Loose Cannons

June 23, 2007

Aims to make a killing

"We run an absolute dictatorship and that's what's going to drive this transformation and deliver results. If you can't get the people to go there and you try once and you try twice, then you just shoot them and get them out of the way." — Taped remarks by Telstra chief operations officer Greg Winn, played on ABC TV's June 18 Four Corners program.

The free market

"From the densely packed factory zones of Guangdong Province to the street markets, kitchens and brothels of major cities, to the primitive factories of China's relatively poor western provinces, child labor is a daily fact of life, experts here say, and one that the government, preoccupied with economic growth, has traditionally turned a blind eye to." — New York Times, June 21.

Land of the free

"Under the [US 'guest-worker'] system, called the H-2 programme, some 121,000 guest workers were brought in from Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, Peru and other South American countries to the United States two years ago ... Bonded to bosses who hire them and having no access to legal redress, they are routinely cheated out of their already low wages, held virtually captive by employers or agents who keep their passports, made to live in squalid quarters and denied medical benefits for injuries." — Malaysian Star, June 21.

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