Cheap in price, high on cost.

At the core of her argument is the idea that the wealth of cheap goods available to us doesn’t make our lives better; instead, it fosters an environment that endangers not just the jobs of American workers but the idea of human labor, period.

It’s impossible to grapple with the global economy without addressing the tricky subject of China, and Shell does so with the right amount of clear-eyed empathy. She notes that China as a nation has grown wealthier while its poor have become poorer. According to figures released by the World Bank, between 2001 and 2003 the income of the poorest 10 percent of China’s 1.3 billion people had fallen by 2.4 percent, to less than $83 per year. In that same period, the country’s economy grew by 10 percent, and its richest people became 16 percent richer”

“IKEA is the third-largest consumer of wood in the world and uses timber that comes mostly from Eastern Europe and the Russian Far East, where, Shell points out, “wages are low, large wooded regions remote, and according to the World Bank, half of all logging is illegal.” IKEA president and CEO Anders Dahlvig asserts that the timber his company uses is harvested legally, and the company does employ forestry experts to monitor the company’s suppliers. But Shell points out that IKEA has only 11 forestry monitors, not nearly enough to keep a watchful eye on all those suppliers worldwide, and five of those specialists are devoted to China and Russia, a vast spread of territory by itself. Dahlvig says that hiring more inspectors would cost too much; he’d have to pass the cost on to the consumer.”

source: Salon book review

I think underline question is : Do we as consumer care why a product is cheap?


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