Published: Wednesday, 14 March 2018 07:00
Businesses have one purpose: to generate a profit. Not to "make jobs," not to "help people" or anything like that. They offer a good or service to fill a demand in the market place, making more money for the owners/shareholders than they spend providing their good/service. Delta Airlines, for example, offers a service to transport you long distances faster than you could walk, run, swim or drive there.
Advertising is a way to increase awareness of your good or service. Television shows, radio shows, newspapers, podcasts and websites (I will collectively call them sites) sell advertising space to these companies because that site can show a certain number of people engage with the site every day. The more engagements, the more the sites can charge the advertisers. The rates and metrics are not important. Leave it at Rush Limbaugh can charge way more for ad space on his website than I could here, if I chose to, which I don't. Business can also partner with other businesses and organizations to offer discounts on their goods and services to the members of the organization, employees of the company and so on.
All that being said, advertising and discounts should be neutral and politics-free. The politics of the site or the advertiser should never be an issue in the decision on whether to advertise there or not. Advertisers wisely analyze the number of visitors and the demographic makeup of those visitors to a site and determine if they want to reach that group of people or not.
As consumers, we want to choose the goods and services we consume in such a way as to maximize value and minimize cost. I really do not care one way or the other about the views on marriage the CEO of Starbucks has, as long as the hot flavored liquid that company sells is what I'm looking for at a price I'm willing to pay, unless they start actively crusading for something I don't believe in, whatever that my be.
In the wake of the Parkland School Shooting, multiple businesses have decided to cut their business relationships with the National Rifle Association because a couple dozen people, appearing to be tens of thousands have deluged these companies, sweating "never to do business with you again!" unless the business acquiesces to their demands, and drop any relationship with the NRA.
There are a couple of problems with this model. First, the hatred and anger constantly demonstrated by Liberals burns white hot, but it burns out quickly. Next week their anger will be directed at something else. They have to constantly switch targets to keep the anger up. If they focus on one task too long, the anger fades. The rest of the country does slow burns. Not very hot, but we burn for a very, very long time.
If Liberals had wailed against the NFL and stopped watching over the kneeling during the National Anthem issue, most of them would have been back watching their teams play well before the end of the season. Us regular folk stopped watching football and never went back. The result is NFL viewership is off by significant numbers, bad enough that the networks had to do "paybacks." When a site promises a certain number of visits, and the visitor logs show that the stipulated number has not been reached, the advertiser gets credit or cash back to reflect the difference between anticipated and actual numbers. Since the whole kneeling kerfuffle started, NFL viewership is down over 20%.
When Delta and the other companies ended their relationship with the NRA because their politics interfered with their business sense, these companies pissed off 5,000,000 NRA members. Five million people who have a very long collective memory when it comes to who helped them and who abandoned them. As an unintended consequence of Delta's decision, the State Legislature voted to end Delta's exemption for a state sales tax on jet fuel in Georgia (the location of their hub). That means their expenses are going to go up and their pool of customers will likely experience a decline. In contrast, Fred Smith, CEO of FedEx, told these Liberals to go pound sand and would not cut ties with the NRA.
A business should never be active in politics, as in granting or denying discounts to groups based on their political ideology. The only question should be, "Can we increase our profits if we offer discounts or special services to a particular group of people?" If the answer is "Yes," then the business should. If "No," then not. Any other criteria will alienate current and potential customers of all groups.
Just in case you didn't know, the political power of the NRA does not come from making campaign contributions and lobbying to politicians. According to Open Secrets, The NRA in the 2016 elections cycle spent just a bit over $1 Million in campaign donations, which is #489 on Open Secret's list. #1 on that list is Fahr, LLC., an organization dedicated to stopping global climate change. That organization donated over $90 Million, exclusively to Democrats. The political power of the NRA comes from its 5 Million members. When properly (or even improperly) pissed off, NRA members can change elections. That block of voters in a district can swing an election either way. They can elect a pro-RKBA Democrat over an anti-RKBA RINO (Republican In Name Only) or make sure that anti-RKBA Democrat never has a chance in getting elected.
I personally would prefer "buycotts" as opposed to "boycotts" because that's where you preferentially engage with businesses (like FedEx) who keep their political nose out of their business, even if they may be a little more expensive than the politically active businesses.
Quite frankly, that political power just jumped with both feet into the economic area with this "pissing off." Watch for these companies to have a noticeable decline in sales over the next year:
- First National Bank of Omaha
- Enterprise/Alamo/National Rent-A-Car
- Hertz Rent-A-Car
- Avis/Budget Rent-A-Car
- Allied/North American Moving
- Delta Airlines
- United Airlines
- Paramount RX
The best way to hurt a business is not to purchase its goods or services. So, I plan for a very long time to not use any of these companies unless they are the absolute and unavoidable last resort. I thought about sending them a nice email letting them know I will no longer do business with them, however my (and my wallets') absence will be way more effective in communicating my displeasure than any email.