Economists and Sweatshops

Economists and Sweatshops

“When smart people,” Robert Lekachman once said, “say stupid things, the question arises, why is their perception of reality so blurred?” I recalled Lekachman’s query when reading a recent New York Times article in which Harvard economist Jeffrey Sachs claimed “there are too few sweatshops.” And just in case anyone thought he was kidding, Paul Krugman from MIT added that “the overwhelming mainstream view among economists is that the growth of this kind of employment is tremendous good news for the world’s poor.”

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Lima