Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Fair trade cocaine

There are a lot of people who won't buy Nike shoes because they are made in a sweatshop. They won't buy cage eggs because they are so cruel. They will willingly stump up an extra fifty cents for a cup of fair trade coffee so they can be sure a little old man in Costa Rica is not being exploited.

Whether people really give a shit about any of these things is debatable. Mostly they care about their personal brand. They don't want to be seen as cruel, capitalist bastards who heartlessly imprison chooks and exploit cheap labour in order to sate their voracious consumerist appetites.

This type of behaviour is most apparent among trendy inner city wankers. Paradoxically, trendy inner city wankers are probably the segment of society most likely to be consumers of cocaine. Apparently when it you put a little nose candy in front of these people they become instantly blind to all ethical concerns.

If someone is willing to boycott Nike why not a drug cartel? Mass murder, kidnapping, extortion, human trafficking and forced prostitution are fairly common business practices among the producers and distributors of the white stuff.

There are also other ethical concerns. Like McDonalds cuts down rainforests for beef production, drug cartels tend to cut down large amounts of forest for coca production. That's not very green.

Drug cartels also pay even less tax than Gina Rinehart, whilst costing the government billions of dollars for public health, border protection, policing, as well as the prosecution and incarceration of criminals. They are not what I would rate as solid corporate citizens.

Perhaps we need a public education campaign which goes beyond the boring "drugs are bad" message. If people seriously considered the ethics of  what they were doing maybe there would be less shit going up their noses.

Or perhaps we just need fair trade cocaine.

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