Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Bad Shoe Company!

I recently got into an argument - I'd like to call it a discussion, but, well, it was an argument - about a shoe company. Yes, a shoe company.

I won't say which one, but one of my co-workers maintained that this shoe company is exploiting the workers in the Asian country where it manufactures its shoes. How? By underpaying them.

Well, I've always figured that if someone is doing something bad, they oughta stop doing it, so I asked him if it would be better if the shoe company packed up and went home.

He hesitated, realizing, of course, that however little the shoe company was paying, it was better than paying nothing. No, he said, the company should be paying more.

So, I said, it seems you're saying the shoe company is being good, but, not good enough. Oh, and by the way, isn't the shoe company doing more for the people of this country than you are? After all, the company is paying the people something; you're not paying them anything.

I've read similar charges in some socially liberal Christian publications. But I've never understood them. Whatever evils a company may be committing in its labor practices - and I don't dispute that this may indeed happen - paying people for their work isn't one of them.

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