Letter to the Editor: Electronics and Human Rights

I was quite taken aback by Nathan Lawrence’s conclusion of “Poor working conditions: The price **we** have to pay for electronics.” The emphasis is mine, although I realize that Lawrence probably didn’t write the headline.

Lawrence writes: “As hard as we try to make things better, the status quo will mostly remain intact. If we want our electronics, we have no choice but to yield to these conditions.”

Yes, and if we want our cotton, we had best yield to slavery.

In our house, mama says, “Don’t pick your nose.” She doesn’t say, “Don’t pick your nose in the kitchen,” so you can run to your bedroom and pick it until it bleeds. She says, “Don’t pick your nose.”

In America, we have fought hard for rules that say manufacturers can’t poison the air and pollute the water. They can’t hire children. They have to maintain safe working conditions. They have to pay overtime after 40 hours.

It’s time we tell manufacturers that if the products they’re importing weren’t made in factories that meet these conditions, then they can’t bring that stuff in here.

If I have to pay more for my phone in order to kick a 12-year-old out of an 80-hour-a-week job, then I would consider it a good deal.

James Olski ’84