November 06, 2004

Voting With Our Wallets

In order to contribute less to the companies that supported Bush and the radical right agenda, a friend of mine said that he was going to be spending a lot less money over the next four years. But that isn't always an option for everyone. But there are plenty of ways to vote with your wallet.

At Corrente, Lambert suggests shopping at Target instead of Walmart, and pulling out of major banks in favor of small, community owned banks and credit unions. Check out the Solari site for more, because as Lambert says, 49% is a market share worthy of respect.

For locals, I strongly recommend Boeing Employees' Credit Union, which any Washington State resident can now join. I've been a member for around 6 years now, and I've gotten excellent service from them.

You might also check out the Diversity Business list for a directory of companies whose values you may agree with a little better.

And there's more. Want to support unions? Stop grocery shopping at union-busters like Safeway and Albertson's. Ticked about damage to the environment? It's a good start to buy energy efficient appliances and recycled goods, but if you have any purchasing decision power at a business, try using the federal green purchasing site as a guide to where to go. I'm missing things, but you get the idea.

Purchasing with your ideals in mind has a long tradition of practice among religious and ethnic groups trying to build a shared sense of identity. (You don't think the local plumber puts the Jesus fish in his phone book ad just for kicks, do you?) It's high time that progressives made a bigger deal of this.

Posted by natasha at November 6, 2004 03:22 PM | Economy | Technorati links |

well now i'm just hopelessly confused. Walmart also gives money to JPR, the NPR station that we get out this way. hmm.. And no Target for miles. (100, at least). No Safeway or Albertson's? Well, shit, just where the fuck am i supposed to shop around here?!

Posted by: pril at November 7, 2004 10:22 AM

Just because someone's name is mentioned as a sponsor on NPR doesn't mean anything: NPR has run countless factual stories about Walmart that ain't too pretty. Walmart's underwriting on NPR is their attempt to try to counter the backlash and negative media they're receiving. Don't be fooled that the few thousand dollars they're giving to NPR for underwriting comes even close to the amount of money they rake in from the working poor in this country.

Posted by: LeAnn at November 7, 2004 02:38 PM

Thanks for giving me a list of stores to shop at: WalMart and Sams...

Remember we are a divided country and the majority of us see things very differently than you do...

Posted by: Thomas Bengini at November 7, 2004 07:29 PM

You know, it was just a suggestion. It isn't like I think people who shop at Walmart are immoral or anything. Sometimes, as in pril's case, there isn't anywhere else to shop nearby. This country has a growing number of families who can't afford to shop anywhere else, and a growing number of communities where big chain stores have already outcompeted all the locally owned businesses.

There's a long tradition of using the marketplace to send a message. The left hasn't been very effective at it, so for those of us so inclined and having the opportunity, it's something to think about.

I hardly have or want the power to compel anyone to shop or not shop somewhere. But I'm lucky enough to be able to choose to shop at stores that treat their employees better than average, and aren't contributing to corporate parents that actively work against my welfare. If other people in similar circumstances feel the same way, fine. If not, well, I've never heard anyone say they picked friends or lost respect for someone else because of where they buy groceries.

Thomas - Yeah, we know. You can't turn on the news these days without hearing liberals contemptously derided for their 'arrogance.'

My contempt is reserved for people in power whom I believe are running this country into the ground. The contempt of conservatives extends boundlessly to their fellow citizens, expressed in comments like 'why don't liberals understand America.' Well, I'm an American too, try and live with it.

Posted by: natasha at November 7, 2004 09:13 PM

if walmart were a country, we would all be screaming for sanctions and embargos. we would be subjected to celebrity t-shirt campaigns and tearful entreaties from over serious commercials to "please help". the difference is, walmart does a lot of it's evil work right here in the good ol' u. s. of a.

they treat their employees like garbage. even if you don't care about that, the resulting abysmal customer service should turn you off. take a look at or

really, walmart represents everything ugly about capitalism, greed, and the corruption of power.

pril: i would never suggest that you just don't shop, i know you have to. but the main reason why you only have a walmart is because walmart drove everyone else out. now you have to shop there. some people are caught in a vicious cycle of having to work there for $6.50 per hour with no benefits, and having to shop there because they can't afford to shop anywhere else, and thereby supporting the beast that has it's teeth in their throat. if there is another option, i would beseech you to shop elsewhere.

Posted by: kelite at November 8, 2004 04:48 PM