Santa’s Workshop – You get what you pay for

There used to be a time, when workers and their unions fought for better working conditions in Europe and elsewhere. Newly imposed rules and regulations improved wages and working conditions. A middle class grew. People had more money and consumer spending increasingly became a major factor in the economy.

But, instead of choosing wisely what we bought, we wanted more and more of it. Cheap. Production of consumer goods shifted to poorer countries, where all the rules and regulations earlier generations of workers in our hemisphere fought for  do not count. From there competition came back to us. They work harder for less, working conditions and environmental standards don’t matter. We were told we had to deregulate to ward off the competition, we had to accept longer working hours and lower wages and will have to accept even more of that. What goes around, comes around. This video reminds us of our past, but may as well be showing our future.

We may be able to break this circle and create a new one. By buying consciously. It may be a choice of buying one small Christmas item instead of a whole mountain of stuff. But, in the end, it helps our own working conditions and by steadfastly demanding products which are produced with high ethical and environmental standards and by being prepared to pay more for those, we will positively influence the conditions elsewhere. What goes around, comes around. Buying wisely and with a conscience is an investment in our own future, too.

EV

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7 thoughts on “Santa’s Workshop – You get what you pay for

  1. Ok, so the Republicans take a partisan shot at organized labor – i.e. the working class, trying to throw millions of workers onto the unemployment lines before Obama becomes president.

    What happens if the auto companies declare bankruptcy? We’ve seen companies declare bankruptcy before – they wipe out their debts, reorganize and continue in business.

    Their common stock value drops to zero and all outstanding shares are wiped off the books. Preferred stock may be eliminated as well. At that point, all pension funds, banks, and insurance companies which held auto industry stocks as part of their investment portfolio will take a major hit.

    Bush came into the presidency with a thriving economy, a federal budget in the black – and paying off the national debt. He will leave with this nation destroyed economically, with massive unemployment and massive debt.

    Somehow, getting a $100 tax cut on your income taxes isn’t so important, once you have no income to tax. Those in the working class may yet see through the Republican talking point about “keeping more of what you earn” when they don’t have a job – but those earning millions continue to get larger and larger “bonuses” – and they get to keep more and more of what they “earn.”

  2. Good morning BnF!

    I am afraid Cyril Connolly is right:

    “Slums may well be breeding grounds of crime, but middle-class suburbs are incubators of apathy and delirium”

    We were being too complacent.

  3. Yep! Indeed it is Lady Z.. I think’s it is what the reich would like to see happening here…..Blessings

  4. The Republics that voted against the auto industry loan would love to see a return to the robber baron factories in this nation. What we see in China are the factory towns of the past in the US. What’s left of these “factory towns”, scatter the central and northern parts of Pennsylvania. These areas remain economically depressed and businesses like WalMart are the only place these residents can afford to shop at which then continues the cycle of cheap Chinese goods.

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