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Front Page » November 13, 2007 » Opinion » Rantings and Ravings
Published 2,452 days ago

Rantings and Ravings


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By TERRY WILLIS
Sun Advocate reporter

Since the Holiday buying season is upon us, I have already had to start thinking about Christmas presents again.

Thanksgiving has just turned into a day to beat out the rivals for the best deals and then go home and eat a celebration meal to fortify yourselves for the next days contest.

I know I am being a bit cynical. Our family and many others still do see Thanksgiving as a special day to stop, give pause and thanks to all we have in our lives. But for the economic impact, Thanksgiving has lost out to consumerism.

I am stymied this year on what to buy the kids for Christmas. It seems everything is being recalled. It was bad enough when you had to weigh the dangers of lead paint or magnets that would stick together in your child's intestines if they swallowed them. Now we have to worry about beads turning into GHB (the date rape drug) and putting them in a coma for days.

I am glad someone is watching out for us, but where were they before the toys were ordered into the stores? We can't blame the Chinese people, they are being poisoned faster than our kids as they take the only jobs available to them to make the stuff for us.

The toy recall fiasco is similar to the clothing scandal a few years back. It started with Kathy Lee Gifford and her line of clothes and ballooned throughout the industry before it was over. Cheap clothes being made in sweat shops that employed children and women for slave wages.

The same issues that made it easy for that scandal to be so pervasive is the driving force behind the toy problems as well. The American buying public demands products cheap and plentiful. This applies to toys, clothing and even food.

We walk around talking about human rights and immigration issues, yet we are not always willing to endure the pain and sacrifice that truly doing away with the use of slave like labor in our country and others would incur.

It isn't a black and white matter though. Just boycotting stores or manufacturers doesn't solve the problem. People are willing to do the work in these conditions because it means the difference between starving and surviving for their families.

I wish I truly had an answer on how our global economy could promote economic wealth for all while providing enough goods and service that everyone could afford. It is going to take a sustained effort and awareness of the issue and how it affects us here in America as well as the countries around the world.

So merry Hallothankshanukahchristmas to everybody and happy present hunting.

Opening day is soon coming to a store near you.


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