Puritanism, wrote H. L. Mencken, is "the haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be happy." Half a century later, the prissiest Americans are haunted by a different fear: that they may buy cheese made by someone whose opinions they do not share. To help people avoid this calamity, a new app called BuyPartisan reveals whether any given product is made by Republicans or Democrats.I echo The Economist's mockery. I'm not all that interested in where people or corporations spend their legitimately-earned money--unless, and this is my caveat, they try to strengthen their brand or appeal to a specific political group by touting those donations. I've never bought a Ben and Jerry's ice cream because their blatant anti-military stance when I was in the military told me they didn't want my business. I'm hard pressed to think of any other company whose products I do or don't buy out of political considerations. Didn't Michael Jordan once refuse to discuss his political views because "Republicans buy shoes, too"? That seems eminently reasonable to me from a business point of view.
Using an iPhone's camera, it scans the barcode and reports back on the ideology (as measured by donations to political parties) of the directors and staff of the company in question. Obsessive partisans can then demonstrate their commitment to diversity by boycotting firms with which they disagree. "We vote every day with our wallets," trills an advert.
And from a consumer's point of view, who really has time for the hassle? The Economist quotes a "mother with a baby strapped to her chest in a Safeway supermarket":
The idea of scanning every sausage or toilet roll for its political affiliation is "just crazy, she says. "If I want to eat gummy bears, I will eat gummy bears. I don't care if they're Republican."In general, I just want to live my life and be comfortable. I don't want to have to spar with the liberals in every single arena, my time is too valuable for that.
Another example that we have become a society where it isn't enough to simply disagree with others. Of course you vote against "them" and their proposals but, again, that's not enough. They must be driven out of society. Not allowed to speak, not allowed to argument their point of view and, it now appears, not allowed to have a job or own a business.
At least, ulike rabid Islamists, we haven't decided they should be killed... yet.
I agree with Jordan ... but missing out on Ben and Jerry's ice cream penalizes only yourself.
There's plenty of good ice cream out there, I'm entirely content with what little ice cream I *do* eat.
Ben and Jerry's is a level above. But ... a good tip? Safeway's brand is really good, at about half the price. The best ... and it rotates in and out ... is their white chocolate raspberry, with chocolate truffle chunks and a raspberry puree swirl. It's ...really special.
I don't like raspberry.
And I make a root beer float ice cream that angels cry for.
root beer floats are great ... did you know that if you go to an A&W, you can buy their house made root beer (or diet, even, which is just as good) by the gallon?
Political? Hardly. This is free enterprise at its surprising best. Doing well by doing the improbably - monetizing partisanship.
In fact, this sort of thing has been going on for some time.
Gus Hall, long-time chairman of the Communist Party USA was on such enterprising practitioner of free enterprise. He earned a very good living catering to the conceits of his fellow communists. He overlaps with Noam Chomsky who's a past master at find a profitable niche market appealing to his fellow socialists. Then there's Paul Krugman who's doing the same thing.
Now comes this application which brings the commercialization of appealing to the conceits of lefties into the twenty-first century.
It's a beautiful thing.
In fairness, Allen, the application works just as well for conservatives not to buy products from left leaning companies. I find the entire thing ridiculous ... I buy products I like at prices that seem fair. I could not care less what the CEO does with his profits...
Of course it works as well for conservatives but we largely don't care.
There's some interest in knowing the politics of a company, centering mostly on the Second Amendment, but even there it's mostly eye wash. For most conservatives it's the value of the product to ourselves that matters. The politics of the company are of generally secondary importance if they're a consideration at all.
Lefties, by contrast, are anxious for the world to know about their political leanings and the desperate importance which they attach to them. Us conservatives tend to have a somewhat lesser estimate of the importance of inserting our political views into every area of everyone's life.
And lefties are entitled to that. I don't understand why they care, but if they do, let them buy worse product at higher prices ... I don't think there's any doubt that most corporate structures lean right ... but of two very left leaning food chains? Which I don't need a phone app to gauge? I always shop at Trader Joe's, because they have really good product and (with the exception of their meat) really good prices. I almost never set foot in Whole Foods, because it would probably triple my food budget were it to be my primary source of groceries. Which is interesting, since the left tends to want to redistribute wealth ...
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