A sad reversal from Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman did some excellent columns in the 1990s on the need for sweatshops in third world countries. He still believes they are necessary, but has effectively reversed his position by calling for tougher standards on working conditions in developing countries. These regulations would hurt the poorest of the poor by moving factories from places like Bangladesh to places like China, which have better (less bad) working conditions.

Krugman justifies this position by pointing to the following data:

At this point, however, there really isn’t any competition between apparel production in poor countries and rich countries; the whole industry has moved to the third world. The relevant competition is instead among poor countries — Bangladesh versus China, in particular. And here the differences aren’t as dramatic: McKinsey (pdf) estimates Bangladeshi productivity in apparel at 77 percent of China’s level

I’m no expert on this subject, but the study seems fishy. Obviously Bangladeshi wages are nowhere near 77 percent of Chinese wages. Why not? I’d guess that while factory productivity in Bangladeshi textile mills is 77 percent of Chinese levels, total productivity’s less than a third of Chinese levels, as infrastructure like roads, ports and electrical power in Bangladesh is far below Chinese levels.

I suspect that Krugman wants to believe that government regulation can improve the appalling working conditions in Bengali factories. So would I. But wanting to believe something doesn’t make it true.

PS. Here’s a policy that would enrich both Bengalis and Americans. Have 747s fly over Bangladesh and dump $100,000,000,000 out of the cargo bay. QE will boost US RGDP, and foreign aid will help the Bangladeshis.


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47 Responses to “A sad reversal from Paul Krugman”

  1. Gravatar of Randomize Randomize
    10. July 2013 at 13:59

    Can 747s really “dump” anything? You’d want C-130s for that task.

  2. Gravatar of W. Peden W. Peden
    10. July 2013 at 14:19

    Randomize,

    If it’s a $100,000,000,000 coin, then a small helicopter coudl do it.

    Scott,

    The record of foreign aid, in monetary terms, is not illustrious. The kind of foreign aid that has helped third world nations, it seems, is helping them to build good institutions in which local entrepreneurs can work. That’s the key to why Botswana is the single most impressive achiever of the 20th century and Zimbabwe is a riches-to-rags story. It can’t all be done by the West, but we can help a lot. Unfortunately, that’s help that has to be solicited, and it’s usually in the venal interest of rulers not to seek it.

    That’s the hard story that Paul Krugman needs to tell the public: the only way to abolish sweatshops without making the problem worse is outside of our immediate control. The upside is that we can piggy-back onto the greatness of third world nations and give them a hand when they’re ready and willing to build the right environment for growth.

  3. Gravatar of Bill Ellis Bill Ellis
    10. July 2013 at 14:20

    So If Scott and M.Y. are right and P.K. is wrong then all China has to do to cut Bangladesh out of the garment industry is cut safety standards.

    But that would be immoral ?
    Are there no more chinese trapped in lives of abject poverty and worthless toil ? Couldn’t their lives be improved by cutting safety standards ?

  4. Gravatar of John Papola John Papola
    10. July 2013 at 14:27

    Isn’t it just lovely that some would like to signal their own alleged goodness and altruism by pushing for policies which the general public will tend to think are compassionate but that they themselves know will actually harm the very people they are claiming to help? It’s even better that this “altruism” imposes no costs on the pundit whatsoever. All costs for said “altruism” are externalized on third parties if the advice is taken.

    The dark ages of economics are mighty dark.

  5. Gravatar of W. Peden W. Peden
    10. July 2013 at 15:05

    John Papola,

    I don’t doubt that Paul Krugman is sincere, because he could have “signalled” in such a way for a long time. When there are two sides to a story and our peergroup encourages us to believe one, it’s not dishonest to change our minds.

  6. Gravatar of Bill Ellis Bill Ellis
    10. July 2013 at 15:24

    I get the idea that low production costs is for many a poor nation, their best completive advantage, and some of that advantage comes from more “inexpensive ” safety protections.

    And what’s more I get that the people who get to work in these dangerous work places are the “Lucky” ones. (Let’s not forget…For some slavery would be better too.)

    And I get that by embracing the competitive advantage of low production costs, nations can rise out of subsistence and become thriving market economies… leaving room for some poorer nations to take their place as the low cost producers.
    It’s a wonderful cascade effect. YEAH ! Hallelujah !
    It is truly great thing.

    I am all for it. ‘Cept… I don’t think minimum safety standards would alter this dynamic ( but for the initial shock) .

    Imagine if, in the 70′s the west had enacted trade regulations that required that manufactured goods had to be made in accordance with a minimum (very minimum) safety standard to be traded.

    How different would the world have turned out ? Would China’s raise as a great economic power been prevented ? Prevented because the costs of minimum safety standards would have left them unable to compete with the west ?
    I don’t think so. That would be a huge statement to make.

    So if I am right and China was still able to parlay it’s low production costs and natural gifts into an economic growth machine, the cascade effect would have still happened…. Would still be happening, but with minimum safety standards in place.

    I think the best case you could make in favor of no minimum safety standards is that (after the initial messy shock ) imposing them might slow growth a bit. They might make the “Cascade effect” a bit less efficient.

    We are not talking about hopelessly trapping poor nations in poverty forever as seems to be implied by Scott and Yglesias. We are talking about some small degree of efficiency (Smaller now than ever. )
    IN this clearer light…no/poor safety standards are not a legitimate or necessary source of completive advantage.

  7. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    10. July 2013 at 16:26

    Well said Bill.

  8. Gravatar of Geoff Geoff
    10. July 2013 at 16:26

    “I suspect that Krugman wants to believe that government regulation can improve the appalling working conditions in Bengali factories. So would I. But wanting to believe something doesn’t make it true.”

    Cough…market monetarism…cough.

    —————

    John, excellent comment.

  9. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    10. July 2013 at 16:29

    In any case. to the extent that China or Bangladesh gained from the sweatshops Americans saw their wages driven down while their jobs left the country. I’m still not convinced we’ve fully recovered now though I know this is not in line with orthodox economic theory.

  10. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    10. July 2013 at 16:30

    I mean can we honestly say the labor market is in better shape than it was 10 years ago? I don’t think this was only about outsourcing-in fact now we have some ‘reshoring.’

    But it didn’t help. I’m just saying its not a zero sum game.

  11. Gravatar of Edwin A. Edwin A.
    10. July 2013 at 17:04

    “These regulations would hurt the poorest of the poor by moving factories from places like Bangladesh to places like China, which have better (less bad) working conditions.”

    Krugman didn’t say he wanted to single out Bangladesh. He said “But if we demand higher standards for all countries” specifically to avoid that situation you described. That probably has it’s own problems though.

  12. Gravatar of Edwin A. Edwin A.
    10. July 2013 at 17:08

    Actually, I think I see your point even if the regulations are widespread to many countries. The poorest countries would still be hit harder relative than the richer poor countries.

  13. Gravatar of kebko kebko
    10. July 2013 at 17:33

    We really like diversity except for when it means that people are different than us.

    As long as we’re applying our culturally specific standards to other cultures, why stop at safety? We should impose a $7/hr minimum wage on them, insist that they all stay in school until they are at least 16, make them guarantee $3 million worth of lifetime health care for each other, insist that all of their cities are connected by multi-lane paved roads, paid maternity leave, insist that everyone have at least 2 weeks of paid vacation, subsidized higher education for everyone, building codes that include central heating, no default divorce, abortion funding…..I mean, if you wouldn’t accept any less for yourself, what kind of heartless goon would you have to be to accept less for Bangladeshis.

    It seems like it all comes down to whether you think progress comes because of capitalists or in spite of them. Unfortunately, I’m not sure whether the side any of us falls on in the end comes down to anything but mood affiliation.

  14. Gravatar of Steve Steve
    10. July 2013 at 17:43

    Matilda Jeffries from Time, errr, Paul Krugman from the New York Times:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4spf9ONurug

  15. Gravatar of Rob Rawlings Rob Rawlings
    10. July 2013 at 17:54

    “PS. Here’s a policy that would enrich both Bengalis and Americans. Have 747s fly over Bangladesh and dump $100,000,000,000 out of the cargo bay. QE will boost US RGDP, and foreign aid will help the Bangladeshis. ”

    I hope you got clearance from Bob Murphy’s doctor before posting this.

  16. Gravatar of Bill Ellis Bill Ellis
    10. July 2013 at 19:28

    “PS. Here’s a policy that would enrich both Bengalis and Americans. Have 747s fly over Bangladesh and dump $100,000,000,000 out of the cargo bay. QE will boost US RGDP, and foreign aid will help the Bangladeshis. ”

    Does counterfeiting actually make us all richer ?

  17. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    10. July 2013 at 19:41

    The problems of Third World labor do not always melt down to easy bromides.

    For example, remember that wild-eyed left-winger Douglas MacArthur, of WWII fame? He instituted land reform in the Japan and the Philippines, after determining such skewed land ownership impeded widespread economic development. Basically, MacArthur thought Japan’s ruling class had no real incentive to develop anything, they were rich already and comfortable with the status quo.

    An interesting idea: Too much concentration of wealth can impede economic growth. The people with wealth are happy with the set-up and a very large slice of a small economic pie.

    What is the reality of Bangladesh? Often, land ownership is informal, and when formalized, peasants are forced off the land where they worked for generations.Are people forced off of ancestral lands really “choosing” to improve their lives in a sweatshop?

    Also, yes, there has to be some regulations: Workers do not choose to work in buildings that collapse. Yes, it is difficult for a layman to be informed about structural safety.

    Miners make a choice; they know the work is dangerous.

    There are some areas of the human experience that extend beyond traditional economics. Whether very poor people should work in life-threatening situations one of those areas.

  18. Gravatar of gofx gofx
    10. July 2013 at 19:50

    Krugman (and some of you) can relax. Robotic innovation, and automation brought to you by human imagination and capitalism will be solving this “problem”.

  19. Gravatar of Brett Brett
    10. July 2013 at 21:28

    Bangladesh already has safety laws and standards, except that they’re not being enforced that well. It’s not really a debate over whether or not they should have or be “forced” to have them, since they already do – they just need to start enforcing the ones they do have.

  20. Gravatar of Vivian Darkbloom Vivian Darkbloom
    10. July 2013 at 22:17

    “He still believes they are necessary, but has effectively reversed his position by calling for tougher standards on working conditions in developing countries. These regulations would hurt the poorest of the poor by moving factories from places like Bangladesh to places like China, which have better (less bad) working conditions.”

    Actually, Krugman seems to have anticipated that when he wrote this:

    “But if we demand higher standards for all countries — modestly higher standards, so that we’re not talking about driving the business back to advanced countries — we can achieve an improvement in workers’ lives (and fewer horrible workers’ deaths), without undermining the export industries these countries so desperately need.”

    Presumably, by demanding higher standards for *all* countries, Krugman would advocate demanding higher standards for China as well unless he considers China an “advanced country”. But, while China has made tremendous progress, it is not on the OECD list of “developed countries” or the IMF list of “advanced economies”. The argument is not worked out very well, but if the idea is that China and Bangladesh must simultaneously and proportionately improve working standards, in theory that should not drive business back to China (he also does not have the courage to say “don’t worry, this should not drive jobs to the US”). If dictating labor standards in all “non-advanced countries” is Krugman’s argument, it is hopelessly idealistic and impractical as well as counter-productive.

    And, it appears that Bangladesh is and will make steady improvement without Krugman’s ambiguous suggestion for regulating Bangladesh’s and the rest of the “non-advanced” labor market from abroad:

    “In the medium term, McKinsey expects that labor costs will continually increase that the apparel export market will grow from 7 to 9 percent through 2020, and that value buyers are looking to source more fashionable and sophisticated products from Bangladesh…Productivity of suppliers needs to improve, not only to mitigate rising wages, but also to close the existing productivity gap in comparison to other countries (Exhibit 7). Productivity in Bangladesh’s RMC factories needs to catch up to the levels seen in India if Bangladesh’s suppliers are going to be able to deliver on the unit demand growth that McKinsey forecasts, now expected to be 2x to 2.5x through 2020.”

    The United States could only dream of that kind of growth, particularly in wages. Productivity will increase in Bangladesh primarily due to two factors: 1) More experienced labor (possible only through labor cost competition); and 2) Greater capital investment (possible only through labor cost competition).

    As far as the second is concerned, many Bangladeshi’s, like many counterparts in China, will likely be working in the future in more modern facilities than Americans. Let’s call that progress.

    BTW, this reminds me of the minimum wage debate.

  21. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    10. July 2013 at 22:21

    As a Bengali myself I like your suggestion very much Mr. Sumner. (But now you seem to have reversed your position on helicopter drops!)

  22. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    10. July 2013 at 22:24

    W. Peden, they’re supposed to help the Bangladeshis by dropping a single coin? I don’t think their banking system is that developed…

  23. Gravatar of rob rob
    10. July 2013 at 22:52

    I am starting to become afraid that Krugman contracted the fatal economist disease of normal people liking him too much (for another example see Sachs).
    The thing is that safety costs real resources, you either need to pay more to make working conditions safe or institute safe procedures which take more time thus lowering productivity. I am the odd economist who actually has experience doing jobs like being a construction worker, and I can assure you on days that we all had to follow the regulations because of an OSHA site visit, much much less work got done. To be honest if I was given the chance of making work less safe and getting a higher wage in return I would have taken it then. Safety isn’t free, if it was everyone would already be working in perfectly safe conditions as workers prefer safety to danger, so you can give workers some safety in lieu of some wages. You force working conditions safer you force other things worse, or you cause some workers to lose their job.
    Even if they get to keep their jobs their wages will likely fall, the result of Krugman’s best case is forcing the workers to accept an inferior(to them) real wage basket. Though I agree in actuality, it would probably have a much worse effect.

  24. Gravatar of W. Peden W. Peden
    10. July 2013 at 23:18

    Saturos,

    “W. Peden, they’re supposed to help the Bangladeshis by dropping a single coin? I don’t think their banking system is that developed…”

    I imagine any bank would be troubled by someone trying to convert such a coin.

  25. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    10. July 2013 at 23:40

    Is Paul Krugman a derp? (my apologies) http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/08/urp-versus-derp/?smid=tw-NytimesKrugman&seid=auto

    W. Peden, I am picturing a helicopter drop of exactly one coin over the slums of Dhaka, and trying to visualize the consequences – horrible and hilarious.

  26. Gravatar of J J
    10. July 2013 at 23:50

    Bill Ellis,

    You said: “We are not talking about hopelessly trapping poor nations in poverty forever as seems to be implied by Scott and Yglesias. We are talking about some small degree of efficiency (Smaller now than ever. )
    IN this clearer light…no/poor safety standards are not a legitimate or necessary source of completive advantage.”

    No offense, but your logic is absurd. Of course, imposing small safety regulations will not qualitatively alter the world and the course of history. The same could be said about almost anything. I don’t think the Bangladeshis or the Chinese care only whether they experience lots of growth or no growth. They care about every dollar they make.

    The fact is that safety regulations force workers to consume a particular good: safety. If workers are to keep their jobs, then they must get lower wages. A small amount of regulation will not have a large effect on wages or unemployment, but it will also not have a large effect on safety. There is an optimal level of regulation and even a small amount more is not optimal.

  27. Gravatar of Ashok Rao Ashok Rao
    11. July 2013 at 00:54

    I’d rather we get rid of humanitarian aid and use our market power to demand *slightly* better conditions. So long as we require such conditions on all countries (and not just Bangladesh) the incident will be a few cents extra for every American consumer. Far more efficient than aid.

    In retrospect, I don’t think I got all the logic right, here, but overall I’m pretty convinced something like this would be better than direct aid: http://ashokarao.com/2013/04/25/the-matthew-memo/

    (Aid would be better if not for public choice concerns, perhaps)

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  29. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    11. July 2013 at 04:03

    W. Peden, Yes, foreign aid usually fails, but that’s because they haven’t been dumping cash out of airplanes.

    Bill, The Bangladeshi poor are much worse off than the China poor. And you need to think of the effects at the margin.

    Mike Sax, That’s right, free trade is not a zero sum game, it’s a positive sum game.

    Ben, I would note that studies show that OSHA has not improved safety in the US.

    Brett, Good point.

    Vivian, Yes, I understand that was his proposal, but it doesn’t matter as conditions are already far better in China.

    saturos, I said I opposed helicopter drops over the US, not Bangladesh. So there is no reversal.

    Rob, Good points.

    Ashok. It seems to me you haven’t addressed my argument.

  30. Gravatar of Becky Hargrove Becky Hargrove
    11. July 2013 at 04:36

    In this post I (also) wondered whether the problems for Bangladesh were those of an entrepreneur struggling to deal with the expectations of a local economy, and the problem of outdated construction norms (adopted from the developed world) still utilizing 19th century building codes, heavy materials and outdated infrastructure – all of which could hold back more substantial growth for developing countries in the present.
    http://monetaryequivalence.blogspot.com/2013/06/dont-fear-reset.html

  31. Gravatar of W. Peden W. Peden
    11. July 2013 at 05:02

    Saturos,

    It would be important to drop it from low altitude.

    (That may not have been your point.)

  32. Gravatar of Vivian Darkbloom Vivian Darkbloom
    11. July 2013 at 07:18

    “Vivian, Yes, I understand that was his proposal, but it doesn’t matter as conditions are already far better in China.”

    That depends on what the proposal is. Krugman did not state that working conditions in each developing country should improve to the same level. My comment presumed that the improvements in working conditions would be proportional to the existing labor costs. In other words, China would need to spend more to improve working conditions than would Bangladesh because China’s existing wage base is higher. Working conditions in both countries would be improved, but the relative total labor costs would remain the same vis a vis current costs in Bangladesh and China.

    Theoretically, this might be possible, but as I stated in the original comment, it is extremely far-fetched in practice, unnecessary and likely counterproductive if one’s objective is improving the well-being of workers in those countries.

  33. Gravatar of johnleemk johnleemk
    11. July 2013 at 08:40

    Scott, I have a better idea (one that would also improve safety conditions for Bangladeshi workers): let Bangladeshis work in the US.

  34. Gravatar of Mike Sproul Mike Sproul
    11. July 2013 at 10:10

    Why limit out attention to appalling working conditions? A lot of those workers get mugged traveling to work at the factory. We need to start boycotting countries that allow muggings to continue!

  35. Gravatar of Ashok Rao Ashok Rao
    11. July 2013 at 10:43

    Scott, so long as labor markets aren’t perfectly competitive and entry costs aren’t zero, I don’t know if firms will immediately move to China. An investment in certain tail risk prevention solutions is likely to cut rents and American consumer surplus (though in the tiniest bits).

    Though theoretically you do have a point. I would fix this by saying we should require a higher level of treatment still in China than Bangladesh to prevent firm shifting (and put an upward pressure on worker conditions).

    I don’t like direct aid much. I think the market can allocate transfers better, and counterintuitively such regulations may be better than corrupt aid programs.

  36. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    11. July 2013 at 17:18

    Vivian, I’m very skeptical of these ideas, I’d like to see the details.

    Johnleemk, Good idea.

    Mike, Good point.

    Ashok, If you don’t much like direct aid, you should HATE to see Americans trying to regulate working conditions in Bangladesh. And if we should, why not make it an American colony?

  37. Gravatar of Jim Glass Jim Glass
    11. July 2013 at 17:55

    Back in the olden days when Krugman was debunking the self-conceived do-gooders who in reality did bad for the poor by pushing the garbage pickers off the Trash Mountain in the Philippines (“In Praise of Cheap Labor”) his current fellow op-ed writer in the Times, Nick Kristof, produced a very good article for the Magazine, “Two Cheers for Sweatshops”. Still well worth reading today.

  38. Gravatar of Ashok Rao Ashok Rao
    12. July 2013 at 05:18

    Scott you said “Ashok, If you don’t much like direct aid, you should HATE to see Americans trying to regulate working conditions in Bangladesh. And if we should, why not make it an American colony?”

    No – that’s the counterintuitive point. I think a dispersed costs concentrated benefits can make a huge market-based difference. And are you really taking an argument for more basic regulation into one for… imperialism?

    I think I made a decent case to why a proper *extremely basic* regulatory scheme doesn’t necessarily result in offshoring of manufacturing to China. You can disagree with foreign aid *altogether*, but I definitely think one has more dangerous public choice concerns than the other.

  39. Gravatar of Larry Larry
    12. July 2013 at 07:55

    If these arrangements were in the United States we would be talking about companies exploiting the workers. Now I know these arrangements are not in the United States and I also know that the jobs in these factories lift people out of the worst poverty, so they do some good.

    But aren’t we still exploiting these workers?

  40. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    12. July 2013 at 08:00

    Thanks Jim.

    Ashok, Yes, I’m saying that the argument for Americans to try to force Bangladeshis into the regulatory scheme that we think is appropriate for them, is the same as the argument for colonialism.

  41. Gravatar of TallDave TallDave
    12. July 2013 at 10:19

    Would China’s raise as a great economic power been prevented?

    If the standards were globally adopted among rich countries such that China had no export markets, yes.

    But it’s worse than that. Billions of people would be much poorer, many of them at near-starvation levels of poverty.

    It’s really about the quality of institutions. You can’t create the conditions U.S. institutions have achieved simply by transplanting labor rules. They would be ignored.

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  43. Gravatar of RPLong RPLong
    16. July 2013 at 04:51

    I take it Prof. Sumner is not aware of the much higher rate of price inflation in Bangladesh?

  44. Gravatar of Gene Callahan Gene Callahan
    16. July 2013 at 11:10

    “Ashok, Yes, I’m saying that the argument for Americans to try to force Bangladeshis into the regulatory scheme that we think is appropriate for them, is the same as the argument for colonialism.”

    Now, now, Scott, is saying “Do what we want or we won’t buy from you!” really the same as saying “Do what we want or we will shoot you!”?

    (I am assuming “better working conditions” will be “forced” on Bangla-desh, if at all, only through an embargo, and not by an invasion.)

  45. Gravatar of Bill Ellis Bill Ellis
    16. July 2013 at 13:50

    “…same as the argument for colonialism”
    OK…That something is used as an argument for something bad, It does not mean that the argument itself is bad.

    I want to make the world a better place by reducing greed and ignorance…But so did the Nazis and the Soviets. If I advocate sending kids to school and church I am commie/Nazi ? ‘Corse not.

    Under colonialism “for the good of the natives” was a sincerely held justification for complete theft and forced acculturation. Now when we talk about “for the good of the natives” in the from of the minimum safety standards, we are advocating something that would slow down, marginally, acculturation and resource extraction. ( labor being that resource. ) …Same argument, nearly opposite results.

    All I am saying is the “Argument/Justification” is immaterial. The end result is what matters.

    If you can only argue that enforcing safety standards ” marginally ” slows down development, then you have to weigh the social costs of marginally slower growth against that of no safety standards. If when Determining the differance if it could be shown that the marginally slower growth was significantly more detrimental than no safety standards then you would have an argument. But given the wishy washy way we define social costs, And how small the marginal differance would be,… (the costs of minimal safety regs would have to be a major cost factor, for it to be. )… I doubt a convincing argument could be made.

  46. Gravatar of Bill Ellis Bill Ellis
    16. July 2013 at 14:55

    One thing is for sure… Conservatives have a Knee Jerk reaction to any talk of regulation. And when it comes to ANY talk of regulating trade with developing nations, the reaction is always an implication that we would doom the poor nations of the world permanently to poverty. It’s not so.

    The truth is regulating a particular thing or another only has marginal effects… at most. Like anything else, too much regulation can kill a thing, but some regulation may be worth the trade off in efficiency (There is not always a trade off… some regulation improves efficiency.)

    So before conservatives reflexively decry safety regs for poor nations, I wish they would temper their warning with some acknowledgement that all regs are not the same, and a willingness to at least weigh the outcome.

    For example…Requiring that Bangladesh build its factories to Japanese earthquake standards would be a an economy killer. But To require that the workers not be locked in and to have a fire drill plan, would cost next to nothing.

  47. Gravatar of Conservative Strawman Conservative Strawman
    18. July 2013 at 05:07

    Bill is wrong! Any regulation at all will kill all economic development! The market can not withstand even a light-handed regulatory framework! Safety regulations spell the end of all hope for the Third World! Safe working conditions are only for people in rich countries!

    I know, you were all thinking Bill was full of it and the “conservatives” he was talking about were just figments created by himself so that he would finally look heroic and brilliant in comparison to someone who “disagreed” with him.

    Well, here I am! I am everything he says I am, and deeply believe all the irrational things he attributes to me. Also, if he claims I changed my mind in the future, that will probably be true, also. Bill knows me really well. It’s like he can read my mind.

    Or, something…

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