Sunday, May 10, 2009
Wise Business Practices?
Johanna Lee is a usually a thrifty lady when it comes to shopping. As a member our H.D. (Leper) community, she has had to watch where her meager food money has been spent- usually on basics like rice, simple vegetables and inexpensive fish-because she has had to feed a family of five over the years.
This morning, May 8th, a new "LOTTE SUPPER" market opened in her Jang Rim neighborhood.It must be explained for those unfamiliar with the Korean Family or choebal system. Like the ultra-rich families in Korea, the Lotte Family group owns much real estate, supermarkets, and subsidiary businesses in Korea. In a word the LOTTE CEO would be much more powerful and influential than even the President of Korea, that's the story of money people world wide!
Loudspeakers blasted out, "Come to the new Lotte Super- today, everything is cheap, only half price- So Come"! Johanna and many of her friends almost frenzy-like go and spend all of their precious household money on things really not needed. When she cools down she realizes she has been a willing victim of tricky business practices!
We have all been freely manipulated by others using our greed for gain. Here in Korea as in the States the large chain stores have put many of the smaller stores out of business. This has been in the short term a blessing for the consumer but not always good for society. The big money goes to a small number of individuals, compared to many small businesses putting the big money in the hands of many more individuals. There are many very simple business practices that are used frequently and that help the rich grow richer and the poor poorer. This may be a sign of efficiency, intelligence and just good business practices but is it for the common good?