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The Brave Nation That Walmart Made: 'Caring More About Cheap Asian Seafood Than Grim Asian Slavery'
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In this space yesterday, I suggested that most Americans make common cause in wanting to stamp out all forms of human trafficking. Not a controversial statement, I thought. But Mr. XYZ, a regular reader who, like me, shares an understanding of the extent to which America has reneged on traditional values in pursuit of globalism in recent years, is not so sure. In an email overnight he made some good points which I would like to share with readers:

I am very concerned about whether what you said about most Americans being opposed to slavery is true. I hope it is. But Americans have been conditioned by decades of propaganda that all that matters is what the ‘consumer’ thinks. Ironically, this propaganda is used to push the interests of a lot of big firms with market power. The reports of slavery in the Asian fishing industry (which now supplies something like 80 percent of U.S. seafood), in the Chinese electronics industry, and in the Asian apparel industry, have been in the U.S. press.

It seems to me that few people even care. If a U.S. retailer goes to the minimum lengths to make it look like they didn’t really know about it, then everyone seems to shrug their shoulders. I don’t mean to sound too hard on my countrymen. I know that some of these trade policy decisions are likely made at a high level with no thought whatsoever to U.S. opinion. But at the same time, my impression of the 1960s and 1970s was that Americans of all political persuasions were concerned about these issues…. whether it was Republicans putting tariffs into the 1972 Republican platform (to help U.S. labor with low-cost competitors) or Democrats rallying around the concerns of the United Farm Workers. I do not see such concern now, at least among the professional classes. They have completely ‘drunk the Kool-Aid’ that economists have offered them.

(Reprinted from Forbes by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Walmart 
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