Came across this great post by David Suzuki via a FB friend. It’s definitely an enlightening read. He discusses the need to take into account the current state of affairs regarding the plundering of the US economy. And how it will weigh on future generations.
His post raises several valid points. It is incumbent on us to take the cost of the current economic state of affairs VERY seriously. Not just now, but in the future. And yes, the younger generations have every right to be pissed off at how bad things are in the US. He is also right about corporations doing whatever it takes to maximize profit, including exploiting poorer countries’ labor pools, mismanaging public resources, and dodging their responsibilities.
As he writes, democracy needs to be put back in the hands of the people. Since it’s clear that power will be retained politically (not without some kind of bloody revolution), it must be taken economically. He makes a point in this paragraph where I beg to differ a bit:
“When you buy running shoes, a cellphone, or a car, it’s almost impossible to know whether slave or child labour was involved in its production. How can you be aware of the ecological impacts or the toxic materials that may be generated in the manufacturing process? These costs are hidden, yet each time we make a purchase, we become part of that system that exploits people and ecosystems.”
He actually touches on a couple of the points I covered on what was my first post regarding the OWS movement. That ACTION is what is required, rather than waiting for solutions to be made politically. The most immediate action that anyone can do is via the money they spend in this economy, where they bank, and what products they choose to buy and consume. And yes, that takes investigating who you do business with, and who you buy from.
Specifically, the point I make in response to the issue Suzuki raises is this. While most corporations operate solely to maximize profit in any way possible, there ARE corporations out there who choose to operate ethically, responsibly and above-board. Even if it does mean leaving some profits on the table and/or paying slightly higher costs.
The problem? Identifying those companies is not particularly easy, nor necessarily convenient. It takes time and effort to seek out vendors, manufacturers and service providers who DESERVE our business. It may also cost a bit more. Changing one’s buying habits requires diligence and determination on the common consumer’s part. Who, let’s remember, are accustomed to being marketed to with heavy-handed, repetitive tactics. The marketing arms of most US corporations know how to manipulate buyers. They’ve taken it from an art to a science. And unfortunately too many people fall for their psychological warfare.
So while there is a clear incline of difficulty to initiate real economic change, it’s not impossible. In fact, successfully switching tracks is not even all that difficult. It does, no doubt, require discipline, fortitude and a sense of mission. On that point, among many others, Suzuki nails it.