You can’t discuss child labor without also discussing globalization, marketing and collective action. I really do try to keep this blog on marketing, public relations and social software. But sometimes those topics are a bit bigger. You can’t discuss public relations without knowing that Ferdinand Marcos was created by a PR Practitioner. You can’t discuss Bernays or Ivy Lee without also discussing pre-war Germany and McCarthyism.
I think (and this is me exaggerating a bit) that most Americans view child labor as kids being made to work in mills and sweatshops instead of staying home and playing Playstation and getting an education. Like their lives at home would be so much better if only someone blew up Starbucks.
In reality, it seems that many would stay home and watch their siblings die from lack of medicine and food, see their parent(s) struggle to find work that is not there for them and would have no school to attend because there simply is none to go to.
I was thinking, when reading this newsbit, that a problem I have with obie-noxious outspoken protesting go-against-the-grainers is that they have many, many complaints against… well, sometimes everything… but no solutions.
What is known is making donations of goods through NGOs is not the solution. Pure free-trade-zones also cause problems because they do not contributed tax back to the local society and create an uneven playing field, thereby encouraging the creation of more free-trade-zones in other countries which also don’t contribute to the local society. Capitalism with limits (reasonable taxes to solve collective action problems for example) actually does improve the lives of the many. The question is where are those limits?
May I suggest four books that relate:
- NOLOGO, Naomi Klein (despite being sensational at times, a tremendous concise history of marketing is included as a bonus)
- The World is Flat, Thomas L. Friedman
- George Soros on Globalization (bad writing style, but he makes some good points about the anti-globalization process being co-opted and solving the right problems with the right groups)
- Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups, Mancur Olson
As for me, I have studied the topics of PR, collective action, social software and politics to the point that I no longer believe I have any answers. But I definitely DO believe in the wisdom of crowds and therefore distributed authoring. So back to programming the systems to help others solve the problem collectively….