Article by Ben Doolin on July 22, 2016
Most people that I’ve seen discuss this subject, think it’s one of the worst things that can exist… a business making a profit off of the labor of children that are worked hard, in difficult conditions.
Like much in economics though, it is the unseen that matters.
If we consider a sweat shop where the labor is really voluntarily (not slave labor) what that means is that of all the things that the child could do, this was his best option.
What isn’t seen, is what would happen if that job was not available.
We got to see just that, in a follow up study that looked into what happened to children when they lost their jobs. I’m sure the study was intended to show the improvement in the children’s lives when they no longer had to work.
The reality though was that almost all were worse off, many by a lot… including a large percentage that turned to prostitution to stay alive.
Not exactly the ‘running an playing’ that the ‘do gooders’ had expected.
So, what does improve the lives of children in impoverished nations?
A single word, Capitalism.
The State can come in and ‘set regulations’ (i.e. NOT Capitalism) in an effort to improve conditions, but if the business is not profitable enough to afford to implement new regulation, it will simply close.
It is only when business is successful that it becomes possible to afford better conditions for workers.
It’s when the free market is so successful that the labor market becomes short that businesses need to compete to attract and keep good workers by improving pay, benefits and working conditions.
So, the next time a politician attempts to pile on regulation or a protestor suggests boycotting a company that supports poor people in difficult circumstances… you can tell them “NO… I do not support child prostitution”.