Sweatshop Fire in Bangladesh: Tragedy Repeats Itself

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About Noah Brand

Noah Brand is an Editor-at-Large at Good Men Project, and possibly also a cartoon character from the 1930s. His life, when it is written, will read better than it lived. He is usually found in Portland, Oregon, directly underneath a very nice hat.


  1. Richard Aubrey says:

    It’s not WalMart’s fault. It’s the fault of consumers who don’t want to pay more than they can afford for necessities.
    You need to be shaming the poor in the US. If they could or would pay more, WalMart would have a different business model.

    • You need to be shaming the poor in the US. If they could or would pay more, WalMart would have a different business model.

      So, Richard Aubrey, we should be “shaming” the poor for not doing what, by your own admission, you concede they may be unable to do.

      Hmmm … let’s, see according to Forbes, here is the net wealth of some relevant individuals:

      Rob Walton $26.1 billion
      Alice Walton $26.3 billion
      Jim Walton $26.8 billion
      Christy Walton “& family” $27.9 billion

      So EACH of these WalMart owners/heirs have more wealth than the bottom 12.3% of Americans (representing about 35 million people) COMBINED. (Source: A report from 2003 from the Federal Reserve Board, “A Rolling Tide: Changes In The Distribution Of Wealth In The U.S., 1989-2001″)

      But it’s the poor who are at fault here. Sure.

      Noah: Good post.

      • So what shall we do with all those wealthy people? Do I hear The Internationale playing in the background BALLGAME?

        Pitchforks on sale in aisle 7. OMG! We are so doomed a people.

        • So what shall we do with all those wealthy people?

          Well, Rob, for step one we should do what more than half the Republican survey respondents were in favor of a year ago (and what the overwhelming majority of Americans are in favor of now): TAX. THEM.

          Let’s pass the Eisenhower Tax Restoration Act … under his administration, the wealthiest earners paid 90% taxes on their incomes, 50% on corporate profits, and 25% on capital gains. (Are you going to accuse the Republican Eisenhower of humming the Internationale too?) Today, income and corporate taxes are in the 35% range, while capital gains are at the 15% range.

          The additional revenue would allow us to easily expand Medicare into a universal health care program and finally allow the U.S. to enter the 20th century with universal coverage … which would be a MAJOR improvement in the lives of the marginalized people who work and shop at places like WalMart.

          Step two would be to have a sane approach to tariffs that does not throw open the doors to countries that have abusive or hyper-exploitative labor policies.

          • Actually, in busniess models and theory, the “all else remaining equal” is in place. ANY retailer cam do what Wally does now. WallWorld just brought a big-ass bastart to the competition and is winning. Their employees are so inept however, Walmart is losing my business more and more. Factors factors factors! they all got ‘em. We all face them. Walmart WILL see decline when they get fat.

            As for taxing the Waltons…you ever see the inheritance ALL wealthy heirs pay. They may have high net worth, but that was taxed to death. If you want to just take away net-worth, then you’ll see them leave the USA.

            But I think you are talking about taxing their income. I think I should pay the same bloody percentage they do. I look at it that way.

            You ever have a poor person give you a job? Me neither. You ever get start-up capital from a poor guy that has no vissions of change? Me neither. You ever ask a poor guy for $200K for a non-profit Child Services effort? You would not even think of approaching the poor dude.

            47% of this nation needs to get their head out of the dark rectum of hate, resentment, jealousy and proletariat mentality, else they will have no hope of leaving the 47% reality of strife.

    • OMG! They don’t even get sarcasm. The movie Idiocracy remains true.

  2. “So that’s what a hundred years has gotten us. We’re back to burning people in sweatshops, but now it’s brown people far away, and it’s a subcontractor of a subcontractor of a subcontractor, so the people in power can cluck their tongues and wonder how it’s possible that this kind of thing keeps happening.”

    OMG!!!! We? Us? When did WE annex Bangladesh? The last time I checked,WE had not. The last time i looked, Bangladesh was and is a sovereign state.
    Liberals hate our idealistic impositions on other nations, except for on some things? This fire was not MY fault, YOUR fault, Obama’s fault (sorry to say), or Perry Ellis’ fault. OSHA don’t dance there either!!!

    Bangladesh is a big girl now. She can draft and adopt safety codes if she values lives. OSHA regs are available online. Do you really think its the contractor’s fault?

    The last time I checked, Mrs Clinton was our head of State. She has had ample time to right wrongs we don’t own.

    If you don’t like the “Hecho en Bangladesh” or India or Zimbabwe, move on to Ralph Lauren. He has much nicer colours for the New World Order anyway. But stop slapping the blame sticker on the USA. Its getting boring as heck.

  3. Richard Aubrey says:

    Noah. Here’s a suggestion: Find a family which needs to shop at WalMart. Offer to pay them the difference between what WalMart charges for food, clothing, school necessities, pharma drugs, and so forth and the price at an upscale store if they’ll shop at the latter.
    You do a good deed and WalMart loses a customer.

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