Professor Benjamin Powell of Texas Tech University and author of Out of Poverty: Sweatshops in the Global Economy with Cambridge University Press visited Brown University on October 11 to guest lecture in PTP directors' John Tomasi and Dan D'Amico's class "Prosperity: The Ethics and Economics of Wealth Creation."
Powell's presentation surveyed his latest book on the role of sweatshop labor in the processes of global economic development. Powell argues that depsite popular moral outrage, sweatshops represent a preferable opportunity for the workers employed therein. Activist efforts to impose regulations and boycotts against consumer goods made in sweatshops must come to grips with the real and tangible trade offs at play that shape the welfare of sweatshop workers.
Later that afternoon, Powell met with the PPE Society to discuss the implications of sweatshop labor for global and domestic inequality.