This Boycott Might Actually Work

  On August 15th, the CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, challenged other heads of national companies to join him in a political campaign donation boycott. Since issuing the challenge over 100 major companies have joined Starbucks.   Schultz has been joined by, Myron Ullman of JC Penney, Duncan Niederauer of NYSE, and Walter Robb, co-chief executive of Whole Foods, Tim Armstrong of AOL, Mickey Drexler of J. Crew Group, and billionaire investor Pete Peterson, just to name a few.   Mr. Shultz was motivated to call for the boycott of giving political donations, due to his disapproval of how Congress and the President handled the debt ceiling debate, and the resulting legislation. Mr. Schultz feels as many citizens do, that neither the President nor the Republicans had the best interest of the nation in mind. What they seemed to be more concerned with, were partisan politics. This writer has to agree.   Mr. Schultz hopes that the boycott will act as a strike to force politicians to act swiftly to work on the debt crisis. He he also asked the other companies to step up their efforts at job creation. He feels that the recent debt ceiling debate has led to the downgrading of our credit rating and has created panic and uncertainty.   An interesting thing about this, is that Mr. Schultz has given money mostly to Democrats over the years, around $100,000 in the past fifteen years. This is according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The Center list a single donation to a Republican for $1,000 in 1999. That donation was to Sen. John Mc Cain, need I say more.  So since Mr. Schultz donates strictly to liberals like John McCain and the Democrats, it would seem as if Mr. Schultz lays a large amount of the blame for the debt and debt ceiling problems on the Democrats and Pres. Obama. This writer would have to agree.  Usually boycotts are the idea of those who have no ideas of how to solve problems. If you don’t like something, then boycott it. It is a nice idea, but getting enough people to join you, that will make a difference, is not easy. However, in this case a boycott might actually work.   The difference being ? Well several. First off, we are talking about politicians. They live and die by campaign donations. Second, we are not talking about ma and pa not sending in their $50 donation to make sure Clem the Dem gets re-elected. We are talking about the whales of political donations not sending in thousands, maybe millions of dollars of donations. This will get the politician’s attention. That being said, maybe the average citizen should take a page from Mr. Schultz. Maybe instead of sending in the small donations that help pay the bills for a campaign, maybe we should send letters telling them why we are not sending money. And tell them what it is we want them to do, if they would like us to send money.   While I may not agree with Mr. Schultz politically, I do applaud his effort to send a clear message of dissatisfaction with the process.

2 thoughts on “This Boycott Might Actually Work”

  1. I cannot disagree more strongly with this. At a time when our very way of life is at a crossroads, this is no time to disengage or boycott.

    It is time for those who truly believe in something to roll up their sleeves and get in the fight. All in…. It’s time for those who have money to give it. For those who have talents to put them on display. And for those who have time to donate as much of it as their family and professional lives can spare.

    It is of little surprise to me that a life long Democrat is encouraging ordinary citizens to disengage at a time when momentum is building to deal the progressive movement its most devastating defeat ever.

    This is no time to withdraw. This is the time to engage and fight. To go to the town halls, to let our leaders know what we think and what we want.

    And next year, to defeat those who fail to support that vision.

  2. I think the boycott is supposed to apply to incumbents, in which case I agree with the sentiment but not at all with the method. Game theory dictates that as more companies join the boycott, the benefit of breaking the boycott increases. Those companies who are aligned against the public interest in the first place have no incentive to join in this boycott and with every public spirited company that DOES join the boycott they get more clout.

    I do agree with Michael’s sentiment. Get involved. Find someone you can believe in and put all your chips on the table. This will only get worse unless there is genuine reform to the way politics are conducted at every level and regular people learn how to play the game.

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