A writer ventures into the writing business with the aim of entertaining the readers. These personalities write captivating stories that entertain the readers. However, in this case, Upton makes the above statement to try and bring out the fact that even though the book was written to entertain the readers, somewhat it tampered with their inner feeling. The book centers around a Lithuanian immigrant who comes to the USA with the hope of having a better life. However, the turnout of events does not impress both the writer and presumably the reader. The book describes the life of one Jurgigs life experience as he worked in a meat-packing house. Some of the reasons with which the writer might have accidentally hit the stomach directly relates to the working conditions at the meat packinghouse. Even though the author intended to make the readers pay more attention to workers’ affliction, immigration laws and advocating for socialism, it ends up discussing more on the quality of the meat. Instead of spreading socialism in the book, the writer changed the story line to meatpacking house. Usually, one story leads to the other. The story trickled down to reflecting more on the food industry during that century. Because people encountered food on a daily basis, much focus was put on the food industry rather than the societal conditions. More so, people who migrate to the United States usually do so because if having an American dream. Little do they know that their American dream will be shattered as soon as they step onto the American soil.
The novel played an important part in the passing of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 and the Meat Inspection Act of 1906. In 1903, the Bureau of Corporations was created. It was tasked with the duty of studying and reporting on various industries. President Roosevelt had started a domestic program that was termed as the three C’s. The C’s stood for conservation of natural resources, consumer protection and control of the corporations. It was during this time that the legislations on foodstuffs such as meat were passed because of the book written by Upton. The Legislations that were passed persisted on the fact that the meat had to be processed under clean and safe conditions and with proper sanitation. Therefore, the enactment of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 as well as the Meat Inspection Act of the same year was accredited to the book, The Jungle by Upton. These Acts were the first of the many series of consumer protection laws to be enacted by the government. The U.S. bureau of chemistry was given the responsibilities of inspecting the products as it referred the offenders for prosecution. Therefore, Upton’s book was an inspirational piece of writing that kept the public’s attention on the crucial issue of unsanitary meat processing firms. The Acts were formed to prevent the manufacture as well as the sale of deleterious foods.
The meat in the early 1900s indeed needed to be regulated. The industry came as a full package of disaster, ranging from poor working conditions, mistreatment of the employees and the diseases that resulted from the uncouth environment of the industry. The fact that the industry was monopolized acted as a deterrent towards the production of quality meat and the mistreatment of the workers. Most of the workers earned just but a few pennies within an hour as they worked for more hours per day and during the week. The workers were also not being given the right care hence were being exposed to hazardous conditions. More often than not, they did backbreaking work and labored in the dark and poorly ventilated rooms. Therefore, we can deduce that indeed the industry needed to be regulated so that quality was to be maintained, and the rights of the workers put into consideration.
In today’s world, I do not think any industry should be left to regulate itself. It is in the nature of the business persons to make profits even if it will involve compromising the health of the consumers, and the workers. Therefore, the meat industry will still need to be regulated so that a certain level of standard is maintained. This will ensure that the quality of the meat products is maintained. Additionally, overseeing the industry also prevents the meat companies from indulging in gruesome activities. Just like before, the rights of the workers should be maintained. If the industry is not regulated, then the workers will end up suffering. Just like in a society, rules and regulations must be put in place to ensure order. Such rules should be enforced to ensure order in the industry. There should also be rules that govern the competition to prevent production of low quality items just with the aim of making profits. It should also be noted that this is a very sensitive industry that can affect the health of the people directly. Therefore, where people are involved, regulations must be put in place to protect their health.
The world described in The Jungle still exists
The issue as to whether it is ethical to export services to the third world countries can be argued on two fronts. That is, the argument with the notion that it is ethical and at the same time the argument with the idea that it is unethical. Technically, firms export jobs to third world countries because these countries provide cheap labor. Due to the high population in the third world countries, the rate of unemployment is high. Therefore, the presence of a foreign company is more of a blessing in disguise. It will provide the unemployed with the much-needed jobs while at the same time the company might be misusing the laborers because of the high population of the unemployed. Ethicality of the business owners will be determined by how the workers from the third world countries are treated. For instance, considering that a business owner has set up a company within a particular town. It is the duty of the business owner to ensure that his workers are very comfortable (Schlosser). This would imply that the company should construct houses for the workers, should pay them handsomely and based on their qualifications, should encourage the development of social amenities within the area. This includes the construction of hospitals, shopping centers, and schools. In addition, based on the toxicity affluent that the company is emitting into the environment, it will be ethically wrong if it does not take care of the environment. The affluent should be properly disposed. When these factors are considered, then the business owners are operating ethically and hence I will consider exporting jobs to the third world countries ethical.
However, such business owners will be considered unethical if they compromise the working conditions of the workers. Compromising would imply that the workers are uncomfortable to work with the company. It will be unethical if the workers are not paid on time. It will be unethical if the workers are underpaid. It will be unethical if the employees do not put reasonable demands of the workers into consideration.
It is not good business to allow the manufacturing of products by workers in sweatshops and yet they are not being paid a living wage. These workers are selling their services to the business owners hence the business owners should respond by paying them a living wage. Businesses should know that without these workers, there is no manufacturing process that will take place. Misusing the workers is an unethical behavior that should not be condoned. The only way of solving this issue is if the workers form a union that will speak on their behalf. The union will act as a link between the workers and the business owners (Miller, & Cross). From this fact, over-exploitation will be reduced because the workers will have found a voice hence will be in a position to bargain for their services.
Another solution to the problem will entail signing binding contracts with the employers. The employees should discuss the terms of the contract with the employers and come up with an agreement. The contract should contain terms such as the provision of insurance to the workers and their families, standard living wage and improved working conditions.
Other books also influenced legislation in America. For instance, Fast Food Nation written by Eric Schlosser became known in the whole world for revealing the meat industry. The meat sales began the sky rocketing from 1961 hence the inspections were important in the meat industry. The statistical point of view of the book had the intentions of exposing the meat industry after humiliating the fast food joints, as well as the source of the meat. This book was more effective that Sinclair’s since it achieved its purpose of encouraging the readers to improve on the recent conditions of the fast food industry. The author is very much convincing especially when he mentions real occurrences in the book. This is yet another book that influenced the establishment of legislations that governed the food and meat industry.
Another book that influenced legislation was "The Words of César Chávez" written by César Chávez. Chavez’s campaign towards social justice for the farm workers marked a great milestone in the history of the United States. He was the founder of National Farm Workers of America, which was later named United Farm Workers of America. Through the book, we as the readers can identify the historical insight into the policies that he used to stimulate the support for his nonviolent campaign for the civil rights of the farm workers and their social justice (Chavez). His fight for social justice ensured that the needs of the farmers were catered for. For instance, Agricultural Labor Relations Act was enacted as a result of Chavez persistence. This Act provided the procedure with which the farmers and the agricultural employees could resolve their grievances without turning into violent protests. Therefore, it is evident that the books written by these personalities played a significant role in shaping the policy making within the United States.
Sinclair, Upton. The Jungle. Pasadena, 1920. Print.
Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001. Print.
Chavez, Cesar, Richard J. Jensen, and John C. Hammerback. The Words of César Chávez. College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 2002. Print.
Miller, Roger L. R, and Frank B. Cross. The Legal Environment Today: Business in Its Ethical, Regulatory, and International Setting. Cincinnati, Ohio: West Educational Pub. Co, 1999. Print.