Nicholas Kristof has a column that illustrates the true meaning of unfairness. He never uses the word. He doesn't need to:
Nhep Chanda is a 17-year-old girl who is one of hundreds of Cambodians who toil all day, every day, picking through the dump for plastic bags, metal cans and bits of food. The stench clogs the nostrils, and parts of the dump are burning, producing acrid smoke that blinds the eyes...
Nhep Chanda averages 75 cents a day for her efforts. For her, the idea of being exploited in a garment factory — working only six days a week, inside instead of in the broiling sun, for up to $2 a day — is a dream.
Treaties that raise labor and environmental standards have a cost. They take away hope and opportunity for workers in the most desperate parts of the world. As Kristof notes:
Already there are very few factories in Africa or the poor countries of Asia, and if we raise the bar higher, there will be even fewer.
There are no easy answers. But it is worth weighing these human costs, and descrbing them explicitly, before striking a pose of moral superiority.
To be fair.