Profit At All Cost

hinese male worker at manufacturingSo many of the problems we are facing in our country are a result of consumerism and profit-driven actions. There is a connection between the need to stock shelves with cheap goods and the wage stagnation that has happened for many workers. Cheap products require cheap labor. Labor is cheaper in developing countries and companies around the world are constantly looking for their next source of low wage laborers. Maybe I am oversimplifying the problem, but I don’t think so. How can American businesses compete without utilizing cheap labor?

Globalization has created an interdependent chain of activities – manufacturing, distribution, marketing, importing, exporting, etc.. It is in many ways a race to the bottom. Who can bring their products to market at the lowest cost is the main determinant of success. Developing countries often have far fewer environmental, safety, and labor regulations than the U.S. and are eager for foreign investment. All of these factors lead to lower costs for manufacturers and higher profits for the company while at the same time harming the environment, putting workers lives at risk, and exploiting people desperate for work.

Industrial Disasters

1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy – India

On December 3, 1984, 40 tons of a toxic gas spewed from the factory and scorched the throats, eyes, and lives of thousands of people outside these walls. It was—still is—the world’s deadliest industrial disaster. – Article in Atlantic by Apoorva Mandavilli

1993 Kader Toy Factory Fire – Thailand

The Kader Toy Factory manufactured toys primarily to export to the United States. Toys were produced for Disney, Tyco, Toys-R-Us and other leading brands. 188 people died. – Sourcify.com

2012 Dhaka Garment Factory Fire – 111 dead – Bangladesh

2013 Bangladesh Garment Factory Collapse – Rana Plaza

The 2013 Dhaka garment factory collapse (also referred to as the 2013 Savar building collapse or the Rana Plaza collapse) was a structural failure that occurred on 24 April 2013 in the Savar Upazila of Dhaka District, Bangladesh, where an eight-story commercial building called Rana Plaza collapsed. The search for the dead ended on 13 May 2013 with a death toll of 1,134. Wikipedia

An article in the NY Times by Rachel Abrams about the Rana Plaza collapse and the responsibility of U.S. companies to improve safety in factories that produce products for their stores concludes with this powerful and important question:

But the collapse at Rana Plaza renewed discussions about how the appetite for cheap products affects some of the world’s most vulnerable workers. What costs must be cut, for example, in order to sell a T-shirt in the United States for $5? Rachel Abrams, NY Times

Summer = Hungry Kids

Summer time means many children go hungry.

Millions of kids rely on free or reduced meals at school to alleviate hunger in our communities. Unfortunately, when school lets out for the summer many families struggle to find healthy, free meals for their children.

There are many organizations locally and nationally that work to alleviate hunger. One such group is No Kid Hungry. This organization helps provide school breakfasts, summer meals, and after-school meals.

 

That’s why No Kid Hungry runs a summer meals texting service. Parents, grandparents and caregivers can text ‘FOOD’ to 877-877 to find free summer meals sites in their neighborhoods.

Father’s Day

Father's Day Road SignFather’s Day is on June 16th, 2019. Established as a national holiday in 1972 by President Nixon, Father’s Day was first celebrated in the state of Washington in 1910. Like Mother’s Day and other holidays, Father’s Day much money is spent on gifts and cards. In fact, according to the history.com, economists estimate that Americans will spend 1 billion dollars on Father’s Day.

I have been a father for almost 25 years and it has proven to be the most rewarding and challenging aspect of my life. My two kids are grown now, one has moved out on her own and the other is in college. Having kids makes you look back at your own parents and childhood. You realize that your parents did the best they could at a job that no one is really ready to take on. Parenting is a trial and error process. Sure, you can read the parenting books and browse the internet, but as much as kids are alike, they are unique individuals that require an adaptive style of parenting.

Read about the history of Father’s Day on History.com.

Join The One Union


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *