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El Salvador: Hazardous Child Labor on Sugar Plantations

by Charlie Thunell PL&T / July 3, 2004 12:31 PM PDT
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Been happening for years
by Diana Forum moderator / July 3, 2004 1:14 PM PDT
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A reminder...
by Charlie Thunell PL&T / July 3, 2004 1:20 PM PDT

But a reminder never hurts... Well, to a few it does (and I don't mean you personally Diana!)

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Re: Been happening for years
by Evie / July 4, 2004 1:44 AM PDT

Hi Diana,

That's not even close to accurate. He purchased the Sea View condo from the CEO of ADM, Dwayne Andreas. Depending which rag one reads, the most scandalous thing that can be cooked up is that he got a good price -- as compared to one other unit sold three months prior. $150K vs. $190K. Dole made much of his money during his Senate career in speaking fees -- more than 1.5 million if memory serves. I hardly think even a 40K break on real estate would carry much weight. Actually the paucity of their real estate holdings w.r.t. the Doles' worth is rather surprising.

ADM may be a player in other subsidy "corporate welfare" markets (which I do not support), but it is not a sugar cartel player.

IAC if the US governments practices re: sugar have any effect on the El Salvadore situation, it is beneficial. The policy keeps the price artificially inflated and allows imports from only select countries. The El Salvadoreans are compensated more for their sugar if the US buys it than they would be if another country did.

Evie Happy

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That is a complex subject ...
by Bill Osler / July 3, 2004 1:15 PM PDT

Political jingoism does not really get at 'truth' in these situations.

Is farm work hazardous? Certainly. Do children work at the sugar plantations in Central America? Undoubtedly. Should we do something about it? I'm not sure we should. Before jumping to conclusions, you should remember that children also work on farms in the US, and it's not just poor farmers or illegal immigrants, either. In the US, the child laborers are likely to be the children of the farm operator. I'm a city boy, so I did not do much farm work as a child except when I visited my cousins. I did enough to remember that planting tobacco is hard work when you're 7 years old.

Farming is difficult, the farmers frequently do not have all that great a 'profit margin' and there are times when the farmer needs every bit of 'man power' that can be found because things have to get done quickly when crop conditions and weather permit.

The details are undoubtedly different in Central America, but the pressures are bound to be the same. Furthermore, if a family is impoverished, then the extra contribution from a small child may be what determines whether everybody in the family eats.

Don't forget that our child labor laws only work because we have a society prosperous enough that we can (mostly) afford to forgo the extra production that children could add. That is not always true in the rest of the world. It would be 'nice' if the rest of the world could afford that luxury but I don't think everybody can.

BTW: lest you forget, the reason our society in the US (and Western Europe, for that matter) is prosperous enough to make laws restricting child labor practical is that our amoral capitalist heritage works well most of the time for most of the population. That's more than most of the non-capitalist countries in the world can say. My impression is that even the socialist segments of Western Europe achieved their prosperity primarily because of the region's capitalist heritage. We'll have to see whether socialism has the "staying power" necessary to drive a thriving economy over the long haul.

I discovered a long time ago that if I boycotted every product that had a questionable pedigree I'd have to restrict my consumption to the goods I raised or manufactured myself. Put another way, it's not practical to be "economically pure" from a human rights or environmental perspective. There are too many competing claims and it is frequently difficult to be sure who is telling the truth.

As it happens, I don't drink much Coke. It's junk food. But, when I do choose to drink it, I can't say that I'll worry too much about whether or not the labor practices of all of the participants in the supply chain were up to US standards.

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Re: That is a complex subject ...
by Charlie Thunell PL&T / July 3, 2004 1:19 PM PDT

"I discovered a long time ago that if I boycotted every product that had a questionable pedigree I'd have to restrict my consumption to the goods I raised or manufactured myself." - Bill Osler

That should tell us a lot about the world we're living in...

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Re: That is a complex subject ...
by Chorus-Line A1-QMS / July 3, 2004 2:01 PM PDT

Greetings CT

I have to agree with most of what Bill posted.

As far as boycotting -- "I'd boycott with intelligence."

Necessity (use it)
Extavagant (becomes unnecessary)
Alternatives (freedom to choose from various manufacturers) ie. I'd buy AMD vs. Intel Pentium Happy

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by Charlie Thunell PL&T / July 3, 2004 3:13 PM PDT

But it still shows what a rotten world the capitalist one is... Greed rules!

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Re: Yep...
by Chorus-Line A1-QMS / July 4, 2004 1:23 AM PDT
In reply to: Yep...
But it still shows what a rotten world the capitalist one is... Greed rules! Posted by: C. Thunell ABB

Well, hmmmm you'll have Ayn Rand's philosophy of Capitalism, the Unknown Ideals to contend with. Happy
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You tell 'em, ...
by Edward ODaniel / July 4, 2004 3:53 AM PDT
In reply to: Yep...

<sarcasm> LIKE YOU I'd rather see the kids starve too rather than have such a demonic company as Coca-Cola pay for anything they had a hand in producing. </sarcasm>

Get real Charlie. Those capitalists you deride feed you as well as the families of those very kids you are so terribly concerned about that you would rather see them not working and thus not getting enough to live on in most cases.

Another nice thing about rotten capitalist countries is that YOU ARE FREE TO LEAVE. You aren't forced to stay except by yourself and your personal desires.

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by Charlie Thunell PL&T / July 4, 2004 9:42 AM PDT
In reply to: You tell 'em, ...

Are you saying that thanks to the Capitalist economic system people are free to leave? BS of first degree!

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Let's not forget the benevolence of Communists..........
by Tony Holmes / July 4, 2004 5:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Yep...

when it came to dealing with Chernobyl.They kept the entire thing secret from the population while they had their stupid Labor Day Parade.

The firemen that were sent to the scene were never told by their superiors it wasn't an ordinary fire,they were fried on the spot by gamma radiation.

Spikes in atmospheric radiation were measured in Sweden,make you nervous? Nice guys,those communists.

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(NT) (NT) State capitalism...
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(NT) (NT) State Capitalism? Isn't that an oxymoron?
by Bill Osler / July 4, 2004 10:53 AM PDT
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Not at all Bill...
by Charlie Thunell PL&T / July 4, 2004 11:31 AM PDT
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So, you are saying ...
by Bill Osler / July 4, 2004 9:43 PM PDT
In reply to: Not at all Bill...

The problem in the former Soviet Union was that they did not reject capitalism vigorously enough? Pardon me if I don't say much through the laughter.

I suppose, judging from the article, that you must be one of the Trotskyist folks they mentioned. Or perhaps Maoist. Either way, I don't think you'll find a viable economic system if you completely eliminate capitalist values and methods.

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No I am not saying that...
by Charlie Thunell PL&T / July 4, 2004 10:17 PM PDT
In reply to: So, you are saying ...

I am saying that the societal structures in the Capitalist economics are the same as they were in the so called Communist economics. Only the ownership differed.

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(NT) (NT) That notion is too bizarre to merit discussion.
by Bill Osler / July 4, 2004 10:19 PM PDT
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(NT) (NT) What part don't you understand?
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I was tempted to let that slide, but ...
by Bill Osler / July 5, 2004 4:35 AM PDT

The only part I don't understand is how you got so na

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And I supposed being gainfully employed
by Diane Harrison / July 5, 2004 6:38 AM PDT
In reply to: Yep...

at a good-paying job is capitalistic greed in your mind, Charlie?

I'm really sick of this nonsense! Some of us have worked nearly all our lives to not only make ends meet, but to do the best we can to get ahead for the sake of ourselves, our children, and society. And in the process, we get targets painted on us from people like you who prefer to sit back and snipe and name-call.

You seem to think that everyone with a good job now had it handed to them on a platter, or was independently wealthy to begin with. That is absolutely NOT the case! The taxes some of us pay are so ridiculously high as to nearly constitute highway robbery, and a goodly portion of it goes to subsidize people who don?t work (and worse, many of whom don?t even make a pretense of trying to work). You seem to think all working folks with good income all try to duck out of taxes through loopholes or other means and don?t pay a cent. That is not only ludicrous, it shows a total lack of insight as to the real economics involved. It is also offensive to the extreme!

There are plenty of us who had NOTHING handed to us on a plate. NOTHING! We worked and strived to make the best of ourselves and our lives, and did tons of charity work all along the way (and continue to do so whether we get a tax cut for it or not), because we sincerely believe that that is the right thing to do. Yet suddenly, you bandy about these terms like a loose canon, and we are all evil capitalists!

It has become very obvious that you consider it "greed" for anyone to have a good-paying job now. That also automatically makes us "capitalists." It would seem that you do not recognize the struggle for advancement on a personal level. It also seems that you will not be happy until everyone has one common denominator - being jobless and dirt poor, I guess. The American way is just the opposite though - you rise to the highest possible denominator - or at least try to, not sinking to the lowest.

It has been my experience that those of us with good-paying jobs end up rescuing those who either choose not to work, or cannot, for one reason or another. And the "thanks" we normally get for that is to be called names and erroneous assumptions made, that we didn't have to work for what we now have, got what we have for free without work, or otherwise are evil in some nebulous and always political, fashion.

You very clearly attempted to "not understand" what Edward was telling you in very clear communication. If you hate this country (and what it stands for and the people who run it) so much, perhaps you should go to someplace you don't have as much contempt for. As a member of the "capitalist greed" working class that you denounce at every opportunity, I'd appreciate not having to support people who are two-faced enough to accept tax and other support, then turn around and kick their benefactors in the teeth at every opportunity.

In your same failure to recognize how people advance here, you also fail to see what the others have tried to tell you about the cane fields. It is sad ? very sad ? that the children need to work there. But they often need to, in order to survive. Their political and economic structure does not call for the workers to pay for those who don?t/won?t work. As was also pointed out to you, in the current reality there, yes, REALITY, those kids would starve to death were not the families allowed to have the kids assist in bringing in family support. You can dream all you want of ideals, but reality will always rear its ugly head to temper theories. John Lennon?s ?Imagine? is lovely ? but even he recognized it for a dream.

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(NT) (NT) Well said Diane.
by John Robie / July 5, 2004 6:47 AM PDT
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Don't know about you...
by Charlie Thunell PL&T / July 5, 2004 8:49 PM PDT

but many of the lawyers and I guess all the judges (who work as such) work for public money...

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Re: Don't know about you...
by Roger NC / July 5, 2004 10:04 PM PDT
many of the lawyers and I guess all the judges (who work as such) work for public money...

Provided a needed public service, a contracted public service, a service they were hired to work at, not make work just to have everyone work for the state.


click here to email semods4@yahoo.com
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Yep ...
by Evie / July 5, 2004 10:30 PM PDT

... I doubt Diane's salary is a matter of public ownership. It is her personal compensation for services she supplies and as such is her property, and her's alone.

Evie Happy

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Re: Yep ...
by C1ay / July 5, 2004 10:41 PM PDT
In reply to: Yep ...
I doubt Diane's salary is a matter of public ownership. It is her personal compensation for services she supplies and as such is her property, and her's alone.

It would be nice if that were the case and the 5th Amendment does state, "...nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." Now I wonder, is welfare the equivalent of private property taken for public use without just compensation? Just a thought...

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(NT) (NT) Read Diane's post to me again...
by Charlie Thunell PL&T / July 6, 2004 12:36 AM PDT
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Depends on which recipes you use :-)
by Diane Harrison / July 5, 2004 3:43 PM PDT

Many recipes would have less than tasty results with a change. For example, I make a mean batch of Russian Sweet Rolls that would taste very odd were any other type to be substituted in other than refined sugar. They have to raise three times during the process, and take nearly a full day to make. Using honey would make them of a different consistency, and they would not raise properly. Brown sugar and other substitutes would not taste the same either. On the other hand, baklava is delicious with honey Happy

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(NT) (NT) Eat HEALTHY First - You are what you eat :)
by Chorus-Line A1-QMS / July 5, 2004 3:52 PM PDT
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Re: Who needs *REFINED SUGAR* ?
by jonah jones / July 5, 2004 3:49 PM PDT

people who can't afford the items you mentioned maybe....

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