The Morality of Child Labor

Created by Achmad Sholkhan 19 November 2010

 From the comfort of their plush offices and five to six figure salaries, self-appointed NGO's often denounce child labor as their employees rush from one five star hotel to another, $3000 subnotebooks and PDA's in hand. The hairsplitting distinction made by the ILO between "child work" and "child labor" conveniently targets impoverished countries while letting its budget contributors - the developed ones - off-the-hook.

Reports regarding child labor surface periodically. Children crawling in mines, faces ashen, body deformed. The agile fingers of famished infants weaving soccer balls for their more privileged counterparts in the USA. Tiny figures huddled in sweatshops, toiling in unspeakable conditions. It is all heart-rending and it gave rise to a veritable not-so-cottage industry of activists, commentators, legal eagles, scholars, and opportunistically sympathetic politicians.

Ask the denizens of Thailand, sub-Saharan Africa, Brazil, or Morocco and they will tell you how they regard this altruistic hyperactivity - with suspicion and resentment. Underneath the compelling arguments lurks an agenda of trade protectionism, they wholeheartedly believe. Stringent - and expensive - labor and environmental provisions in international treaties may well be a ploy to fend off imports based on cheap labor and the competition they wreak on well-ensconced domestic industries and their political stooges.

This is especially galling since the sanctimonious West has amassed its wealth on the broken backs of slaves and kids. The 1900 census in the USA found that 18 percent of all children - almost two million in all - were gainfully employed. The Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional laws banning child labor as late as 1916. This decision was overturned only in 1941.

The GAO published a report last week in which it criticized the Labor Department for paying insufficient attention to working conditions in manufacturing and mining in the USA, where many children are still employed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics pegs the number of working children between the ages of 15-17 in the USA at 3.7 million. One in 16 of these worked in factories and construction. More than 600 teens died of work-related accidents in the last ten years.

Child labor - let alone child prostitution, child soldiers, and child slavery - are phenomena best avoided. But they cannot and should not be tackled in isolation. Nor should underage labor be subjected to blanket castigation. Working in the gold mines or fisheries of the Philippines is hardly comparable to waiting on tables in a Nigerian or, for that matter, American restaurant.

There are gradations and hues of child labor. That children should not be exposed to hazardous conditions, long working hours, used as means of payment, physically punished, or serve as sex slaves is commonly agreed. That they should not help their parents plant and harvest may be more debatable.

As Miriam Wasserman observes in "Eliminating Child Labor", published in the Federal Bank of Boston's "Regional Review", second quarter of 2000, it depends on "family income, education policy, production technologies, and cultural norms." About a quarter of children under-14 throughout the world are regular workers. This statistic masks vast disparities between regions like Africa (42 percent) and Latin America (17 percent).

In many impoverished locales, child labor is all that stands between the family unit and all-pervasive, life threatening, destitution. Child labor declines markedly as income per capita grows. To deprive these bread-earners of the opportunity to lift themselves and their families incrementally above malnutrition, disease, and famine - is an apex of immoral hypocrisy.

Quoted by "The Economist", a representative of the much decried Ecuador Banana Growers Association and Ecuador's Labor Minister, summed up the dilemma neatly: "Just because they are under age doesn't mean we should reject them, they have a right to survive. You can't just say they can't work, you have to provide alternatives."<

Regrettably, the debate is so laden with emotions and self-serving arguments that the facts are often overlooked.

The outcry against soccer balls stitched by children in Pakistan led to the relocation of workshops ran by Nike and Reebok. Thousands lost their jobs, including countless women and 7000 of their progeny. The average family income - anyhow meager - fell by 20 percent. Economists Drusilla Brown, Alan Deardorif, and Robert Stern observe wryly:

"While Baden Sports can quite credibly claim that their soccer balls are not sewn by children, the relocation of their production facility undoubtedly did nothing for their former child workers and their families."

Such examples abound. Manufacturers - fearing legal reprisals and "reputation risks" (naming-and-shaming by overzealous NGO's) - engage in preemptive sacking. German garment workshops fired 50,000 children in Bangladesh in 1993 in anticipation of the American never-legislated Child Labor Deterrence Act.

Quoted by Wasserstein, former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich, notes:

"Stopping child labor without doing anything else could leave children worse off. If they are working out of necessity, as most are, stopping them could force them into prostitution or other employment with greater personal dangers. The most important thing is that they be in school and receive the education to help them leave poverty."

Contrary to hype, three quarters of all children work in agriculture and with their families. Less than 1 percent work in mining and another 2 percent in construction. Most of the rest work in retail outlets and services, including "personal services" - a euphemism for prostitution. UNICEF and the ILO are in the throes of establishing school networks for child laborers and providing their parents with alternative employment.

But this is a drop in the sea of neglect. Poor countries rarely proffer education on a regular basis to more than two thirds of their eligible school-age children. This is especially true in rural areas where child labor is a widespread blight. Education - especially for women - is considered an unaffordable luxury by many hard-pressed parents. In many cultures, work is still considered to be indispensable in shaping the child's morality and strength of character and in teaching him or her a trade.

"The Economist" elaborates:

"In Africa children are generally treated as mini-adults; from an early age every child will have tasks to perform in the home, such as sweeping or fetching water. It is also common to see children working in shops or on the streets. Poor families will often send a child to a richer relation as a housemaid or houseboy, in the hope that he will get an education."

A solution recently gaining steam is to provide families in poor countries with access to loans secured by the future earnings of their educated offspring. The idea - first proposed by Jean-Marie Baland of the University of Namur and James A. Robinson of the University of California at Berkeley - has now permeated the mainstream.

Even the World Bank has contributed a few studies, notably, in June, "Child Labor: The Role of Income Variability and Access to Credit Across Countries" authored by Rajeev Dehejia of the NBER and Roberta Gatti of the Bank's Development Research Group.

Abusive child labor is abhorrent and should be banned and eradicated. All other forms should be phased out gradually. Developing countries already produce millions of unemployable graduates a year - 100,000 in Morocco alone. Unemployment is rife and reaches, in certain countries - such as Macedonia - more than one third of the workforce. Children at work may be harshly treated by their supervisors but at least they are kept off the far more menacing streets. Some kids even end up with a skill and are rendered employable.

Download Free Ipod Games

Created by Achmad Sholkhan

 If you are looking to download games for your Ipod, you have come to the right place. If you are anything like what seems like most of the people in the world, you Ipod has slowly turned into a very large part of your life. They are just so versatile! As well as filling it with your favorite tunes, you can also find games galore for it! You'll find some tips here to help you find out exactly where you can get those games for free.

Tip 1- Be careful!
Unfortunately it seems that most free game download sites are set up for one reason-ripping people off! A good percentage of them will be only too happy to give your precious computer and Ipod some kind of virus too. It?s tough to find which sites are trustworthy or not, so as a general rule I avoid any site which uses popups. Popups are one of my pet hates, and I figure any site that treats its visitor like that doesn't deserve my visit!

Tip 2-Stay On The Right Side Of The Law!
As mentioned, some of these free download sites are pretty unscrupulous, so they will think nothing of letting you download copyrighted Ipod games. If this happens, you've broken the law! The authorities get a little better at tracking these illegal downloads all the time, so think twice before you get involved. It's pretty easy to find out details about people over the internet, so it shouldn?t be too hard for the authorities to track you down if they want to.

Tip 3-Be Smart
Always keep in mind the axiom that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. It's frustrating sometimes to look at things this way, but most of the time if you see somewhere offering all manner of downloads and free content for your Ipod, chances are there is some kind of scam or law-breaking going on. You'll usually find that they will have a sting in the tail or something like that-asking you for your credit card details before you can download anything, or something like that. Obviously if you do get involved with sites like this, always try and keep your wits about you.

I think that if you are looking to download free Ipod games, the best method to use is to become a member of a legitimate download site. There are more and more sites like this popping up these days, and they usually work by charging you a one off fee for membership up front, and then giving you access to their huge database of high speed downloads. The membership fee can seem like a drag, it's usually $20 to $40, and I guess they put it toward the upkeep of their servers and admin etc. Most of these sites will not only give you access to games, but there will be Films, Television Shows and more music than you can imagine.

Affiliate Marketing: Know The Can-Spam Act

Created by Achmad Sholkhan

The amount of false information available about e-mail marketing on the net is staggering. If you are advertising your affiliate program through e-mail campaigns, make sure you know what your responsibilities are.

The lawless days of spam e-mail are over, at least for U.S.A. based advertisers. The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) sets forth specific requirements for advertising via e-mail. The law has been tested numerous times since being passed and fines have been levied, property seized, people have even been sentenced to prison.

As an affiliate marketer obviously you don't want to be on the wrong side of this law. Luckily, complying with the provisions in the law is fairly simple. Here is what it requires:

No misleading or fake header information. This includes the "From:" and "To" fields.

No deceptive subject lines. You want your customer to know what you're selling anyway, so this should be no problem.

Messages must be labeled as advertising. Again, the moral is: no sneaky stuff.

An "internet-based" opt-out method must be provided. You have 10 days to stop e-mailing a person once you have received their remove request.

Messages must include your business (or home) physical address. This provides accountability and a way for the customer to verify that your business is real.

Breaking any of these rules could lead to a fine of up to $11,000 per violation! Honesty is now truly the best policy. You may be thinking: if this is such a big deal, why is my inbox flooded with spam every day?

It's not a perfect world, and the short answer is that many of those advertisers are breaking the law. Commonly they are outside the United States in areas where prosecution may be unrealistic. You, on the other hand, would probably be quite easy to catch.

Online video publishing has indeed taken the Internet by storm in recent years, making the use of video for marketing, promotion, news and PR online a true key strategic component and a key business differentiator for internet marketers who want to communicate effectively about their product profile and benefits within the shortest possible of time.

Internet is full of information and the average attention span of a web user today is measured in seconds. When web users search for their information at a search engine, they will get thousands of search results; when they visit your website, they may only spend a few seconds and little efforts to scan through what you are selling or proposing and decide whether your content, style, look and approach are a good fit for what they were actually looking for. These first few seconds are crucial and if you can delivery clear and targeted message by offering a fast, highly visual way to get their further attention and engage their interest, you have done bingo.

Does this mean that you just need to simply put up 10-min video tutorial on your website or just slamming some video contents up on your web pages, you will instantly sell more products or services? If this is your way of marketing with video on the web and hoping to get high conversion rate of traffic-to-sales, you will more toward getting disappointments than good news.

In order to make your video to effectively market your products/services online and convey your product/service key traits and characteristics within a very short amount of time in a unique, memorable way. These are a few rules of thumb to follow:

1. Get Your Video Seen

If you want your video to be your effective marketing tool, it must be able to see by as many web users as possible. Hence, don't just keep and tight your video inside your web site borders. Let your video content be free and distributed to the majors video sharing websites such as YouTube and Google video so that not only others can watch and talk about it, but they can easily download it, redistribute it, if not even publish it directly on their own sites. 

2. Small File & Load Fast

Statistics show that average web users spend their time waiting for a page to load is about 7 seconds. Web pages that take longer than 7 seconds to load, their visitors normally are on the verge of clicking away and visit other website. Hence, you need to make sure your video file is small enough, ideally less than 1 megabyte and load almost in real time to keep the interest your visitors. AVI is the most common video format, the file size can easily exist 10 megabytes for a short 2-3 minutes video; hence if you share your video in this format, you most probably will get "click away" from you visitors because of long loading time of your video file. Hence, you must get a video format conversion tool to convert your video to a more internet friendly format such as SWF format.

3. Let Them Know It's A Video, A Short Video

If the web users do not know that it is a video, they won't click it and play it; hence your video will get watch. So, you must let the web users know that the "box" is a video; the best way is to make it look like a video / VCR-like by having a play and stop button where the web users can click to play the video and stop it whenever they want to stop it.

Let the web users know also this is a short video. No one wants to sit through a 30 minute presentation on the history of your company; be focused on your products/services and deliver your messages preferable within 2 minutes.

In Summary

Effectively market with video on the web is not just slamming some video content up on your web pages, it more toward effective video communication through video publishing & sharing on the web.

The Ultimate Recipe to Make Money Online

Created by Achmad Sholkhan

The article should contain good useful information. It should be of interest to the reader. A boring article could possibly brand your site as boring also. Although, someone might find it useful if they're having trouble sleeping. You might want to write about your tips and techniques and turn them into a series of articles for the newcomers that are starting out in this business.

An article that solves someone's particular problem or answers their questions is a good article. You will be amazed at the number of people that will read an informative and interesting article.

Whatever it is you choose to write about, you will be starting from the headline; it should catch the people's attention. It must make them read the next paragraph with eagerness to learn more. The title of your article can more or less determine the success of your articles exposure.

Your chosen article topic must match the contents or theme of your website. If your expertise is about banner marketing and your website reflects this, then writing your article about the pros and cons of banner advertising or creation could be a good option.

You article introduction should be powerful continuing from the headline. It must be compelling enough to keep the reader wanting more.

The content must be interesting and informative. It must contain what the headline and introduction promises. If the content is written with the intention to help the reader solve their problem or answer their questions, then your reader will appreciate your information and continue reading to the end and hopefully clicking on your link for more satisfying advice. At this point the reader already likes your work and the chances of him or her buying your product has been fused with trust. 

As mentioned earlier the placement of your keywords is paramount to the success of your article reaching its target market. The keyword/s should exist in the headline of your article, in the introduction, and in the main body. They should not interfere with the flow of you message and they should look like they belong there. Your keyword density probably shouldn't exceed 3% in your article. This would simply mean 3 keywords for every hundred words.

Your article might be seen by thousands of potential customers, so it is important that you include a brief description of yourself or your product along with your name and website URL on the bottom. Your little ad here should entice the reader to visit the link.

New IRS Scam Hits Email Mailboxes

Created by Achmad Sholkhan

There is a new wave of email "phishing" that is showing up in email mailboxes this spring, unscrupulous scammers are now targeting the American public with email claiming to be from the IRS.

The ingenious fraudsters' aim is to collect your Social Security number, credit card account information and banking account information. The emails, which look authentic complete with the IRS logo and privacy policy, lure people into providing this information by notifying them of an audit or offering them access to a link to collect their refund. Additionally, the web site that appears bears a striking resemblance to the official IRS web site (even the font type matches) and when people click home, it actually takes them to (the real IRS web site).

However, there are some flaws to these thief's attempts to secure people's private and personal information. This is what the public should know: In one of the scam emails in the browser or address bar at the top of the page it reads: and the information that is requested, Social Security number, credit card number, banking information (where the refund goes).

The public needs to know that the IRS generally does not communicate with them via email.

"We do not communicate with taxpayers via email. We may send you a letter, we may call you, but we do not send out email," stated IRS spokeswoman Nancy Mathis.

In recent weeks up to one hundred complaints a day are reported regarding email scams and the IRS has found twelve web sites operated in eighteen different countries committing this type of fraud or other types of IRS related fraud.

If you get an email from the IRS and if you doubt its authenticity, it is best to call the IRS and verify that they did, in fact send the correspondence. Call the IRS at 1-(800) 829-1040 ask confirm if they are trying to contact you. To report a fraudulent or suspicious email claiming to be from the IRS, call the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1 (800) 366-4484. Furthermore, report any cases of identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission at

Branding is critical in establishing a strong position in the market. Your brand represents your business. How customers respond to it will make all the difference in your business. Creating an effective brand is a challenging task even for any company and one that requires the guidance of an expert. You cannot afford to treat your branding efforts lightly so it is essential for you to work with the right people that can help you develop the branding solution that will work best for your business.

You will find the advice you need from professional and reputable branding consultants. There are branding consultants who work independently but most often, they are associated with branding agencies. In todays digital world, possibly all branding agencies will have a website so if you do not know a branding agency, simply do an internet search and you will find a host of online branding consulting firms.

With a branding agency, you will get access to a pool of talented individuals in various field of expertise to include marketing, advertising, market research, languages, public relations, mass communications, graphic design, technology and etcetera. When looking at online branding consulting firms, check the background of the people that comprise the group to get a good idea of the firms capabilities.

Credible online branding consulting firms often lists their previous clients on their websites. You may contact these companies to get first hand opinion about how the firm works. Additionally, it is integral in your selection process to look at the firms portfolio. This is one of the best ways to judge the quality of their work. Many online branding consulting agencies offer case studies of their previous branding projects so you can review these to evaluate how effective their branding solutions are and if they can deliver the results that you demand.

Another good way to assess an online branding consulting firm is simply to look at their website. How do they present themselves? Does their website make an impact on you? What impression do you get from their imagery, their logo, their overall design? After reading their web copy, does it compel you to call them right away? You can tell a lot from the website if an online consulting firm has what it takes to create a strong brand. If they succeed to deliver their message to you that they are the best at what they do, then chances are they will be able to do the same for you.

It may be that several online branding consulting firms will catch your eye and all will seem to be good candidates. When you contact each firm, see how well you can communicate to them and how they respond to you. Trust your instincts. Choose a firm with people that makes you feel comfortable and at ease. After all, you will be working closely with them to grow your business so you need someone you can easily regard as a business partner.