A shoe that steps on people 

Today's big fat porker is Phil Knight, head honcho of Nike Inc.;;With its massive advertising budget and its "swooshtika" logo plastered on Michael Jordon, Tiger Woods, Jerry Rice and hundreds of other star athletes in every sport this side of Tiddlywinks, Nike rakes-in hundreds of millions of dollars in profits every year.;;Phil Knight himself has hauled-off enough in ill-gotten shoe profits to become the sixth richest man in America.;;Phil makes his by making sure that the workers who make Nikes are poorly paid. The company long ago abandoned American shoe-makers and moved their operations to Asia, where it routinely hires young girls in its sweatshops, paying them pennies to make a pair of shoes it sells here for $180.;;Knight gets all red-faced and puffs-up with indignation when confronted with his exploitation, claiming that these Asian workers are paid at least the minimum wage in their countries. But wait a minute, minimum wages in Asia are not even minimal, failing to cover the cost of food, much less a decent living. Minimum wage in Vietnam, for example is $1.60 a day -- about 16-cents an hour for the 10-hour days these girls are made to work.;;In Indonesia, where 40,000 workers make Nikes, the government recently raised the minimum from $2.16 a day to $2.36. But Nike has balked and is seeking an exemption from the new law, asserting that this extra 20 cents would be a (quote) "hardship" on the company. This from a company making $8 billion a year.;;Philip Knight has made Nike the Ugly American -- a corporate symbol of global greed and exploitation.;;Next time you see the Nike "swoosh" plastered on some superstar who's been bought by Phil Knight ... remember the 20-cents-a-day he denied these impoverished Indonesian workers.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.

Speaking of Jim Hightower

More by Jim Hightower


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

March 3, 2021

View more issues


© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation