I read in the paper this morning that apparently, dozens of workers in the blue jeans industry have died, and others have been maimed, due to the practice of sandblasting jeans. As one reads the articles, one would come to believe that the practice of sandblasting poses a horrible risk to human health.
On the flip side, it's standard practice to prepare metal surfaces for painting with a quick silica blast. So what gives?
Well, apparently the managers at the blue jeans plants overseas are too (insert expletive here if desired) cheap to purchase a $56 respirator from McMaster-Carr for their workers in the sandblasting rooms.
It introduces an interesting question; libertarians (and I do name myself as having libertarian inclinations) will claim that the profit motive alone ought to impel smart businessmen to treat their workers well. However, in a "supply rich environment" for labor such as that of developing countries, I'm not quite sure that's true in general. "Get me another set of lungs not yet filled with sand, Louie."
And of course, exactly what kind of insane person would want to pay extra for jeans deliberately damaged by sand is beyond me. But if you're that person, and want some damaged jeans, I've got a few pairs (size 36/34) that I'll let go for $15 apiece. Even better, they're authentically damaged by real working in dirt and grease (one pair is chemically faded by "Liquid Plumber")! So you get a better price than Target and street cred to boot.
Do I have any takers?
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