I write this post in response to the recent events in Bangladesh.
Lately the world has been run by corporations tethered to a Wall Street where ever reaching stock prices are demanded or the perceived “value” of a company will go down, independent of the company’s actual output or it’s impact on the world.
But ultimately these massive creatures are only so big because we’ve been feeding them. All these exports from Bangladesh end up on Walmart shelfs and H&M stores in your neighborhood.
Democracy is starting lose over to Oligarchy. Now we vote with our dollars, not in the booths.
But I’m not saying we should blame Walmart or H&M. They became that way because of the constant drive for cheaper and cheaper clothes. The drive that was created by us, the consumers. So the fault lies somewhere within us, it’s necessary to figure out what that fault is, and maybe try to shore it up in our own lives.
One reason for a constant drive within me for cheaper and cheaper goods is my perception that the more money I save, the richer I will be.
That is a common misconception for just about everyone who’s “saving.” But not spending 10 dollars doesn’t mean you’re 10 dollars richer.
Spending that 10 dollars wisely, you might get more than what that 10 dollar is worth. If you spend that 10 dollars on something that gives your inside soul a sense of satisfaction and well-being, then you just turned that 10 dollars into an immeasurable amount of happiness.
But I’m partial to extra hot Cheetos. I think they’re very delicious and makes my soul happy. But does it really? When I eat them, what sensations are going through my mouth? Let’s not look at my emotions, they’re lying to me because I’m addicted to processed sugars and sodium.
If I compare those sensations to the ones I get from a home cooked meal, like the ones my mom makes for practically pennies, it’s easy to see what is more valuable.
If we were able to individually re-train ourselves to seek for higher and higher values, instead of succumbing to mindless addictions and habits, then that would produce a change in what we want to buy from outsiders. This change of values will be mirrored by smart businessmen who will then continue to make lots of money by providing us products with higher and higher levels of quality.
And you can’t get quality out of a hot sweaty building in a third-world country. But if I was a smart business man who realized that now people want quality.. but cost of production is still cheaper in Bangladesh. I’d just go there and spend lots of money building high quality facilities and produce high quality training for employees and create a high quality atmosphere where these employees will focus on improving their craft and the quality of the products they produce.