Friday, November 12, 2010

Assuaged Guilt Sale

Allow me a bit of a rant. I just read this commentary/advertisement by Mary Beth Danielson and I would like to share a few thoughts.

Danielson owns a business wherein she sells items produced by poor Guatemalan women. Good for her. That was not a sarcastic "good for her." I mean it.

But I have a few problems with her approach. Though she notes that a young Guatemalan man is able to attend school because of her sales activities, she nonetheless blasts away at banks, investment firms, the rich and the pursuit of profits. Why does she think that only her business ventures are virtuous while more successful business people are vaguely evil?

Danielson has a habit of sharing heart wrenching stories followed by opportunities to purchase her products. This strikes me as a bit manipulative and self serving. Why the Journal Times and now the Racine Post don't charge her for advertising is beyond me.

I have never seen the products that Danielson is selling. I don't know whether they are worth buying or not. But it is rather obvious that there is more than just knit gloves and hats being sold. You also get the Danielson compassion stamp of approval with a side of guilt assuagement. Don't buy it cause you don't need it.

In the interest of full disclosure, I also sell products produced in developing nations. I don't know who is being saved from starvation or a life of prostitution because a family member is working to produce things that I sell in my store. But trade works. It helps all sorts of people without our even realizing it.

Class warfare, on the other hand, is a dangerous and destructive force in our society. Don't buy it.

28 comments:

Sean Cranley said...

I agree, the class warfare that has been successfully waged in America for the last 30 years, rusulting in the vast majority of the wealth produced by our people and our lands going into the hands of a vanishingly few elitists who have the best government money can buy is very dangerous for not only our democracy and our economy, but also for our chesion as a country.

Anonymous said...

That was perceptive Denis - "buy from me because I care".

I can only guess what kind of a gem Seany just dropped - I'm sure he has a PhD in Compassionology, in addition to that PhD in Geolgy, from Gateway Technical College.

Anonymous said...

Hey, thanks for the excellent publicity you (and others) have generated for MayaWorks with your comments at RacinePost.com.
Here are some facts that might help clear a bit of the dust.
I work fulltime at another job. I don't own a shop. I am a volunteer for MayaWorks. I try to write for Racine Post when there are going to be sales to generate interest for those events. When those sales are over, we pack up what's not sold, send it back to the distribution center in Chicago.
Mary Beth Danielson

Denis Navratil said...

Thanks anon (Danielson?) but I am not sure what that info clears up exactly. My criticism is with your gratuitous (in my view) shot at banks, investment funds, the rich and the profit motive. These people are engaged in business just like you and they are helping people just like you.

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Oops, sorry about the multiple postings.

Anonymous said...

the pursuit of profit is not inherently evil, its the suitors of greed that are. They suitors of greed tend to dictate legislation that solely favors their interests.

Sean Cranley said...

Well said Anon! Greed is good? No greed is a sin and it's the sin that toppled the economy and it's the sin at the root of the class warfare that has given all the wealth to the corporate contributor class and leached the dynamism out fo the economy like a battery where all the charge has gone to one pole.

Denis Navratil said...

Agreed Sean. That is why I reject the greed that motivates some to pursue redistributive (ie theft) policies that trap many in a harmful dependency. Beware of those who lust for power.

Nemo said...

"...like a battery where all the charge has gone to one pole."

uh sean, a battery with "all the charge at one pole" would be a battery that has a maximum potential (voltage). Put simply, in deference to you sean, it would be a new battery. Your position would be more clear if you kept your analogies confined to subjects you know/understand.

Sean Cranley said...

Thanks Nemo, point noted.

Denis, redistribution of wealth is EXACTLY what been going on under conservative policies for the last 30 years, deliberate redistribution upward. That's how we've gotten to the undynamic economic state we are in. All the water is below the dam. how's that one Nemo?

Denis Navratil said...

I still can't fathom the idea of wealth redistribution FROM the poor. It's like extracting water from a rock. Perhaps that is why I'm not rich.

Sean Cranley said...

Not from the poor Denis, from the middle class.

Nemo said...

sean, your "water under below the dam" analogy makes much more sense. Alas, the trickle-up-poverty plan you're peddling does not.

Sean Cranley said...

Nemo, I'm not peddling a plan, I've outlined no plan accept the the one I oppose which has seen one of the largest redistributions of wealth (upward) in history through class warfare conducted by the political contributor class against the rest of the country generally and the middle class in particular.

You cons a supposed to be against class warfare and redistribution of wealth, but it's a big lie, just like a lot of other things you purport to either support or oppose.

Consequently, I have no idea what you mean by a trickle up poverty plan, unless you mean that without a healthy middle class, which is being eroded per GOPolicy, the entire country will be worse off. If so I agree.

Nemo said...

Interesting battery boy, what specific "GOPolicy" has lead to the erosion of the middle class?

Trickle-up-poverty is the result of all the strange and unwonderful progressive economic policies inflicted on the productive. That clear that up for you?

Sean Cranley said...

Nemodogma, why do you always ask me the same questions over and over? Do you have difficulty with reading comprehension and retention?

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