|Posted by Nikki Yeager on June 25, 2010 at 10:58 AM|
Sure, corporations have their downfalls. They have more buying power (because they did business well enough for long enough to become large enough to have that buying power) and can drive prices down. They ship large quantities and usually use terrible packaging processes that destroy the environment.
But does my Frappuccino cause the war in Afghanastan like I've been told.
Does my purchasing something at WalMart keep Southeast Asia struggling for survival?
But those are the easy targets. The ones that we don't mind hating because, hell, "down with the man!". Why not despise WalMart, the company who STARTED as a small business and worked it's way up the chain... because it was that good at what it did? Let's curse Starbucks for creating an amazing business model that allows them to pop up like crazy, keep the stores filled (at least in NYC) and still have enough money to pay employees above minimum wage WITH benefits.
Damn them and their high employee satisfaction, great customer service department and increasingly environmentally friendly cups.
Sure buying coffee exclusively at street carts keeps the street cart man in business, but buying drinks at Starbucks keeps 15 of my friends employed at part time jobs that pay for their childcare bills.
I'm a horrible human being for going to those big businesses.
But seriously. What I want to know is this- Why is it that everyone gives a crap about corporations but has nothing wrong with morally corrupt organizations, Evangelical Christian churches that completely demolish local traditions and wipe out entire cultures, genocides that take place right under our noses, small medical businesses in BK who game the insurance industry and make all of our premiums go higher and higher, tiny storefronts who use entire freight cars to carry half a load of goods instead of filling up the area and optimizing the gas usage, small foreign hotels that actually DO take the money directly out of third world countries (i.e. every 4 and 5 star hotel in Siem Reap minus 1 or 2)... and none of that is even speculation. It's directly related. It's right in front of our faces and first-handedly impacts the things we like to blame big buisnesses for indirectly impacting.
Does that mean I love the corporation? Heck no. The bigger a company, the more room for error. But instead of hating on them and blaming them without proof for things like 'the iraqi war' and 'african starvation' let's try to be a little more specific. For instance, did Chiquita bananas really f- up certain island countries? Heck yes. Do some diamond companies create a culture that inspires the 'blood diamond' phenomenon? Sure do. Is the Gulf of Mexico severely damaged because of BP. Yes indeedy.
But does buying a Frappuccino directly support the war in the Middle East?
Maybe you can come up with an argument that down the line the oil we use to ship coffee grounds back and forth impacts our need of oil and in turn makes war more likely. Sure. But where do you think small businesses get their merchandise? The backyard?
I don't think so.
Enjoy your frapps.