(Closed) Do you consider the political/social view of a business before you patronize it?

posted 10 years ago in The Lounge
  • poll: Do you consider the political/social view of a business before you patronize it?

    Yes

    No

    Sometimes

  • Post # 32
    Member
    250 posts
    Helper bee

    View original reply
    @vistagirl:  Coming from a family that owns a small business I completely agree that it is important to support your local business.  However, I also come from a family where several people have lost their jobs due to outsourcing.  I have seen the devistating effects this can have on a person and on entire families.  It is SO important to buy American made products because that supports American workers.  When those workers have jobs they can shop and support the local economy. 

    Post # 33
    Member
    1023 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    Yes and no. I do believe we “vote with our purchases” and that consumer actions have power, however most corporations (I would agrue), no matter where they fall politically are not socially conscious entities. I think you could find something about every company that rubs you the wrong way! You have to decide however, if it crosses the line and if you really need the items they offer.

    However I would say that I’m trying to be concerned more about social justice for the workers and environmental stewardship.

    I’m going to try to shop there (Target) less because I’m trying to purchase items that are fair trade/socially just, more environmentally conscious, and made-in-usa (or best yet, locally).

    Post # 34
    Member
    1667 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2011

    you would pretty much have to live like a mountain hermit or live on a deserted island to avoid making purchases from retailers who support something you do not. I get what you are trying to do, but it’s kind of silly. Like you said, you would never stop researching and would probably run out of places to shop.

    Our economic structuring is far too complex these days to determine the origin of every dollar. Yes even the little mom and pop gas station down the road where you buy a coke from could be using that $3 they made off of you to make a purchase at Target, who then makes a donation to organization, who then pays for the campain of some   candidate you don’t support. . . .it could go on and on. . .

    besides like  

    View original reply
    @SanDiegoAli: said, if you are going off the principle of it, then you would have to boycott weddingbee too.

    Post # 35
    Member
    66 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    @SanDiegoAli:  IMO that is comparing apples to oranges.  what is eharmony getting out of me using this site, if I don’t pay attention to any ads?  If this site discriminated against anyone, and wouldn’t let them post, I would not visit it honestly.  But that isn’t the case, to my knowledge.

    Post # 36
    Member
    13561 posts
    Honey Beekeeper

    I’ll be honest—I do not necessarily. If something is current and noteworthy, i.e. Bridal Party and the oil spill, that definitely colors my opinion. I’ve not patronized Bridal Party since the spill.

    But for things that are a little more under wraps, I can’t say I do all the research needed to know what kinds of practices these businesses are engaging in.

    Post # 37
    Member
    2633 posts
    Sugar bee

    View original reply
    @JessB331: Even if you ignore the ads (hard to do IMO – we’re brides, we direct one another to the same sites over and over and over; of course those are many of the sites that advertise on here) you still bring traffic TO the site which would in turn boost the overall amount of hits to the site, which encourages wedding based vendors to advertise on here.

    Post # 38
    Member
    2249 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: March 2020

    View original reply
    @mncrk09: Oh I totally agree and I try to buy american when I can, but often it comes down to budget, so I have to make a choice.

    Post # 39
    Member
    1893 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2011

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    @JessB331:

    It’s absolutely not comparing apples to oranges.  They know how many people use the site.  That is how the determine what to charge people who want to advertise on the site.  Kind of like television.

     

    Post # 40
    Member
    5822 posts
    Bee Keeper

    I think that large corporations should have the right to support politicos, reformations, and movements.  Why should someone who worked hard, built his business up, and made an empire not have the right to further what he believes is the right thing?  If you own a large business and have lots of money, I don’t see the problem with trying to improve the world as you see it.  How is that unfair?  Don’t people do the same thing by donating to charities?  It’s easier to change the world when you can influence the political/legal processes than just dealing with the symptoms of the problem (by donating to a homeless shelter for instance).  I do see that some may use their money/influence for things you don’t agree with, but many do.  It’s a hard line to draw in the sand, and is the reason why all lawmakers are required to attend a week of ethics workshops so they aren’t unduly influenced.

    As for whether I patronize a shop based on their social/political standing…sometimes.  If I find a local mom n pop that I like I will always stop there to buy something and I will recommend them to everyone I know.  If I don’t like the local mom n pop shop, I’ll buy at Walmart.  For me it’s more about service than political leaning.  There is a line though, and if I found out they were using profits for something socially repulsive to me (like killing puppies or something), I would not just boycott, I would spread the word.  I think simply boycotting a store is a very passive way to get the point across, an ineffective at best.

    Post # 41
    Member
    903 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2009

    I wish I could say I did this more (considered the social view/practices of a company before I purchase something), but I guess it’s a work in progress. It’s something I’m wanting to do more, especially in regards to social justice stuff (not buying things that are produced by exploiting the poor).

    Post # 43
    Member
    652 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

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    @Gemstone: It’s interesting that you bring up Bridal Party.  I drove by the station the other day, and immediately thought to myself “I’m never going there again,” and continued on.  Then I realized that yeah, we’re hurting Bridal Party by not buying their gasoline. But  are we also hurting our own communities by not patronizing our local franchise location?  

    Like someone said before, our economy is so complicated that it’s difficult to really cut out and punish a company that you feels deserves it.  

    Post # 44
    Member
    7081 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2009

    Boycotts are by and large pretty ineffective, but I don’t think of my moving my purchasing power around as a boycott as much as wanting money to go in the hands of business people who I would want to support.

    For example I stopped going to Whole Foods last year because I didn’t want to support John Mackey after he wrote an editorial screed that was anti-healthcare reform and because he seemed like an egomaniac douchebag.  I don’t want to give that guy my money… and besides, in Seattle there were lots of locally owned really good markets that I’d rather support.

    In the Target example, my problem is most with the fact that Target was the first corporation that we know of to use the Citizens United decision in order to donate.  I believe that this is a faulty supreme court decision, and am sad that a responsible corporation like Target would choose to take advantage of it.  The original decision on corporate personhood was based on an intentional misinterpretation of the case by a court reporter in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad.

    Unfortunately, the 2010 decision took that misinterpretation and ran with it… and I think it’s going to have lasting and unfortunate consequences for years to come.

    So, in short, yes, I like to be a responsible consumer.  I do so by trying to buy from local sources.  I like to know where and how my meat was raised and that my clothes weren’t made in a Chinese sweat shop.

    Post # 45
    Member
    4122 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    I think while we have a responsibility to our beliefs, we have to be careful in our actions.

    i.e. in re. to vistagirl – Moral exceptions in healthcare for it’s employee’s is not a target only thing, it’s law. Part of that, is that they have to allow the customer access to someone who will fulfill their prescription, however, I would never want to take away someone’s constitutional right to religious freedom and force them to give up their career or do something they consider morally wrong. It’s a very slippery slope. It may start with the “minor” plan B pill, but if you take that away it can lead to medical students being forced to do abortions as part of their schooling or nurses to assist. i.e. it’s not something we should want as it doesn’t allow for our constitutional right to religious freedom. 

    As for Bridal Party – We can be angry with a company, we can demand responsibility, we can demand better practices, but what does “killing” a company do?

    In the case of Bridal Party,

    -American’s anger over the spill caused the CEO’s wife and kids to need 24/7 security detail due to death threats.

    -Our Gov. shut down 33 rigs in a government-imposed six-month moratorium on offshore drilling… and then tried to demand Bridal Party pay the employees of those rigs.

    -US department of justice is/was threatening legal action to halt BP’s dividend payouts to investors. This affects retired americans.

    But the question remains, should we boycott BP? Well, Of the 126 people working on the Deepwater Horizon, only eight were Bridal Party employees. Bridal Party had a 65% share in the well, while a partner, Anadarko(a US company), had 25%. The rig was owned and operated by a US firm, Transocean. A failed blow-out preventer was made by another US firm, Cameron, while Halliburton, the oil services firm once run by Dick Cheney, carried out cement work that was supposed to seal the well.

    Regardless of potential liability, it is worth pondering whose interests a Bridal Party bankruptcy would serve.

    There are currently 29,000 employees in the US. 39% of shares are held in the US. A collapse of the company would have big economic impact for us. Much larger than that lost in the gulf due to the spill. It would affect retired, current employee’s, multiple nations, and many cities with large Bridal Party employee populations… 

    Post # 46
    Member
    2186 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    it depends.

    usually i could care less what a CEO of a company is doing – just like i could care less when celebrities who have no clue what they are talking about endorse candidates or propositions or what have you. they arent anyone important as far as i am concerned – so why would i give a rats patoot what they say?

    but there are some things that i do that are KINDA like this – for instance, i havent eaten ben and jerry’s icecream or Paul newman’s anything for years since i found out they put money towards supporting the defense atty’s of a cop killer.

    that i see my money going directly to fund something i dont like. so i dont eat it.

    but it would have to be something huge like that for me to get me to stop doing something. because usually i know that boycotting something really doesnt do much of damage, it just makes YOU feel better.

    (like boycotting Bridal Party for the oil spill, you arent hurting the big company itself you are hurting the small businessmen/women who own the stations)

     

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