The ‘Story of Stuff’, a video that talks about the way we live, and represents opinions similar to my own on the topic.
When you walk into radio shack and pick up a radio for $4.95, and feel happy about how cheap it is, you don’t realize that it’s actually much much more expensive. Only, you’re not paying the whole price. Others are pitching in.
For instance, the factory worker in Taiwan who’s getting paid a fraction of what he deserves. So, when he gets cancer from the toxic conditions he works in, he won’t be able to spend the money-he-didn’t-get on his treatment, because he involuntarily spent that money-he-didn’t-get, on the cost of your radio, so that YOU have to pay less for it.
Or the thousands of displaced people who have to spend disproportionate amounts of money as rent for shabby and less than human housing, because their homes were taken from them for mining, without proper compensation or being provided with alternative livelihood. In a way, a part of the rent they pay for their slums in Dharavi, or Malwani, goes towards subsidizing your cheap radio.
Your radio is also paid for in part by the millions of dollars spent on, say cleaning up a landfill of toxic waste, because the guys who built the radio decided not to clean up after themselves, so that they could save money and make it possible for YOU to spend less on the radio.
Oh and not to forget, since the radio you bought cost you only $4.95, you’re probably gonna break it, or lose it, or get bored of it, and buy another one after a couple of months. Because, you know, its so cheap.