounts that you buy from sweatshops, you're merely pushing the allocation questions into another format, somewhere else. This may assauge your conscience, but doesn't help many people.

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June 23, 2011, 12:21:30 PM
 #58

The violation is that someone took their land or other property by force, not that someone built a factory and offers them a job.

Survival pay is extortion. Beggars can't be choosers. A man with an empty stomach is not a bargaining man. Arguments about choice regarding a starving man are dishonest arguments.

Proposal: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=11541.msg162881#msg162881
Inception: https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/issues/296
Goal: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=12536.0
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June 23, 2011, 12:26:18 PM
 #59

The violation is that someone took their land or other property by force, not that someone built a factory and offers them a job.

Survival pay is extortion. Beggars can't be choosers. A man with an empty stomach is not a bargaining man. Arguments about choice regarding a starving man are dishonest arguments.

THANK YOU.

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June 23, 2011, 03:47:58 PM
 #60

The violation is that someone took their land or other property by force, not that someone built a factory and offers them a job.

Survival pay is extortion. Beggars can't be choosers. A man with an empty stomach is not a bargaining man. Arguments about choice regarding a starving man are dishonest arguments.

If you truly want to hold that view in your head, then you must also be saying that the hungrier a person is, the more immoral it is to offer him a job.  So the hungry man is unable to get a job, lest his employer be called an exploiter by you, and therefore he becomes either a parasite or dead.

You're no saint.
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