Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Outsourcing and Sweatshop Case Study

One of the many things I love about economics is that we get to talk about all sorts of things happening in the world today. I always tell my students that they should never leave class, thinking to themselves, "I'll never use that in my life." With that said, we also get to venture into controversial issues. I know that we all different ideas as to how to go about doing this. I tell students that I do not care what their opinions are, as long as they know: 1. Evidence to support their view 2. The side of the argument and 3. Understand that both sides have an appeal. We are starting our look at the economic principle of "Voluntary Trade Creates Wealth." In doing so, I like to start by talking about sweatshops and outsourcing.

The topic of sweatshops they literally come into contact with every day. I have them look at where their shirts and shoes were made. Few, if any, have any articles of clothing made in the USA, Canada, or Western Europe. I ask them why... I get a bunch of different answers, but someone always comes up with the fact that labor is more expensive in aforementioned areas. I ask why... Again I get a bunch of different answers, sometimes I get that labor is more expensive because of education and the type of work we do. I then show them the videos above. Again, telling them they need not agree with any of it. They then get the assignment below in which they get to read a little and take a stand and let me know their opinion. I tell them

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