Is the Free Market Really Free?
"Reporter Bob Herbert Visited a factory in El Salvador that makes jackets for the Liz Claiborne line of clothing. The jackets sell for $178 each in the United States; the workers who make them earn 77 cents per jacket, or 56 cents an hour. The factory is surrounded by berbed wire and armed guards. A worker interviewed after her 12-hour shift told of being unable to feed herself and her three-year-old daughter adequately. Her daughter drinks coffee because they cannot afford milk; both mother and daughter suffer fainting spells. David Wang, president of Mandarin Company, which runs one of the plants in El Salvador, admitted to Herbert that the wages are inadequate: "If you really ask me, this is not fair." But then he went on to offer a lesson in "free" trade. "In the United States, if you want to buy a Honda Civic, you can shop around and always you will find cheaper ones." This is what the clothing companies were doing, according to Wang. "They are shopping around the whole world for the cheapest labor price."
_William T. Cavanaugh, Being Consumed:Economics and Christian Desire (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2008)p.26.
Is the Free Market really free? Are the people involved free to "enter the Kingdom of God" (Mark 10:23)? Are we free to reach the ends that God desires for all people? If not, then what is freedom?