from a public HS teacher (Gov't, Religion, Soc. Issues), who is eclectic (Dem-leaning) politically and Quaker (& open) on everything else. Hope you enjoy what you find here.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

What is our responsibility when we buy things? 

For many of us on tight budgets we want the best bargain we can find. But what if the result of that bargain is to impoverish others, either as individuals or as communities? If I shop at Walmart, do I not subsidize corporate behavior which has little regard either for its employees or for the communities it destroys by being able to underprice preexisting shops?

And if I want cheaper food, even fresh food, how often is that lower price maintained by poor - even dangerous and unhealthy - working conditions for those who pick it?

Should I choose something "handmade," how can I be sure that it is not the result of the labor of a child in another country working 10-12 hours a day and never seeing either a school or a playground?

I think if there is an afterlife, our condemnation will be not so much for the deliberately bad things we do, but for the slippery slope of self-justification and willful ignorance of how we benefit from the suffering and misery of others.

FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME OFFLINE at kber@earthlink.net Comments, suggestions and even rude remarks are welcomed! Preface any messages with "teacherken" so I know they are not spam.
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