As more and more people are arrested over the horrible neglect that led to so many deaths in the Bangladesh factories, one can't help but think of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City in 1911, and wonder how much has changed.
As firms are forced by "free trade" to force lower wages on their workers if they wish to stay competitive with their competitors who manufacture goods in nations like Bangladesh, and as firms in Bangladesh engage in the same competition to constrain wages, the result can be murderous.
If you have studied economics at the university level in the last 35 years, it is likely you were introduced to the concept of "asymmetrical information" and George Akerlof's famous 1970 article on markets for "lemons."
There are few ways to make a decent living in Bangladesh, but there are many ways to die trying. The cracks in the manufacturing system are showing. As workers grimly await the next tragedy, the world will ignore their warnings at its peril.