What if we bought things with the intention to support workers and pay the true cost of the thing, rather than to get it cheapest?
Most of us are trained to “get deals” from birth like we are trained to accept capitalism as “natural.” Neither are the ways things have to be.
We are trained to want to get more for ourselves at any cost. We feel good when we “get” more for less. Our desires are exploited to get us to participate in market economics. What if we had other training? What if we participated in other economics?
If someone works for you pay them fairly
If you buy from a small business or independent worker pay them fairly
Obviously if you’re low on money and have unmet needs, you have to spend as needed to survive.
The point is that how we are forced to spend when we are low on money and have to meet our needs is brutal and dehumanizing, because when we maximize for cheapness we are forced to support the exploitation of other workers and end up with crappier stuff and low-quality foods.
Our needs are met the way we meet them – with as little as possible given.
This is not how we have to be in relationship to meeting our needs.
This is not the purpose of life.
And, you can change.
Maybe start with one thing you buy.
One type of thing.
Sex toys. Or weed pipes. Or coffee / tea / beer. Or WHATEVER.
Buy it from a small business and spend what it costs. Just, buy it. Don’t haggle it down. Don’t wait for a sale.
It’s uncomfortable to shop with the intention to give rather than restrict. But it is better.
My working class family is rolling over in their graves, burrito-ed in coupons and plastic bags they saved. I am a heretic.
We don’t waste money they are saying!
As if spending a cent more than the bare minimum is always a waste. As if it’s not how my family and so many in my generation ended up sick from cheap GMO food and sugar in everything. I am sick from these things. The cheapest way is not humane.
My close ancestors’ resistance is a sign these ideas may be good.
Because my farther away ancestors are giving me ideas and memories from before. There is a feeling that is different when I exchange with a small independent worker. There is a feeling that is different when I earn money as an independent worker, or in my small firm, working with other small groups.
We’re conditioned to deal-hunt (even when we can afford not to); we’re incentivized into seeking low prices above everything else
What if instead we:
- Pay workers fair wages
- Pay independent workers fair prices
- Stop lowballing labor – what we pay for AND what we charge
- Pay fairly + earn decently = disrupt cheapness, disrupt low wages