Archive for December, 2010

Image from aljazeera.net

Garment workers are staging mass demonstrations and strikes in Bangladesh. A major part of Bangladesh’s foreign currency reserve comes from the contracts the country gets from foreign garment companies. The workers are demanding that their minimum salaries be increased from about 45 USD a month to 70 USD a month. (Factories are not honouring even the existing minimum wage.)

There are some concerns about viability of that demand. The argument goes as follows: if the salaries are increased to 70USD/month, then the businesses won’t be profitable anymore.

That’s entirely untrue. Paying 70USD to a worker in a month is not going to make the businesses unprofitable. What the businesses are worried about is that their profits will decrease.

One must remember that income disparity in Bangladesh is extreme. There are the very rich who send their children abroad to study, buy foreign cars and smoke foreign cigarettes. Most Bangladeshis don’t have money to buy enough food.

Because there is so little infrastructure and heavy (or otherwise) industry in Bangladesh, the rich don’t spend in their own country. When they spend, they help foreign economies and foreign companies.

If minimum salary is increased then the poor will have more money at hand, and they will spend them on basic necessities- causing that money to flow in the local economy. Helping local businesses/producers and manufacturers. Evantually the quality of life of the middle class will also rise because of the general increase of income.

So I’m all for the increase.

At another level, however, a more urgent problem is Bangladesh’s tax structure and the tax collection system. If the wealthy pays their fair share of taxes, then that money goes to the government and is spent locally. Good thing is (Alhamdulillah), the government is solvent at the moment and not dependent on foreign aid.

Wa’Allahu ‘Alim.


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Racism in the CNN

The racist undertone and the hilarious stupidity of the anchor.

“conspiracy theories drive the middle east.” -those stupid “muzlims.”

“despite denials by the state dept.”- the state dept is the Ultimate Arbiter of Truth. That’s not logic, you moron. (By the way, these leaks was pretty certainly not leaked by the US state dept. The cost to benefit ratio for them is too high.)

a quick adhaan when showing Turkey- so that we don’t miss that it’s a Muslim country (and don’t think this was done with a good intention.)

“some of these conspiracy theories say that the secy state (Clinton) ordered that Ban ki Moon be spied on”… yeah, because the cables  do say that, and news outlets have reported on it. The audacity of American news channels, and the reliance on the stupidity (and laziness) of their viewers. The viewers, to be fair, do not let them down.

“because their govts spy on them, they think the US govt spies on them too.” the hilarity of this… (even howard zinn was spied on, and so was  charlie chaplin- by the US govts.)

btw, in one of the leaked cables, a Syrian official is quoted as saying- “we don’t collect as much information as you do, we just have better analysts, and that’s why we are better at tackling terrorism.”


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