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Boycott what?

Posted by on November 25, 2011

A post on the Occupy Black Friday website claims the campaign is not an attempt to punish “small businesses or hardworking people.”

“We must make a distinction between the businesses that are in the pockets of Wall Street and the businesses that serve our local communities,” the site said.

According to the folks at Occupy Black Friday, these offenders include Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Burlington Coat Factory and GameStop.

The group is urging people to take their pick — either “occupy” the stores, or boycott them.

“Any holiday shopping we do this day will be at independent shops to support local economies and the 99% as a whole!” the group’s Facebook page says.

Read more:

I have been loosely following and reading about the occupy movement for a while now.  As many people know, i am a propenent of peaceful antagonism as means of change.  That said, i have been growing more critical of the occupy movement.

The basic premise of the occupy movement started out something like “we dont want large companies having more influence in politics than the average person”.  Which, though fundamentally flawed in its understanding of influence, is not a bad cause.  The problem is that the cause has not been well established and is nearly lost to the rally cry of “big business is unfair, they should be sharing their wealth with all of us”, which is fundamentaly flawed in every aspect of democracy – which is the original stated goal of the movement.

The above post from Fox news points out what is wrong with the movement.  The businesses that are “in the pocket of wall street” are all those businesses that are publicly owned.  If they are publicly owned, that means that many of us have stock in these companies and benefit from their profit.  Additionally, these publicly owned corporations employ millions of people – many of them our friends and family members.  Finally, the top 1% of the wealthy (which is the target for the occupy movement) employ or do business with the other 99% of the population.  What exactly is the movement calling for?  Higher taxes on the wealthiest – to make it fair for those who dont have as much money.

Let’s think about this; we want to take money from producers and give it to the government.  This is flawed in so many ways it hurts my head to think about it.

  • We want to take money from the entities that have been phenominal at creating wealth?  What do we think these companies do with that wealth?  Do we think its in a billion mason jars in their back yards??  They employ people and buy products!  That makes the rest of us money, either via our salaries or by profit on the products and services we produce and sell.  Taking money away from the wealthy will negativley impact the middle class, as there will be less money to be spent on the products and services we create and less jobs.
  • Democracy is rooted in free market.  Why do we think there is incredible wealth in our country??  It’s not because the government generates it, it’s because everyone of us has the chance to do what the public companies are doing!  Everyone of us has the  opportunity to start our own company and build it into a mega corporation.  Everyone of us has the opportunity to buy and sell with whomever we wish.  What if we stop spending all our energy camping out on public property, looking for public hand outs and start a few more businesses?  Oh, by the way, we can also purchase products from the smaller more expensive companies if we wish – why dont we?  First, because that actually impacts us – we dont want to spend more, we just want more.  Second because many small companies are not innovative enough to compete. Instead of finding ways to provide better service than the mega corporations they just get beat up because they cant compete on price.  When they are innovative, they generally grow into large companies – which is the target of the occupy movement.
  • We want to give money to the governement?  Really?? The same body that cant balance a budget and has racked up over a trillion dollars in debt??  News flash friends:  if the government gets more money from the rich, we (the “non-wealthy”) will still pay the same amount in taxes.  There is no benefit to the general middle class family for higher taxes on the wealthiest.  The lost revenue of the wealthy companies that goes to taxes will also impact you.  It will cause the larger companies to raise prices (by the way, if you didnt realize it, almost all wholesalers are larger companies).  This means you will pay more regardless of where you shop, because small businesses will also pay more to produce their product and services.  This is called inflation.  And where did the extra money go?  We gave it to the government.  So, now we are paying more, have higher inflation, have lower incentive to take the huge risks that create wealth and have a fatter government with even more power to raise debt and waste the wealth we all worked hard to create.

How is that progress?

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