You can’t trust anyone who is trying to sell you anything

Over the last year, I’ve noticed a lot more misleading marketing than I have in the past. There are two specific types of hoodwinking that I’m talking about.

The first is when an item has a big sticker or American flag logo on the tag, with big text that says, “proudly made in the USA.” But in small print underneath that it quietly adds, “with domestic and imported components.” In other words, “most of these components were made by slave labour in China, and then it was assembled by machines here in the US.”

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The only thing this is a sure sign of is questionable marketing ethics.

The above graphic actually takes the deception a step further and uses ‘global’ as a euphemism for ‘imported’ — clever. Insidious.

Similarly, I’ve noticed a lot of food products now say stuff like, “made with NATURAL ingredients.”

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That’s absurd. Virtually everything in the world can be called natural — I mean, coal and asbestos are natural, but that doesn’t mean they’re good for people — so it’s really a meaningless term. As such, there’s no regulation on the term ‘natural.’ You can put it on any food product you want, like Big Macs and Twinkies, and there is no regulatory body who is going to contact you and say, “wait a minute, that food isn’t natural.” Labeling food as ‘natural’ is just a way for companies to intentionally mislead the public into thinking their product is healthy, organic, pesticide-free, antibiotic-free, hormone-free, etc. Once again: total bullshit.

Basically, everyone who is looking to make a buck is willing to bend the truth as much as legally possible to make you feel better about buying their trash. Trust no one who is trying to sell you anything. They’re all shysters.

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what we decide is unaffordable

i don’t like it when people say they can’t afford to buy fair trade or organic stuff.

unless someone is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, they can afford it. i think what they really mean is, “i can afford to buy that stuff but it’s not as important to me as saving that extra money for other things i enjoy more.” what it comes down to is that most of us value our personal comforts and ‘getting ahead’ more than we do the global, big picture stuff that we can’t see. i mean, we aren’t face to face with the pesticides and chemicals being sprayed on most food, pesticides and chemicals that end up being eaten by us or washed into nearby rivers and water bodies. we don’t see the hormones and antibiotics fed to livestock that we eat either. we don’t see the toxic waste dumped on the ground in developing countries where our $5 flip flops are made.

and without seeing it, it’s hard to care much about that stuff. it’s hard to feel motivated to spend twice as much on an ‘ethical’ product when there’s a substantially cheaper version sitting right next to it.

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“i like the sound of this. whoah, $12 a bag? that’ll really eat into my new corvette fund.”

but i think it’s worth it, and i think anyone with kids who is hoping to leave them a half decent world should think it’s worth it too. because our current buying habits are a slow march towards huge problems — pollution, cancer, slavery, antibiotic resistance, to name a few things that we are already contending with — and i can’t imagine not even trying to fight those problems, and leaving them for my kids to deal with.

most of us here in the first world aren’t as broke as we think.

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now these people are fucking broke.