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Revive the Personal Boycott

When I first watched the Move Your Money video [3], I was surprised with how much it resonated with me. The Move Your Money movement has really caught on, at least on the web, and it taps into an instinct we’ve taught ourselves to suppress.

When it comes to money, we try to suppress emotion as a factor in the decision making process. You open an account with the bank offering the highest interest rate, not the one you “like.” You pick a credit card that offers the best cash back rewards, perhaps not the one that treats its customers the best. You are taught to pick these products because they make the most financial sense, not because they appeal to something else.

However, perhaps we should move back towards an era where we consider those other factors, especially when the product that makes the most financial sense is less clear-cut. The Move Your Money video was a great example of how the qualitative factors of a local bank or credit union may outweigh any benefit you would receive from a major conglomerate bank.

One comment in that post really stood out for me, though I don’t agree with everything JimmyDaGeek said, I do agree with the idea of boycotting businesses, products, and industries you don’t agree with. Here is his comment [4] in its entirety:

I wish you would expand the theme of boycotting businesses, products and industries you don’t agree with. Most Americans have become whiners, illegally using the political system to force changes that should be done through the market system.

For example, look at all the complaints people have about cable tv regarding customer service and pricing. If people don’t like it, don’t buy the service. You can get your tv off the air, rent movies so many different ways, get tv shows on the Internet, etc. Yet people call their local pol to pass some kind of law to give them what they want.

Americans have this expectation of getting what they want instead of doing without.

The part that I agree with is the idea of boycotting businesses you disagree with. It doesn’t need organized and structured such that you, or your group, appears in the news, though that certainly helps change the companies behavior (but let’s be honest, a company like Wal-Mart will only change because of litigation).

If you disagree with what a company is doing, don’t give them your money. I don’t ever go to a Jiffy Lube for oil service because I think they are overpriced and some have been shown to pull shady tricks (old oil filter trick [5] is just one of their scams [6]). I don’t order pizza from Domino’s because of this disgusting video [7].

Your dollar is your vote. When you give it to a company, you are telling them that you agree with what they’re doing. A personal boycott may not change behavior, but at least you aren’t contributing to a cause you disagree with!