Friday, November 25, 2005

The Global Economy in a Nutshell

Technorati Profile

The human cost of one penny less

General, Bangladesh, U.S.A., Weblog

‘Dateline NBC’ investigates the human costs in the developing world behind the bargain shopping trend of the Americans and the competitive deals of the big discount stores.

The investigation goes to the source of the goods these store offers. In Bangladesh, a female worker, Masuma gets more like 17 cents for sewing as much as 80 stripes on pants in an hour, a perfectly legal wage, and more than many Bangladeshis like her earn. But she can barely live with that wages.

MSNBC arranged to bring her to the US, to a store where these pants are sold. She was shocked to find the selling price ($12.84) of one striped pant, more than she could imagine. She said the price of the pants left her feeling taken advantage of. If she was paid 25 cents an hour instead of 17, a 50 percent raise, she could lead what she considers a decent life.

When a US customer on that store was asked in front of Masuma, whether she would by the pant if it was 25 cents more, she declined. She said that she feels for Masuma, but she is counting her pennies as well. It’s the debate over globalization in its simplest form.

One Bangladeshi garments executive claims:

A few years back, I told Wal-Mart, “Give me one cents more a piece, one cent. I will use that money for these poor people.’ Wal-Mart’s reply was, ‘No, give us two cents less.’

So the industry gives in to the competition, shattering millions of workers’ (like Masuma) dreams:

“They make us work so hard, and they cheat us so much and we’re human beings. I’m not an animal. I’m a human being. Of course I’m angry. This is really shocking.”

Will they ever be heard? Will we still be counting our pennies?

Nobles and peasants, welcome to the 21st century, a return to feudalism !

All watched over and supervised by multi-national corporations, not governments, Orwell was very close to having it right. Verizon will fire anyone who doesn't wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, AT THE SAME TIME they declared Thanksgiving to be, "just another peak minute weekday." T-Mobile followed suit according to a friend.

"Duck and cover" has new meaning for me.

"We have seen they enemy and they is us."

- Walt Kelly of Pogo fame

I wonder how long those on the bottom will continue to put up with this ? I wonder how long those on the top can keep those on the bottom (via mindless tv and ads) from seeing how they are situated in the grand scheme of things ? Will I live to see a better world ?

Niel Young beats Bob Dylan and the rest that have sold out music of the 60's boomers.

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