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Free Enterprise at the Baugh Center

Dr. Benjamin Powell of Texas Tech University Presents His Book “Out of Poverty: Sweatshops in the Global Economy”

April 29, 2014

Waco, Texas

Dr. Benjamin Powell, director of the Free Market Institute at Texas Tech University and author of “Out of Poverty: Sweatshops in the Global Economy” visited Baylor on Tuesday by invitation from the Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise. "Sweatshops" are the negative moniker given to factories in developing countries that produce low cost goods, primarily through lower labor costs. Dr. Powell has researched sweatshops in the developing world and argues that instead of exploiting the poor as commonly portrayed, they provide many real benefits. Powell argued that these manufacturing facilities provide the best available employment opportunities and thereby offer a means for empowerment and independence that otherwise do not exist in many developing countries. While working conditions and wages are below those in the Western world, the poor's alternative is not a job in the West but unemployment and extreme poverty.

In his book and presentation, Dr. Powell challenges the commonly held views on sweatshops, arguing that they play an important role in the process of development that leads to better wages and working conditions. The book explores the ways in which investments by Western corporations improve the welfare of poor citizens of third world countries, and provides a picture of the sweatshop that stands in stark contrast to and undermines the view often professed in popular media.

The Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise seeks to aid in the preservation of the competitive free enterprise system, including the vital small business sector of the economy and promote entrepreneurial activity among individuals and organizations that stimulate economic development through the formation of new business ventures. For more information visit: www.baylor.edu/business/freeenterprise.

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