Not only did Mitt Romney profit from the sending of American jobs overseas, he profited from the purchase of a giant Chinese sweatshop populated by 20,000 young women.

This sweatshop was utterly fenced in; it had guard towers and was lined with barbed wire. Mitt Romney took the manager’s word for the reason: it was for keeping strangers out, not for keeping the women in. Romney inquired about this no further.

And notice how he rationalizes not increasing the women’s wages, and the lesson he draws from visiting the factory. Simply jaw-dropping.


Obviously, what’s likely happening here is that the women, if they wanted to leave, were not permitted to do so until they had worked for the full bulk of the year (through to Chinese New Year). In other words, it’s a roach hotel. Once they entered, they had to stay until the factory owners decided to let them go. Maybe it was longer than a year before a woman could be released. Who can say?

Among the many troubling things here is that Romney asked his guide just enough questions to get the comforting answer, but otherwise thought no evil, heard no evil, and saw no evil. He treated it as a simple matter of bad luck for the women–nothing he could do anything about, though his corporation was buying the factory. He wasn’t a tourist, he was becoming the owner.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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