And I'm sorry to say I don't much care what happens to those Chinese workers. It may sound callous, but we need to take care of our own country before we worry about others. There are thousands of Americans living in poverty. If you have a broken leg you don't ignore it to fix someone else's dislocated shoulder.
I don't think that the poverty facing rural Chinese (let alone other poorer nations) is even nearly comparable to the poverty facing Americans. We have the dislocated shoulder, they're starving.
What did I mention for a global minimum wage
You're saying that the US should not trade with countries which fail to pay their workers a certain minimum standard of living. You are imposing a certain minimum wage+benefits on all US trading partners, so...how are you not imposing a minimum wage on US trading partners?
In the US most of these jobs would haveto pay more but would benefit from not needing to ship these goods thousands of miles by cargo ship.
So why, do you suppose, do US businesses find it profitable to ship these goods thousands of miles by cargo ship? Is it not, perhaps, because of how expensive US workers are, and how much benefits we give them?
So I would say figure out at a global level what importers consider a fair minimum standard, enforce a joint tax scheme to punish those nations abusing workers and not trying to make meaningful improvements to that level, and use the taxes to encourage development of a "fairness to workers".
You will only have tax revenues on this as long as you still have jobs in China. That's kind of an implication of a tariff.
And I would stop to ask yourself what the Europeans think. If the Europeans refused to trade with anyone that didn't adopt their
labor standards (with all their vacation and minimum wages), would they buy anything from us? What would happen to US jobs?
I suspect China would oppose this but if its not a resolution they couldn't block it.
What could they not block? They're on the Security Council.
And what are we expecting workers get paid $20 a day, medical care and welfare for their safety considered and provisions for their old age like the majority of civilized nations. And the money paid would go to helping nations achieve this.
You have two sons and they have two lemonade stands right next to each other. Call them Jiang and Mike. Jiang isn't as good at making lemonade as Mike. Jiang gets annoyed with Mike selling all his lemonade for $1.00 a cup, and he has an idea...he cuts the price from $1.00 to $0.80. Then, Jiang starts making all kinds of money since apparently people really care about the price. You come by and notice that poor Mike isn't making any money since he really doesn't want to make lemonade for $0.80, and so he and Dennis Kucinich start whining to you.
So your solution is to teach Jiang to make lemonade as well as Mike - that way both of your kids can charge just as much and can compete equally in the market for lemonade. But to finance this education and development, you want Jiang to charge as much for lemonade as Mike does. Jiang will, according to you, happily pay $0.20 for every cup of lemonade he makes in order to receive this education in lemonade craftsmanship at Western universities.
The problem is that his lemonade sucks in the first place. People want cheap lemonade. So if you make him charge $1.00 per lemonade, no one buys it. They'd rather buy it from Mike (who's quite happy with this policy since he's good at making expensive lemonade). So you actually make no money as a parent to pay for Jiang's edification. Jiang, an intelligent boy, has foreseen this, so he'll sell his lemonade to the Russians instead who have no taste whatsoever. (due to excessive consumption of vodka, pelmeni, and borscht)
Ten or so years ago German banks for example were satisfied with a 3% or so RoI, banks served to lubricate the economy by providing capital, not make tremendous profits for themselves.
Did they did do this out of the goodness of their banker hearts, or because Frankfurt's deutsche mark rates were low during the 80s and 90s? I seem to recall Germans bitching about joining the euro for something about interest rates and champagne not going very well with Spaten Oktoberfest.
With financial deregulation and large investment houses springing up to take advantage of that, many economists say Europe was infected with the Anglo-American disease where requiring far higher percentages of profitability was the de facto norm.
American economists call the infection "Anglo-Saxon" because we're old school.
And I cannot understand why profitability is a bad thing in and of itself. Sure, if a firm sells off its future in order to make short-term profits, it's fucking itself over. But this will be reflected in the short-term in its stock price since it's destroying it's future (and its employees' future).