Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Child, The Chew Toy

I bought a Nike watch, bag, purse and water bottle. I paid for them - £45.99.
I walked back to the car, contented and satisfied with my purchase, went home, got out of the car, showed the stuff to my mum, ate something and went to bed.

The notes were stored in a drawer, at the end of the month they were taken out and split up. Maybe £15 for the shop £10 for the cashier and the rest went to Nike, to Mr Phil Knight maybe, I don't know. What I can assume, now, is that the little boy or girl who made my stuff, got 2p.

She/he sat at a little table in a sweatshop somewhere in Guatemala at 5am slaving away, stitching, cutting, pricking for probably a minimum of 10 hours no break. Who was looking after her you might ask? Maybe the Taiwanese ex-Army Officer in charge of the work place. Forcing the children into the strict regimes he knows only too well. 
Maybe the child protests a little, she's a little hungry and would like some lunch. Her protest is greeted with a sharp blow to the ear and a snap to get back to work. Maybe she'll go home with her earnings for the day and be able to sleep a bit. Maybe her hard earned 2p will go towards her education, food, shelter. Maybe not.

This is going to be a big post, I may split it up into little posts because reading it all in one go might be a bit much. 

Ahhhh globalisation! The development of the TNCs and MNCs giants as a result of this great 'accomplishment' of mankind has led to such diversified product choice, who would complain? Who would want to?
What we see is the final product. We see the tailored Nikefit pretty polo shirts, the smart footballs, the running shoes, the 'cool' factor we are automatically branded with when we walk through the streets kitted out in our new gear. The Gap fashion trends are eye catching, people glance at you. Why would you want that to end? 

Nike admitted to using child labour in its factories and stated that they 'blew it' by exploiting little children for the motive of profit.

Profit. Money makes the world go round. It certainly goes round everything - it circulates us, the economy, countries, policies and dives head first into the motives of politicians, governments, firms and entrepreneurs in their definitive conquest to rule the world and how? Well, through us, the consumer. 
We swallow up the adverts and regurgitate them through spending, spending, spending, a lot of the time on crap we don't need, we just do it because we can, and because they tell us to. They watch from their towers on high as the masses squirm and swarm below, doing (unknowingly for the most part - some just choose not to care) exactly what these devils bid. A fiendish grin stretches across their faces - they've got us down.
What drives the world economy? Lending, spending, saving - has anyone stopped to think hang, on, where is all this going? Why should they stop? People need money to survive, without it we simply would have nothing...right? 
What leads to the success of these multi national corporations? What drives them? What do they hope to achieve? How do they get there? One motive. One cold, jingling, result-creating motive. The profit motive. 
For the most part, businesses that cater to the consumer are out there for profit. They seek to profit maximise wherever they can. They will exploit the consumer no end, they price discriminate; they brutally bar other firms from entering industries to compete with them; they cheat, the lie, they guzzle down the result. But do we complain? No we don't, we have no reason to. It doesn't affect us. What goes on behind the scenes doesn't show up in our everyday lives. We just buy the products. 
I digress, I'll  get back to the point in my next post. 
To start with I'll explain the profit motive in terms of how the average run-of-the-mill Transnational Company hopes to achieve it.


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