Thursday, May 29, 2008

For the first time...over and over

Hey all,

So, I've been ridiculously sick...that made for a weird memorial day. But, I do have to say, because of month long responsibilities, me and Jon Chang are the most competant captains to ever graze houseboats. We have paperwork to prove it too.

So, since I've been sick, it's been pretty easy following the terms of the assignment, except for getting up and being alive. I haven't really had time to go out at all, but I did stop by Wal Mart. There is tons of junk there, and the supply is unlimited. I can honestly say that it is hard leaving Wal Mart and not buying anything. Probably was worse since I went in under the condition of not buying anything. But, as young as I am, I went to go look at toys, half way hoping to find a new Gundam model, of which I woulda bought regardless of the assignment, but they didn't have it. While looking at random toys and getting jealous of the new things kids have to play with, I started looking consciously, for the first time, at where the products were made. Most were made in China, a few were made in Indonesia, and some were actually made in the Phillilines. I was a little surprised. I'm used to all kinds of places making clothes, but toys have primarily been from China for me. To top it off, the toys made in the Phillipines had great details. Can't be that easy to make them...but maybe it is. Although these toys are cheap, they are probably actually made in near sweat shop settings. Something so innocent and gentle off the store rack could have made someone's life suck. That is somewhat disturbing, but what happens when those shops are closed? Toy production won't stop. Companies will continue making toys wherever they can the cheapest. What happens to the countries when their factories are shut down?

Although the conditions behind the assembly of the toys is sometimes considered inhumane, well who am I kidding, mostly considered inhumane, how can we change the system to treat people humanely and continue to make profits? According to last weeks readings, a lot of factory conditions, especially in textiles, make very few profits. So little that they can't even make things better for their workers for want of profit. It isn't even the factories that get all the money. It's the label. The maker. The man. Would harsher labor laws for importation of good help? Would it just force the company to contract out of the country to another, cheaper country? How do we end the cycle? I'm a little curious.

Of course, we can always just make sure we buy products that state "No child was harmed in the making of this product," but what of it? For every child that isn't harmed...someone else is. The readings kinda depresse me...and left with the impression that there really isnt much hope. What now?

Until Next Time,

Billy D

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