Monday, 12 February 2007

High price for cheap clothes

The usual anti‑capitalist claptrap from those who secretly hate the poor

The really efficient laborer will be found not to crowd his day with work, but will saunter to his task surrounded by a wide halo of ease and leisure. Henry David Thoreau (1817‑1862), US philosopher, author, naturalist. Journals (1906), entry for 31 March 1842.[1]

'CHEAP CLOTHES in Asda, Primark and Tescos (Sic) come at a high price - low wages and exploitation - according to an academic who witnessed the trade first-hand'.

He who is only a traveler learns things at second-hand and by the halves, and is poor authority. We are most interested when science reports what those men already know practically or instinctively, for that alone is a true humanity, or account of human experience. H D Thoreau. Walden, “Higher Laws” (1854).[2]

Employees in the Third World earn less than they do in the First because of the difference in the standard‑of‑living between the two Worlds – even between those who perform broadly similar work roles in the different countries. This difference exists NOT because the First World exploits the Third, but because of the differences in economic productivity, commercial capacity and level‑of‑industrialisation and technical expertise. This author has never clearly mastered basic economics since he evidently went to a poor‑quality school: Karl Marx Junior School. (Or should that be Friedrich Engels' Infants?)

We are paid for our suspicions by finding what we suspected. H D Thoreau. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, “Wednesday” (1849).[3]

The author of this monumental pile of slobbering drool knows this perfectly well and tries to make a rhetorical trope - the literary linking of low wages with exploitation – the centrepiece of his empty argument. To draw attention AWAY from its essential hollowness and to evade the fact that low wages are irrefutably‑linked with fundamental economics, NOT with (Capitalist) exploitation. The inherent racism of Mr Holloway's argument is that those of dark‑skinned hue can never better themselves through hard work and industry and that, therefore, their pay must somehow consist of the unearned. This merely convinces Whites that Blacks aren't worth paying at all since this is nothing more than an attempt to make White Capitalists the effective slaves of Black Loafers. Moreover, First World Whites are supposed to bear this increased outlay for which there is no possible financial return. This fool doesn't realise that increasing fixed costs, in this way, merely means that any area of manufactory will simply decamp to another (cheaper) country; resulting in even more penury than the author complains of here. (The selfsame thing happened after the introduction of the National Minimum Wage in the UK – most industrial production moved abroad.) Our whole life is startlingly moral. There is never an instant’s truce between virtue and vice. H D Thoreau. Walden, “Higher Laws” (1854).[4]

The 'shocking truth' is that if you make goods in countries with a sufficiently lower standard‑of‑living, they'll be cheaper than if made in a country with a higher standard‑of‑living. (Even often taking into account transportation & storage expenses.) It's objective reality that this author finds so shocking. It's the objective fact that either we exploit reality or it exploits us that Mr Holloway finds so terrifying. Does he want these allegedly‑exploited workers to become whores, mendicants and/or suicides when their current employers can't afford to pay the higher wages he'd like to mandate - resulting in redundancy? Or, does he want them to do better for themselves by gaining entry‑level employment to improve their chances of financial independence for themselves and their families? (A springboard for self‑development by gaining the necessary skills and experience to advance towards better‑paying work.) God, no – that would be too easy. He wishes them to be paid wages they have not earned right from the get‑go to satisfy his Western guilt - he's obviously spent too much time hanging‑around guilt‑ridden Whites. He also wants to play the race‑card by blaming white Capitalists for this. A terribly easy thing to do because Whites are always stupid enough to fall for appeals to their guilt feelings – emotions that they can't hope either to slough‑off nor assuage in any other way. The really 'shocking truth' is that Mr Holloway, and his ilk, want Third Worlders to be perpetually dependent on Mr Holloway's charity for their wellbeing. He is a neo‑slavemaster of epic proportions. A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority; it is not even a minority then; but it is irresistible when it clogs by its whole weight. H D Thoreau. On the Duty of Civil Disobedience (1849).[5]

Higher wages are only possible if the workers, themselves, increase the value of their work. And the only sure way of achieving this is either through innovation and/or through education and the consequent mastering of a saleable skill via a vocation and/or a profession. If a barber wishes to earn more money without working longer hours, he has to cut more hair and/or increase his prices. Nevertheless, there will be a limit to both unless he invents a more efficient means of cutting hair and especially if other barbers undercut him. His only option then becomes to increase his employability through education and/or innovation – else face a lifetime of declining living standards after having reached maximum capacity and productivity in his chosen occupation. This is a basic fact of economic life; explaining the technological achievements and greater comfort of life in the West – as compared to the East. Without this unavoidable fact, technological progress and educational attainment would become instantly pointless since they would have no purpose, view or objective in mind. What would be the end, after all, of understanding how a nuclear reactor works if you live in a mud hut? If, for example, the Pony‑&‑Trap industry had been subsidised rather than been allowed to die with competition from the internal‑combustion engine, cars would be more expensive than necessary and we'd be paying people to produce buggies that no‑one uses. This is the fallacy of trying to protect the inefficient and the irrelevant – it holds back the march of technical development. This is another aspect of the hidden agenda of those who which to keep the Third World Third (& also make the First World more closely resemble the Third). This journalistic moron knows all this perfectly well since he's reasonably well‑educated. However, he clearly resents his own educative process, as well as the inevitability of technological change – especially in the West. Nevertheless, would he not wish any children of his own to be as well‑educated as he, himself, is? If not, then what kind of father would he be? Does he really wish his own child's life chances to be destroyed by his ideological commitment to the failed philosophy of Marxist‑Leninism? Mr Holloway implies Third Worlders do not need to be well‑educated, just well‑paid – even though the value of their work does not justify such wage increments. An employer can only pay an employee a proportion of the money he can obtain from selling the worker's work. If he pays more, without the necessary increase in both productivity and profitability, he will quickly go out of business and the employee left with NO work at all. Mr Holloway would much rather see unemployed (& unemployable) welfare scroungers than those earning less than he subjectively sees fit. Mr Holloway would much rather the poor were subject to his political whims so they could be more easily controlled and, he believes, he could then more easily control his middle‑class guilt. He also vainly hopes that the very people he wishes to consign to the employment scrapheap will be grateful for his so‑called philanthropy – benevolence that never comes from his own pocket, of course. To want others to think well of you is proof you don't think well of yourself: A hopeless personal solace. He wants a world where others are slaves to his political vagaries and that worships him for his material largesse. His is a fascistic and communistic cult‑of‑personality: An extremely dangerous man. A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone. H D Thoreau. Walden, “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For” (1854).[6]

Mr Holloway wants employers to act as charities for those as financially incapable as he is intellectually moribund. Let him insist that his children avoid a decent education on the assumption that a Socialist Elysium will soon dawn; peasants grabbing pay, no matter what their skills, merely because of need. In such a "Paradise" few will have the incentive to succeed because their success will form the basis of their punishment‑through‑taxation, to feed the poor who would then develop no incentive to better their lot through self‑determination. Achievement would thus become punishable; failure, rewardable. A Communist paradise‑on‑earth that the likes of Lester Holloway worships – a wet dream for him; hell for the rest of us. Wherever a man goes, men will pursue him and paw him with their dirty institutions, and, if they can, constrain him to belong to their desperate odd-fellow society. H D Thoreau. Walden, “The Village” (1854).[7]

That the Bangladeshi clothing trade 'pays workers less than 5p a hour for 80-hour weeks' tells us absolutely nothing since standards-of‑living around the globe vary in relation to the relative strengths & weaknesses of the various economies. To claim otherwise is to declare that We, who are more successful than They, should be handicapped in some way – as in a horserace - because of our relative success. This, rather than suggesting that They should work harder to equal and surpass our success. But, that would be too hard for Blacks, wouldn't it; given their obvious genetic inferiority? Penalising attainment and guerdoning failure is all‑too‑typical of the upside‑down morality of the politically guilty, the physically lazy and the psychologically incapable. Such economic illiteracy sees profit and thinks plunder – rapine to feed their egomaniacal fantasies. It is pandering to the racist far‑left of British politics. Wages can only increase as a direct result of increased profits, not by reducing said profits. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. H D Thoreau. Walden, “Conclusion” (1854).[8]

Nowhere does it say what 5 pence an hour would buy within the relevant economy. We know from our experience in the UK that this would not keep Us fed, but that does not mean that it would keep food from Their table. If this rate‑of‑pay would fill a same‑sized food‑basket in the Third (Turd) World, as would the rate‑of‑pay for similarly‑skilled employment in the First, then the rates of pay are effectively the same. In which case, Mr Holloway should be screaming blue‑murder about sweated labour here. However, he does not. Instead, he fallaciously claims one can compare apples with oranges and that just the rate‑of‑pay alone, and of itself, tells one all one needs to know about exploitation. Dickhead! Goodness is the only investment that never fails. H D Thoreau. Walden, “Higher Laws” (1854).[9]

'War on Want's Fashion Victims campaign contrasted sky-high profits by Asda, Tescos (Sic) and Primark with poverty wages paid to Bangladesh workers producing clothes which sell at half the High Street price'. As usual with communistic fellow‑travellers, he packs more than one argument into a sentence in a desperate attempt to conceal the fascism for which he truly stands. (Sieg heil, mein Fuehrer!) The purpose of a sentence is to communicate a single, discrete part of an idea via a verb, an object and a subject; a paragraph, to communicate the whole, single idea via one or more sentences. (Now you know.) If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life. H D Thoreau. Walden, “Economy” (1854).[10]

Again, the fact that some corporations make profits of any kind is wholly irrelevant, especially as there are no known logical nor objective constraints to the size of profits. If companies made losses, unemployment would soon rise and Mr Holloway would then be complaining about that! There are no boundaries to how much money anyone can make and Communists never say what this might be since it can only ever be arbitrary because emotional. Any such constraint is no more than communistic jealousy when compared to their own feeble (in)abilities to make money. Communists look at a Capitalist's erection and begrudge its manly proportions. It is easier to sail many thousand miles through cold and storm and cannibals, in a government ship, with five hundred men and boys to assist one, than it is to explore the private sea, the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean of one’s being alone... It is not worth the while to go round the world to count the cats in Zanzibar. H D Thoreau. Walden, “Conclusion” (1854).[11]

As already stated, wages in the Third World are lower than elsewhere because their economies are poorer than ours – it has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with any kind of exploitation. This author merely tries to transform an emotional appeal into a (fallacious) argument. The expression 'poverty wages' is also a confidence trick since 'poverty' is objectively indefinable. Like the word "enough", no‑one has ever objectively defined it because its determination is different for different people because each one of us is satisfied with different things and different amounts of those things. Being is the great explainer. H D Thoreau. Journal entry, 26 February 1841.[12]

'Dr Huq... is keen to see production remain in Bangladesh but questioned the large profits being made and said more could be done to improve wages for workers'. Dr Huq is clearly an imbecile; but then, what ivory tower, pie‑in‑the‑sky academic isn't? What are 'large' profits? Surely, someone as scholarly as she can answer this simple question with celerity? How are 'wages for workers' to be improved without an increase in productivity? Wouldn't this lead to a decline in capitalist profits; making it less likely that this employment would 'remain in Bangladesh' – as she wishes? Why is Dr Huq 'keen' to see production remain in Bangladesh when politically (although not culturally) it has nothing to do with her? Her concern should focus on what happens in the UK not thousands of miles away – all politics is local, after all. If she's 'keen' to see production remain in Bangladesh (presumably because it provides employment for those she thinks she represents, even though she's not a Bangladeshi politician, then questioning 'large profits' is a direct contradiction of such "keenness". This is because the bigger the profits the more sustainable, long‑term employment will be generated. What Dr Huq wants is employment for members of her own racial group, but not too much in case those not of her race (ie, whites) make profits above a level she lacks the guts to specify. Why doesn't she go and live in the Third World if she really thinks so much of the poor? Wouldn't that help alleviate her guilt feelings about living in a rich country? Or, has she lived here so long under the so‑called Yoke‑of‑Capitalism to want to give‑up the advantages of such a yoke? If she finds a high standard‑of‑living to be a burden and the moral equivalent of living in a gilded cage, then why not emulate Thoreau and go back to nature. She could easily retreat to some Third World shit‑hole and then shut‑the‑fuck‑up about her bizarre race‑traitor guilt that she eats the three‑square‑meals‑a‑day that most Blacks in the world do not. I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes. H D Thoreau. Walden, “Economy” (1854).[13]

The fact that an academic 'witnessed the trade first-hand' doesn't alter the facts of economic reality that they would like to reverse because reality is not quite to their taste. (Karl Marx & Sigmund Freud tried this and just look at them now: Utterly discredited. We're not French, thank God!) I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well. H D Thoreau. Walden, “Economy” (1854).[14]

'Although many factories comply with Bangladesh's national minimum wage, this is not enough for many families to feed their children'. This is also true in the First World, so it's hard to see the point of the statement. Certain UK employees are entitled to claim welfare benefits even while working because the National Minimum Wage is below the average hourly‑rate of GB£12.00 (2006). The real answer to the problem as stated is not to increase the Minimum Wage but prohibiting twerps from marrying. Especially if they freely‑choose to bring children into the world, they know they cannot afford to feed without handouts from their betters. How could youths better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living? H D Thoreau. Walden, “Economy” (1854).[15]

(Dr Huq claims that some Bangladeshis receive 'around £22 per month', then claims: 'As I toured one factory (Sic) I saw workers attaching labels saying £14. They won't see that in a month'. This kind of oxymoron will discredit anyone, let alone someone of Frank TALKER's low intellectual accomplishments.) It is an interesting question how far men would retain their relative rank if they were divested of their clothes. H D Thoreau. Walden, “Economy” (1854).[16]

'The likes of Tesco and Primark should be paying more than that minimum wage'. Why? Where is the money to come from? Is Dr Huq willing to pay such an increase from her own pocket? How dare she insist others finance her own parasitic, Communard daydreaming? What self‑righteous arrogance! The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. H D Thoreau. Walden, “Economy” (1854).[17]

'Dr Huq... said the British public should be aware of how low-priced garments are produced'. Yet again, the word 'low' remains objectively indefinable and Dr Huq is pitifully naive. The 'British public' knows perfectly well how 'low‑priced garments are produced' since we used to have sweatshops in this country making them - within living memory. The 'British public' does not care how 'low‑priced garments are produced' so long as no whites (the vast majority of the 'British public') are doing this kind of work because Whites do not care about blacks – They never have. Isn't this ignoramus a student of history; does she just not read the news; or, does she just not correctly‑interpret her own experience of Whites? If I seem to boast more than is becoming, my excuse is that I brag for humanity rather than for myself. H D Thoreau. Walden, “Economy” (1854).[18]

'To the stores (Sic) the money they pay in wages is peanuts'. Again, the word 'peanuts' has no objective definition, so this sentence is entirely without meaning. 'They [the UK clothing‑stores] say they are meeting minimum standards, but those standards may be being kept low to stop being undercut by China'. Precisely! That's exactly how Capitalism works: It's inherent in the design of Capitalism; that's why Capitalism defeated Communism – it's an intrinsically‑better economic system. Without economic differentials, there could be no competition. Without competition there could be no incentive to become a Capitalist and, as a direct consequence, provide work for those who choose not to become self‑employed; generally, that is, non‑capitalists. Without Capitalism we would all be so much the poorer since only Capitalism has the potential to make human beings wealthy through their own efforts. In previous millennia, wealth has only been obtainable either by theft or by inheritance. Under Capitalism, inventing new processes, services and goods that people actually want to buy, can actually create wealth and increase the size of a given economy. This is not possible under any other economic system. Communism is simply a form of theft in which the plundered of the successful is deemed ethical because it's undertaken for the benefit of failures – undertaken by those who are also economic failures. It's as medieval a mindset as you can get; as religiose in every way in its acts‑of‑faith as the Roman Catholic Church it purports to despise, but merely mimics - politics for prostitutes. Economic differentials will always exist because there is no world government mandating a Universal Minimum Wage in all territories. If there were, the Minimum Wage would be different in each country, since it would be impossible for a poorer country to pay the same rate as a richer one; again confirming Frank TALKER's point about economic differentials earlier. (A Universal Minimum Wage is merely the sad fantasy of the average, run‑of‑the‑mill Bond villain whose egomania encompasses pathetic dreams of world domination.) Dr Huq claiming that Bangladeshi workers should be paid more will only make it more likely that production will transfer to a country like China, leaving her (true) constituents (the Bangladeshis – those whom she's never canvassed for votes) worse off. Does she care? Of course not! She enjoys a comfortable, middle‑class Western lifestyle. Like all politicians who fail on the domestic front, Dr Huq tries to obtain & maintain political power by focusing on foreign affairs. As usual, this is because of an inability to solve those very domestic problems in the first place – hence the desire to evade them - in the hope that global problems can substitute for indigenous ones. However, the UK electorate has little idea what goes on elsewhere (& wouldn't want to), so they can never know if their politicians are actually solving these problems; allowing politicians (& their electorates) to pretend their policies are efficacious. Politicians hope this will make others think that domestic policy must be just as efficacious. The electorate wants to be told these lies in order to feel good about itself, as a lonely woman tries her damnedest to believe her lover's lies because she knows that no honest man will have her. As for doing good, that is one of the professions which are full. Moreover, I have tried it fairly, and... am satisfied that it does not agree with my constitution. H D Thoreau. Walden, “Economy” (1854).[19]

Dr Huq absurdly believes that people buy 'clothes... because the [clothing] industry is needed'. But we can always make our own clothes. It's everyone's duty to buy in order to keep any enterprise afloat commercially no matter what the price or the quality or the style of goods! (All the Buy British campaigns failed because British goods were never as good nor as cheap as those of the Japanese.) This adversely affects the poor since they have less money to engage in such subsidising of industry. In such a forced market, no industry would have any incentive to lower costs and prices; raise wages; nor increase the quality and range of goods sold. Such a policy would make the clothing industry an effective monopoly over which we would not possess the power‑of‑veto usually reserved to customers by simply not shopping at the highest‑priced stores. Where would consumer power and sovereignty be then? We'd then live in a soviet state where we could only buy what producers decide to produce, without reference to the market. They could do this because they would know that consumers are duty-bound to buy their products, no matter their quality. This would be to exchange the cart for the horse and make us not consumers for the most efficient and effective producers but workers for the sole benefit of industry. In reality, it is the duty of industry (if it wishes to remain solvent) to cater to our needs not for us to cater to its. One of the fundamental self‑contradictions of Communism is its belief that Capitalists must serve the interests of the poor. They then - simultaneously - believe that the poor must serve the interests of businesses by keeping them afloat by constant purchasing – no matter what. Of all ebriosity, who does not prefer to be intoxicated by the air he breathes? H D Thoreau. Walden, “Higher Laws” (1854).[20]

'War on Want expect to hear from trade secretary (Sic) Alistair Darling within the next week over demands to tighten the law and turn government rhetoric about a "living wage" into reality'. What is a "living wage"? The fact that it's in double quotes shows that even the author of this piece doesn't know. It's simply not objectively definable. Ain't Blacks just the worst hypocrites you can imagine? They attack Whites for using meaningless phrases like "Bogus Asylum Seeker", yet are replete with equally meaningless slogans like "living wage". He is the best sailor who can steer within fewest points of the wind, and exact a motive power out of the greatest obstacles. H D Thoreau. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, “Friday” (1849).[21]

'Dr Huq's intervention is likely to be welcomed as evidence that rising stars within the [Labour P]arty back a rise in minimum standards in overseas factories'. Increasing costs to consumers – particularly the poor – in this way would mean a rise in inflation and demands for increased wages here; fuelling further inflation. This is likely to lead to more unemployment and greater consequent expenditure on welfare provision; requiring greater taxation to pay all the newly‑created welfare‑recipients. Even greater social‑division would result, as middle‑class taxpayers become more overt in their resentment of the lower‑class they keep alive – through state handouts - but from whom they gain little benefit in return. The poor would then have even greater difficulty providing for their own needs without recourse to welfare benefits predominantly paid‑for by those same middle‑class. Interest rates would also increase as people borrow more rather than downsize (a middle‑class euphemism for belt‑tightening intended to make them look less like financial failures). The UK poor would still be poor, as would those in the Third World, since the latter would be priced out of the market by cheaper competitors – as the poor in the West have been by lower‑wage overseas' industries. The real demand here is for quotas, tariffs and import controls that do nothing to alleviate poverty but merely increase it for the benefit of so‑called intellectuals who secretly hate poor people. These same intellectuals assume the poor to be members of an inferior species (much in the manner of racists regarding blacks or anti‑racists regarding racists). It would allow these so‑called do‑gooders to maintain the economic differentials between themselves and the poor. Ensuring that the poor could then not acquire the material well‑being that the middle‑class take for granted and which is the only true difference between the social classes. Without this, the middle‑class would have to admit they're no better – as people – than the poor. What the middle‑class fear is that if poverty were ever truly abolishable, the MIDDLE‑class would cease to exist since, by definition, such a class can only exist in contradistinction to a LOWER‑class. The fallacy of all emotionally‑based class systems is that they're all relative – not absolute. This entails no development of an absolute definition of self; leading to Infantile Political Neurosis. Moreover, since cultures change, the relative status of various groups changes: They either rise or decline - standing still is never an option except in the minds of the deluded. By keeping poor people poor, the middle‑class can look down its nose at them for their lack of the material goods the middle‑class enjoys. This is the only thing the middle‑class can do in its desperate attempt to claim superiority: Dr Huq doesn't want Third Worlders to compete with the First World because that could mean an end to her comfortable Western lifestyle. Foreign aid is a vain attempt to ensure the Third World is never an economic threat to the capitalistic hegemony of the West by keeping them dependent on us rather than themselves. This ensures that the West remains rich behind protective barriers to genuine trade. Nothing is so common-place as to wish to be remarkable. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr (1809–1894), US writer, physician. The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table, chapter 12 (1858).[22]

The problem with Professional Asians (like Professional Niggers) – given Their cultural‑obsession with castes – is that They are never any better than the White Cultures They so vigorously condemn. Throughout recorded time... there have been three kinds of people in the world, the High, the Middle, and the Low. They have been subdivided in many ways, they have borne countless different names, and their relative numbers, as well as their attitude towards one another, have varied from age to age: but the essential structure of society has never altered. Even after enormous upheavals and seemingly irrevocable changes, the same pattern has always reasserted itself, just as a gyroscope will always return to equilibrium, however far it is pushed one way or the other. The aims of these three groups are entirely irreconcilable. George Orwell (1903-1950), British author. First words of Goldstein’s book, Nineteen Eighty-Four, part 2, chapter 9 (1949). [23]

The worst aspect of this whole affair is the unnamed Asda spokeswoman saying: 'We are committed to deliver cheap chic with a clear conscience. Abuse of any form is unacceptable - that's why we carry out 13,000 factory audits worldwide to make sure that workers aren't exploited'. This inglorious, faux‑Capitalist bitch actually makes the Communists' arguments for them. What does reducing prices have to do with the clarity of one's conscience? Why would anyone feel guilt in providing the poor with ever‑cheaper clothes? Isn't Tesco the greatest poverty‑reducing operation yet known to Man? THE MAIN POINTS, AGAIN, FOR THE HARD‑OF‑HEARING: 1. Poverty isn’t the result of the success of those who produce wealth, but the failure of the poor to produce it for themselves. 2. The rich never steal from the poor since the poor possess nothing worth stealing. 3. Poverty alleviation isn’t achievable by seizing wealth from Capitalists: They will simply produce less to the extent that they’re deprived of the means‑of‑production; making everyone that much poorer. 4. Government policies to alleviate poverty are nothing more than the prohibition of wealth production and trade. 5. The Minimum Wage creates no demand for labour and no supply of products bought: It is a fetter keeping the poor impecunious and leading them to demand a higher Minimum Wage in consequence.

Article copyright © 2007 Frank TALKER. Permission granted to reproduce and distribute it electronically and in print; provided that mention of the author’s Weblog ( is included: E‑mail notification requested. All other rights reserved. Frank TALKER is also the author of Sweaty Socks: A Treatise on Toe‑Jam (East Cheam Press: Groper Books, 1997) and is University of Bullshit Professor Emeritus of Madeupology.
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