"I think you give Reagan too much credit for the “culture of greed” (Hammer, “The Culture of Greed,” Nov. 7-14). “Greed” is much more widespread — it MAY even extend to the big-hearted staff at NUVO. Some questions:
• When you shop for meat, do you try to get a low price (even if not the lowest price) or do you make a point of paying a higher price so that workers at the communal grocery store will be paid more? If you shop for the lowest price, you might be a redneck … I mean greedy.
• When you buy a car (or a bike if you don’t want to contribute to global warming — I hope you, as a good liberal, are not stomping around with a big “carbon footprint”), do you try to pay a low price or do you seek out an all-American union-made car or bike at a higher price? If you shop for the lowest price, you might be greedy.
• Assuming that NUVO is NOT a greedy employer that doesn’t care about its employees’ retirement, do you invest your 401(K) contributions in stocks of companies that grow in value and/or pay dividends, or do you seek out and invest only in companies that “do good” without making a profit or paying dividends? If you seek to invest in companies that grow in value and/or pay dividends, you might be greedy.
You could probably think up a list of similar questions to ask yourself. Maybe a pattern is emerging — if not for you personally, then maybe for people you know. You see, the reason why Wal-Mart and Meijer and Toyota etc. exist is because U.S. consumers DEMAND low prices when they shop. Maybe they are all “greedy,” or maybe they are just trying to get the most for their money in a very rational way.
Personally, I think it shows a lack of compassion on your part to want to deprive poor people in China or other countries from having an opportunity to better themselves financially by producing things for sale in the U.S. Of course, they have to produce good and safe quality goods, or we will not buy their products, but if I can buy a good TV made in China for $800 vs. the same TV made in the U.S. for $1,000, I will buy the $800 TV. Over time, wages and the standard of living in China and other poor countries will go up (that’s already happening, and that is a good thing, isn’t it?).