Monday, March 21, 2005

self exploitation

From Reuters:

Harvard in Lather Over Campus Maid Service
Thu Mar 10, 2005 04:02 PM ET

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Reuters) - A Harvard University student's fledgling dorm-cleaning business faced the threat of a campus boycott on Thursday after the school's daily newspaper slammed it for dividing students along economic lines.

The Harvard Crimson newspaper urged students to shun Dormaid, a business launched by Harvard sophomore Michael Kopko that cleans up for messy students.

"By creating yet another differential between the haves and have-nots on campus, Dormaid threatens our student unity," the Crimson said in an editorial.

"We urge the student body to boycott Dormaid."

Like many elite American universities, Harvard comprises a mix of affluent students as well as those who are less well-off.

But Kopko, 20, said he could not understand the Crimson's reaction to his business, which he said was all about creating jobs and wealth at the Ivy League school.

"In a free economy it's all about choice, and the Crimson is trying to take choice away from people," the student entrepreneur told Reuters. "I think it's a very uneconomic and narrow view. It's essentially against creating wealth for society."

Kopko said since launching his dormitory-cleaning service last month in the Boston area, he has signed up 50 clients. He plans to expand the service to other parts of the country and is aiming for $200,000 in annual sales in a year's time.

Reminds me of those who would close down maquiladora shops because
the workers aren't being paid enough. Never mind that *any* paycheck
is better than none at all. Why not ask the exploited worker what
he wants?
(Anyway, I suspect that in ten years time, Mr. Kopko will be
squarely in the "haves" camp.)