The Dec. 13 letter “Value job sustainers” was strong on good intentions but short on facts. The writer said he employs U.S. citizens rather than hiring abroad, even though it is more expensive, because he wants to provide jobs for other Americans.
All things being equal, however, relying on American labor also means his products will be more expensive, making it harder for U.S. citizens (and especially the poor) to afford them.
Besides offering lower prices to American consumers, hiring abroad also relieves poverty for residents of other countries, who are often in far more dire straits. When U.S. companies move production to countries like China, Bangladesh and Kenya, they pay wages that seem low by our standards, but are high by local standards. This provides millions of people a chance to improve their standard of living, save money and rise into the middle class.
Buying a shirt that says “made in Bangladesh” is one of the most effective things we can do to relieve global poverty. The writer has the right to run his business however he wants. But as both a citizen of the United States and a member of the human race, he should consider moving production abroad.
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