The Neon Wilderness

Monday, November 13, 2006

Kinda Good, Kinda Bad....But Mainly Bad
NYT piece about the marriage of philanthropy and consumerism, everything from Bath & Body Works candles with $2.00 going to an AIDS foundation, to a Saks $750.00 leather jacket for which a percentage goes to help the homeless. It seems to be a really emerging trend with everyone from GAP to Macy's getting inboard. I think most people would agree that this is all good news, companies and consumers together fighting some of the worst problems in our society, but...there is something about all this that never sat well with me (I never bought the Live Strong bracelet), maybe its that capitalism and philanthropy are such odd partners, or the idea that with these purchases a person might feel absolved from guilt or a have less of a desire to do more, maybe its because it seems so halfhearted on the part of the consumer, but mainly, I think its because the corporations are making money, lots of money off of it, I mean yeah, they are donating a percentage to charity but maybe you wouldn't of bought it, or maybe been less inclined to by it, or of bought less, had it not been for the fact that its for a good cause, in that case the company has made money, and in the end thats what bothers me using human misery and suffering to sell candles and ipods, and making money off of it. Save your money for the future, go volunteer in a soup kitchen, feel great.
NYT "Candles, Jeans, Lipsticks: Products With Ulterior Motives"

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