August 18, 2013

Rights Of Industry Vs. Rights Of The People

I've been having a discussion with someone, regarding the rights of the people, vs. the rights of industry. Their claim is, if the people, with or without aid of the state, can influence business to be responsible, safe and just, "wholesale robbery ensues". Here is his quote:

"in a system where the citizens are free to impose their will on hard-working, productive people, wholesale robbery ensues. If the system employs government bureaucrats to handle that on behalf of the collective, the bureaucrats live like kings by pillaging the product of others' labor.
Such a system destroys private enterprise, as history has repeatedly shown."

This simply is not true, as history has repeatedly shown, as I will demonstrate below:

History has proven that business, if left to their own devices, (unregulated and unchecked, either by state and/or by the people themselves), will inevitably scrap any notion, regarding regulations adversely affecting profit margins. This was true, during the Industrial Revolution, when factories first began. The factory system employed strict discipline, harsh punishments, unhealthy and unsafe working conditions, and little to no wages, not to mention inflexible work hours. It depersonalized the employer-employee relationship and stripped the worker's freedom, dignity and creativity. Equal to, or worse, depending on one’s viewpoint, the factories employed children as young as four, to apprentice and only hired children as apprentices, as they were the cheapest tool, the employer had. These child apprentices were paupers, taken from orphanages, workhouses and families who could not afford to keep them. Factories housed, clothed and fed the children, but paid little to no wages for the long, grueling, and dangerous workdays. In about 1784, one-third of the total workers in country mills were child apprentices and their numbers reached from 80% to 90% in some individual mills (A Conservative estimate by Collier, 1964). Charles Dickens called these places of work the "dark satanic mills" and E. P. Thompson described them as "places of sexual license, foul language, cruelty, violent accidents, and alien manners".

To bring this into the modern era, in 1998, UNICEF reported that Ivory Coast farmers used enslaved children – many from surrounding countries. In late 2000 a BBC documentary reported the use of enslaved children in the production of cocoa—the main ingredient in chocolate in West Africa. In 2001, the US State Department estimated there were 15,000 child slaves in cocoa, cotton and coffee farms in the Ivory Coast alone, and the Chocolate Manufacturers Association acknowledged the use of child slavery in the cocoa harvest.

In 2008, Bloomberg claimed child labour in copper and cobalt mines that supplied Chinese companies in Congo. An African NGO report claimed 80,000 child labourers under the age of 15, or about 40% of all miners, were supplying ore to Chinese companies in this African region.

In December 2009, campaigners in the UK called on two leading high street retailers to stop selling clothes made with cotton picked by children. Anti-Slavery International and the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) accused H&M and Zara of using cotton suppliers in Bangladesh, utilizing child slaves. It is also suspected that many of their raw materials originates from Uzbekistan, where ten year old children and up, are forced to work in the fields.

Regarding online pharmaceuticals, Dr. Andrew Pipe describes it as a "wild west show". (Dr. Pipe is a medical science advisor to the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport). The Vancouver Sun said "

The snake-oil salesmen in this case are the marketers who work for some of the manufacturers in the multi-billion-dollar industry in North America. It's an industry that is severely under-regulated but is getting mega-rich by feeding on the insatiable desire of teenage athletes to look, feel and perform better and middle-aged folks hoping to reverse the aging process by finding magic in a bottle."

An unregulated surrogacy industry striving in India, where rich couples are preying on domestic help and housemaids, forcing and coercing them into surrogate motherhood. There is little or no protection for these people, before, during or after they are forced into surrogate motherhood. The industry is controlled, for the most part by middlemen with medical practitioners ignoring it, presumably by accepting gratuities by the wealthy families.

In the United Kingdom, There is no letting regulation, allowing for anyone, with or without suite rental knowledge to open up a letting office. Further, Too many corrupt agents, not belonging to any professional body, are taking advantage of the gap in regulations, and putting consumers at risk, with possible results as lost deposits, broken agreements and excessive charges, just to name a few.

These are just a few of modern day examples of unchecked industry, preying on the people, furthering proof, that if left with no regulations, business will do anything to boost their bottom line to the detriment of the people.

With or without a governmental system in place, it is absolutely imperative industry needs to be regulated, to protect the people. Industry needs no such protection from the people, as people operate industry.

By the way, I am not against industry. For without it, we would be further behind than what we currently are. I am against unregulated industry.

I welcome any and all, non-trolling, non-threatening, and non-insulting comments. Hostile comments, replies, and/or retorts will be deleted and the individual banned.

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