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Thread: Why can't people just agree to make a better world?

  1. #1 Why can't people just agree to make a better world? 
    Forum Freshman Janina1's Avatar
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    Hello everyone, I want make small online discussion regarding those two questions:


    • Whatshould we do to make people join hands for making a better world?
    • What does a better world mean?


    (I want hear your opinions and thoughts, those questions quite hippy, but also important, because its true that a lot people simply don't agree among our selves, it's worse then nations don't agree for various reasons and can cost massive destruction. I assume all science supposedly are working for better development and better future, so why people cant agree)


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    Samurai of Logic Falconer360's Avatar
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    Clearly a better world would be one where everyone acknowledges my superiority and lets me rule...

    All joking aside, I think that a big step towards improving the world would be to stop drawing lines between each other. We divide ourselves into so many groups when the only one that really matters is that we are all human and are all forced to share this planet with one another. (I will revisit this topic later, I'm on a fifteen minute break at work right now.)


    "For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled." Hunter S Thompson

    "It is easy to kill someone with a slash of a sword. It is hard to be impossible for others to cut down"
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    "Only a warrior chooses pacifism; others are condemned to it."
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard
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    I think the basic problem is that many people believe "making a better world" means "eliminating the infidels" or "saving the unborn" or "getting rid of all those guns" or "stamping out homosexuality" - and then, of course, other people disagree.
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    The lust for money is the root of all evil.

    "Sure, I can spend two days working to make the world a better place, or can I screw you over today and make a quick buck at the same time."
    This is why we don't have nice things.

    Also, what billvon said.
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Smile at three strangers you pass in the street today.

    Make a point of helping a colleague at work.

    Pick up a piece of litter you see in the street.

    Hesitate before spreading gossip, then go drink a glass of water.


    Long journeys begin with a single step.
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    Forum Masters Degree Implicate Order's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janina1 View Post
    Hello everyone, I want make small online discussion regarding those two questions:


    • Whatshould we do to make people join hands for making a better world?
    • What does a better world mean?


    (I want hear your opinions and thoughts, those questions quite hippy, but also important, because its true that a lot people simply don't agree among our selves, it's worse then nations don't agree for various reasons and can cost massive destruction. I assume all science supposedly are working for better development and better future, so why people cant agree)
    Hi Janina1

    I think we have solutions to achieve 'a better world' but what stops this aim from being achieved is 'fear of the unknown' and 'self-interest'. The principles of sustainability (environmental, social and economic balance) provide an excellent guiding tool to make for a better 'more sustainable world' but these principles never seem to get a leg up when it comes to actual application. Short term economic myopia and bandaid fixes to existing faulty models plus lack of 'global thinking' always seems to get in the way.

    I am optimistic to the extent that a solution does exist but I am pessimistic in my view that I personally don't think we have enough time on our side to 'get it right'. It is only via people power that we are going to elicit change and there is just too much apathy standing in the way.

    I also agree with other posters that fundamentally we need a global culture as opposed to a fragmentary collection of nations with arbitrary boundaries. I don't necessarily hold the view however that we need to lose cultural identity to achieve this however. We just need a more tolerant society :-)
    Last edited by Implicate Order; September 24th, 2014 at 08:00 PM.
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    Samurai of Logic Falconer360's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Implicate Order View Post

    I also agree with other posters that fundamentally we need a global culture as opposed to a fragmentary collection of nations with arbitrary boundaries. I don't necessarily hold the view however that we need to lose cultural identity to achieve this however. We just need a more tolerant society :-)
    I also agree that we shouldn't lose our cultural identities. It's just that by making divisions between ourselves it becomes easier to have an us or them mentality. And we cannot make the world a better place with that sort of mentality. Parts of the world sure, but not the whole world. As a white American, with mixed European ancestry, I really don't have a cultural identity.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    Smile at three strangers you pass in the street today.

    Make a point of helping a colleague at work.

    Pick up a piece of litter you see in the street.

    Hesitate before spreading gossip, then go drink a glass of water.


    Long journeys begin with a single step.
    I would like to add that a person should volunteer in their community when they have the time. The small things really do help. If everyone just goes that extra little bit, then they can make the world a better place... Damn I sound like a cheesy cliche. It's true though, the principle I follow in life is don't be a prick, be a decent human being.

    As a teenager I always complained about how much my town sucked instead of doing anything about it. After being out of High school for a few years, I realized that sure my town could improve, but that I had done nothing to try and improve it. Now I am the Secretary of the Chamber of commerce and am on three tourism and business committees. There is definitely something to that whole "be the change you want to see" thing.
    "For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled." Hunter S Thompson

    "It is easy to kill someone with a slash of a sword. It is hard to be impossible for others to cut down"
    - Yagyu Munenori

    "Only a warrior chooses pacifism; others are condemned to it."
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  9. #8  
    Forum Masters Degree Implicate Order's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    [
    I would like to add that a person should volunteer in their community when they have the time. The small things really do help. If everyone just goes that extra little bit, then they can make the world a better place... Damn I sound like a cheesy cliche. It's true though, the principle I follow in life is don't be a prick, be a decent human being.

    As a teenager I always complained about how much my town sucked instead of doing anything about it. After being out of High school for a few years, I realized that sure my town could improve, but that I had done nothing to try and improve it. Now I am the Secretary of the Chamber of commerce and am on three tourism and business committees. There is definitely something to that whole "be the change you want to see" thing.
    Big like for the statements above. Community involvement can never be underrated. Interestingly it's the large cities where you tend to find this absence. In smaller communities it is often a necessary pre-requisite for fitting into a community whereas in the large city, the individual can be easily lost in the fabric and noise.
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    "Forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl." -H.L. Mencken
    And what does the Lord require of you but to love justice, to be merciful and to walk humbly with Him?
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  11. #10  
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    "Better" is a relative term. For some people, a better world is one in which people of other beliefs or ideologies are not allowed to live.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    If I would sum up those questions and your opinions:
    most of you pointed they key factors: individualism, culture, religion.
    But there is more for it:
    -Private ownership of the means of production
    -State apparatus
    -False ideologies such as:
    *Racism
    *Religious fundamentalism
    *Consumerism
    *Nationalism
    *Individualism

    -The tradition of divide and rule
    -Alienation

    As you see there is so many different factors slightly different from each other, most of the we don't even consider about it. All of those mentioned factors are mental, rooted in our metality during past 200 years (industrial revolution are considered to be brightest event which have teared apart the communities, and peoples power)

    the quote for semi conclusion from my side "we need to transform our mentality, so that we are no longer just reflections of the past, not just children who have grown too fast and suddenly have too much responsibility. We must become humans able to handle the responsibilities that are ours. We must rise to the occasion"
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    flattened rat 甘肃人's Avatar
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    Imagine there's no heaven
    And what does the Lord require of you but to love justice, to be merciful and to walk humbly with Him?
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    We've had survival of the fittest (translate as 'me first') for a long time, as part of our developement into the humans we are today.

    Simultaneously, there have always been people who seemed not to fit into that category, a minority i'm afraid, saying 'the community first'.

    I'm hoping that we are in a transition from survival of the fittest to survival of the wisest...
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    Some people say it's because people can't agree on anything . . . but I disagree with that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noa Drake View Post
    I'm hoping that we are in a transition from survival of the fittest to survival of the wisest...
    We'll all miss you.
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    ammmmmmmmmmmmmmmm............ I guess the topic is lost
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janina1 View Post
    ammmmmmmmmmmmmmmm............ I guess the topic is lost
    There is just no good answer.

    I do admire your desire for a better world. We all want that. I want that. Maybe we're all too cynical. Keep working for it.
    Last edited by Chucknorium; September 26th, 2014 at 04:35 PM.
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    Stay and ask some more questions. We need more Danes here. (BTW, I love Borgen!)
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    My usual caveat applies... I can only speak of my experience as a citizen of the United States.

    It seems to me that we need external pressure to keep us moving in the right direction. In the years of the cold war, we looked at the countries behind the iron curtain and felt compelled to demonstrate we could be better. We had the equal rights movement, organized labor, the massive successful effort to put men on the moon. Since the Soviet Union collapsed, it seems to me that social progress in the United States has taken a great step backwards. Greed is good, manipulating the little people to the advantage of the rich is expected. People fall victim to the scheming of Wall Street and are vilified for being stupid. I suppose what we really need is a credible external threat to get us to behave like human beings again. Maybe Martians will invade, I can always hope.
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noa Drake View Post
    ?
    You said, "I'm hoping that we are in a transition from survival of the fittest to survival of the wisest..". I just wasn't expecting you to make it through the transition.
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    Quote Originally Posted by danhanegan View Post
    My usual caveat applies... I can only speak of my experience as a citizen of the United States.

    It seems to me that we need external pressure to keep us moving in the right direction. In the years of the cold war, we looked at the countries behind the iron curtain and felt compelled to demonstrate we could be better. We had the equal rights movement, organized labor, the massive successful effort to put men on the moon. Since the Soviet Union collapsed, it seems to me that social progress in the United States has taken a great step backwards. Greed is good, manipulating the little people to the advantage of the rich is expected. People fall victim to the scheming of Wall Street and are vilified for being stupid. I suppose what we really need is a credible external threat to get us to behave like human beings again. Maybe Martians will invade, I can always hope.
    Its all about modern education. We are though to be successful otherwise you are losers. Morals are not though in the school. We don't know how to respect nature anymore because we are learning from the text book. The modern food is not food its something which has similar substances to food and modified taste. Our advanced food industries brings heavy diseases such as diabetes, and other heart illness, besides cancer which came through PCB chemical. I can quote grandmother from deep countryside, she clearly recalls the times when no one was using chemicals to spray fields and didn't knew what is cancer. People don't know how respect each other anymore. Now we all live in the fear of each other. everything we learn how to be good consumer and depressed individual. In old time no one had to suicide, simply there was no reason, there was a community. Now we all are individuals who cant lift their eyes from smart phones, people who refuses to listen, due to headphones. That why most of us wouldn't even stop to help the injured person one street? so how we can agree upon better world? we wont reach this part as long we will have such kind of mentality!
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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janina1 View Post
    cancer which came through PCB chemical
    Nonsense.
    The earliest known descriptions of cancer appear ... [in] sources [believed to be] as early as 2500 B.C.

    I can quote grandmother from deep countryside, she clearly recalls the times when no one was using chemicals to spray fields and didn't knew what is cancer.
    Your grandmother's ignorance isn't evidence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Janina1 View Post
    cancer which came through PCB chemical
    Nonsense.
    The earliest known descriptions of cancer appear ... [in] sources [believed to be] as early as 2500 B.C.

    An ancient description of cancer is not genetic evidence

    I can quote grandmother from deep countryside, she clearly recalls the times when no one was using chemicals to spray fields and didn't knew what is cancer.
    Your grandmother's ignorance isn't evidence.
    PCBs, several other industrial by-products, as well as nuclear fall-out are proven carcinogens.
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    Science produced the ability to kill with nuclear weapons en-mass prior to being able to diagnose a disease as cancer (accurately), instead of just an infection.
    Is there an argument to deny that nuclear fall-out is not the trigger to the cancer that is common in today's society?
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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keeseguy View Post
    PCBs, several other industrial by-products, as well as nuclear fall-out are proven carcinogens.
    So what?
    The claim was, and I'll repeat it,
    Quote Originally Posted by Janina1 View Post
    cancer which came through PCB chemical
    That, coupled with
    I can quote grandmother from deep countryside, she clearly recalls the times when no one was using chemicals to spray fields and didn't knew what is cancer.
    Is quite clearly a claim that cancer essentially didn't exist until PCBs.

    It's more likely that cancer became noticeable in modern times because prior to that we were too busy dying of other stuff before cancer got chance to take hold.
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    Cooking Something Good MacGyver1968's Avatar
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    Also consider that some cancers are caused by viruses...most notably HPV, which causes cervical cancers.
    Fixin' shit that ain't broke.
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    Of course most of society had far more limited knowledge of all things medical, so the argument pro or con is insignificant. The facts do remain, that science produces MANY carcinogenic poisons, long before we could accurately diagnose cancer.
    As for any germ or viruses CAUSING cancer, I would think environmental conditions, previously mentioned, can't be ruled out in proving it as the sole cause.
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janina1 View Post
    • What does a better world mean?
    For a significant percentage of the population in undeveloped countries, a 'better world' would simply be having a supply of potable water, a reliable measure of food and a safe place to sleep.
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    And for another portion it means having the photo of a smiling brown peasant on the bag of coffee grounds.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong View Post
    And for another portion it means having the photo of a smiling brown peasant on the bag of coffee grounds.
    Coffee...the world's favorite, legal addiction.

    The coffee trade is important to the the countries that grow it and depriving coffee drinkers of their morning (afternoon and evening) hit of caffeine might not be the best way to make the world a better place.

    You weren't suggesting deprivation, though, that I can see...

    The disparity of income between the provider (peasant) and the consumer is definitely one factor that could be addressed, which is why many people seek to buy coffee that has been sourced through 'Fair Trade' practices. I cannot speak to how effective this strategy is for the coffee growers but any coffee with this certification flies off the shelf in our store . Even people who do not have deep pockets (this coffee is more expensive) seem to have a conscience and are willing to put their money where their ideology is.
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    Desiderata
    Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
    As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
    Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
    Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
    If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
    for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
    Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
    Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
    But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
    and everywhere life is full of heroism.

    Be yourself.
    Especially, do not feign affection.
    Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

    Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
    Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
    Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

    You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here.
    And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

    Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
    and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
    With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    I wonder just how much effort it would take to change the world.

    Do you suppose that if every household with an income over $50,000 were to give just 5% of that to the cause that it would make a difference?

    Perhaps we would need to select a different baseline or a smaller percentage but I think you get my drift. If instead of making donations voluntary (and in some cases tax deductable) it was mandatory for all higher income earners, could the amount of money raised significantly alleviate the suffering, wherever it happens to be?

    Sadly, I do not think such a bill would even make it to a vote, based on my observations of how the system works.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    I wonder just how much effort it would take to change the world.
    When I was in AmeriCorps, we were told that in order to create any change in the community all you needed was 10% of the community members to support you.

    Here's an abstract of a study into this subject:Phys. Rev. E 84, 011130 (2011) - Social consensus through the influence of committed minorities

    Here's an easier to understand view of the study: Freakonomics Minority Rules: Why 10 Percent is All You Need

    So basically in order to change the world you only need to sway the minds of 10% of the world's population. Which is still a staggering task. But a lot more doable than convincing everyone.
    "For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled." Hunter S Thompson

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    Here's a good quote from...somewhere:

    "Never think that a small group of people cannot change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has!"

    I'm sure you can all think of plenty of examples.
    And what does the Lord require of you but to love justice, to be merciful and to walk humbly with Him?
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Do you suppose that if every household with an income over $50,000 were to give just 5% of that to the cause that it would make a difference?
    If it went to education it would make a big difference in the long run. If it just went to feeding people it would help in the short term but might well make things worse in the long term.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong View Post
    And for another portion it means having the photo of a smiling brown peasant on the bag of coffee grounds.
    The disparity of income between the provider (peasant) and the consumer is definitely one factor that could be addressed, which is why many people seek to buy coffee that has been sourced through 'Fair Trade' practices. I cannot speak to how effective this strategy is for the coffee growers but any coffee with this certification flies off the shelf in our store . Even people who do not have deep pockets (this coffee is more expensive) seem to have a conscience and are willing to put their money where their ideology is.
    Fair Trade coffee might be giving with one hand and taking with the other. Here's how: Big coffee operations with hundreds of employees in Latin America tend to unionize. That in itself would raise the working conditions, and the wages, and of course the price of coffee. How Fair Trade works, is it offers a good price to independent producers, typically family farms, through purchasing cooperatives. Not an underpaid employee, the worker has to supply all the capital and take significant risk as an independent farmer. Human nature being what it is, many people still like the idea of owning a little plot and being their own bosses.

    I'm not damning the system, just pointing out how it erodes at one end where few consumers bother looking. In context of the thread's OP, it's a warning that disconnected consumers may see half the picture when we buy into a solution.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong View Post
    And for another portion it means having the photo of a smiling brown peasant on the bag of coffee grounds.
    The disparity of income between the provider (peasant) and the consumer is definitely one factor that could be addressed, which is why many people seek to buy coffee that has been sourced through 'Fair Trade' practices. I cannot speak to how effective this strategy is for the coffee growers but any coffee with this certification flies off the shelf in our store . Even people who do not have deep pockets (this coffee is more expensive) seem to have a conscience and are willing to put their money where their ideology is.
    Fair Trade coffee might be giving with one hand and taking with the other. Here's how: Big coffee operations with hundreds of employees in Latin America tend to unionize. That in itself would raise the working conditions, and the wages, and of course the price of coffee. How Fair Trade works, is it offers a good price to independent producers, typically family farms, through purchasing cooperatives. Not an underpaid employee, the worker has to supply all the capital and take significant risk as an independent farmer. Human nature being what it is, many people still like the idea of owning a little plot and being their own bosses.

    I'm not damning the system, just pointing out how it erodes at one end where few consumers bother looking. In context of the thread's OP, it's a warning that disconnected consumers may see half the picture when we buy into a solution.
    Yes, that is my concern as well. Profiteers are very crafty when it comes to marketing philosophies that, on the surface, appear to be doing the right thing. Another example of this line of thinking is watching large corporations buying up a lot of the smaller brands which have carved out niches in the organic and health markets. They then start to change the formulations while making the argument that there is little or no difference between organic and non-organic attributes. Yet, the corporate owned organic products are sold at higher prices than many of the independents who do seem to working toward pricing that is more accessible to the consumer. Toss GMO's into the mix and it gets even murkier. Cheerios cereal is one leader of double-speak in that campaign, having removed GMO corn from one of it's offerings but not the others. ( Even Monsanto pointed out that heresy.)

    I have seen a lot of strategic marketing positioning during 9 years in retail grocery. I think one way we might make the world a better place is to eliminate about 85% of the food-like products on our grocery shelves because I do not consider them to contribute much toward human health, but that is a personal opinion.
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