A massive fire in the Tazreen Fashions Ltd. garment factory in Bangladesh killed at least 124 people. It turns out this factory sewed merchandise for several American companies. Walmart was one of these customers.
According to Walmart, the factory was no longer authorized to produce merchandise but said the supplier subcontracted the work in violation of their policies. According to the AP:
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association said it would stand by the victims’ families and offered $1,250 to each of the families of the dead.
These workers were paid as little as $43.00 (3,500 BDT) a month since the recent institution of a new minimum wage law.
The above are the facts as we know them and as we are told. Everything else is either spin or knowledgeable inference.
The spin from Fox News’ Charles Payne is that this would not happen again. He implies that the complaints against Walmart and the customers of this factory are an affront or attack on capitalism. He says that while it is a tragedy, it is a stretch to call out Walmart on this catastrophe. Of course, his signature statement – “Don’t think the people in Bangladesh who perished didn’t need or want those jobs as well” – implies that this was a risk of being employed. (See video)
One can infer that the wages Walmart and other companies are paying for slave labor offshore, at the expense of good paying jobs, is a detriment to the well-being of workers in both the United States and countries overseas, Bangladesh specifically. One can infer that, absent these companies’ quest to squeeze as much profit out of their sub-contractors, offshore factories would be safer and these deaths would not occur. One can infer that, if “profit at all cost” was not the sole motivator of many of our corporate titans, these jobs would not have even been in Bangladesh but in the United States.
That would be wishful thinking. After all, our current method of doing business demands that our companies outsource and offshore our jobs in order to remain competitive with other companies doing the same. Many of our capitalists yearn for unfettered capitalism. Countries like Bangladesh give them the closest realization of laissez faire capitalism. While here in America we can mourn the dead overseas, as well the unemployed here in the US, there will always be Fox News ready to spin the immoral value of the type of capitalism we have embraced.