Capitalism and Labor in a Right to Work Country (Internet)
The Ivory Coast (Republic of Côte d'Ivoire) is one example of a right to work country. The sale of cocoa used in the making of chocolate is determined by competitive pricing, supply and demand. The cheaper the cocoa the more a business can sell. With no enforced labor laws, no minimum wage, and no union organization prices are kept low by using child slave labor on many of the farms. On farms where some form of payment is made to the workers the pay is just enough for subsistence living.
Most children work 100 or more hours a week doing dangerous back breaking work. They are often beaten if they work too slowly to satisfy the overseers.
It is estimated that the cost of cocoa would have to increase by about ten times its current price to allow farmers and laborers a cost of living (for that country) income.
The Cacao Butter Butterfly Effect (Me)
A butterfly lands on the cocoa bean pod a girl is about to cut from the tree. She stops to admire the butterfly’s beauty. It is one of the few moments of pleasure in her life. She watches it as it takes flight in the gentle breeze.
At the same time the labor boss looks toward the idle girl. He is not happy that she has stopped working. He begins to beat her with his cane. Her fragile calcium deficient spine snaps and she is soon dead. Supply is down.
A substitute teacher eats a Kit Kat Bar. Demand is up. The other teacher, who paid for the Kit Kat Bar with her own money, was short one bar and could not afford more. A frustrated student decides he has no reason to be good anymore. He is expelled from school and hops a freighter to the Ivory Coast.
The cacao farmer looks for someone to purchase for a few dollars or with the unfulfilled promise of a bicycle and an education. He finds the boy from the freighter wandering the streets in a strange city, alone and hungry. The boy is excited to find work on a cacao farm. Supply is up, cost is down. The teacher can now afford more Kit Kat Bars.