The power of the boycott remains one of, if not, the most effective tools in the market place. Particularly when combined with a vocal campaign to let the target know that is what is going on. In fact, it is almost pointless if the target is unaware of the action, as they may get the wrong message, and make the wrong changes. If one simply avoids shopping somewhere and a store believes that their business is suffering because they’re offering the wrong products rather than because of the policies they have put into place, then they will make the wrong changes.
It is this economic vote which is both the strongest weapon in the consumer’s arsenal and the most difficult to wield. It requires both perseverance and a willingness to sacrifice. Perhaps it is only a small sacrifice of a selfish desire, but in this modern world of immediate gratification, that is a difficult thing for many to do. It is also a group effort which is generally self-enforced. Who really knows that you haven’t shopped at that store you’re supposed to be boycotting, except for you? And, yet…
There is a long history of boycotts, and their effectiveness is undeniable. Business groups hate them, and over the last few years those on the right would have you believe that they are somehow immoral, wrong, or anti-American. This is really quite ironic. After all, what at its core is a boycott? At its core, a boycott is a decision to choose not to shop at a particular business, period. It is a choice made based on ethical reasons, or perhaps on reasons of solidarity. Regardless of the reason, from the standpoint of the free marketer, is it not precisely what the market is supposed to do? The consumer is to make a choice based on whatever factors they see fit including price, location, quality, etc and purchase the products they prefer from the supplier that they choose. Well, that is precisely what the consumer is doing. They are including in that, what we might call the moral quality of the supplier. In the case of a company that is being boycotted, the consumer has found that supplier to be wanting in quality.
So, I choose to boycott Chick-fil-A, as I wrote back in April, because they openly discriminate against homosexuals. When the rest of the world caught wind of this in July, I wrote again about how franchisees benefit from corporate names, and thus have to take the penalties that come with corporate blunders and foul policies. It was reported that Chick-fil-A had bowed to public pressure and stopped their contributions to anti-gay advocacy groups. Dan Cathy, the CEO, however announced this was a false report. Thus, the boycott must continue.
Now a whole other band of greedy big business-men and women have forced those of us with consciences into action. Again, we have to expand our list of restaurants to avoid. Honestly, many of these places for me are not too difficult. However, a small handful,…. well, I’ll almost miss them.
No, Twitchy. What we are outraged by is that this is unnecessary for the company to stay profitable. The amount that prices would have to be raised is ridiculously small, and most of us would be willing to pay it. Most of us are not the greedy, self-centered, selfish persons that the right wants us to be.
Papa John’s Pizza founder and CEO, John Schnatter, has announced that he would begin reducing employees’ hours in order to avoid having to either provide health care benefits or pay the penalty associated with the Affordable Care Act becoming the law of the land. The additional cost, which he would pass on to customers, amounts to approximately $0.15 to $0.20 per order. In other words, for less than a quarter per order, the third largest pizza delivery and take out chain in America could provide health insurance to its employees. However, rather than do so, the CEO would rather make an example of his employees, and punish them in order to make his political point. I cannot imagine that there are very many people who would be ordering from Papa John’s restaurants who would even notice a $0.25 increase on their order, much less actually care about that increase.
As a result, Papa John’s can be sure that I will no longer be ordering from them. This is only slightly a shame. Their pizza isn’t that good, but it was a convenience every once in a while.
You know the beautiful irony of this? Even Schnatter himself has already admitted that this is just greed on his part.
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