Monday, July 5, 2010

Hmmm... Do I need to buy this thing?

Recent guests at the Beehive left this wallet-sized laminated card to inform our decisions, called:

"Questions to ask yourself before buying something
(see below for the list of questions)

Personal choice is but one small fraction of the solution to our myriad consumer problems. We can do our individual part, however as my wise sister points out, there are problems located all along the supply chain. Such as:
  • inacurate pricing which does not represent the true cost of a product (in terms of labour costs, environmantal costs, transportation and shipping costs, recycling costs, etc.)
  • weak governmental regulations which permit crap coming in to our stores, inappropriate labeling of products, permitted toxins in production, etc
  • advertising. The goal of most product-based advertising is "the creation of a mood of restless dissatisfaction with what we have got, and who we are, so that we go out and buy more." This is according to a report from Compass in the UK. Among other things like new taxes on advertising, Compass suggests banning advertising for children ("who should be protected until their minds are able to cope with complex selling techniques - they should be free to be children not just consumers").
OK, so here are some questions for you, if you feel like thinking about this stuff:

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