Are You Worse than a Price-Gouger or Sweatshop Owner?

Matt Zwolinski

Here’s an 35-minute video lecture by Prof. Matt Zwolinski, on “Exploitation and the Psychology of Moral Judgment.”

Here’s the official summary: “In this lecture, Professor Matt Zwolinski discusses how price-gougers and sweatshop owners may benefit consumers and workers, even when the benefits they bestow would be described as “exploitation” by some observers. Zwolinski briefly discusses how and under what conditions these relationships can be mutually beneficial, and then asks why so many people think that price-gougers and sweatshop owners who provide opportunities to the poor that would otherwise be unavailable are worse than people who do nothing at all to help the poor. Zwolinski argues that our intuitions about these cases are misleading, and that we should revise them if we discover that people who protest sweatshops and price-gouging make the poor worse off than they would be without them. “


  1. What if it is the workers themselves who protest “sweatshop” conditions?

  2. No, but it would suggest that we should examine the sweatshop workers’ protests on the merits rather than disparage their putative saviors.

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