28 November 2012

Day 146: The True Price of your Cheap Clothes in NeoApartheid

In Bangladesh, 100 workers were killed in a factory fire. Yes - this was one of the factories we all know about where clothes shops in the West have their clothes made by people working extremely long hours for basically no wages - I mean, can you call $43 a monthly wage?

Labour conditions and security measures in these factories are barely every up to standard. Due to short-term contracts with the clothing retailers, the factories are not certain whether they can afford making investments to upgrade their facilities and improve workers' safety.

Why these factories exist is because people all over the world have become slaves to money. Money decides whether you have food, a roof over your head, an education, a life. The same goes for people in Bangladesh - except, there is not much money to go around - therefore, anything they can get their hands on, they'll take - therefore, implicitly accepting a life of slavery, because in some twisted way: slavery is seen as better than death.

But what is more - these types of factories exist because clothing retailers that sell clothes at cheap prices, simply need slaves to make them in order to turn a profit. The true cost of the clothes you buy is not reflected in their cheap prices. The true cost of your clothes includes everything labourers such as the factory workers in Bangladesh have to give up to make these clothes for you in the worst conditions as this event shows.

The retail shops are able to escape accountability due to the claim that they often don't know which factories make their clothes. The simplest lie in the book: "But I didn't know!"

NeoAparheid not only refers to the fact that the money decides what you have access to and that the elite will do anything to manipulate the flow of money to their own advantage - but also to the fact that those who have will distance themselves from those who have not - all trying to wash the blood off their hands through ignorance. We're all familiar with the experience of turning our gaze from a beggar on the street just to not face the disgrace of inequality that is accepted in the world and how we have absolutely no valid justification as to why we have enough money to get by and even afford a level of luxury, while others have nothing at all. The same happens when we buy cheap clothes in a shop. We revel in an experience of excitement and victory - because 'my friends will LOVE THESE and that was such a GOOD DEAL!' But we conveniently ignore the obvious truth in looking at the physical labour that is involved in the production of the clothes as well as getting them all the way to you - and then comparing these physical facts to the cheap price - there is an obvious discrepancy where you're not paying the full price to properly cover all the costs - and thus - someone else is paying for your clothes - not because they want to, but because they have no other choice.

Turning a blind eye doesn't make the problem go away. Donating to charity doesn't make the problem go away. The only way to solve the problem is through radically redesigning our economic and political system that adheres to a Constitution that ensures all interactions and decisions are always conducted according to the Principle of Equality and What's Best for All.

Assist us in designing a Real Solution at www.equalmoney.org!

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