Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684899dbb8-662rr Total loading time: 1.991 Render date: 2022-05-21T16:36:21.406Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

The Value of Fairness and the Wrong of Wage Exploitation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 July 2020

Brian Berkey*
Affiliation:
University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

In a recent article in this journal, David Faraci (2019) argues that the value of fairness can plausibly be appealed to in order to vindicate the view that consensual, mutually beneficial employment relationships can be wrongfully exploitative, even if employers have no obligation to hire or otherwise benefit those who are badly off enough to be vulnerable to wage exploitation. In this commentary, I argue that several values provide potentially strong grounds for thinking that it is at least sometimes better, morally speaking, for employers to hire worse-off people at intuitively exploitative wages than to hire better-off people at intuitively fair wages. Rather than suggesting that hiring badly off people at intuitively exploitative wages is permissible, however, I suggest that this gives us reason to think that employers can be obligated to hire worse-off people rather than better-off people and to pay them nonexploitative wages.

Type
Commentary
Copyright
© 2020 Business Ethics Quarterly

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Bailey, Adam D. 2011. “The Nonworseness Claim and the Moral Permissibility of Better-than-Permissible Acts.” Philosophia 39 (2): 237–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Barnes, Michael R. 2013. “Exploitation as a Path to Development: Sweatshop Labour, Micro-Unfairness, and the Non-worseness Claim.” Ethics and Economics 10 (1): 2643.Google Scholar
Berkey, Brian. 2016. “Against Rawlsian Institutionalism about Justice.” Social Theory and Practice 42 (2): 706–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Berkey, Brian. 2019. “Sweatshops, Structural Injustice, and the Wrong of Exploitation: Why Multinational Corporations Have Positive Duties to the Global Poor.” Journal of Business Ethics. DOI: 10.1007/s10551-019-04299-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Berkey, Brian. 2020a. “Effectiveness and Demandingness.” Utilitas. DOI: 10.1017/S0953820820000084.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Berkey, Brian. 2020b. “Rawlsian Institutionalism and Business Ethics: Does It Matter Whether Corporations Are Part of the Basic Structure of Society?” Business Ethics Quarterly. DOI: 10.1017/beq.2020.14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dänzer, Sonja. 2014. “Unfair Trade, Exploitation, and Below-Subsistence Wages.” Moral Philosophy and Politics 1 (2): 269–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Faraci, David. 2019. “Wage Exploitation and the Nonworseness Claim: Allowing the Wrong, to Do More Good.” Business Ethics Quarterly 29 (2): 169–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ferguson, Benjamin. 2016. “The Paradox of Exploitation.” Erkenntnis 81 (5): 951 –72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Horton, Joe. 2017. “The All or Nothing Problem.” Journal of Philosophy 114 (2): 94104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kates, Michael. 2019. “Sweatshops, Exploitation, and the Case for a Fair Wage.” Journal of Political Philosophy 27 (1): 2647.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Malmqvist, Eric. 2017. “Better to Exploit than Neglect? International Clinical Research and the Non-worseness Claim.” Journal of Applied Philosophy 34 (4): 474 –88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mayer, Robert. 2007a. “What’s Wrong with Exploitation?Journal of Applied Philosophy 24 (2): 137 –50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mayer, Robert. 2007b. “Sweatshops, Exploitation, and Moral Responsibility.” Journal of Social Philosophy 38 (4): 605–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Meyers, Chris. 2004. “Wrongful Beneficence: Exploitation and Third World Sweatshops.” Journal of Social Philosophy 35 (3): 319–33.Google Scholar
Parfit, Derek. 2002. “Equality or Priority.” In The Ideal of Equality, edited by Clayton, Matthew and Williams, Andrew, 81–125. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
Powell, Benjamin, and Zwolinski, Matt. 2012. “The Ethical and Economic Case against Sweatshop Labor: A Critical Assessment.” Journal of Business Ethics 107 (4): 449–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Preiss, Joshua. 2019. “Freedom, Autonomy, and Harm in Global Supply Chains.” Journal of Business Ethics 160 (4): 881–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pummer, Theron. 2016. “Whether and Where to Give.” Philosophy and Public Affairs 44 (1): 7795.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Snyder, Jeremy C. 2008. “Needs Exploitation.” Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (4): 389405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sollars, Gordon G., and Englander, Fred. 2018. “Sweatshops: Economic Analysis and Exploitation as Unfairness.” Journal of Business Ethics 149 (1): 1529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wertheimer, Alan. 1999. Exploitation. Rev. ed. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Zwolinski, Matt. 2007. “Sweatshops, Choice, and Exploitation.” Business Ethics Quarterly 17 (4): 689727.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
3
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The Value of Fairness and the Wrong of Wage Exploitation
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

The Value of Fairness and the Wrong of Wage Exploitation
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

The Value of Fairness and the Wrong of Wage Exploitation
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *