In a capitalist economy eventually everything ends up for sale. Unfortunately, that includes most of the people we elect to protect us. Capitalism is an abstract value system with no built in concern for the welfare of actual people, or for sustaining the actual planet on which we stand. Those who go to sleep in a capitalist hierarchy become cogs in the wheel of other peoples’ oppression, and usually their own as well. It is because we are willing to sell out the weakest members of our human family that we become prey.

Just as it is important to vote for the best people in an election, so is it important to shape the world with how we shop. If you are religious, consider the extra money you spend avoiding support for sweatshop slavery to be a sacred tithe. God doesn’t need the money, take it from your church or temple pledge and give it to the people who need it most in our world. If you are not religious, consider it the rent you pay for being human.

The following article shows how corporations like Walmart and Target skirt efforts to label “conflict minerals” taken from war torn regions like the Congo. A word of confession: I haven’t shopped at Walmart’s in years, but the cargo pants I am wearing as I type these words were purchased at Target. We learn as we go. After reading the article, it will now be my duty to shop elsewhere.