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Saturday, July 13, 2013

More Information Needed

The United States has numerous labeling requirements regarding country of origin.**  For example a shirt I wear may indicate that it was “Made in Bangladesh.” This tidbit of information tells me almost nothing I need to know. In addition to that, it should also indicate average daily wage of worker including any health benefits and pensions. I think this not only should apply to foreign nations, but to the United States as well. It is not enough to know that my orange juice was made in America; I need as well to know the average wage of the migrant worker who harvested the oranges that I purchased at a premium price. The ideal label might look something like this: Grown in Florida. The price paid is divided thusly: Retailer, xx%; Farmer, xx%; Supplemental Labor: xx%. This would give me a better idea of how the product price is distributed.

Ask yourself, if you were the millionaire owner of Papa Johns Pizza, would you prefer having slave labor (in which case you are responsible for worker housing, health, and welfare); or would you rather pay workers a poverty wage and thereby cut yourself loose from all other obligations while famously decrying government for exercising its social justice and public welfare concerns? In my view, as in Biblical times, God is going to judge us in this matter if we don't address it with love and devotion to justice and righteousness.

Today I was in conversation with a young man in his mid-twenties. We were discussing social issues and the young man said that he felt he did not know enough yet to speak out on social, political, economic, or religious issues. The young man holds an advanced degree and was virtually a straight-A student. I responded thusly: “And just when will you feel you have enough knowledge? What will indicate years hence that you have enough? And remember, no matter how much information you have garnered, if the matter is at all controversial there will be hordes who disagree with you and think and call you misguided, treasonous, stupid or worse. I challenged him to join the public issue debate.

** Labeling requirements listed here:

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