Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Social Worker Trumps Godawful GOP

Ah, if only this were true anywhere but in my personal life. I was totally infuriated today after spending an evening in my Social Welfare class, discussing Wal-Mart and outsourcing as they affect U.S. workers and our economy in general, in addition to a short video about Wal-Mart and it's suppliers in China. My not-so-favorite classmate came right out there at the end saying that Wal-Mart is just "doing it right", and that $100 a month might be "a little low" (for the Chinese workers in the video) but not that bad, and that if U.S. workers don't like the conditions and pay at Wal-Mart they should just work somewhere else, and that Wal-Mart isn't doing anything illegal so you can't really blame them for how they do business, after all this is America. This was just a few seconds before the end of the seminar period, but I managed to shoot back that just because it's not illegal doesn't mean it's ethical (not to mention their activities that are clearly illegal that we just discussed from the class reading). One of my truly favorite classmates pointed out that "it used to be legal to own black people, too", but (I hope) he knows that wasn't "doing it right". I didn't get to talk about how sick it is that the corporation's stockholder meeting (on our video) consisted of hundreds of people so elated by their huge profit margins that they chanted, stamped and grunted in unison, and shimmied altogether, knowing that their fat pockets were lined by the severe exploitation and complete degradation of the lives of more than a million of their own employees and millions more working in sweatshops across the developing world. Sick. Sick and wrong.
I had a good time ranting and raving about this guy and his Republican politics to my lovely girlfriend when she came to pick me up, in addition to my misery over having accidentally chosen to do a group presentation with this guy- trumped by the VERY GOOD NEWS- my girl is officially licensed to practice social work in Massachusetts! She got her letter today, and will get her wallet-size license in the mail soon. Now if only that glamorous social work job would come along... Regardless, she's very excited and I'm very excited and happy for her. Such an accomplished young lady!

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