Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor


Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor


Article excerpt

A sweatshop is still a sweatshop by any standard

Regarding the Jan. 22 article "The self-made ride stitches to riches": I was disappointed to read your description of the sneaker factory run by the Lin family in Jinjiang China.

Since the earliest years of the Industrial Revolution, writers such as Charles Dickens and Upton Sinclair have witnessed with outrage the treatment of workers in factories like those your reporter visited. The report tells readers that while bosses sip tea, drive costly automobiles, and plan vacations, workers labor daily "for up to 16 hours" receiving "two or three days off" per month, while living "free" in company-owned dormitories.

With due respect, this is not "liberal" by any standard. The Lin family runs a sweatshop. Why imply that those who do labor in such places are content? They have little choice. Philip Chassler Cambridge, Mass.

A not-so-wild Web

Regarding Amitai Etzioni's Jan. 22 Opinion piece "Law and order and the wild, wild Web": It's difficult to be anonymous on the Web - just consider Internet users charged with illegally downloading music files. Actually, the Web was designed to prevent anonymity.

As for tangible items sold online, those items carry shipping charges instead of sales tax. Of course, bricks-and-mortar stores generally ship in volume, saving greatly on shipping, and they often receive price concessions from vendors. Geoffrey Morrison Oklahoma City

Fuzzy math in NYC schools

Your Jan. 20 article "One city, one curriculum," gave an incomplete picture of the changes in New York City public schools being put in place by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and school Chancellor Joel Klein. It's hard to attribute recently improved test scores to the reforms that had hardly been announced before the test date.

One thing that has not changed is that content experts are left out of curriculum decisions. Does Mr. Klein care that mathematicians throughout the city call his new math curriculum "fuzzy" and "dumbed down"? Teachers' Union President Randi Weingarten is quoted complaining that the administration ignores teachers' views, but teachers are not the only ones being ignored. …

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