Well it did not take long to get feedback and good criticism from the April 18, 2006 blog. The criticism raises an important and interesting question. What is an objective standard? In the April 18 blog, I recommended that a Voluntary International Association certify manufacturers as complying with basic standards of safe working conditions, fair wages and environmental responsibility.
It has been brought to my attention that where environmental pollution standards and working conditions may be universally agreed upon, wages are so interlocked with the local economy that they are impossible to determine outside that local community. It is a local issue and a valid criticism. There are some issues that are local and not the business of any but the local community. It has also been pointed out that it is impossible to force compliance on unwilling parties. No matter how good the intentions and goals are, if compliance is not voluntary it will not work. After reflection, I wish to make the following amendment to the April 18 blog:
Compliance with universal standards of environmental pollution and working conditions should be voluntary. Manufacturers should be encouraged to participate because they share the views reflected by the organization. It is the right thing to do and with time the goal will be universally accepted.
Other comments are welcome.