August 8, 2007

Big surprise, they're the first to do this

According to WisPolitics, a group of recent UW grads have started the Free Trade Shop. No not the FAIR trade shop, the FREE trade shop. They're doing it to counter the fair trade movement because they claim fair trade is anti-capitalist, etc., etc. Puhleeze.

Most fair trade is not government sanctioned but is conducted by groups who sell goods they bought at a price higher than standard and sell to consumers who are interested in those goods. Consumers buy these goods because for moral and practical reasons (the goods are often higher quality than what people buy in most stores). In other words its simply an example of the "invisible hand" working. People choose to pay a price they feel is reasonable for a type of good they want. Why they do so is irrelevant. There is demand for these types of goods and fair trade groups service them.

One shirt they have indicates that they have a problem with fair trade coffee. The complaint makes no sense if they really believe in the market system. Starbucks had demand for fair trade certified coffee so they provide it. It's not supply and demand that's solely based on the price of the product, it's supply and demand period.

I also find it funny when they say that some people are looking for low cost, high quality goods. If that was totally true, no one would buy their shirts. They would simply be priced out of the market. The whole idea of this store is laughable. I'm not surprised when they say they're the first to start a company over this.

Matthew 6:6: "But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you."

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