Are you the reason they are broke as a joke?

By Daniil Severenchuk

Are you enabling the MNCs (Multinational Corporations) in exploiting people’s labor, skills and resources to make yourself satisfied? Have you ever thought about if you were the reason developing countries are stuck in poverty?  These are some thought provoking questions you should ask yourself. We are often quick to blame others for the issues in the developing countries (governments, corruption, MNC’s etc.…), but rarely we stop and ponder if our daily actions contribute to people’s hardships that occur on a daily basis.

MNC’s such as Wal-Mart, Nestle, and Coca-Cola are just three companies people are comfortably familiar with in the United States. Most people at one point in their life bought a product from at least one of these companies. But have you ever stopped for a second and thought about where the product you purchased was made, and how generously were the people who produced the product confiscated for their hard work. MNC’s focus is simply to make a profit, and to please the customers because if they fail to do so, the customer will ultimately spend their money elsewhere. The MNC’s only benefit the home country at the expense of the host country. Here is a political cartoon that I thought captures all of this very well.

http://priyankaseconomicblog.wordpress.com

Customers always want to get the best bang for their buck, without realizing the fact that the cheaper they get an item, ultimately the product has to be produced for a much lower cost. MNC’s would not be in business if they sold items for less than what it cost them to produce it. People get caught up in counting and finding ways to save their money, and slowly become blind in understanding the hard work that went into producing that good. If people wouldn’t always put themselves first in everything and consider people involved in the production side and their wellbeing, the people’s incomes in the developing countries would rise. Sure you might argue that the MNC’s should just take a loss in profit and pay people more in the production aspect, but at the same time most people still want to receive the product at the same price.  This wouldn’t be entirely fair to the MNC’s, both parties need to pay more.

You might not realize it, but we the consumers have the power in our hands to make a change. As I mentioned earlier MNC’s have to please their customers, if they don’t customers can take their money elsewhere. If people begin to boycott MNC’s and make their voice heard for the reason why then the MNC’s profits will begin to diminish and they will quickly adjust their business model to win the customer back. If they are not willing to change they will have to shut their doors all together, and someone else will come into the market and replace them (companies with better business model’s to please customers). You can take your business to places such as Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Earth Fare, and Trader Joes, where you know these companies strives to help people around the world. They pay living wages not just to their store employees but to people who produce the goods as well. These companies are an example that you can be for profit, make profit, and help others all at the same time. You will notice that the prices of their products are slightly higher than you would find at Wal-Mart, but while their prices are higher a majority of their products are of better quality. By paying more you are helping the company be enabling to pay living wages to everyone involved in their organization.  Think—–Take a Stand—–Make a Difference.

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3 responses to “Are you the reason they are broke as a joke?

  1. I understand your point in this blog article but I am confused about how we can pay more for products and services if they are already set prices established by the industries that offer them. I believe you are right by arguing that many developing countries are in poverty because the developed countries pay them such low wages in order to sell products to consumers at a lower price but at the same time I think even if consumers paid more for products, the firms would still keep the profit and still pay little to the workers because as you mentioned, people only do things that benefit themselves.

    As someone from a developing I witnessed many workers in factories making product that were sold in the US like with Abercrombie clothing. You are right, they are making products that are being sold for high prices while they only keep a small amount of wages but I think that is because they are such a third party in the market because US demands services, which they pay X amount but than the factory owner/firm accepts that X amount but also has to keep a certain amount of money to make the production happen by paying for capital and labor, which is why I think wages are so low because factories don’t really have much money to pay their workers.

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  2. This makes me think of the conflict in the Congo and the conflict minerals, such as coltan, tin, and tungsten , which end up being purchased ultimately by multinational electronic companies. The profit from the mineral trade is one of the main motives for armed groups on all sides of the conflict in eastern Congo, are we perpetuating this conflict by being consumers of cellphones, computers, and other electronics containing conflict minerals, like coltan?

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  3. Dear Daniil,

    Your article brings up many issues to think more about and so many factors are involved in this issue. Some very important questions. Should business be just about profit? Can businesses make profit and help people at the same time?

    ~Professor Myra Chaudhary

    Like

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