Oh..snap…

I think that Yahoo news should reconsider their headline….

*For the record…I don’t really say “oh snap”…I don’t think I could pull it off.*

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happiness

 feeling the breeze on my face

connecting, laughing, relaxing

eating breakfast off of red with white speckled tin plates

drinking juice and coffee out of old jelly jars

sitting on the back porch with family and friends

 

Story

The wonderful and lovely Becky commented on my last post and I’m so glad she did!  I remember watching a great video and couldn’t remember what it was called or where I had found it.  She posted a link to it, and it’s a must see! 

The Story of Stuff

And she’s right, we could go round and round talking about these types of things.  Arg.  So in the end, hopefully we can all try our best and hardest to do more than is just convenient, cheap and easy.  Look for the story when possible, and ask questions.  Consumers really hold the power, without them there would be no argument one way or the other.  You are the consumer.

Lives under my skin…

So I know I said that I didn’t want the globalization conversation to be about Wal-Mart.  But!  I did just remember a small conversation I had with someone a couple months ago.  It is a little humorous, and gives a small picture of some people’s view.

I brought a sample of products from Dignity Regained to a local church that has strong values for social justice.  While I was setting up a woman came to chat about the products.  Holding one, I told her that it was from India. 

She said “oh I bought something at Wal-Mart yesterday from India.” 

I wasn’t really sure how to respond.  B

ut I didn’t have to, she then said “but it probably wasn’t Fair Trade.” 

Me-“Probably not.”

Her – “I guess Wal-Mart is necessary evil of life”.

::Is it really?::  Can we just try to simplify life a little more and not buy everything the world is telling us we need, at a extremely cheap price, at the cost of other people’s freedoms?  Is that our freedom?  Am I just living in la-la land? 

On another lovely note.  It was a beautiful weekend!  So nice to have our windows open, sit outside in the sun without feeling too hot.  I feel guilty for being inside right now.  I should be out enjoying it.  Hm.

US dollar effect on globalization [part 2]

Interesting comment by Revizzy(my cuz) to start a rousing conversation.  Not that I only want to focus on Wal-Mart, but it certainly a good example

revizzy // August 9, 2008 at 1:15 pm

As with everything, there are two sides. Hopefully we can change what needs to be changed, but at what cost? I mean, for an extreme example: Walmart. I know that the corporation engages in very shoddy practices that are unethical. But, When you see that family that actually needs help (and not the ones cheating the system) and the fact that they can buy more groceries to feed their children at walmart, than other stores…. I mean… At what cost to we fight the evilness of Walmart? It will effect those here in America that can barely afford to feed their children.

It’s a vicious cycle. So you just start where you can. I believe that if we fight the systemic problems of America, such as economic racism, then perhaps we can better be available to other issues (especially economic)

It is a vicious cycle.  Wal-Mart makes it easier for people for people who can barely afford to feed their families, because they are able to buy more food, but why are these people barely able to afford to feed their families?  What effect did Wal-Mart have on the outcome, causing that cycle.  And how can that be turned around? 

What part is the church supposed to play in this?  Are they to stay out of it?

US dollar effect on globalization

One of the blogs on my google reader is Fasion Loves People.  Not only did they recently post on DIY hippie headbands that I really want to make now, but they also had an interesting post about the weak US dollar and it’s reverse effects on globalization. 

“From NPR’s report on Superior Products Inc., which produces gas fittings in Cleveland:

“When we go overseas now, a dollar-denominated price is something much more competitive — if you are competing against companies that are selling in euros, for instance,” (VP Greg) Gens says. “So there is an advantage as we set up and try to get product into Europe or Southeast Asia.

“… As oil prices climb, shipping cheaply made products from China becomes more expensive. Add to this slowly increasing labor costs in Asia, and many buyers are rethinking the savings they are achieving by purchasing overseas.”

I guess this depends on your view of globalization as to whether or not this is a good thing.  I’m still learning about these things, but I think certainly notbuying mass produced products made by poor to no standards at all would be a good thing, but at the same time the debate continues…If it weren’t for these factories, would these people find a job elsewhere?  Can we have both?  Facotries that pay their workers fairly, and have safe working conditions, giving them good jobs.  Is the middle man willing to eat those extra expenses in the name of fairness?  I think that unfortunately, until more standards are put in place, I think that the middle person will try to drive the price they pay down by whatever means possible, until the consumer speaks up.

Ignorance is bliss and most choose not to ask questions about where it was made and by what standard. 

As Fasion Loves People puts it:

When it’s no longer worth it for corporations to spend their time seeking the lowest possible manufacturing prices in the most remote areas, we all win! Better worker pay, plus a much lower transportation footprint.

Any thoughts?  Am I off base here? 

**Update**

I was just reading more about this topic on World Changing :

“But transportation costs are not the only reasons why globalization as we know it might be in for some rapid evolution. Consider:

*Far-flung supply chains may drop costs (even with higher oil prices), but the multiply climate change emissions. That already presents a marketing challenge as consumers grow more aware of their carbon footprints. And if political consensus emerges on pricing carbon (as seems likely), some of the price advantages of global complexity could vanish overnight.

*Manufacturers and others are already increasingly aware of, and worried about, supply chain diversity. When the entire supply of a critical part or material comes from a distant factory or mine, every company that depends on that part or material is at risk. Increasingly, companies are trying to find multiple sources (and alternative sources), preferably close to home.

*Some of the economic advantages of globalization have come from companies gaining the ability to skirt labor and environmental laws by doing business in countries with high levels of political corruption (corruption they have often helped create). But now, transparency activismhas blown the cover of secrecy off these practices; now it is easier than ever to cause enormous brand damage simply by revealing an unsavory backstory.”

Makes my statements seem a bit pessemistic huh?  I guess we should live this out and ask for transparent brands.

*Photo from WorldChanging.com

Three Years..

Brian has stood with me through four years of wonderful and tough times.  He is probably the most patient person I know, and has loved me through my craziness.  He listens to me, protects me and has always been a safe place for me to tell my dreams.  Happy Anniversary!
Below are some pictures of our last 3-4 years together. 

It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages. – Friedrich Nietzsche

 A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. – Mignon McLaughlin

Yosemite
Yosemite
I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage. They’ve experienced pain and bought jewelry. – Rita Rudner

Happy marriages begin when we marry the ones we love, and they blossom when we love the ones we marry. – Tom Mullen

Only two things are necessary to keep one’s wife happy. One is to let her think she is having her own way, the the other, to let her have it. – Lyndon B. Johnson

With Tina and Adam in St. Louis

For two people in a marriage to live together day after day is unquestionably the one miracle the Vatican has overlooked. – Bill Cosby

Remember that happiness is a way of travel, not a destination. – Roy Goodman