Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

Posts tagged mrpooscratch

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On the First Amendment, the free market, and boycotts, part IV

 mrpooscratch replied to your post: On the First Amendment, the free market, and boycotts, part III

That’s where I have to part ways with you thought-wise, I am a purist in the sense that if you run a business, you have to right to succeed or fail based on the free market. Like, MySpace.

Which has been the target of boycotts

And I’m not arguing that businesses DON’T succeed or fail based on the free market, bro. Boycotts are an externality of the free market. An externality is simply “an effect of one economic agent’s actions on another, such that one agent’s decisions make another better or worse off by changing their utility or cost. Beneficial effects are positive externalities; harmful ones are negative externalities.”

A company dumps massive amounts of pollution in a river, a company dumps massive amounts of money into anti-gay hate groups. In both cases, consumers in that free market place economic pressure on those companies to cease. 

The free market does not protect business from the actions of unhappy consumers. Do you suggest the government ban boycotts? Well, besides being unconstitutional, that’s government interference in a free market supposedly driven by consumers and producers.


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On the First Amendment, the free market, and boycotts, part III

mrpooscratch replied to your post: On the First Amendment, the free market, and boycotts, part II

Okay, lets look at it this way. I open a business, and put out a sign saying “no redheads allowed”. Doesn’t it stand to reason minus government interference, minus the boycotts, minus the protests, the free market will make my business fail?

Maybe. Or your business might fail because your product sucks. Or maybe angry redheads will organize a boycott. Or maybe it’ll get hit by falling space debris that somehow didn’t burn up in the atmosphere. The free market is unpredictable, and to simply rely on the hope that it will make a business fail because reasons is honestly lazy. If you disagree with a business’ practices to the extent you’re willing to no longer patronize them, why not take the action of telling others? The business does not exist in an apathetic bubble. 

And for those bitching about government interference, it’s called zoning. It’s why the government can regulate whether or not a Dildo Emporium can open next to a preschool or if it must exist outside the city limits. If a business wants to open and that business engages in practices that my town has a law against, say non-discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender, that could conceivably fall under a government’s right to deny business permits. Think about a bar wanting to open in a dry county.



Filed under reply mrpooscratch free market free speech business politics

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On the First Amendment, the free market, and boycotts, part II

mrpooscratch replied to your post: On the First Amendment, the free market, and boycotts

But if he held a position that wasn’t “controversial”, no one would say anything. That’s the entire point. Instead of just, I don’t like this place and won’t eat there, you must try and shut them down. Don’t like it? Don’t go there. Problem solved.

"Don’t like it? Don’t go there" is the foundation of a boycott. And you’re right — I wouldn’t boycott him for hating butterflies.

Look… if you ate at a local Chick-Fil-A that gave you food poisoning, would you tell a few friends? Or one that was filthy? Would you mention that?

Extend that to systemic discrimination. If they would rather risk shutting down versus changing their corporate views, well, that’s on them, isn’t it? They’ve made a choice of their own free will in a free market.

A boycott’s aim is to get a business to change their practices before they shut down, but if they’re that stubborn and CHOOSE to run it into the ground in the face of opposition, maybe that business owner should take some personal responsibility and recognize it was their own filthy establishment or bigoted practices that caused it to close — after people chose not to patronize their place of business, of course.

You dig?

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On the First Amendment, the free market, and boycotts

mrpooscratch replied to your post: Dear Conservatives who think they grasp this Jesus thing:

Um, it’s about free speech and people not trying to destroy your business because they disagree with you, NOT homosexuality. Sorry you missed the point.

Nope, sorry. You’re missing the point here. Just as the CEO has his freedom of speech, we have the freedom of speech to boycott his establishments and spread the word about his business practices. In fact, a boycott is a form of free speech. 

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right to boycott in NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co. et al. 458 U.S. 886 (1982). The court held that the States have broad power to regulate general economic activities, but cannot prohibit peaceful political activity and organizing. This includes boycotts, which are protected under the First and Fourteenth Amendments in regards to freedom of speech and association. Also, within the right to freely associate is the right to demonstrate and align one’s self with the ideals of the association or business — or not.

Also, individuals are not responsible for business losses due a non-violent boycott — even if a business fails. The First Amendment freedoms in a boycott trump the business owner’s success. Claiborne bears striking similarities to issues at the heart of the boycott of Chick-Fil-A. As the Court said in this case, petitioners, “through exercise of their First Amendment rights of speech, assembly, association, and petition, rather than through riot or revolution… sought to change a social order that had consistently treated them as second-class citizens.”

Justice John Paul Stevens, who delivered the majority opinion, wrote:

"The boycott of white merchants at issue in this case took many forms. The boycott was launched at a meeting of a local branch of the NAACP attended by several hundred persons. Its acknowledged purpose was to secure compliance by both civic and business leaders with a lengthy list of demands for equality and racial justice. The boycott was supported by speeches and nonviolent picketing. Participants repeatedly encouraged others to join in its cause. Each of these elements of the boycott is a form of speech or conduct that is ordinarily entitled to protection under the First and Fourteenth Amendments."

Also, in Organization for a Better Austin v. Keefe, 402 U.S. 415 (1971), Chief Justice Warren Burger stated: 

"The claim that the expressions were intended to exercise a coercive impact on respondent does not remove them from the reach of the First Amendment. Petitioners plainly intended to influence respondent’s conduct by their activities; this is not fundamentally different from the function of a newspaper. Petitioners were engaged openly and vigorously in making the public aware of respondent’s real estate practices. Those practices were offensive to them, as the views and practices of petitioners are no doubt offensive to others. But so long as the means are peaceful, the communication need not meet standards of acceptability." [citations omitted]

In other words, even if the goal of the boycott is coercive action against a business entity, the boycott is protected under the First and Fourteenth Amendments as long as it remains non-violent.

Now, beyond the constitutionality of the boycott, isn’t this how the free market is supposed to work? For example, I don’t like the business practices or views of Shop X, and they refuse to change their practices — say, puppy punching for the lulz. I hate puppy punching because it’s hurtful and unnecessary for the business to function. So I organize a boycott. Shop X refuses to quit punching puppies, and eventually closes because others decided of their own volition to stop patronizing the shop. 

Diner Y’s owner holds racist beliefs which he voices on community radio. So I organize a boycott. Diner Y closes because people refuse to eat at a place that endorses bigotry.

Chick-Fil-A’s owner actively supports discrimination against GLBTQ people via his free speech (his words and money). So I organize a boycott. The free market has yet to decide on Chick-Fil-A’s fate. 

The U.S. Constitution is a beautiful thing.

Get it?



Filed under reply mrpooscratch Free Speech Chick-Fil-A politics protest SCOTUS U.S. Supreme Court Boycott Tastes like crow Constitution U.S. Constitution First Amendment Freedom of speech Fourteenth Amendment

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mrpooscratch reblogged your link: BREAKING: 98 Major Advertisers Dump Rush Limbaugh, Other Right-Wing Hosts

98 out of 18,000. yeah, THAT’LL send a message

18,000? Did you read the post from Radio Info?

"To all Traffic Managers: The information below applies to your Premiere Radio Networks commercial inventory. More than 350 different advertisers sponsor the programs and services provided to your station on a barter basis."

That’s roughly 25-30% of advertisers asking not to have spots run during prime-time hours. Enough advertisers have left Rush that his show had five minutes of dead air and PSAs on Friday.

But sure, 18,000. I’m sure Rush and his fans would like to believe that hyperbole. Whatever comforts you at night, y’know?

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