The conundrum presented by the Bangladeshi building collapse

By now you probably realize that there is a company in China with a factory where most of the electronics in the world are manufactured. If you own an HP, Dell, Apple, or Sony desktop or laptop; if you own an iPhone or Android phone or Blackberry; or if you own a sound system, it was probably made in the Chinese FoxConn factory. Working conditions there are poor. 

However, FoxConn is a heavenly paradise by comparison with some garment manufacturing facilities in Third World countries. A recent 9-story building collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh has resulted in a death toll of 400 and still counting. Apparently, several different garment contractors used the building to run sweatshops. 

The owner of the building was caught fleeing Bangladesh to India (which likely would have handed him back to Bangladesh anyway, had he been caught there). 

Now, the finger-pointing begins. 

To be sure, the building owner will get a lot of blame for operating a building that was, well, collapsible. But how much did he know? Was the construction company at fault for not following architect plans to the letter, or were their raw materials suppliers at fault for delivering substandard building materials. What about the architects?: did they cut corners in design to keep costs down (and in a poor country like Bangladesh, costs are always a consideration)?

Then, going in the other direction, how much blame should be laid on the doorstep of companies like Walmart, Sears, Target and others who, even if their products weren't manufactured in this specific building, contract to have products manufactured in similarly unsafe circumstances?

Do American companies have a responsibility to workers working under contract in other countries? or is this the business of the people and governments there?

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Sorry to sound presumptuous. I should have phrased that last paragraph more like a real question: "Is it then better to...?"

RE: "If Mexico were a prosperous country (which it could be if the government, police, and upper class weren't so f*cking corrupt)" - that becomes a - literally - vicious cycle, one might equally ponder that the government, police, and upper class wouldn't be so "f*cking corrupt" if the country were more prosperous, but then again, that hasn't prevented that from happening here, has it?

I suggested a year ago that in a hundred years, this country could possibly be, "The United States of North America," and include Canada and Mexico, but you ridiculed the idea.

BTW, the death toll has just exceeded 600 people. (source)


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