If you care about reducing poverty in developing countries and the United States, scrapping sweatshops and regulating Wal-Mart may not be the best strategies.
it may sound silly to say that sweatshops offer a route to prosperity, when wages in the poorest countries are sometimes less than $1 a day. Still, for an impoverished Indonesian or Bangladeshi woman with a handful of kids who would otherwise drop out of school and risk dying of mundane diseases like diarrhea, $1 or $2 a day can be a life-transforming wage.
Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WooDunn, Two Cheers for Sweat Shops
Wal-Mart and its effects save shoppers more than $200 billion a year, dwarfing such government programs as food stamps ($28.6 billion) and the earned-income tax credit ($34.6 billion).
George Will, Democrats vs Wal-Mart
[Both via Greg Mankiw]