I don’t know about other countries but in Canada, there is a grassroots movement, smallish right now, encouraging everyone to buy locally, to support small business and walk away from the chain stores – Wal-Mart as an example. If ever there was or is to be an example of why we should eschew these purveyors of cheap-ass goods..this is it: http://cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/business/2013/05/16/qmb-bangladesh-safety-standards.cnn.html
We do have the power to force corporations to accept the will of the people. They don’t believe it. They believe that we don’t give a rat’s ass about little brown people living in far-off lands. They believe that our priority is for the cheapest jeans, the most inexpensive t-shirts take precedence over people dying for our “wants”. I refuse to believe that the majority of human beings are this shallow, this greedy and self-absorbed. I loved being able to buy a pair of jeans for $29 and shoes for $20.00. It was awesome but I was unaware of where and how these “things” of mine were manufactured. Was it willful ignorance? Yes and no. To believe that companies still engaged in slavery, which is, for intents and purposes, what was going on in Bangladesh and is going on, all over the world, was something that was so distasteful, so upsetting that I believe I pulled off a pretty damn good Pollyanna thought process.
None of us can afford to do this anymore. Oh, the corporations and their “suppliers”, along with, no doubt, the various governments in these under developed and developing nations, managed to keep this all, pretty much, under wraps. The cat has clawed her way out of the bag, on the backs of 1127 innocent victims of greed. Imagine, for a moment, how these mothers, fathers, daughters and sons met their end and then reach for that $10 t-shirt. Imagine, as you pull it over your head, their screams, their agony, all for you and your need for “cheap-cheap”.
Wal-Mart execs, Gap execs and all the other corporate execs that make up that 1% do not live in our world. They live above it, in their palatial homes, with servants, with everything they have convinced you and I that we MUST have, that we MUST claw and climb toward. No, we don’t. We’ve been hypnotized by sparkly-shiny for too long. While you and I struggle to make ends meet? They live a live that would make Marie-Antoinette green with envy; an example would be the CEO of Apollo, one of those hedge fund investment corporations – you know, the ones that buy up companies, lay a bunch of workers off to create, what looks like a great bottom line, and then manages to sell the company off to some other doofus who will do the same..okay, this guy? He hired Elton John, at a price tag of $1 000 000.00 to perform at…get this…his birthday. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2028017/Billionaire-Leon-Black-throws-blowout-birthday-Elton-John-concert.html
While he was doing that, while he was treating all his buddies and celebs to a night of excess…people were being put out of work, laid off, canned – people with seniority – who had hoped to end their careers being loyal to their companies. Tossed out, a good number in their middle to later middle age, with very little chance of finding another job.
This man is not an extreme example – he is the norm for that 1%. That 1% that decides, for us, what we may and may not buy – what news we may or may not see and in the case of Bangladesh? Who lives and who dies.
No one should be afforded this kind of power but we allow it. We permit it, we encourage it because goddamn, we want that cheap dress, those cheap shoes and who cares how they get to the shelves. I can’t believe that these corporate parasites are correct, I CAN’T believe that humanity has sunk this far.
Drive by the Wal-Mart, walk on by The GAP – seek out the local businesses, cut back on the number of t-shirts, if need be. Teach these self-satisfied bastards that while they have sunk to the bottom of the septic tank, we stand above them and toss lime in to dissipate their bacteria.
Please, don’t forget this atrocity next week or the week after. Don’t forget these people who suffered and died because of the 1%. Don’t wear clothing dipped in human blood.