MULTIPLICITY OF POWER
A GOOD BLOWCalifornia's central coastline is roiling with strong surf
driven by the first of three punches of wind and rain
coming in from the north. Storm #1 left a half inch in our gauge and debris on the beach.
15 to 20 foot waves are expected through the weekend.
The power of the sea rakes the kelp beds.
Writers, painters and nature lovers take inspiration from
the seasonal brooding.
Appliances in our homes and offices that remain in stand by (televisions, chargers, microwaves, computer boxes) cost us hundreds of dollars a year. David I. Levine at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business wrote an eye opening piece for the LA Times.
OUR POWER TO SAVE LIVES
Unraveling this string of circumstance may lead us to an uneasy truth. Many clothing shoppers seek the lowest price, sometimes even over quality. Manufacturers seek to lower production costs. Clothes are made abroad, in nations with "cheaper" labor and without benefit of health and safety standards.
The 112 people killed by a fire in a Bangladesh garment factory were making clothing for Wal-Mart, Disney, Sears, Sean Combs, Teddy Smith and Edinburgh Woollen Mill as reported by the Associated Press.
When asked about these tragedies, and there have been several, retailers and even manufacturers often cite contract language and explain how they are sometimes duped by sub-contractors over which they have no control. Some of that may be true, but it is also disingenuous and refuses to accept responsibility.
Retailers award contracts to those who can make their product most cheaply. That maximizes their profit while offering a product that we can buy less expensively. So we are back to our role in perpetuating sweat shops where humans are abused because of profits and low prices.
I've heard people explain how the poor of other nations are at least given work. Yes, but under what conditions? And at what cost to American workers, put out of work by out sourcing to cheap labor markets? We really can't escape our blame in these tragedies. Well, maybe my mom could have. Before her passing, she made a habit of never buying any thing but Union and or American made goods. She even returned gifts if they did not pass that test. Wonder if that is even possible today?
See you down the trail