As was spoken of briefly in the last update I find it extremely unusual that fair trade is an opt-in system. Essentially it is universally agreed in this country that all companies are treating anyone possible poorly unless otherwise specified. It would seem more reasonable to have all companies that do not want to treat people like people could opt-out of being labeled as fair trade.
It’s odd though that this is where the world is. One would hope that thousands of years into civilized nations that at some point someone would have raised their hand and said “Hey lets stop looking for what is cheap and look for what is humane.” It’s true that treating people like dogs (figuratively speaking) can be cheap, in fact it almost always is cheap. Likewise absolutely ignoring environmental impact is equally efficient at saving money. However at what point is the income superfluous? What can a company do with 2 trillion dollars that it couldn’t have done with 1? There are plenty of things I can think of but there is an unusual difficulty in targeting a positive advantage to that extra chunk of change but perhaps visitors here are more creative.
So also to the superfluous nature of the increased income comes the danger, especially now, of people discovering the dark dirty secrets of the company. Wal-mart has been getting increasingly more famous for the absolutely unacceptable treatment of its employees and Quasi-employees, those being illegal immigrants who are manipulated into working far longer than legal for fear of being deported. The Boy Scouts have recently made headlines for a large portion (I believe it was roughly 33%) making money by performing some exceptionally aggressive logging. Then we have the most obvious example of AIG and similar companies in the recent recession. All sharing the common trait of doing the wrong thing to make a little bit more money, sure to the average penguin the amount they save is amazing, however when looking at the relative gains its almost inconsequential.
I think the first step succeeding as a nation (any nation not simply the US) is to not congratulate people for doing what should come naturally. Instead you should make known those who would sooner make a bit more while sacrificing any semblance of humanity their company has remaining. It is a fairly confusing trade-off that, if asked before the start of human dominance upon Earth, I would never see being debated.