Fred Dickey's article "Levi Strauss and the Price We Pay" (Dec. 1) tells the story of the hundreds of thousands of American textile and apparel workers who have lost their jobs due to globalization. Globalization is caused by the enormous power of corporate contributions to our elected representatives in Washington. By lowering tariffs on foreign imports, Congress puts our workers in direct competition with pennies-an-hour labor elsewhere.
Levi Strauss wouldn't move production offshore if it couldn't get its products back into our market and still make a profit. After 30 years of unabated trade liberalization, I think the burden has now shifted to the proponents of free trade to tell us their endgame scenario. The goal of our trade policies should not be free trade [but rather] enriching our workers and developing our economy. Levi Strauss was an active player in promoting textile and apparel trade liberalization on Capitol Hill. Its former workers are victims of its lobbying efforts.
The search for a quick buck without any moral obligation is creating intolerable conditions here and abroad. Historically such conditions led to political instability, revolution and war. We should elect politicians who realize that there's a link between human dignity and national security, but I'm bitterly aware that none are interested. Difficult decisions about human rights will have to be made within the next 10 years if we are to avoid global catastrophes.