From Dissent Magazine: http://www.dissentmagazine.org/atw.php?id=746
April 27, 2012
Customers should be able to know if companies that they are supporting with their purchases are busy spending money on groups that undermine environmental regulations, attack workers’ rights, promote “Stand Your Ground” gun laws, advance discriminatory “Voter ID” laws, and otherwise bolster the right-wing legislative vanguard. And if these consumers don’t like this behavior, they should be at liberty to take their business elsewhere.
That proposition seems to fall pretty safely within a free market, vote-with-your-dollars paradigm. In fact, watchdogs who are providing consumers with full information about misbehaving corporations should be seen—again, within a free-market framework—as providing a valuable service, since informed consumers are supposed to be an important part of efficiently functioning capitalism.
But no. If you ask right-wing talking heads, campaigners who dare to suggest that consumers express displeasure with corporations are waging a war on “open thinking and discussion of legislation.”
The impetus for this debate is the effort to hold companies accountable for their memberships in the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, groups including ColorOfChange.org and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee have been encouraging consumers to tell corporations paying hefty dues to ALEC that not all of us approve of their behavior. The tactic has worked beautifully. More than a dozen institutions have dumped ALEC, with Blue Cross Blue Shield, Yum! Brands (owner of KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut), and Procter & Gamble all joining the exodus since I last wrote.
Continue reading at: http://www.dissentmagazine.org/atw.php?id=746