When you look around your town, do you see it as prosperous, or do you see it as I do? I see it filled with struggling businesses and people rushing off to Wal-Mart to spend their money. I am not weighing the pros and cons of a capitalist economy, because that sort of argument would last a lifetime. What I am speaking of is simpler: save our dying towns and suffering environment and finally realize that it is quality and not quantity that is most important. What was the exact date that America stopped caring about how well their products were built? Instead Americans care about having the chance to buy five of the same poorly-built products for the price of one well-built item from a local privately-owned store. I have seen several stores in Oswego shut down due to lack of business and can only see one real cure for this disastrous course of mass marketing.
I admit that large franchise stores do provide great deals at cheaper prices, but at what cost? What is the price of a thriving community and a booming town? When do we finally say, “I don’t want the suffering of others to go into my product?” As does the suffering of countless foreign “slaves,” when you buy product made from large corporations such as Wal-Mart and Target, especially when you consider that Wal-Mart has their hands in several law makers’ pockets. I will not go into a complete ethical rant, but ask merely that you, the reader, look at how poorly and inhumanely the employees of most Chinese and Indian export factories are treated. In recent highly accredited articles it has come out that most Chinese factory workers who cater to American businesses have to work 18 hours a day while making mere cents an hour and are fined for taking a bathroom break. Some even commit suicide out of sheer desperation.
Now, I pose the question of morality, how can we possibly be fine with the disregard of human decency? When do we stop looking the other way when it comes to the suffering of people we don’t know? Regardless of how easy it is to ignore the suffering around us, we must acknowledge that people do suffer for our consumption of cheaply made products.
Is it not easier to consider buying local and reaping the vast benefits of it?
The environment takes so much strife from humans that it is startling to see that we are still thriving as a species. When you think of the prospect of oil you can have two points of view: one would be that it is an essential ingrained part of life, which implies that it is as important to the economy as air is to mammals. Or you can say, “Yes, oil is an inevitable evil,” and follow that with “How can I minimize my involvement with this evil?” It is not impossible to completely decrease the scar you give to the earth, regardless on your viewpoint of global warming. What cannot be denied is the proof of air pollution, water pollution and soil pollution, most directed to the poisonous byproduct of the oil industry and to the complete lack of regulations for the production industry in the United States.
I am aiming my concern towards the oil-based products, which include all plastic products. Oil goes into every plastic product that can be imagined. With each plastic item made there is a highly toxic and non-profitable waste product made. The simplest cure for this excess of toxic waste is to consider buying locally, where most local stores buy from American made products. This world was not inherited from our grandparents; it was borrowed from our grandchildren. How well do you want to return it to them?