The Real Cost of Cheap Stuff

Bangladesh Building Collapse Kills at Least 70

Texas Fertilizer Explosion Kills at Least 16

Boston Bombing Kills 3

All three of these events happened this week. Most people see the third as very different from the first two. I don’t. To me they are all part of the massive hidden cost of cheap stuff produced by the poor for the over-consumption of wealthy countries.

Next time you buy those $20 jeans or eat the 10 cent banana stop and ask yourself how the hell they can sell them so cheap. I’ll give you a hint: it is not because the business owners are taking less in profits. The answer is they rape whoever they can to get the price as low as possible. This could be people, animals, plants, water, earth, whatever will not fight back in the short term.

And thus we get badly built buildings, slave labor, substandard production, and massive ecological destruction. This is why the overcrowded Bangladesh building collapsed, the understaffed fertilizer plant exploded and the angry, disenfranchised youth lashed out in Boston. It doesn’t take a genius to see the connection. Just don’t look for the answers in the media – big business has too much invested in the current setup to expose it’s ugly side.

This is why when people ask me to compare the cost of green building to normal building I don’t say anything incredibly stupid like, ” Green building is 10% more expensive”.

Normal building is five planets more expensive than green building, which is the amount of planets needed if everyone built like America.

So avoid all that slave labor clothing. ‘You’ got a deal; ‘they’ got dead/poisoned/in-fertile/ enslaved/ abused…fill in the blank.

Its our appetites that are killing us, killing our fellow humans, killing our Earth planet. Our desires and greed.

Get less and pay more up front for it should be our credo. Maybe then will we get closer to paying the true cost of things.

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One comment on “The Real Cost of Cheap Stuff
  1. Heather Y. says:

    Tomorrow, May 1, there will be, among other activities, a _swarming_ of various Union Square employers (including Banana Republic) that promote unfair wages, sweatshops, and the manufacture of cheap stuff.

    The cost of doing things better is also rather cheap- major fire and building safety improvements are available for payments of _.10 _cent _more_ per _garment by buyers. Walmart, Gap Inc., (which owns Banana Republic) have refused to sign the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement. What is their (damn) excuse?

    resistance is FERTILE.

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