Beside the blossoming fields, where poverty grows: part 2

A bouquet of spray carnations grown here costs around $3.20 in a British supermarket, while even the best-paid of manual workers earns a daily rate of $2.10, working a 46-hour week. While some workers live in compounds provided by employers, others live in shovels. And while big companies pay twice the government-approved minimum wage, other growers pay the official minimum just over a dollar a day to cover housing, food, and bare-bones survival. So, are Africa's flower workers, indeed, trapped in a cycle of poverty from which history offers no prospect of relief? a Proponents of globalization say the answer is no. ... "Done properly, corporations create better environment for the future and for the lives of the people than does a sort of black-market ... that doesn't have controls," said Mr. Jones, the British executive. But the counterargument is that no land can develop itself by supplying the capricious demands of distant foreigners while its own people are simply too poor to provide the demand for goods needed to develop their own economy.


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