Perhaps men and women must re-examine their priorities – demanding less, caring more about each other, appreciating what they have rather than grousing about what they do not have, giving more than lip service to the wisdom that money cannot buy happiness.
Gregg Easterbrook quoted today on why shopping might go out of fashion – not quite such an airy-fairy idea as it at first might seem; it strikes me as odd that we care more about the living conditions of chickens (and occasionally opt to become vegetarian as a result), than we do about the working conditions of factory workers in the Far East.
Big businesses are anticipating a shift in consumer priorities now, by starting to take corporate social responsiblity seriously; but I think we have a long way to go before shoppers demand the social equivalent of organic chicken.
[Anyone who cares to point out the hypocrisy of this post next to the last one should be reassured that I have emailed Faith to ask about their corporate social responsibility policy]
Although money can’t buy happiness, it definitely buys comfort. I’m not sure social responsibility can buy happiness either. It just can avert feelings of unease for some people.
Social responsibility can probably buy at least a little more comfort for the factory workers who make your shoes and clothes.
But I would be lying if I said that I wouldn’t buy a pair of Nikes, because they don’t have a particularly good record with they way they treat their staff.
I’m not saying that is a good attribute, and things would certainly change if everyone stopped purchasing products from all but the most ethical of companies. But I can’t honestly pretend to be that good a person.