Book Title: Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy
Author: John Bowe
Critically Analyze BoweÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s argument. Who has the strongest argument: those arguing for ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œfree tradeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â or critics such as Bowe? Briefly state and critique arguments on both sides; state which side you agree with more, and why??
In the conclusion to this book, John Bowe argues that the vast inequalities of wealth and power in the globalized world make the common arguments for ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œfree tradeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â and ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œFree tradeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â highly suspect. In fact, he seeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s labor coercion as well as environmental degradation as the likely result if global regulations are not placed over the global marketplace.
Read this chapter and its arguments carefully. The following quotes it sum up the central claims he makes:
This is not the time or place to mount rousing, solid argument against free trade as itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s currently practiced and defined. My own feeling is that itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a neat idea, as are communism, free love, and Santa Claus. But if free trade capitalism was ever a meaningful concept within the united states alone, it does not work as a concept in the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œglobalizedÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â world, with so many powerful, well-defended players pitted against so many utterly destitute ones with hardly any rights at all.(pg 271)
Americans have already experimented with myriad ways to improve the lot of the working and lower classes: minimum wage, the right to form unions, workplace safety standards and guaranteed compensation for workers injured on the job forty hour workweeks, minimum guaranteed vacation time, a free universal education. While weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re at it, we could include standards for sanitation and utilize systems, purity of water, air, medicines, and foods; transportation, parks, Social Security, and so on. As resented as they are, these are the laws that made the habits, and these are the habits produced by the laws, that brought the West out in the medieval world and into the modern age.
Why, one wonders. It is so hard to imagine that some combination of these approaches couldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t and shouldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t be encouraged in the third world? (275) (He then goes on to argue for mandatory labor and environmental standards.)