The Economics of Sweatshops, England’s Levellers, and More

fmfebThe February issue of The Free Market is now online containing new articles on the economics of “sweat shops” and a brief history of the world’s first modern libertarian movement.

Benjamin Powell speaks with the Mises Institute about his new book Out of Poverty: Sweatshops In the New Global Economy, and how so-called sweatshops have long been a key ingredient in an economy’s transition from poor country to industrialized rich country:

 In short, sweatshops provide the least-bad option for the workers who work in them. But      sweat­shops are better than just the least-bad option. Sweatshops bring with them the  proximate causes of economic development—capital, technology, and the opportunity to build   human capital. If countries respect private property rights and economic freedoms, these    proximate causes of development lead to higher productivity, which eventually leads to higher pay and better working conditions.

Roberta Modugno writes on England’s Levellers, the first modern libertarian movement:

The first-ever libertarians were the Levellers, an English political movement active inthe seventeenth century. The Levellers contributed to the elaboration of the      methodological and political paradigm of individualism, and they are at the origin of the radical strand of classical liberalism. While the Levellers are often character­ized  as a quasi-socialist movement, closer examination shows that the Levellers had much more in common with advocates for free markets than with socialists.

February’s issue also includes scholar and alumni notes plus the latest news from the Mises Institute including highlights from January’s Mises Circle and more on the latest translations, seminars and publications from the Mises Institute and Austrian school scholars.

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