08 November 2010

All honest, voluntary trade is fair

I was going to post this as the one example from Not Always Right where I actually come down on the side of the customer, but I was beat to it. I'm not going to let that stop me though.
Not Always Right | Fair Trade Waylaid
Supermarket | United Kingdom

Customer: “Excuse me, where is the tea?”

Me: “Right this way.”

Customer: “Do you have any tea that isn’t fair trade?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “Do you have any tea that isn’t fair trade? It’s more expensive!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I think you are missing the point.”

Customer: “It’s more expensive! That isn’t very fair to me!”
The "Fair Trade" program is rife with rhetorical obfuscations, ethical chicanery and implementational quandaries. All it has going for it is some good intentions (on the side of the baptists, if not the bootleggers). It's no wonder this customer seems a little confused.



PS For more on the "Fair Trade" program, please give this EconTalk episode with Mike Munger a listen.

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