From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own. Carl Schurz

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Bloody Cost of Cheap Crap

No I'm not talking about the violence that erupts every year out of the insanity that is Black Friday but the real violence visited daily upon the exploited workers who toil in sweatshops making that cheap crap we'll gladly trample over each other to buy.

I awoke this morning to a reminder of just how high that cost in blood truly is with the news of yet another garment factory fire, this time claiming the lives of 112 souls with the death toll expected to rise. It would be nice to think this is an isolated incident however it is far from so, in fact these mass killings of exploited workers happen regularly often with the workers trapped by locked doors as was the case in the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of 1911 Sadly little has changed since then, all we've managed to do is send the exploitation overseas out of sight, out of mind.

 “Oh, Allah, where’s my soul? Where’s my son?” wailed Ms. Yasmine, who works at another factory in the area. “I want the factory owner to be hanged. For him, many have died, many have gone.”

It is not only the factory owner, nor corrupt officials and greedy capitalists that share all the blame, a good measure of it lies with each of us.  So by all means continue to shop at the Walmarts and Targets of this world, continue to buy that cheap assed t-shirt that won't survive but a few washings but remember like Lady MacBeth's damned spot you will never be able to wash the blood from your hands.

Update: it appears there is a Canadian angle with this story. The Globe reports  The founder and managing director of Tuba Group, Delowar Hossain, is a Canadian citizen


  1. I have a very wise friend, Kev, who offers the opinion that the genius of the corporate agenda has been to get North Americans hooked on cheap items from China while at the same time reducing their own chances of finding work above the minimum wage or contract level. I agree completely with your assertion that we all must share blame for the entire mess.

  2. Yes Lorne your friend is indeed very wise for that is most definitely the plan and it is coming together quite nicely

  3. That cheap crap is all too often crap we don't need to begin with. The rise of compulsive consumerism shares characteristics with OCD and is probably a marker for societal insanity.

    1. Yes indeed "societal insanity" is an apt description