Bangladeshi Onions And Ain’t The Price System Wondrous?

Bangladesh has rather fewer onions around than people would like to be eating. This is a pity, of course, especially as onions are an important part of the local cuisine. The shortage is bad enough that the Prime Minister has made it known that none of the dishes cooked at her official residence were, on one day last week, prepared using onions.

So, what is it that we need when such a thing happens? Well, we’d like someone to scurry off somewhere and go and get more onions, obviously.…

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A Bangladeshi Parking App Might Not Look Like Much

So, we’ve a little smartphone app that allows you to find a parking space in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Or, to rent out your parking space to someone in Dhaka, Bangladesh. True, the value of parking spaces in Dhaka is not high. They’re in short supply and difficult to find but we’re in a poor country so we’re not talking about vast gobbets of value being added to the global economy.

And yet there is a significant issue here.…

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Girl Power T-Shirts – Factory Wages Are Just Fine For Bangladesh Actually

The Guardian tells us that those Girl Power t-shirts are made in a factory in Bangladesh. One that pays its workers only 42 pence an hour and isn’t this just disgusting and awful. Well, yes, actually, it is. That Bangladesh is this poor is indeed disgusting and awful. That wages are this low there is something we’d all like to change. But that’s just what wages are in Bangladesh, low, because it’s a poor place. Poor places have low wages, low wages mean a place is poor, that’s just how this economics stuff works.…

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The Horrors Of The Spice Girls T-Shirts – 35 Pence An Hour Wages In Bangladesh

The Guardian’s managed to get itself hoodwinked by some of the more obstreperous campaigners in this story about the making of the Spice Girls t-shirts in Bangladesh – the workers are making only 35 pence an hour. Well, yes, perhaps they are, that’s well above minimum wage in that country. It’s also well above the average wage in that country. The point being that Bangladesh is a poor place which is why people gain poor wages for their labour.…

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Bangladesh’s Rice Price Hike – Amartya Sen’s Explanation For The Bengal Famine

There’s a certain amount of head scratching from our friends at the Dhaka Tribune over the current rise in the price of rice in Bangladesh. There’s no particular shortage of rice in the country, it’s not – wildly at least – wrongly distributed, there’s not been a crop failure, we seem to just have one of those vagaries of markets. Or, what is more likely, politics is driving the price of rice up. The mechanism is as with Amartya Sen’s explanation of the Bengal Famine, a small worry and an initial price movement compound themselves into moving the entire market upwards.…

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The Bangladesh Garment Workers Are Actually Well Paid, Not Badly

There’s a strike or two taking place in Bangladesh over wages for garment workers. The workers wanting more money of course, the employers not really desiring to give it to them. Ho hum, how surprising.

The thing is though, by the standards of this time and that place those garment workers aren’t badly paid. In fact, they’re rather well paid by those standards, even as they’re badly paid by our standards or of richer places more generally.…

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Foreign Countries Are Foreign – Bangladeshi Photographer Fired And Beaten For Pic Of Kiss

Henri Cartier Bresson gained worldwide acclaim for his picture of a couple kissing. This photographer in Bangladesh has been beaten up – by his own colleagues – for a picture of a couple kissing. It’s a nice little picture too, not quite Bresson class but fun all the same. The thing is that foreign countries really are foreign, they do things differently there:

The photo – a dreamy scene of two lovers kissing in the monsoon rain – went viral in Bangladesh almost immediately after photojournalist Jibon Ahmed posted it on his Facebook page Monday.

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Clean Clothes’ Absurd Demand For Bangladeshi Minimum Wage Rise In The Garment Factories

We’d all like poor people to be richer. The important question is how do we make them richer? Do we follow the tried and tested method- if difficult and slow one – of working hard so that the country a a whole becomes richer, more value is being added, and incomes and living standards naturally rise? Or do we go for the damn fool insistence upon much higher wages right now. Because, you know, equality?

Sadly, an organisation called Clean Clothes has decided to follow that second path.…

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The Mongolian Clusterhuddle Explaining Why India And Bangladesh Are Still Poor

It’s entirely possible – and true – to point out that both India and Bangladesh are actually rather rich places. They’re well above the historical level of living standards for example. And I’d be willing to take or place a bet on the idea that they currently provide a living standard better than the median human one of the past few millennia since we invented agriculture.

It’s also entirely possible – and true – to point out that India and Bangladesh are poor places.…

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