Sunday, November 18, 2012

Class warfare.

Make no mistake. Class warfare exists. From the financial barriers of educational access to targeting only the "entitlements" that benefit the working class despite tax loop hole and direct subsidy entitlements for industry,  there is a war and the working class (and more and more the middle class) is losing. Recently a boycott Walmart has become popular on Facebook. For some of us this is no surprise, Walmart has used horrible labor practices in the past like forcing employees to work off the clock, and when confronted about this upper management policy, it denies everything and blames it on low level management.

The truth is many of us have been apart of a decades long boycott of Walmart and several other non-union retailers. This is supposed to be the invisible hand of the free market economy "correcting" a business for being bad. Only like Freemarket economics in general, this hasn't worked. With the Walton family making record profits while they continue to utilize slave labor abroad and at home. Most people come up with some kind of excuse for why they shop there, but in reality they are condoning slavery.

It is very difficult to be a truly informed consumer in this day and age. Often the neighborhood grocery down the street is actually apart of a multinational conglomerate who is completely willing to compromise your morals and never ever tell you. Make no mistake about it, "Just being the consumer" does not exempt you from taking responsibility for the business practices that brought you the goods or services. If you buy the cheep plastic toy, you might be saying "I am ok with a child being chained to the machine that made this in china".

Worse yet, through practices like predatory pricing, they have already eliminated competition on some goods or services so that their are no alternatives in some markets. In these cases it takes real ingenuity or complete sacrifice on the part of the consumer to maintain ethical consumption standards. Don't let that stand in your way however, you are not alone, many other people are trying to consume ethically. This takes many forms so you must decide what is important to you; animal rights and testing, fair labor practices, environmental stewardship, domestic and foreign trade policy. Then join with a consumer advocacy group who most closely matches your personal moral structure.

As always, I welcome comments and criticisms. and will not edit or omit any.

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