Recently, someone on Google Plus posted this gem from some high-falutin’ type at CNN:
Go read it. I’ll wait.
Among other things it stirred up in me that I cannot phrase politely, it put me in mind of a piece I wrote almost a dozen years ago for a short-lived comedy group I was part of. Here it is:
AN ARGUMENT AGAINST CHILD LABOUR
by O. Oscar Oscarson, Railroad Tycoon and Oligarch
My shoes are falling apart. The other day, I purchased a pair of shoes. I have worn them only once, and already they are degenerating. The sole is coming away from the bottom of the shoe like the fetid lips of my dear Augustine, and all the leather is rotting away like the pelt of a dead groundhog lying bloated in the sun.
Now, I heard recently that this particular shoe company has been using child labour. Good for them! I know from my days running a chastity belt factory and a chain of brothels that minors, especially when they’re under 12, are especially inexpensive workers. Unfortunately, there is a reason that this child labour is so cheap—children are, by their nature, incredibly incompetent. A child constantly makes errors, thus consuming the valuable time of an adult who has to not only fix the child’s error, but also whip the insolent youngster senseless. However, I have found that in my experience, after several such beatings, the little tykes perform remarkably well, perhaps out of terror.
So what’s the problem, you ask? (or would ask, if I permitted you plebeians to speak to my face) After all, I did entitle this mono-speech “An Argument Against Child Labour”, and I would hardly do that unless I either meant it, or was horribly insane. BAAAHH. Well, the issue is this: the children who work in the factories these days are fat and lazy. They are accustomed to as many as three meals a week! Sometimes, when they are given less, the little ingrates will even go so far as to pass out in protest on the factory floor, or, even worse, topple into the gears of the heavy industrial machines they are using, thus clogging up the production line with flesh and bone! Surely then, these modern, spoiled, third world brats must be shown that such strong-arm labour tactics will not work to drive up the prices of shoes in North America and Western Europe. I say, send these naughty children home without dinner, and move operations to even poorer countries where adult workers will slave away making shoes for little more than chicken feed and water thrown on the factory floor every day at tea time.
So what will I do about my ruined shoes? Why, buy another pair, of course, for I am exceedingly wealthy!