Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Life in America offers an option not available in much of the world -- we can be simple-minded in our self indulgence. Like the wars necessitated by our compulsive need for oil, we are an ocean away from the actual costs of our conveniences. It takes some intellectual, moral dilligence to build an association in one's mind between the clean, easy-to-use gas pump at the local happy filling station with the blood arms and legs of those in countries affected by strife over this precious resource we so easily expend.
Likewise, my son recently told me he doesn't eat chocolate. I LOVE chocolate so had not really given any thought to its cost to others, only to myself ($ at the store). Now I'm challenged to own the reality - can I enjoy chocolate harvested by child labor? Can I taste sweetness when it costs sweat, tears, freedom of children in the Ivory Coast? Of course not - but I have been. In a world that offers us unlimited access to information, we also have unlimited access to ample amusements with which to fill our heads so we are unencumbered by harsh realities we wish to avoid.
Shame on me. Thank you, Josh, for the wake up call. Free trade products shift more cost to me, but reduce the human cost on the unseen side of the process. That's more than fair - it's necessary.