Attention Kmart shoppers!
All you who would rather save a dollar than a life,
There is blood on isle 9.
And today only,
You can hear the screams,
Of factory workers who died in collapsed buildings,
To bring you the new Barbie Dream House.
And who worked dusk until dawn,
At unlivable wages,
To bring you these T-shirts,
Three for ten dollars.
And whose dark brown fingers,
Have brought your children,
This blue eyed doll.
On isle 7,
We have a tribute to the brave marines,
Willing to invade any who would break our yoke.
Willing to crush their hopes ,
Or as we like to say,
Willing to protect American interests.
Why do the heathen rage?
When their servitude,
Creates American jobs,
And make products cheaper for our own poor?
Thus do we play,
The poor against one another,
Rather than curb the appetites of rich,
Whose God is their belly.
And who have subcontracted out with murderous indifference
They who are the innocent executioners of our manifest destiny.
Why do the heathen rage?
Do they not know,
Whether it is for the pride of a Reagan,
Or the hope of an Obama,
That enslaved workers,
Have always been the invisible hand of the market?
Attention, Kmart shoppers,
You who would rather save a dollar than a life,
Please avoid isle 13, where a mysterious stranger is crying out,
That we have fattened our children for a day of slaughter.
And that the mark of beast,
Is the corporate logo,
On our clothes.
Note: I wrote this after reading the list of companies that refused to sign the Bangladesh Factory Safety Accord
Yes! You have made visible “the invisible hand of the market”…. And the tragically, painfully invisible people!
Bills says to tell you he has been “boiling” about the tragedy in Bangladesh and about those who would not sign the accord. Your poetic, powerful statement means a lot to him. He asked me to post his gratitude.
Thank you Ginny. I’m also glad your surgery went well. Tell Bill thanks.
I heard an interesting story on NPR Fri. evening on KUT near 5:40 pm. giving a litany of accidents in chemical plants that led to loss of thousands of lives and billions of dollars in damages in the US and abroad over the past several decades. This story was regarding the recent explosion in the West, TX, fertilizer plant. In the case of each “accident” listed the story briefly discussed the investigations and legislation to address the issues that led to the “accidents,” and in every case, no effective legislation or new rules were ever finally adopted with proper, lasting enforcement mechanisms. I guess potential remedies ultimately didn’t fit economic agendas of those in power, the press let the issues die, and the public quit squealing.
When I was finishing my graduate work at TAMU, I was hired to teach a class. In my preparation to handle the class, I thought I should familiarize myself with emergency procedures for the building in which I would be teaching. I had not taught there before, and I just assumed that training for any new teacher would include such things as a matter of course. I hit a brick wall very quickly. Such procedures existed, but could only be found in a central safety office. There were no training requirements associated with them. There were no distribution requirements associated with them. There were no posting requirements. Nobody had to know them but the campus safety officer. Observing that safety requires knowledge of appropriate procedures by all who hold authority over groups of people at risk, I asked why the procedures were “secret.” They told me that there was no money for proper implementation and there would not be until MAYBE after a major catastrophe raised public concern enough. Even then, as the public’s attention moved to other things, the will to maintain proper safety would wane, and the situation would quickly revert to what I had just discovered.” Human nature? 5/19/13, 16:14 CDT
Bob, That’s fascinating. It’s kind of the problem in a nutshell. Even if worker safety laws get passed, there is no guarantee they will be enforced.