i.e. 5-10 cents an hour? I don’t think so. Let’s get real about what third world wages really are, and what people ‘earned’ in a more egalitarian, but poorer, world.
One’s productivity is an upper-bound. Laws of supply and demand and government regulation for a lower bound. if the lower-bound exceeds the upper bound, the job ceases to exist.
Of course - it’s a prerequisite, not a guarantee. But then there have never been any guarantees.
[quote=“Shuck, post:20, topic:77079”]
The semi-skilled textile workers of pre-industrial Europe made a relatively decent wage (at least compared to the machine operators that replaced them)[/quote]
This attitude bothers me. It’s like claiming that subsistence farming is a fine existence compared to sweatshops when every time people have an opportunity for choice, we see mass migration towards those sweatshops. The chief advantage of an agrarian existence for liberals like me is that the tremendous unhappiness, suffering, and slow starvation is hidden from my view, while I actually have reports of how bad the slums are. How do I know agrarian existence is bad? Because people leave en-masse whenever their given the opportunity no matter how wretched their destination.
When you have defined standard human behaviour to be deviant or evil, you provide all the ammunition required to essentially dehumanize any group. You simply observe their behaviour and classify it as evil, and poof, instant justification for whatever you want to do to that group. Two, you prevent honest examination of your own group. If your group cannot possibly adhere to the standards you require (not hope for, require), then obviously we have to twist the facts around to somehow make it that our behaviour is okay, while the same behaviour from other groups is somehow different.
I cannot think of any honest definition of sociopath that applies to the North American 1% that doesn’t also apply to the global 1% (i.e. us reading this). That’s not to say that there aren’t sociopaths among every group, but that in the end we’re all humans, behaving like humans do in different settings and cultures.
Our job is to change those settings and cultures, not hate humans for being human.
Yes! Not people expecting other people to be decent enough so that the world is a better place, but people willing to do the work themselves.
If my limited personal experience with those sort of people is any guide, most of them had a clear-eyed view of what humanity is like. And then went and did what they thought needed to be done. The lead by example is a powerful one, and if I am any more generous than I was in my youth, it’s because of exposure to people doing right, rather than listening to people yell how all our problems are somebody else’s fault.
Also, I have to say that if you ignore the fact that trade has lifted a billion people (mostly Asian) out of wretched agrarian poverty, you’re missing perhaps the biggest positive aspect of industrialization in the last 100 years. Just because agrarian poverty isn’t on our radar doesn’t mean it isn’t terrible. If people’s actions are any guide, the day-to-day life of a billion people doing subsistence farming is literally worse than sweatshops.