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Re: “Why some of us aren't thrilled about IKEA's return to Halifax

So, the TL;DR:

1. Ikea employs a lot of people, but only part-time. They have also had problems with unions. Therefore, employment is tenuous.
2. Ikea pays its staff lower than $20/hour, so is therefore unethical.
3. Ikea is exploiting its consumers by having them do the labour.
4. Some disaffected, privileged millenial mewing about conformity.

For a "professor," this piece is shockingly weak on reasoning and context.

The fact of the matter is that most people between the ages of, say, 25 and 50, are trying to eke out a living and save money where we can.

Ikea helps in those regards, and offers more solutions than problems. It employs tons of people-- who cares that it's part-time. What is the alternative? Nobody pays $20/hour, and Ikea pays more than the vast majority of similar employers, while also notoriously offering a great deal of scheduling flexibility. What. Is. The. Alternative? If I can save hundreds of dollars by purchasing a well-designed, cheap piece of furniture and the only caveats are that it won't last me forever and I have to assemble it, sorry, but that's a good deal. Besides, WHAT IS THE ALTERNATIVE? And finally, it's easy for a privileged, young professor to muse about these grandiose questions about capitalism and exploitation. Must be nice, really, to have the job security and privileged upbringing to have the free time to do so-- MOST people, however, do not have that luxury. Most people want to make an extra buck. Most people want to pay less for furniture. Most people believe that a retailer that pushes the ceiling of retail orthodoxy as far as labour practices go is a net positive, rather than something to be scorned.


The logical corollary of the good professor's reasoning is that we batten down the hatches and stage a Potemkin-like revolution against our bourgeois overseers. Okay, dude. One day. But for now? Baby steps. And Ikea's laying the foundation for them in a way that puts most other mass retailers to shame. That's something we should encourage, not poopoo.

64 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by MurkyAtBest on 01/25/2016 at 2:20 PM

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