Suppose you are opposed to the use of child labor in manufacturing because you think it is important for children to have an opportunity to go to school and play. Laws in the United States regulate child labor, but some countries allow it. In some situations around the world, a family depends on the child’s earnings to be able to afford to eat.
From the perspective of egoism, utilitarianism, duty-based ethics, and virtue ethics, answer the following questions and give reasons for your answers based on those ethical theories.
- Would you buy competitively-priced products if you knew that the low prices came from savings in manufacturing costs based on paying low wages to children in poor countries?
- If you learned that your employer manufactured, distributed, or sold products made using child labor, would you keep working there, if you were depending on your job to feed and clothe your own child?
- Would you advocate closing factories that use child labor, even if the result would be that the jobless children and their families would go hungry?