Forget the badgering of hack politicians. Consumer boycotts & eco-smart investing deliver more clout.
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The good (and bad) about earnings-obsessed capitalism is that consumer-driven profits focus constant attention on brand visibility. A stinging scandal, even guilt by association, impacts revenue across the board. PR operatives understand how volatile are consumer choices. Whatever could taint a pristine corporate brand – justified or not – triggers damage control. “Good will,” a dicey business “asset” in the best of times, captures this intangible dynamic. Thus (irony alert), the bigger the business, the faster they fall over themselves in trying to be everything to everybody.
Second irony: though corporate lobbyist armies dominate Washington, ruling capitalists cannot abide what runs today’s rabid right: manipulated cultural outbursts, bizarro conspiracies, and insupportable propaganda. While laughable deceit serves the Trumpist gang, public companies know that indefensible shenanigans risk sales, market share, even monopolistic dominance. That’s why the showiest internet companies, but also airlines, apparel makers, food producers, and appliance companies, play it very safe.
Strategic political pressure is a matter of timing, numbers and focus – especially when thinking like a capitalist. Consumer purchases drive 70% of the U.S. economy and that “majority” of money reflects a majority of the electorate. As Obama nailed it in 2008, while a disgruntled white minority clings to “guns and religion” (and hatred of outsiders), many millions more, acting collectively, carry overwhelming economic prowess. Money matters in business just as much as in politics, perhaps more.
Though committed boycott groups exist, none has wide media visibility, thus critical mass for maximum clout. High time for boycott organizers to unify and declare, “here’s a corporation that supports Trump or voter suppression or lies about the ‘stolen’ election. Stop buying their products and talk to neighbors.” Think of the widespread, progressive “economic vote” that identifies, then presses consumers and investors to avoid extremists who endorse violent insurgencies contrary to the American grain, thus deserving whatever penalties accrue when “free market” buyers make a clear line in the sand. There’s not yet enough “corporate solidity” to impede the worst of Trumpist vileness, but no few billionaires dread what’s already injuring Republican candidates, the shrill protectors of their tax and ownership interests. The 1% listens very carefully to cash registers, even when only indirectly impacted. Yet enough reactionaries, well beyond the Pillow Guy, are still backing rightwing thugs (elected and not), stuck in a time warp as if 2021 were 2016. Trump’s fall started when he blew the pandemic challenge, descended with an egregious campaign, and spiraled downward with ceaseless, absurd post-election insanity. Dumpster demagoguery is in free fall, so much so even his intensely self-interested daughter and son-in-law have retreated from the latest, tin-ear PR debacles.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction
June 29, 2021 at 11:51 AM #432148KenTankerousParticipant
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‘Hit ’em where it hurts’.
"If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States."
- Henry A. Wallace
(FDR's Vice President until he was forced out by the corrupt forces of obscene wealth.)
June 29, 2021 at 12:12 PM #432149
June 29, 2021 at 12:14 PM #432150GZeusHParticipant
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Would be the U. S. military.
When it gets to the point where they can’t buy enough people to enlist, then maybe the ‘defense’ budget will come under control.
Corporate America consists of totalitarian entities laser-focused on short-term greed.
June 29, 2021 at 12:21 PM #432151Ohio BarbarianModerator
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And then the feces really will hit the rotating blades.
It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs
You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton
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