Thursday, May 27, 2010

No boycott power

So I decided to boycott BP for it's greed and environmental destruction, but it occurred to me that I don't buy much of anything from BP. My vehicles run on waste vegetable oil. (not a BP product.) Guess that the next time I change my engine oil I'll get motor from a company that's not owned by BP. Small punishment, really.

Today I learned that Coke has been using paramilitary gunmen to kill unionists in Columbia. Good reason for a boycott, except I almost never drink soft drinks. Mostly I drink water and coffee. (organic fair trade coffee at that!) About the only thing I can do is avoid juice from companies that are owned by Coke.

Walmart treats it's workers like crap. Do I shop at Walmart? Well yes, I do. Very little, but almost every month I buy something from them. It's my last choice shopping destination. Could boycott them completely, not that my minuscule purchases have much of an impact one way or the other.

Heck, I'm not even sending any income tax money to the Federal Government. Guess that's a boycott of sorts. (they've yet to change their practices.)

Boycotts only work when you actually were going to buy stuff in the first place. Hard to economically punish some company you don't do business with.

So for me, a man of tiny economic activity, the boycott has no teeth. What's left? Well, I can speak out to those who do buy stuff. I can also be an example of non consumerism to other people.

I'm not a consumer, I'm a citizen. For what it's worth, my representatives will know how I feel. Last time I checked, I was still a registered voter. However, I'm sure BP is more effective at lobbying that I am.

One important thing for those big corporations and governments to be aware of. Those without access to the system will find ways of working outside the system. We may have nothing, but don't make it so we have nothing to lose.


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