Wednesday 28 April 2004

Putting the Record straight

Glasgow entrepreneur Michelle Mone is in trouble again:
THE underwear tycoon Michelle Mone last night angrily denied claims that the Chinese factory staff who make her garments work in poor conditions.
Michelle had been attacked by the Labour-leaning Daily Record and its "investigation" into "sweatshops" continues today:
HIGH Street giants Marks & Spencer and British Home Stores have admitted they also use £1-a-day workers in China to make their clothes. They confessed (sic) yesterday after the Record exposed grim conditions at a factory manufacturing lingerie for top labels such as Agent Provocateur and Ultimo.
I don't imagine for a moment that the folk at the Record read anything written by real economists. They should have a look at this piece by Gary North:
Cities with millions of people are now developing all over China. This was not equally true in the past because worker output was low in cities under Communism. But with the freeing of markets, capital is flowing back into China, especially from Taiwan. Capital inside the country is flowing to high-output urban workers. This is increasing the price of labor. So, the move from the countryside to cities is a flood. There has been nothing comparable to this in human history. The closest that any nation has come is India. But arable land is more abundant in India. The economic pressure to leave the farm is not equally great
Those Chinese factory workers are far better off than they were in the days of Mao. He managed to murder 65 million of his fellow nationals. Those "low" wages are a great improvement on what went before. And most people in China save up to a third of their wages. How many Record journalists (or readers) manage that?

Michelle was quoted as saying:

"This is just wearing me down, I’m trying to create jobs in Scotland and create a worldwide brand in Scotland and this is what you get."

Her critics probably think that the silly wee lassie should get a real job - perhaps as a typist in the Glasgow social work department. Michelle will have the last laugh. Her contemporaries will end up as maids working for Chinese entrepreneurs.