I came across something on Yahoo.com.ph today to do with the Philippines being the most charitable when it came to the Asia-Pacific region on a Mastercard survey but to be honest I find it disappointing. Not that the Philippines came top but simply no REAL data seems to have come out on the survey as its simply promoting Mastercard as being ethical due to its environmental and fair trade awareness yet firstly its on the back of its customers and secondly have they even bothered to investigate the companies people were buying from or the charities money was donated to?
See from the time I have spent in the Philippines I have found charities to be one of the worst plagues on human society as they will happily show people in poverty or a natural disaster at the same time booking themselves round the world trips and nice new SUV’s on charity donation money. What I call ethical is actually a charity that really functions on a “realistic basis” for that it means to me that everyone involved constitutes a value to the charity to maximise the donations usage. If you have fund raisers sipping on champagne and going to events in the UK because they can raise funds via their friends so be it, but at the same time if they are taking 80% in personal expenses of everything the charity makes surely they aren’t ethical??
For me I would be happy stuck out here on P2m a year if the charity was bringing in P200m the reason being if it reached that level it would be moving to a full-time role and I am happy to be earning the 10%. Yes I said earning because its a job and if you look at any charity in depth you will find so many are lucky to even have 10% reach the people they stick on their lovely adds living in poverty, starvation or natural disasters because it gets swallowed up on expenses. That’s the same for Non-profit which to me is the worst use of words I have heard as its near enough purely profit taken from the venture on expenses so Non-profit means “good with fudging accounts”.
So what would make me more ethical than fair trade? well for a start I don’t think fair trade makes much sense in many cases as it often involves overpaying for goods for very little in return. See for example in Haiti its operating on Free market which basically means its open trade has damaged much of its agricultural business same as many countries as countries like America are heavily mechanised meaning that the basic food of rice is cheaper to import from America than it is to grow in Haiti now. At market your talking 100% more expensive for Haitian rice is that fair trade? common sense trade is needed as agriculture is available in many of the countries now reliant on aid yet they need it to be balanced out within its own economies to actually allow them to compete locally maybe the “fair trade” is balancing the imported cheaper stock with offsetting its profit with the local to find a middle ground which as a real fair trade makes more sense since the current system doesn’t work. Having extra added to my groceries often out ways what the people doing the work get in salary etc. which to me is just crazy as all we are doing is let the cartels (as most of them are) increase their profits by helping very little as we are paying for it and giving the businesses more money. There is no ethics in that.
Environmental awareness is a big thing these days but even then there are odd things going on such as the recycle bags which many are coming from other countries which then asks the question does having a canvas bag actually help the environment or damage it by the fact it has to be shipped from China? Its these questions as well as many others that confuse consumers and then the retail sector is happy to call everything “environmental” as its a good sales pitch allowing all responsibility to go from consumer to companies who are more happy to distort the truth to make money. Not all bad as many have improved things but it does make me wonder by how much? I find it madness here in the Philippines that the rivers get littered with plastic bags constantly yet you will get vegetables in a plastic container that is then put in a small plastic bag next to your other groceries in a larger plastic bag.. why are the vegetables so precious?