Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day

Okay, so this is not an "original" title. But I want to say a good word for those who get the work done around the world. Not just here in the USA, but around the world.

We live in a global economy and here in America we don't produce much more than food and services that are home grown. And even some of the food is imported in the off seasons. But we cannot be isolationists. We must learn to appreciate the hard work that goes into those inexpensive products we use -- be they electronics or clothing, or whatever.

My only concern is for the welfare of the producers. How can we assure that they aren't virtual slaves? Or children? The developing world has different standards, but often their leaders are the ones that benefit from all our trade. Let us use the "world wide web" to our advantage. Information is power. Perhaps we can change things through our buying habits. Or through trade terriffs?

I am for FAIR trade, apart from "free trade" if need be. My question is: "What are the living conditions behind the product I am using?" Second to that, "What would my lifestyle be like if I paid a "fair" price for all the gadgets that make my life so much easier?


Matt Corlett said...

Amen, Henry! I often think the same thing about the price that's paid by the workers who produce my television, computer, guitar, etc. I know I'd have a lot less stuff if it the workers were paid wages that enabled them to live a lifestyle that I'd be willing to live. There have been a few things that I've chosen to forgo on this basis, but there are many more where I've turned a blind eye. As one commentator has said, we're low-pricing ourselves out of jobs and surrendering the moral high ground of human rights and common decency.

Henry Martin said...

Yes, Matt, that is the "Wal-Mart mentality" that is killing our conscience daily. I am sure that there are ways in which we can train ourselves to live within our conscience, but most of us prefer to be ignorant of the origin of our goods.

I am not saying that Wal-Mart is evil, for they are just using established "reasonable" business concepts to provide the public with the goods we want at the prices we are willing to pay. It is the buying public that is excercising its "evil nature"!