Are we a World without a Conscience?

I sometimes think that mankind has progressed so far and then I read an article titled "Factory workers in China: A Pyrrhic victory for a world that lost its conscience". Sigh. The look on the woman in this image speaks volumes.
Here is a clip from the article:
As much as I would like to believe that costs are going to increase due to the possibility of human rights conditions improving in China, the reality is that from a systemic perspective, that nation is such a long way off from improving the lives of its people to the level of a Westernized nation that it will likely take decades before we will ever see an economic impact on the supply chain.

That’s great for companies like Apple, but it sucks for the human beings that feed our thirst for electronic gadgets. Better work conditions are only part of the variables linked to overall costs of the goods being produced. Wages, benefits and and working hours do factor into the overall picture but these are more than offset by tax advantages and reduced regulatory costs imposed by the Chinese government as well as the price of energy and other raw materials that are needed to produce durable goods in that country.

One only has to look at the overall picture in China to fully understand the magnitude of the human rights problem and why it is unlikely to abate anytime soon. The vast majority of Chinese — hundreds of millions of them — not only work in conditions that most of us would consider barbaric but their living conditions make many of the people in our own country living in near poverty look like they are living in comparative luxury.
Hard to know how to respond to an article like this without going to dark places. One response is a bit of moral outrage and a vow to boycott everything made in China. Yet most everything we buy has some connection to that country across the sea. Another response is apathy and indifference. Like simply not thinking about it changes anything.

I am not sure that the world has ever had a global conscience. We all seem to want a "great bargain" when we buy stuff. And we all seem to have an unquenchable desire for bigger, better and more stuff. So I am wondering how we should respond to reports like the one that I excerpted from. Are we really a world without a conscience?


  1. Oh Bob, I hope not....but it seems we are closer than ever.

  2. They always give the excuse that we have to look at the hig picture. And the big picture seems to have no place for individuals.


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