Capitalism & Free Trade

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

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By: Cara Mezzetti E-mail: A global assembly line is a capitalist?s dream come true. It allows companies to do business in free trade zones to manufacture goods throughout the world at the lowest possible cost to the company. This assembly line enables companies like Nike, with corporate headquarters in the U.S. w to shut down their factories here, and move over seas where there are less restrictions and cheaper labor. Where as the production cost are drastically less in these free trade zones, so are the human rights laws, especially those pertaining to women, the majority of the work force. By moving its production sites to places like Asia, Nike is able to pay workers sub-minimum wage, on top of allowing the corporation to dodge responsibility for the treatment of its work force. Nike strategists have certainly managed to devise a plan to escape the responsibility and liability of insuring that it assembly line sites are safe, healthy and fair labor places of work, by subcontracting to foreign owned and governed factories.

South Korea, the " sneaker capital of the world" is one of these places. According to the article "The Globe Trotting Sneaker" the workers in these assembly factories are predominantly women. The article also highlights the fact that South Korea has a military government that possesses a strong determination to suppress labor organizations. Nike is not blind to this information. These facts only work more for the sneaker typhoon. It allows them to profit legally from under paid, over controlled and unorganized women laborers. A Confucian following culture. In which Korean women except the philosophy that her morality is measured by the amount of hard work she is willing to endure for her families well being and to acquiesce to her father and husbands dictates...