Strange bedfellows

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Alison Maitland writes in the Financial Times:

For nearly two years, [Unilever] has allowed Oxfam to probe and analyse its socio-economic impact in one very large country, Indonesia, where it sells soap, soy sauce, ice cream and mosquito coils to consumers, more than half of whom live on less than $2 a day.

Very interesting, although there is the occassional bizarre comment:

The partnership wisely does not pretend to have found definitive answers. Many questions remain unresolved, such as: what is a "fair price"? How much higher than the legally required minimum wage should multinational pay-rates be?

The economist in me has no idea what these questions can even begin to mean: prices and wages are set by competition. I'm sure Unilever don't really believe that they should be in the business of subsidising their own workforce, either. Read the whole piece, though.

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