The news that Walmart and H&M in New York had been destroying and throwing away unsold goods boggles the mind. What were these people thinking? Even if we don’t consider the implications of the fact that we are adding scores of items to our landfills and the waste of throwing away perfectly good merchandise, it makes no economic sense either. While doing good for the sake of doing good is the ultimate goal, even a bit of selfish benevolence would have been helpful here. With millions of unemployed and underpaid individuals around, donating these items to charity seems a no-brainer. Sure, there could have been some unintended consequences. People who might otherwise have purchased these items might have been able to buy them for less at a Goodwill store – this might also have dissipated its value a bit if it were freely available. But come on folks – that’s a slight cost to pay to know that you are helping those less fortunate and doing some good in this world. The goodwill generated by an active donation program would have far outweighed any possible negative impact. It appears common sense and good judgement seem to have flown out the window.
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