The Trap of Cyber Monday
You’ve heard the news, to be sure. Today is Cyber Monday, a day when online businesses are said to offer steep discounts, so you can get a huge range of things for cheap.
Don’t you just love to be cheap?
The trouble with Cyber Monday is the trap of cheapness. In a society that sells physical objects for cheap prices, the humanity of the people that produce those things will be treated cheaply as well.
A discount is an agreement to mutual abuse. It’s based upon an understanding that the shopper will get away with paying less money for an object, because the reduced price is enabled by the deprivation of someone else, somewhere down along what people in business call the Supply Chain.
There is no magic to sales. The price of low prices doesn’t disappear. It’s made up somewhere.
Often, the loss of drastically lowered prices is actually taken on by shoppers who buy items on any day but a designated sale day. Many Cyber Monday deals aren’t actually great deals. They’re reasonable prices, compared to ordinary prices that are marked up to ridiculous levels for most of the year.
Just as often, workers at companies that make the items offered up on discount are shortchanged. Their pay and benefits are cut, and they’re forced to work in unsafe conditions.
Sometimes, the items offered up as bottom basement bargains are the worst of what’s for sale: Badly designed products made at factories that cut corners rather than manufacturing items of quality.
When you buy items offered on special discount sales such as those associated with Cyber Monday, you’re endorsing these abuses. You’re using your money to support an unjust system that treats people like commodities.
Cheapness doesn’t come cheap.