To the editor:
Next time you consider buying clothes, coffee, chocolate or imported fruit, please take a moment to consider the conditions in which these items were produced. From sweatshops to forced child labor, the people of developing nations are being exploited, all in the name of capitalism and maximizing profit. These people work at so-called "competitive wages" that are far below the salary needed to sustain life and preclude children within these families from going to school - even if the education itself is free.
Because the United States market is driven by the consumer, it is important to be acutely cognizant of what we are buying. In such a globally connected world, it is disappointing that citizens of the United States remain largely ignorant of the processes employed in creating the final product available for purchase in stores across the country.
The problem propagating this situation lies in the fact that United States-based companies are not required to disclose many of their overseas practices - that are tightly regulated in the United States - relating to labor, environment and basic human rights.
To the people of the United States, I say this: wake up! Think beyond your shopping cart and acknowledge that it is, in fact, time to embrace the global consumer mentality.