Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day Theme for 2008 is Poverty.

Why would a business blog about certificate frames touch on poverty? To quote, “Bloggers are free to interpret this as they see fit. We invite bloggers to examine poverty from their own blog topics and perspectives, to look at it from the macro and micro, as a global condition and a local issue, and to bring their own ideas, views and opinions on the subject.”

Part of our business model at Fusion Frames is to discover, refine and utilize the internet as not only as a selling tool but, as a way to broaden conversations. Meaningful conversation, just like meaningful recognition can be engaging and influential. So why not blog about poverty and raise awareness? To say poverty does not touch Middle America or Fusion Frames’ employees is to turn a blind eye.

Fusion Frames is a typical specialty product company with a focus on direct selling and wholesale, business-to-business. Our retail space is the web. Our physical space is a warehouse where we store and assemble orders. Many of our employees are part-time flex, working “piece rate”. To further explain, you are paid by how many pieces you build, not how many hours you work. Piece rate potential can earn you up to $18 an hour, which is a good wage for assembly in Middle TN. For the typical part-time assembly worker at our company, flexibility is the key for them to be able to work. We find offering flex time lowers stress and builds appreciation.

Many part-time assembly workers in America are women with children. Childcare is where we see the most hardship. And it is the primary need for flexibility in hours. Other hardships include large healthcare expenses and car maintenance. The reality of poverty is that it takes every dollar you make to live. One major illness, one car accident, one large bill is not a possible to absorb in a household budget that lives month-to-month. Debt management is the long-term reality, precluding even a raise to offer debt relief.

I see debt management as a form of servitude. Being a servant to your debt creates a condition in which one lacks liberty especially to determine one's course of action or way of life. Until we change the culture of debt management and consumption in the world to a culture of resource management and conservation, this cycle of being stuck in poverty will continue to spread.

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