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The Secret Price of Savings
Image title: The Secret Price of Savings

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Thoughts behind the artwork...

A man in an expensive suit walks into a room filled with wealth and opulence. The fact that he is fashionably late is meant to send a message to the man he is about to meet... a message that despite being a ruler... he could be kept waiting.

After exchanging formalities and niceties, the man in the expensive suit gets to the heart of the matter:

"The people I represent are willing to offer you a substantial amount of money, for which to deal with your problems, and perhaps to work on... expansion. All that we ask in return is for those whom I represent to be allowed to 'set up shop' in your fine country".

"What do you have in mind?"

"We have certain business partners and investors that would like to bring their factories to your country."

"This should not be a problem."

"We will need workers."

"We have plenty of workers."

"My clients have workers too... but they are very expensive... which of course, is the entire point of this meeting."

"Our workers will not cost you much."

"We need workers who are... motivated. Our workers are not as motivated as they need to be. In my country, we are not allowed the proper 'methods' of motivation."

"That will not be a problem here."

"My clients expect that your workers will create their products at the absolute best of their abilities... by any means you deem necessary."

"It will be done."

"Very well then, I am certain it will be a pleasure doing business with you."

Meanwhile, back at home, another community reels from the closing of a manufacturing plant that had served as the backbone to the entire city for generations. It seems the parent company has decided to move the plant somewhere else. The products made in that particular factory are sold in various national department store chains. They are priced very competitively. Consumers want to save money. After all, times are tough.

-John Alexander (aka SirJohn)

This commentary is a reflection that the overwhelming majority do not even know exists. When corporations look to "set up shop" in countries known to have a terrible track record when it comes to human rights, they are able to produce their products for pennies on the dollar compared to paying a fair living wage to those at home.

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