January 17, 2005

More on Not One Damn Dime Day

We previously noted the attempt by some activists to create a nationwide protest of Bush's Iraq policy by not spending a cent in retail stores on inauguration day. Now, Seth Leibsohn has another take:

I support your and all your friends' rights to your boycott, that too is a very American thing. I disagree with the merits of the boycott. But, while we disagree, can we at least agree that it is a wonderful thing to behold a country where one can peaceably protest and boycott? Iraq, I believe, will be such a country in toto very soon. For the last 25 years, it was not.
Here's a summary of links about NODDD; also, apparently some people argue that the protest will be ineffective, inciting an entry into Snopes:
As a functional protest, this one is equally off the mark. Although a boycott can be an active form of protest (even though boycott participants are in effect doing nothing, they're following a course of action that directly affects the object of their protest), boycotts succeed by causing economic harm to their targets, thereby putting them out of business or at least requiring them to change their policies in order to remain in business. But the target of this boycott isn't an entity that has the power to bring about the desired resolution (i.e., the government) � those who will be economically harmed by it are innocent business operators and their employees. These people have no power to set U.S. foreign policy or recall troops from Iraq, but they're the ones who would have to pay the price for this form of protest, incurring all their usual overhead costs (e.g., lighting, heat, refrigeration) to keep their businesses open and paying employees' salaries, all the while taking in little or no income. (And no, it doesn't all even out in the end � restaurants, for example, aren't going to recoup their lost business through boycott participants' eating twice as much the next day.)
What an extraordinarily sensible response...

Posted by Kevin on January, 17 2005 at 10:33 AM