Who pays the cost of shipping?

It’s Good Friday today, the day that Christians mark (“celebrate” seems wrong, somehow) the suffering and death of Jesus. Whether or not you think Jesus is the savior, it makes for a good time to reflect on who ends up suffering for things they never did wrong.

This morning, the Catholic Moral Theology blog published a piece I wrote on the lives of warehouse workers. Over the past year, there have been some great investigative pieces by journalists on conditions for workers in warehouses for online shopping companies. The most recent, “I Was A Warehouse Wage Slave” by Mother Jones’s labor rights reporter Mac McClelland, is a great, but sad, read. It is a must for anyone who buys stuff online a lot.

In the post, I suggest that:

Online shopping is a sort of “Easter experience”. It is designed to communicate an infinite horizon of satisfaction, an unmerited bounty that is accessible to all. It is a brightly lit space that frees you from searching the world endlessly for satisfaction that is so hard to attain. We even get to crack open little packages and retrieve the treats inside.

Once Easter has come, though, we tend to forget the Good Friday that is its inevitable precursor…

My maternal grandparents taught me that “you get what you pay for”. I guess, then, if you get more than you pay for, it’s probably because someone else picked up the tab.

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