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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/1843/fair-trade-follies/

Fair-Trade Follies

April 13, 2004 by

The CSciMon runs an inadvertantly hilarious article on what happens to an anti-business business that becomes a consortium and eventually a big business with high fees for fair-trade certification. By adhering to dated ILO standards with a green twist, the simpliest points seemed to have escaped these people. What if, for example, a coffee plantation in a country with chronic unemployment could employ more people at lower wages and fewer benefits? Why is paying fewer people a higher wage necessarily more just and fair? What if the workers themselves want to work more than 48 hours per week, or take their remuneration in wages rather than benefits? What if a coffee planation has to fire many young teens in order to comply with FT standards (workers must not be younger than 15 years old)? Or, most fundamentally, what if the workers don’t want to pay union dues?

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