A bit more on our English teacher. He enjoys tearing apart and dissecting the economic system that is currently in place. Out of scope of English? Probably. Thought-provoking? Why not.
So, first, we need to identify the flaw. As a broad generalization, the main problem is that corporations, governments, people generally have a lack of morality when it comes to a variety of situations. Now, I argue that entities usually have a further motive than just being immoral; it does not strike me that someone would just do immoral things because they were immoral, except for perhaps a few deviant cases with certain mental disorders. Nay. Instead, people do immoral things because there exists an incentive to do so. Since this is the economic system we’re talking about, this incentive comes in the form of making more money than you started with, i.e. profit.
As an aside, let’s just take the axiom that people do like incentives, by the very definition of incentive itself. Comes down all the way from billions of years of evolution, you know. [WHAT!? BIOLOGY? What is this heathen subject?]
And that’s our problem. The desire for profit is hardwired into our brains. However, this is only from the producer’s point of view. To the consumer, people are probably willing to pay somewhat more for certain possibly nonexistent benefits. Case in point: organic produce. However, I do not believe that people will just blindly pay more for the exact same thing (organic produce?), barring perhaps brand-name loyalty (only because you are assured that XYZ brand is actually stable at producing usable products). So, yes, Rath is correctly guided in exposing these things to us.
Wait. To tenth graders? To tenth graders who barely have any money whatsoever? [Unless you’re Richard of course. Because you’re Rich. AHAHAHA* *Note: not real name, but semi-commonly accepted as such. At any rate, not someone in our school, because our school’s poor.] While I do appreciate the awareness that this is generating, I somewhat doubt the amount of material that will actually transpire to our parents, let alone the world. I’d wager that about half of us would forget about morality concerns by the time we get a stable income, and the other half would actually support this immoral economy. Because profit is profit, and money is money.
Although, these human rights issues and whatnot are actually somewhat relevant you know. So the proper thing to do is probably to increase awareness. (No really?) While it would be nice to let everyone have access to all of these abusive factories, that would take a lot of time to see everything for yourself. (And you’d probably become depressed over time looking at the conditions.) So therefore we delegate this responsibility to certain independent “abuse agencies” or whatever you call those things. But exactly what incentive do these people get? Well, for one, many of these people are compensated somehow in money to do their job. However, since it’s usually public awareness groups paying them, the amount of money that they get is not that much, frankly speaking. Also, they could be easily “bribed” by the corporations that they’re inspecting, because more money is good. Paying off 100 people for, say, $500/hour costs less than paying off 100,000 people for $5/hour more. [Hint: $500/hour comes out to about $800,000 a year, which is a pretty respectable sum of money. And $5/hour is barely livable (by our standards anyways).] That, or they can just increase their prices, but I’m guessing their profits will take a great hit anyways. Although, are there people who would stand the moral high ground regardless of how much money they were offered? Yes? I’d bet that if it really came to that amount desperation, those companies could probably hire a few hundred hitmen to dispatch those moralists, and still come out in the deep green. Heh. I wonder how they’d hide those expenses from public view, though, but it seems that they’re already doing a pretty good job at evading taxes and whatnot, so yes, I think it’s very doable for those companies.
[Great, now I hope that nobody’s going to murder me now. Post idea!]
So we could be hiring investigative agencies to investigate these agencies, and et cetera. The problem is that then there’d be way too much bureaucracy in the system, whether you like it or not, to ironically patch the current amount of economic deregulation. It’s a choice of two evils really. I personally don’t really like too much formwork myself you know.
So… what to do? You could institute, say, some sort of approval not unlike that “FDA Approved” Seal that occurs in food products, but once again, you’ll have to monitor the FDA as well. And, well, food can have the tendency to kill, especially since we directly eat it. That doesn’t happen nearly as often with most other things, like electronics or stocks. Also, here it’s not the consumer that’s slaving away, so there’s less directness.
Even with such an approval, how many times have you heard of salmonella, mad cow, or some other pathogen (prions are pathogens right?) leak into the news, where people are KILLED in these events? Lots! Ok, maybe a few dozen or so, but still, an appreciable number. So clearly this approval business isn’t as accurate as we thought. Why would it be different for the electronic companies, especially when you’re dealing with an industry which has far more resources and a more sizable warchest to pay them off? This just doesn’t work.
In other words, this problem is way too endemic, and change is ridiculously hard given the inertia of the system. Publicity is a good start, but really now, most public statements go unchecked. It’s really hard to figure out what to believe these days. Seeing is believing, but it’s way too cost-prohibitive to actually see everything. So you have to rely on good faith of others, which may not always be very existent. And thus the world just keeps on spinning, doing everything it has been doing in the past billions of years.