The Great Panda Debate

Recent posts from our readers forum.
Dec. 9 1999 3:30 AM

The Great Panda Debate

(Continued from Page 2)
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Date: Mon Dec 6

One wonders where the moral problem is here. Does it lie with the developing countries who tolerate less than ideal environmental standards and child/forced/sweatshop labor, the multinational companies that take advantage of those conditions, or the consumers who happily buy the merchandise despite its questionable origin?

My college son developed a problem for an ethics class that revolved around a wrenchingly poor "fictional" country that proposed to enable slavery in return for economic development. The country would allow corporations to buy citizens for labor as long as they provided decent housing, food and medical treatment. In return, the country would enforce the property rights with the nation's police power. Since famine was endemic in this country, it is probable that the slaves would have a higher standard of living than would be available to them in the "free" sector. The corporation would have the advantage of a stable workforce that could be trained and experienced with no threat of the employee jumping to the competitor.

Would your company take such a deal? Would you buy products produced under such a system?

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Subject: AmeriCorps--Let Charities Call the Shots

Date: Mon Dec 6

Both Doug Bandow and Harris Wofford are friends. And I both serve on the Board of the Corporation on National Service and have been a critic of government involvement with non-profits for longer than I care to remember. So, what side should I take in this interesting dialogue?

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