The High Price of Cheap Clothing
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The deadly collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh has increased political unrest in that country, and brand-name western clothing makers are accused of shirking responsibility. What about consumers who demand low prices? Could Bangladesh go the way of other Asian countries that enforce laws on wages and working conditions? Also, one hundred days into his second term, President Obama talks Syria, sequester and stalemate. On Reporter's Notebook, in a new book, Jim Wallis of Sojourners wants to start a national conversation about the "common good."
Banner image: Members of Border Guards of Bangladesh inspect the collapsed Rana Plaza building as they attempt to rescue garment workers from the rubble during their second part of the rescue operation, in Savar, outside Dhaka April 29, 2013. Photo by Khurshed Rinku/Reuters
After First 100 Days Obama Talks Syria, Sequester and Stalemate ()
On the hundredth day of his second term, President Obama held a news conference today ranging from criticism of Congress to praising NBA player Jason Collins for coming out of the closet. He said, once again, that the use of chemical weapons by Syria would be a "game changer," but said it's still too early to take any action. Rachel Smolkin is deputy managing editor of Politico.
The High Price of Cheap Clothing ()
Almost a week after the collapse of a clothing factory in Bangladesh, the search for bodies goes on. Almost 400 are known to have been killed, and hundreds suffered crushed rib cages and amputations. A recent fire killed 112 factory workers. But Bangladesh won't enforce its own laws on working conditions in 5000 factories so it can be the cheapest clothing maker in Asia. Walmart, H&M, JC Penny and other western companies have refused to fund an independent inspection program. Would it make a difference? Should the US and other western governments apply pressure under international trading agreements? In the meantime, what's a consumer to do?
- Tim Ryan: Solidarity Center
- Avedis Seferian: Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production
- Richard Locke: MIT Sloan School of Management
- Chris Morran: Consumerist.com, @consumerist
Jim Wallis on Religion, Politics and the Common Good ()
Jim Wallis is an evangelical Christian preacher, public intellectual and editor of Sojourners magazine. He says his latest book is designed to promote what he calls "an ancient but timely idea and practice — the common good." Abraham Lincoln famously said, "My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side." On God's Side is Wallis' latest book. The subtitle is, "What religion forgets and politics hasn't learned about serving the common good."
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