[...] Shoppers can donate their bag credits — the five-cent rebate they receive by forgoing plastic bags — to a microfinance fund.
Combining this with traditional donations, Whole Foods hopes to raise $5 million to fund 40,000 small loans to “impoverished entrepreneurs” around the globe. They say that these direct financial transfers, unmediated by government agencies, can “empower the poor and the communities around them.”
a couple of things kinda obvious, but: Whole Foods does NOT need shoppers to "donate" anything; they are perfectly capable of donating excess profits on their own if they so choose to, without involving the consumer at all. this is just so blatantly PR-focused that i wanna vomit. reminds me of when BA makes its flight attendants collect donations for some children's charity why on earth would anyone believe that direct financial transfers (which require repayment) from shareholder-beholden corporations are a way of EMPOWERING the poor, compared to governments that are at least theoretically accountable to the people? surely the govt is always the right org for the job here, and if it's not, the solution should be to fix that problem first of all? whence does this libertarian belief that an institution NOT beholden to the people it's trying to serve is the best way to serve those people come from??? i am dying