Released: Filed Under: NCFCA Lincoln-Douglas
About "Sweatshops Are Good"
Multiple NCFCA aff cases use sweatshops as an argument against free trade. However, while sweatshops are far from ideal, they do an enormous amount of good for workers and their countries. Demonizing them (and free trade) is a mistake.
In NCFCA Lincoln-Douglas Release #18: “Human Dignity” (AFF) (10/15/2018) by Naomi Mathew, the following argument is raised:
Free trade encourages the production of goods at the lowest price possible. This benefits us, the consumers, but it forces companies to cut corners on worker’s rights. Let’s examine Bangladesh, home to many sweatshops that produce cheap clothing for the world. This cheap clothing comes at a high price. For example, a poorly designed sweatshop led to a fire that killed over a hundred workers in 2012. The next year an eight-story building collapse killed over a thousand people after workers were told to continue working despite the cracks in the building walls and an evacuation the day before.
Even on normal days, the conditions in sweatshops are brutal. Hasan Ashraf, a Bangladeshi anthropologist, studied one factory for six months. He found that the dust, smoke, noise, lack of ventilation, and dangerous chemicals in the sweatshops meant workers risk their health daily, all for 65 dollars a month.
Naomi argues that sweatshops are a threat to human dignity. This opposition brief proves that claim wrong. Cards 1-4 show how sweatshops are the best option for people in developing nations. 5-11 argue that sweatshops promote economic development. Finally, cards 12-15 demonstrate the harmful effects of limiting sweatshops to promote fair trade.
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