Sunday, July 22, 2012

Blue Walmart bags

For our homework last week, we ran into a bit of a snag.  We had this great idea for helping the world, a bit at a time.  Bags for groceries – not exactly a unique idea, but a sound one.  We thought, bags with the Beginning Friendly logo on them.  Pick them up and print and get to church.  No such luck – it would have cost a fortune.  So Paul got some cheap pretty blue bags when he was in Sacramento, the only ones he could find.  From Walmart.  Ok, not what we had imagined, but . . .  Well that is the question.

Can Walmart be friendly? 

It raises some huge questions.  Small businesses around town aren’t too happy about Walmart.  Some things going around about how evil it is are myths, or are past history.  But, it is true that a lot of the money that goes to Walmart goes out of town.  So, does money and business have to stay local to be friendly?  Or fruit, or jobs, or – well the list goes on and on.  We are eco friendly when we eat stuff that is grown close by.  But we also can become insulated, both socially and economically.  Outsourcing takes jobs away from the rich higher paying places and takes them to places that pay poorer wages.  But does it really move money from the rich to the poor, or does it just increase the profits of the very rich?  Where does a call for justice in substandard wages in Haiti really hide a fear of losing jobs where we are?  

What is friendly to the world?  Those are harder questions than I can answer, but they are really worth asking. 

So Walmart bags – to use or not to use, that is the question.  

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