I want to openly state that I am disgusted with companies like Toms Shoes. If you are not familiar with them, they make cheap shoes cheaply in China, typically canvas flats, and sell them for around $40. Their claim to fame is that they donate a pair of free shoes to some poor person in the Third World for every pair you buy from them. Where do I begin?
It’s not enough that in order for some of us to feel good about buying something, we feel the need to simultaneously give it away to someone that did nothing to earn it. It’s not enough that companies tout their “social justice” agenda ahead of their quality and pride of manufacture. What tops it off is that Toms is a complete hypocrite! They want you to impoverish this country not once, but twice, with every pair of shoes you buy. Of course, both the pair of shoes you buy and the one you give away are made in China. Every dollar that leaves this country to achieve this impoverishes the US and enriches China. Hey, if China wants to spend some of their own trade surplus dollars on donating some of the shoes they make, have at it, I say!
I further call into question the dubious claim that donating free shoes around the world is even a good thing. How is this different than welfare? This creates no wealth around the world. It does not increase the economy anywhere. It does not increase skills or technology of poor people. It does, however, impoverish local businesses that make indigenous shoes because they can’t compete with FREE shoes. We should look no further than our own experience to see that international welfare is no better than domestic welfare and only creates poverty and dependency, not wealth or self-sufficiency. If you really want to help the third world, buy more American products and fewer Chinese products. You’ll make us richer and more able to afford imports from the country you’re currently feeling sorry for.