Lets get this straight at the beginning, while I am all for human rights as a principle those rights do not and should not trump other rights. Personally, Human Rights needs to be taken out of politics all together. Why? Because while you think that human right legislation is a wonderful, happy, feel good love story it is in reality a lot different. Legislation that tells corporations who they can and can’t deal with because of their human rights records hurts us not only as a people but as a consumer as well. Like it or not, you are a consumer as well and it effects you. Right now China is spending billions in the developing countries producing jobs and income that is denied to American companies because we can’t deal with these countries because they have a negative human right record. Sure, it sounds all noble and high in the ivory tower when we pressure some other country to improve their human rights but all it does in reality is mean we can’t work with these other countries until they come around to our opinion and violate their sovereignty in the process.
The counter argument is usually pro human rights, blah blah blah. Better working conditions and standard of living yada yada yada. Folks, I hate to break it to you but that bad standard of living you are so concerned about happens here in the U.S. as well. Shouldn’t you be worried about what is happening in our own country first? I have no problem with the consumer using his or her wallet power to help corporations take an interest in worker safety and conditions. The problem is when we push to pass laws that prevent companies from engaging in these developing countries costing jobs here. When that consumerism could be put to better use by letting the companies work with their suppliers to promote better conditions. Now I am sure someone will comeback with the recent example of what happened in the Bangladesh factory fire. Yes, many companies including walmart could have worked harder to have the supplier provide better safety and conditions. Non is suggesting you stop voting with your wallet or communicating to the companies. What is being said is stop pressuring lawmakers to pass laws that will make you feel good but put people out of work.
China is on tap to push pass us as the largest economy. It has already pushed passed us in exports. We have a unemployment problem and a sluggish economy but China is producing at a rate that could very well overheat their economy. Yet, it is easier to slow an economy then to get one up to speed. Put the pressure on the people who legitimately can help with the problem and stop pushing people who will be more than willing to make a token effort but that will end up hurting everyone.