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Apr 22 2016

We Vote With Our Purchases

We know that we have a civic responsibility to vote in our political elections. Some of the changes we must make in our society are not political. It is true that our liberty is being encroached upon by big government. It’s also true that our ability to self-direct our lives is being encroached upon by big corporations and big banks.

To a certain extent, we rely on our government to protect us against business interests that grow too large. We count on government to take action against large monopolistic corporations and too limit some forms of actions by large financial organizations.

Some of us hold shares in public corporations that annually send out requests to vote for board members or on key issues in managing the business. We need to take those votes seriously and acknowledge that we have no grounds to complain about corporate executive salaries being too high if we have not voted to contain them.

All of us watch commercials on TV and allow them to influence our buying decisions. We don’t always do a good job of selecting the products we buy based on good reasoning, instead of reacting viscerally to commercials that include sex, social status, and a slough of other factors that have little to do with the actual product. When we buy stuff we don’t need, or for poor reasons, we have abdicated our involvement in the market and hand over our power and control to advertising agencies and big business. We can vote with our checking accounts, credit cards, care loans, and mortgage loans.

When we fail to vote in political elections or vote poorly, we know there will be consequences that may be unpleasant. We also need to stay aware of how our votes or failure to vote with our purchases and our relationships with big business and big banking can create unpleasant results and even a decay in our personal liberty.