Thursday, January 12, 2006

The ethics of economics

Increasingly I have come to realise that economics, more than politics or religion, is what makes the world go round.

The other day the High Street clothes store Primark was rated the least ethical place to buy clothes in Britain, taking into account environmental damage, worker's rights and dealing with oppressive regimes. This in fact didn't suprise me at all. When I was looking for clothes recently I went to Primark. I needed a suit for job interviews, and I was (and am) poor because I was unemployed. So I went to Primark and got a jacket, shirt, tie, and trousers for less than £30. And I thought, as I bought these clothes, "I'm sure these clothes were made by exploiting the developing world, how else could they be so cheap?" And I was right. And yet, I really needed cheap clothing, I couldn't afford anything more expensive.

I'm sure most people who shop in Primark are in the same boat. It made me realise that poor people here in Britain, because they are buying cheap clothes, are exploiting poorer people in the rest of the world. But you can't really blame poor Britons, because they're poor. We're all caught up in this network of economic exploitation that traps us in place. How can we escape?


Anonymous Danny said...

indeed, to an extent this might be true - it is the affluent i would condemn. Those who shop in GAP, River Island and such like. I must note however that i see many 'poor' walking around in Adidas trousers and nike shoes.

8:57 pm  

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