Amongst the anti-capitalist images generated by Marxists, is the image of a sweat shop full of children working hard on shoes for a big corporation like Nike. Their argument against the sweat-shop is plain; it is torture of children for the sake of large-scale profits.
Arguments like this one form part of the pro-welfare argument. Poor people need welfare and protection to help them rise up and have a level playing ground. The question to ask is: “Are the government welfare schemes going to work or shall the tax payee money end up in the hands of government officials and middlemen”?
What people need are not government hand-outs but opportunities to grow to their fullest potential.
In the case of the sweat shops, how does closing them help the children? They need the money and lacking options they may well starve or be forced into other more exploitative professions – i.e. girls into prostitution.
Instead of condemning sweat shops, the answer lies in rapid growth of India’s per capital income – so that all parents could send their children to schools instead. This is how sweat shops ended in the western world and how they will end in India.