So my brother asked me if I'd seen the documentary on the Sundance Channel called "What Would Jesus Buy".
The Plot (as noted by Wikipedia): The film focuses on the issues of the commercialization of Christmas, materialism, the over-consumption in American culture, globalization, and the business practices of large corporations, as well as their economic and cultural effects on American society, as seen through the prism of activist/performance artist Bill Talen, who goes by the alias of "Reverend Billy," and his troupe of activists, whose street theater performances take the form of a church choir called "The Church of Stop Shopping," that sings anti-shopping and anti-corporate songs. The film follows Billy and his choir as they take a cross-country trip in the month prior to Christmas 2005, and spread their message against what they perceive as the evils of patronizing the retail outlets of several different large corporate chains.
I haven't seen it. But from what my brother was describing, it isn't anything new. Nothing that should come as a surprise today. From my brother's description, I was reminded of a documentary on the fashion industry that I watched on HBO just a few months back called Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags.
The Plot (according to HBO.com): Schmatta: Rags To Riches To Rags brings to life the vibrant, unexpected history of the Garment District which for many years was the heart and soul of Midtown Manhattan, but is now in danger of disappearing. For thousands of immigrants the garment industry was a path to their American Dream, but today most of those jobs are gone. A microcosm of the economic and social forces transforming our nation over the past one hundred years, Schmatta: Rags To Riches To Rags tells the story of this vanishing industry through the voices of the people who have experienced its highs and lows.
Both of these documentaries show how, as a way to keep being profitable, corporations have moved production to countries other than the USA. By doing this, people in the USA have lost jobs, some companies have had to shut down and the people in the other countries are being exploited. Majority of the people making the clothes we all wear, the shoes we have to have, the toys we buy our kids & pretty much everything we use are being made by kids ages 8 - 11 years old. These kids are paid like 9 cents an hour and that wage usually supports them and their family. If any person tries to organize some sort of union for these kids, that person & possibly their family are harmed, sometimes killed.
So how do we stop this? I'm pretty sure most, if not all people would say the treatment of these kids is horrific. But yet we all continue to buy things made in China, India, Sri Lanka, Guatemala, etc. I would love to buy only American made, if that means somehow helping others, especially these kids. But is that actually possible? I don't know? Also, if I do it, will it really make that much of a difference? I'm only one person?! I don't think me alone will make a difference.
So I'm asking anybody out there....how can I make a difference, I'm only one person?