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The True Cost of Low Prices: The Violence of Globalization [Paperback]

By Vincent A. Gallagher (Author)
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Item Number 118597  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   166
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.24" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.43"
Weight:   0.53 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2006
Publisher   Orbis Books
ISBN  1570756694  
EAN  9781570756696  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
An expose of the results of today's global economy on the poor. Shows how low prices that benefit first-world consumers often put the poor at even greater risk.

Publishers Description
An expose of the results of Today's Global economy on the poor. Low prices that benefit first-world consumers often put the poor at even greater risk. As tansnational corporations try to increase profits by reducing costs, laborers in Latin America, Asia or Africa, or here in the U.S. work long hours but are still poor, hungry, and subject to abuse. Topics addressed include the nature of globaliztion; how structural adjustment programs work; the use of slave labor; the need of workers, especially women, for health care, adequate food, and freedom from abuse; and the violence that comes from unregulated work environments.

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More About Vincent A. Gallagher

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Vincent Gallagher has spent thirty years researching dangerous work environemnts and is currently the director of the Romero Center in Camden, NJ.

Vincent A. Gallagher currently resides in Camden, in the state of New Jersey.

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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Sam's Club is beating down the world  Sep 8, 2008
Sam's club is being used to beat down the world. Wal-Mart used to advertise "To you from the USA". Now that slogan has subtly shifted to "To you in the USA". No one noticed. In case they did, the boxes from China that merchandise came in were carefully concealed. If that wasn't enough, they outright denied it. There's a friendly greeter at the door. How bad can it be?

What if the torture techniques the media discovered being used at Guatanamo Bay were used all over the world to keep workers in line? Why wouldn't the media speak up about that? What if the hats that say CNN on them and the Nikes worn by players on ESPN were made in those sweatshops? What if instead of being the villains of the story, priests and nuns were the ones working to save the victims? Would that be a conflict of interest? Would that fail to press the media hot buttons? Or is it just to big to handle?

Not only that, what if the whipping boy of the media, who also happens to be the President of the United States, was the only one who pressured China about its human rights violations? What if in China that's business as usual? The media reported the smoky air in China might be a health hazard for kids. What if it comes from factories where kids work with toxic chemicals, long hours, in virtual slavery? Where's that story?

What if the real cost of pornography is that millions of girls worldwide are sexual slaves in human trafficking? Will you stop buying it? Will you vote with your wallet? Will you vote no? Now some companies are brewing fair trade coffee. Can there be fair trade manufacturing? 80 per cent of toys come from China. The words "hand painted" have come to mean not the careful, thoughtful work of an artisan, but the assembly line forced labor of a vastly underpaid indentured servant. Kids need toys, but is there a way to make them fairly in the US again? Is there a way to compromise between unions and management to bring safe manufacturing back to the US? Is there a way to help majority world/ third world nations create safe, sustainable livelihoods, and break the victims' bonds?

These are some of the questions posed by this book. Arguably it's slim; this iceberg is so huge and so greatly entrenched that only the tip of it can be glimpsed in these glancing snapshots. As T.S. Eliot said, "human souls cannot bear very much reality." But, as Chesterton noted in Orthodoxy, "St. George can fight the dragon, even if the dragon is the whole world." If, as free citizens, we are enterprising, and vote with our wallets, can we restore free enterprise again?
A wonderful, well sourced, read!  Jun 5, 2008
I recently read this book while on a trip to Haiti, which seemed fitting. This is a wonderful wonderful book which is straight forward in presentation. It reads a lot like a text book, but don't let that discourage you. The information is so amazing, the facts so well presented that it really does make for a compelling and eye opening read.

I only give it 4 stars because it was a bit too religious in my view. There is no problem with that though, and if you are of faith, it will probably make it that much better of a read for you. I can say, as an atheist that despite feeling like I was being preached to in some parts, this is one of the best books I have read this year!
Superb Overview of True Cost of False Profits (Pun Intended)  Jan 4, 2007
"True Cost" has become a meme that is rapidly spreading and revealing to the public how insane and unfair many of our so-called "free trade" policies are. This book is a superb piece of informed scholarship with a strong foundation on real-world practice, and the auther is both objective and empathetic. True costs and real slaves of the global economy (who join the US prison population in slavery).

Soon Paul Hawken (see Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution) will open the World Index of Social and Environmental Responsibility (WISER) and WikiCalc will be available. I anticipate a huge outpouring of information that allows anyone with a cell phone to scan the barcode, send it to WISER or this site, and get back both the "true cost" of any good in terms of carbon, water, slavery, and tax avoidance, and pointers to the nearest green and local alternative products.


See also:
The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom
Powershift: Knowledge, Wealth, and Power at the Edge of the 21st Century
Revolutionary Wealth: How it will be created and how it will change our lives
Infinite Wealth: A New World of Collaboration and Abundance in the Knowledge Era
The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits (Wharton School Publishing Paperbacks)
Hard Hitting yet Hopeful  Jan 1, 2007
This work from Vincent Gallagher, whose career spans 30 years of researching dangerous work environments, is unquestionably hard hitting. In addition to the examples, statistics, photos, and lists describing the negative effects of globalization on the disadvantaged (and their positive impact on the wealthy) the author suggests that every reader can begin to make a difference. Becoming truly aware is a first step, and the journey could well start with this book and its definition of "institutionalized violence." Gallagher cites cases to help us understand that, for example, choking a child is a violent act, whether it is done directly or by selling poor countries U.S. toys that were recalled here as choking hazards.

As the author notes, many of us in the United States are ill informed, partly because of media and business practices, about our personal and national role in the violence of globalization. He presents charts and diagrams to bring us up to speed. For example, there's the list of self-defeating actions required of countries indebted to the International Monetary Fund and the cutaway drawing of a furnished two-story house with labels indicating common items supplied by third-world nations.

As we learn more about activities that contribute to the violence of globalization, Gallagher reminds us, we must look at reasons many of us "get stuck," such as righteousness and lack of imagination. He then provides examples from scripture and stories of "awakenings" that have been occurring in the U.S. and around the world with greater frequency in recent years. On an individual level, he recommends "simple acts of kindness" close to home and daily prayer as good starting points on the path to making a difference.

"The True Cost of Low Prices" is an excellent resource for established small Christian communities or social action committees, and is flexible enough to be used over a series of gatherings. The epilogue, "If Only You Knew" would be extremely effective as part of a prayer service or retreat on social justice.

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