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Revisiting Honduras's Textile Industry

The editorial "'Sweatshops' Revisited," July 24, was logically flawed. It is not surprising that people subjected to "unending menial farm labor" seek sweatshop jobs that pay below-poverty wages. That third-world workers choose the lesser of these two evils does not make sweatshops acceptable.

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The obvious truth is that low clothing prices enjoyed by American consumers are made possible by paying extremely low wages to third-world people. Furthermore, Americans who have lost jobs to these sweatshops are suffering right here in the first world. Workers should earn a decent, livable wage, regardless of what country they live in - even if it costs Americans a couple of dollars more for a shirt.

John L. Bower

Ithaca, N.Y.

I would like to congratulate the Monitor for its editorial on the Honduran textile industry. I am pleased that it took the time to step back and assess the assembly plants within the context of the local economy and the Honduran culture.

What the American public may not be keeping in mind is that Honduras is a developing country. There are low wages because Honduras has a lower standard of living.

However, on the average, textile workers earn higher wages than workers in most other industries in Honduras.

Unknown to much of the American public, the Honduran textile industry does represent an opportunity to escape from rural poverty. Unfortunately, too many media outlets join the bandwagon and blindly condemn.

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Arnoldo Solis

San Pedro Sula, Honduras


Honduras Apparel Manufacturers Association

NBC and the Olympics

Regarding the cartoon about NBC's poor marks for the Olympics, July 30, I couldn't agree more.

I am a frustrated viewer. I tuned in to see sports competition, but too often found music-video montages, saccharine biographies, and intrusive cameras and interviews. The next time around, how about spending more time showing the sports, including the unfortunate "blacked out" events? The planners at NBC must have reasoned that this mix of programming best served their ultimate goal: providing their advertisers with a target audience. Too bad! We were the losers.

Richard Barnard

Shrewsbury, Mass.

Dole's tax cut is sound Reaganomics

Regarding the editorial "Dole Cut: Details, Please," Aug. 5: Bob Dole's tax-cut proposal is generally sound. Tax cuts pay, in part, for themselves, as we saw during Ronald Reagan's administration. Although Mr. Reagan's efforts to trim spending were largely unsuccessful, the blame lay with Congress, where his budgets were regularly dead on arrival.

Jim Hastings

Traverse City, Mich.

Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published in the Monitor and the Monitor's on-line edition and none acknowledged. All letters are subject to editing. Letters should be addressed to "Readers Write" and may be sent by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by Internet e-mail (200 words maximum) to OPED@CSPS.COM.

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