Notes on a Theory…

Thoughts on politics, law, & social science

Blaming Consumers is a Cop Out

with 37 comments

Dime

[Update: On Orhtheory, Jerry Davis object to my comment (which was the first draft of this post) for claiming  that he is calling to blame the consumer.] 

[Update 2: Davis also makes his objections in this comments to this post. My response is here]

[Update 3: Jim Naureckas has a good post on this topic: You’re to Blame for Factory Deaths. Well, You and Walmart]

[Update 4: You can take the National Consumers’ League 10 cent pledge here.]

Speaking of the awful Bangladesh factory disaster that killed at least a thousand people, Brayden King at Orgtheory quotes Jerry Davis in the New York Times who blames consumers for working conditions in the Third World. In essence, consumer demand for cheap products are what forces wages down and makes working conditions so dangerous, so the blame lies with those consumers.

I see a few problems with this. First, if the all-powerful consumer was driving this, we wouldn’t see businesses making high profits, because that too raises costs. This is not the case. Second, even with expensive goods, where consumers are willing and even eager to pay high prices, we see similar working conditions (think Apple products).

In addition, “our willingness” to buy products produced under these conditions is an odd way to talk about it. Businesses spend a lot of energy obscuring these working conditions, to tell those who are concerned about it that they have improved them, will work to improve them, or that they aren’t that bad or that they are inevitable.  Beyond that, it’s not clear what consumers are supposed to do. If all products were clearly labeled to give us a full sense of the conditions in which they were made, it’s not as if it would be possible to simply avoid such products. Anyone who’s ever spent time trying to do this knows while you can occasionally find something made in fair conditions, it’s next to impossible to do it consistently.  Despite the myth that markets always provide broad choice, this is simply not the case.

There’s also the question of where consumer demand comes from. Does it spring immaculate from the unorganized consumers, or do corporations shape it? John Kenneth Galbraith argued long ago that it was the latter, and this makes more sense to me. Did consumers rise up and demand cheaper, lower quality goods? Or did corporations decide this was a better way for them to make money, especially given the wage stagnation of the neoliberal era?

What would this new price increase look like?  Here’s Bryce Covert at Think Progress:

So how much would clothing prices rise for the average consumer if all of the costs of upgrading Bangladesh factories were passed on to them?

According to an estimate provided by the Worker Rights Consortium, it could be as little as 10 cents per article of clothing. The group comes to this figure by estimating that building renovation, safety equipment installation, and other related costs would come to about $3 billion, which is says is a high estimate that assumes virtually all factory buildings need major renovations, as some may not. Spreading that cost over five years, it comes to $600 million each year, and tacking 10 cents on to each of the roughly 7 billion garments exported from the country each year would easily cover that cost. After the initial investment in renovations, the group says the costs of maintenance will drop significantly.

Is it really plausible that consumers are so attuned to price that such a small sort of increase would make a difference?  And note, this assume the entire cost of the increase would be passed along directly to consumers, while there’s little doubt that the corporations are in a far better position to absorb some of the losses.

While Davis tells consumers it’s up to them to fix this, King only agrees with this “in principle.”

[C]onsumers are actually very inertial creatures. If we put all our hopes in changing the global marketplace in the wallets of people like Joe Schmoe from Brownsburg, Indiana, we’re not likely to see much change. Most changes in supply chain management begin with a few committed activists who are willing to go out and pressure the company through “naming and shaming” tactics.  Public humiliation still seems to work.

In terms of the remedy, I think King is right. But it’s not just inertia, but the ability to act – the mass of consumers aren’t organized, and even if they were, it’s almost impossible to buy products that are made in better conditions. That makes voice, as opposed to exit, the more fruitful strategy.

But when people believe that consumers are what drives this, I think they are less likely to engaging in these naming and shaming tactics, because consumer choice is seen as default legitimate.

Blaming consumers, like blaming voters, is a cop out.

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Written by David Kaib

May 12, 2013 at 10:09 am

37 Responses

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  1. The writer is a professor of management at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.

    Apparently, we have a professor of business who’s never taken, much less taught, a policy class. An interesting oversight on his part, methinks. Isn’t willful naiveté grand? Neo-Liberals seem so damn good at it, they must have classes in it or something.

    Tell ya what, Jer. I’ll believe you when you can show how consumers write the policies that result in exploding factories, okay? In the mean time, your students are worse off for taking your classes.

    NBC Snooze: “Mrs. Irma Throatwobblermangrove, part-time librarian, mother and driver of a 17-year old station wagon from Des Moine, has been found guilty of creating the policy structures that resulted in three dozen factory fires in Bangladesh, China and yo mama’s house, killing lots and lots of people. Asked for comment, she said she only wanted to save $.10 per item of shitty clothing and she’s really sorry about all that.”

    Ford Prefect

    May 12, 2013 at 6:09 pm

  2. I am re-posting this response here from the Orgtheory blog to encourage Davis and “Ford” to actually read the original document rather than flying off in response to a wholly inaccurate blog headline. (Note that I also never referred to “death panels” or a “death tax.”)

    I would not summarize my argument as “Blame the consumers,” and tried to be careful not to phrase it this way. (See the first sentence quoted above.) I would also advise anyone who wants to comment (like David) to read the full Sunday Dialogue, including my response at the end, rather than jumping at the phrase “blame the consumers” without reading through the whole argument.

    The argument is not that consumers prefer cheap products and are therefore guilty, and everyone else is excused. Supply chains are dispersed in many industries, and companies whose names are on the product, or the retailers that sell the product, are often several steps removed (e.g., HP and conflict minerals). Moreover, companies have limited incentives to track their supply chains, unless failure to do so is costly. Shareholders will not demand it. In an industry like garment manufacture, Bangladesh is in competition with Cambodia, Haiti, Honduras, Sri Lanka…and so domestic governments are inherently conflicted. The governments of end-consumers (such as the US) have limited ability to regulate labor practices in other countries, other than through awkward work-arounds like the conflict mineral section of the Dodd-Frank Act. (Congress can regulate securities issuers, but corporate governance is governed at the state level.)

    If we want to change corporate behavior, we need to change consumer demand. “Naming and shaming,” boycotts, and public humiliation only work if consumers care and change their buying habits. Imagine a publicly-traded chocolate company whose shares are controlled by a multi-billion dollar trust on behalf of a residential school for underprivileged kids. Would such a company continue to buy cocoa from suppliers that rely on captive children (often themselves orphans) in Cote D’Ivoire? Absolutely, as long as people keep buying it. (To track the seemingly endless boycott, visit http://www.raisethebarhershey.org/) Similar examples are legion. Pointing to one or two success stories of naming and shaming needs to be balanced out by the endless non-success stories. It is simply not sufficient. Close down Bangladesh (a la Disney), and it will be Vietnam next. And none of this will change what appears on store shelves, as long as people keep buying it.

    Would it make any difference if consumers cared (e.g., felt guilty)? Not consumers one by one; the question is how to get them to aggregate into a meaningful force. The tools for researching goods on the fly are getting better. (Before you go grocery shopping, visit http://howgood.com/ and you’ll see why you might prefer Organic Valley to Horizon if you’re looking for milk. Or http://www.goodguide.com/ for clothes and other items. There are free downloadable apps that allow you to scan product codes at the store to get immediate ratings.) Demand for ratings or other certifications can create better suppliers of information, shift demand for products, and change the incentives facing businesses to choose sources properly. Obviously other dynamics are in play, but in the absence of changed demand, it is hard to foresee much progress as long as supply chains are dispersed across national boundaries.

    But nothing works if consumers do not care. If people cheerfully buy goods traceable to horrendous conditions, then boycotts, naming and shaming, or whatever retail-level tricks we have will not work. If it became part of the standard package for consumers to be aware of the provenance of their goods to the extent possible, things might change, and local activists and governments would have more clout. My first step was to suggest that, at least morally, they bear some responsibility.

    jerrydavisumich

    May 12, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    • Once again, you miss the point altogether. I’ll not try to argue consumers have no obligation to be conscientious in their activities. Instead, I’ll simply reiterate they don’t make policy. Boards, executives and managers make policies. Accountants then analyze those policies with the Bottom Line in mind. Shareholders also support those policies by holding those stocks and bonds. They’re the ones who make exploding factories mandatory, by virtue of their deliberate policy choices and the profit margins demanded by them. The media, in turn, helps to whitewash bad behaviors and actively censors information that might damage well-funded brands.

      Consumers are powerless. You know that. You also know consumers know nothing until after a horrible event takes place. But corporations have the power of prediction, precisely because they know what they are doing and why. 99% of those buying Tommy Hilfiger shirts know not of the people who make them under horrible conditions. But Tommy Hilfiger sure knows and he’s known all along. (I’m not singling him out. Almost every clothing manufacturer knowingly does all the same things.)

      You want fewer exploding factories? Start putting the policy-makers in prison. Then you’ll see real change in attitudes. In Dhaka, there are 1,100+ counts of negligent homicide piling up. Shall we arrest those responsible for making real decisions, or shall we arrest Mrs. Throatwobblermangrove? It’s pretty obvious who the responsible party is and it’s not a bunch of consumers.

      It’s real people who make policies and do so with profits in mind, regardless of how many people die in the process. If someone you care for dies as a result of my cost-externalizing strategy, you’re not going to care about educating my customers. You’re going to want to see my ass in the dock, because you know that’s the only thing that really passes for justice amongst sentient beings.

      Ratings mean nothing, except as PR devices. Consumer choice is largely non-existent in real terms–we can make stylistic choices, but it’s very difficult to wear clothes not made in sweatshops. I know because I go through that all the time and it takes real effort. As for governments, well, they signed off on WTO, IMF, “free trade” and so on… check out the TPP and tell me who has real power in all this. They are now in the process of criminalizing dissent of the type that results in boycotts, environmental protections and so on, because that might infringe on profits and that’s just un-American!

      In suggesting the consumer bear responsibility for Dhaka, exploding fertilizers plants and so on, you are transferring it away from those who make deliberate decisions that have disastrous results. You are a professor at a reasonably prestigious university. Business school, but still. You’re supposed to know better than the Know-Nothing palliative you wrote for the NYTimes.

      I have a hard time accepting you are as ignorant of business practices as you imply. Perhaps you’ve never actually run a business. I don’t know. Perhaps your “school” is being funded by the same corporations that have these little hiccups like imploding factories or blown out wells and you simply need to pass the buck. I mean, there’s a reason the NYTimes needed your piece and it’s not because you have anything terribly useful to say. It was all about passing the buck onto the backs of people who don’t make policy and don’t receive the massive dividend checks made possible by all that human suffering.

      Ford Prefect

      May 13, 2013 at 1:22 am

      • Your solution is to put policy-makers in prison. Which policy-makers, and who will do the imprisoning? You mention Tommy Hilfiger. There is an actual person with that name living on Long Island, but he sold his company long ago (but perhaps you’d like to imprison him anyway). Before the company went private in 2006, it was headquartered in Hong Kong, incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, sold its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, held its annual meeting in Barbados, and contracted with manufacturers in Mexico and Asia. Its rapacious shareholders demanding profits included many of the roughly 50% of US families that own pension funds, college funds, and other savings vehicles.

        You imply that governments are complicit in all this, but let’s imagine that voters demand that they step up (unlikely, because that would be blaming the voters…but whatever).

        So: who specifically are you planning on imprisoning, and which governments are going to do that? Not just “policy-makers;” define who. You are also welcome to describe what law and jurisdiction will be used to arrest Mr. Hilfiger. (If the culpable party is just the building owner and factory owners in Bangladesh, then justice has already been done, and I assume you are happy.)

        jerrydavisumich

        May 13, 2013 at 7:16 am

      • Okay. I thought the term policy-makers would be obvious enough. My bad. I’m talking about top execs and the people they hire to write and implement policy. Because sweatshops are deliberate policy choices. When corporations hire mercenaries to act as death squads (see: oil cos. in Nigeria, Columbia and Burma), that’s a deliberate policy choice. When a fertilizer plant stores 1,350 times the legal limit of ammonia nitrate on-site and fails to inform the fire department (because that would mean admitting they were in violation of the law), that’s a deliberate policy choice. When BP decides to throw the safety manual overboard, that’s a deliberate policy choice. Perhaps that’s clearer now. As it stands right now, globalization has allowed corporations to become extreme in their disdain for human rights and even human life, all while posting record profits.

        As for prison, it’s wishful thinking, of course. But it’s also a good idea, as it would deter future murderous behaviors… or one might think so, anyway. Murder is still illegal in most countries, I believe. So is fraud, but you’d never know it, eh?

        It’s funny you mention Hilfiger that way. Is he not still receiving profits from the sweatshops he pioneered and used to own? Of course he is. 30 years from now, his grandchildren will still be profiting from slave labor. So is Ralph Lauren, everyone at every company at The Gap and so on. The way globalization was implemented was designed to create effectively criminal space in corporate boardrooms. Wage arbitrage leads to indentured servitude, sweatshops and slave labor–and a global lowering of the standard of living. Environmental arbitrage allows corporations to externalize the cost of their toxics by simply dumping in the river behind the plant. It also allows them to use lots of coal power, so while they’re killing the planet (and all of us to boot) they’re still posting record profits. Add in tax havens, financial fraud and speculative bubbles and…. BAM! You’ve got a global disaster that pays a few people unimaginably well. “Free Trade” as grift.

        Lastly, no mention from you about the culpability of executives who do knowingly enter the kinds of practices FoxConn and others are famous for. Before off-shoring Apple to Foxconn, Steve Jobs was worth $900M… Eight years later, he was worth $8B. Slavery pays the master very well, it seems. You do mention the “50% of Americans who own pensions,” which still overstates their relative importance in the scheme of things, because the richest 1% accounts for 85% of the stock market and that 50% you mention inhabits some region in the 15% that’s left over. It’s funny how those at the top of the food chain barely even rate a mention, while consumers and other “little people” do merit mention in order to suggest at least some culpability. Hence my remark about “passing the buck.”

        And that brings us all the way back to the reason some feel the need to point out that putting responsibility for all these various crimes on consumers is ridiculous. They didn’t create the problems, did they? No, the people who created all these problems are living high on the hog, so there’s no downside to nightmarish practices. The politicians they own are running corporate protection rackets while in office. That’s not a problem the lowly consumer can fix and no amount of information can fix it. And with only two bought-off parties, voters can’t fix it either. Game, set, match.

        With no legal, financial or other accountability, crimes will be committed. No amount of consumer sentiment can ever overcome that problem. Try to find a pair of jeans NOT made in a sweatshop and you’ll see why boycotts and “smarter choices” are chimera. Now a labor movement… there’s an idea!

        Ford Prefect

        May 13, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      • “Your solution is to put policy-makers in prison. Which policy-makers, and who will do the imprisoning?”

        We have these things called laws and courts, dude. Civilization have been making decisions and putting people in jail for a long, long time. They’ve got the process down. If we really think that someone did something worth punishment, we can do it.

        That would mean that some rich *ssholes someplace might actually suffer the consequences for their decisions, though. Can’t have that! What’s next? Cats and dogs living together?!

        113yearslater

        May 20, 2013 at 12:31 pm

  3. […] Jerry Davis objects to my post, accusing me of misreading him because I didn’t read him (allegedly).  “I would not summarize my argument as ‘Blame the consumers,’ and tried to be careful not to phrase it this way.” I gather part of the complaint is that ‘blame the consumers’ implies it is solely their fault, whereas (at points) Davis is clear blame is shared. Fair enough. […]

  4. So Sorry that Jerry Davis objects to your post. We are all allowed to agree to disagree, right?

    segmation

    May 20, 2013 at 11:04 am

    • Why are you sorry? Noting someone objects to something isn’t a call for sympathy or a suggestion that the objection is inappropriate.

      David Kaib

      May 20, 2013 at 1:39 pm

  5. Wow, good thing we don’t have pistols at 10 paces anymore. As a consumer, I’m happy to be defended. I was raised to hunt for bargains and try to live frugally rather than opulently. However, if you don’t spend, the press damns you as ruining the economy, and if you do spend, you are a frivolous, non-saving person who is not putting enough in the hands of fund managers. Now apparently if you hunt for bargains, you are also responsible for the poor working conditions in places you’ve never visited. You can’t win for losing in this crazy world. I’d rather write fairy tales than spend money.

    bdh63

    May 20, 2013 at 11:19 am

    • What she said.

      The most curious and entertaining aspect of all this is just how long winded the replies are. It’s like they’re filibustering the comments.

      allthoughtswork

      May 20, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      • Uh, oh, was I too long-winded? Dang! 🙂

        bdh63

        May 20, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      • Nah, I just meant relative to WordPress in general. Most blogs get a paragraph at best. Here, there are tomes.

        allthoughtswork

        May 20, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      • It’s not always like this!

        David Kaib

        May 20, 2013 at 4:31 pm

  6. Great post!

    mika

    May 20, 2013 at 11:27 am

  7. the word consumer is an evil one
    and mis-used
    i dont consume
    fires consume
    consuming is thoughtless satiating of
    a hunger

    that is the true genius of big business – like government

    becoming unaccountable for anything
    always the end goal

    thanks

    northernmalewhite

    May 20, 2013 at 11:41 am

  8. The consumer blame game is one of the many ways in which the progressive bleeding-heart culture actually serves the interests of the filthy rich they claim to despise. (I’m not saying “liberal” because there’s no such thing as a real liberal in this country anymore.)

    It definitely serves the filthy rich to conveniently direct attention away from how the company’s officers and board members deliberately pursued policies that were hideously dangerous and destructive. And crying customer blame does that while appealing to the Occupy types who will lose no opportunity to wallow in guilt as loudly as possible to make sure everyone else knows how wonderful they are.

    The French-style nobility engage in murderous behavior, the self-appointed guardians of justice wail and wring their hands for the theater of it … and on and on the death and destruction goes. *sigh*

    113yearslater

    May 20, 2013 at 12:38 pm

  9. First we need to ponder who the intended beneficiary of this awareness / conversation is: poor garments workers in 3rd world countries or affluent consumers? One needs sustainable employment – the other, freedom from guilt. There is a space where both conditions are met. And it doesn’t begin with naming and shaming or the consequent & invariable pull-outs from Bangladesh.
    The way-forward has to be engaging more rigorously with Bangladeshi firms. It must be to hold unscrupulous Bangladeshi factory-owners responsible through govt. advocacy. Helping Bangladesh put in measures for safety and compliance will be much more preferable to throwing money at the problem or pulling out altogether.
    I hate pasting links on comments, but this is what I mean: http://adnanramin.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/rmg/

    Adnan R. Amin

    May 20, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    • “And it doesn’t begin with naming and shaming or the consequent & invariable pull-outs from Bangladesh”

      I think you vastly overestimate the impact of these tactics. You’ve cited positively the H&M agreement. That’s the sort of thing people protesting would like to see – conditions made more safe and more fair. And it’s not clear to me how this can be achieved otherwise. Boycotts certainly run a great risk for hurting workers, especially if targeted at a country. I’m only for that if it is worker organized. Still, the Bangladeshi firms have limits in what they can do when US companies are trying to push costs as low as possible.

      As for the guilt part, I’m arguing against that. One can say people in the US have a responsibility to act without making it about guilt.

      David Kaib

      May 20, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      • David – your argument makes a lot of sense.
        I appreciate what the likes of H&M are doing in collaboration with ILO. As a Bangladeshi, I guess I’m just apprehensive about boycotts – because they could hurt a lot of people. The prompt departure of Disney leads me to fear so. PR tactics of Tristan styles (who advertised ‘Nothing here’s from Bangladesh’ last week) leads me to fear opportunists on both sides of the fence.
        As for ‘guilt’ – I don’t see the global (not only US) consumers growing personally concerned about faceless workers in a faraway land. That’s just how I perceive our world. But If they DO act, I’ll be thankfully relieved of my cynicism. Thanks.

        Adnan R. Amin

        May 20, 2013 at 2:49 pm

  10. I haven’t read all the other posts, but I certainly agree with the original article. Yes, we live a cushy First World life as a result of world-wide poverty wages, but it is naive to ignore what “John Kenneth Galbraith argued long ago”: that corporations not only shape consumeer demand, but invest billions in doing so.

    edwarddolan

    May 20, 2013 at 3:47 pm

  11. Very provocative post and discussions. Thanks!

  12. finding blame is a sham to hide within

    No brainstorming, no creative creation, or problem solving can occur during blaming. People mistake or simply wish to believe that finding blame is part of the brainstorming process. That, to me, is like arguing for years about the right description of the color of the sun during a search for a way to shade a thing from it. Also personal opinion and bias about fair and appropriate treatment and wage structure in an area that is outside of one’s ethnocentric view is touted to be nearly impossible. The phenomena of thinking no one is right unless they are just like me is horrendous, both on the helper side and the discriminatory one.

    Elisa

    May 21, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    • Politics is always (partly) about blame. It’s rare to see a challenge to the status quo that doesn’t address who is responsible for that status quo. I certainly agree that this process can be destructive, but then again, so can not acting.

      David Kaib

      May 21, 2013 at 2:32 pm

  13. […] Blaming Consumers is a Cop Out. […]

  14. Given that so much corporation money is spent on advertising, a thing designed to affect free will through psychological bombardment, I have to agree, with the caveat that entirely blaming corporations is also a cop out (in the sense that a cop out allows you not to think any more on the matter). Consumers are also citizens and must inform themselves so that they can help make better social rules that hold society (and its institutions – governments, lawmakers etc) accountable.

    ConsanguineousMind

    May 22, 2013 at 4:31 am

  15. Great post. I particularly like that you point how how hard companies work to obscure production practice. People are fundamentally good would respond in droves if the truth were marketed as actively as the fictional benefits or point of difference of the good.

    Our family has taken steps – http://wp.me/p3s25t-4m

    Mr Simple
    lessisbetter.org

    Mr Simple

    May 22, 2013 at 11:59 pm

  16. Reblogged this on Emerald Records.

    jhayol

    May 23, 2013 at 1:50 pm

  17. Great post here. I don’t think we can blame consumers, per se, but complacent consumers is the key for the blame, and I think that many of us are (myself to blame as well). We over-consume and buy too much stuff that we don’t need. I agree that if the truth is put out there, people will buy from the places that they know have good practices- then again, even Exon and oil companies have an “environmental mission statement”, which is a joke in itself that some people believe in. Even though wages are much less overseas, sometimes some job is better than no job for these people, but I think if they became more aware of their situation, they could rise up and demand wage increases, which often happens in history, but then of course, the prices would rise in the States and many would complain.

    When gas goes up 20 cents a gallon in America, everyone complains and mutters under their breath. On the other side of the world, in places like the Middle East and Russia, where the economies rely heavily on petroleum sales, this makes them happier. So there’s always an economic trade-off.

    I wish I had a better idea, but I do know this, there is no perfect system, as long as humans are not perfect. As long as the world relies heavily on consumerism, there will always be crashes and falls. BIGGER crashes and falls in the future, because the system is unsustainable.

    Again, great post!

    Hitchiking Colorado

    May 24, 2013 at 3:12 pm

  18. Hi David, thanks for expressing your views on this issue. The significant and avoidable loss of life in the Bangladesh factory where Loblaw Co. Ltd sourced cheap clothing for its Joe Fresh line does lead us to think, and re-think our actions and our environs. Hopefully all parties will own up to the opportunities to behave more thoughtfully in business and every other facet of life where exploitation is possible. As a friend once told me, it’s difficult to change the world, but one starts with herself. Others have the choice to follow and put their own spin on your actions. Shareholders standing for reasonable gains — now there’s an idea. 🙂 All the best to you!//mm

    milkyminx

    May 25, 2013 at 12:58 pm

  19. […] Blaming Consumers is a Cop Out. […]

  20. if I could know with certainty where a product is made, how it is handled and the working conditions of said products i will buy something else but if that something else is made the same and no option is available then what? the reality is your responsible for the conditions of the workers if you contorl wages, building qualities and conditions they work under, if you have the power to make the conditions better but don’t due to the bottome line your guilty before man and God, if you offer products at higher prices due to making working condtions better (you can put videos on line to show how things have improved with a starting point and ending point) you can up your pr and actually increase the bottom line in the long run, if your leaving the usa is due to greed shame on you, if it is due to the govenrments regulating and taxing you to death I understand, still doesn’t justify treating people like cogs in a machine with no rights to fair and equal consideration and protection of their life. Jehovah holds us accountable for our actions and if we knowingly act or do not act which causes serious harm to others (and we had the power to metigate it) then we are blood guilty before him. can you imagine if Jesus or the apostles were running a factory do you think for one moment they would put profit ahead of what is right? If you treat people as a means to an end you have some serious issues dude. I am not against profits I am against it to the point of working people to death with little consideration or putting them unecessarily in harms way with no concern for their life, liberty or property. if your being helped in continuing this by the us gov or by other corporations or banks then shame on them for aiding and abetting murder, rape, violence and unjust slavery and exploitation of the circumstances of others. if the clergy do not address this with their flocks including the wealthy and powerful then shame on them for bearing false witness that God is with them or backing their endeavors up or that people in poverty deserve their fate as the rich deserve theirs, this is abold face lie, Jesus was the son of god and yet he had no place to lay his head, I dont recall anywhere in the bible that states servants will get wealthy if God approves of them and those who dont are in poverty either.

    roberta4949

    May 29, 2013 at 9:24 pm

  21. […] policy or consumers for things like labor conditions is a cop out.  (Here and here for voters, here and here for consumers). The general idea is that social outcomes are not a product of unalloyed […]

  22. […] 1. Blaming Consumers is a Cop Out […]


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