After hearing Daisey’s story, I noticed how much the current growth in China resembles the rapid growth the United States experienced during the Industrial Revolution. Much like China, workers had few rights and were easily replaced. A 40 hour work week was unknown and things like “benefits” were not commonplace. As China moves towards being the new industrial giant of the world, is it moving in the same path that the United States took to achieve the economic expansion we enjoy today? If so, is it necessary to sacrifice workers’ well being to gain an edge on the competition?
If China were to enact and enforce labor regulations, would companies move to countries where such regulations did not infringe on their business activities? If one country won’t allow it, it seems that there always will be other countries that do and will thus be more attractive to businesses. Without these businesses, China would be most likely rural, poverty-ridden, and unable to generate the income necessary to provide services to its citizens. While not the case today, the eventual incomes a country stands to gain from big business can used for the betterment of society (as it is in the United States). Even though China may be undergoing rapid growth at the expense of its citizens now, the rewards to people in the future could be worth the pain of expansion. If China were to become an unfavorable business environment too early on in its growth, it risks losing all potential gains from industrialization. Improvements should be made to the quality of life for workers, but to what extent is necessary will be a tough target to determine.