Considering that “job creators” like Romney not only put people out of work, but moved his money outside of the US AND hedged against the dollar, this is a bit of no shit sherlock.
And yet the myth continues.
But that’s not what I am going to talk about (actual economists can talk about that), what I am going to talk about is how this principle works for enacting social and policy change.
Take for example, Target. Not too long ago there was a controversy about them giving donations to an anti gay politician or group. There was an immediate response among consumers. Most importantly, pop star Lady Gaga used her marketing power to enact a change of policy when she said that should they keep this policy in place she would not allow her new album to be sold in their stores, BUT was willing to give them exclusive rights if they did the right thing. And so they did.
Now they are selling Gay Pride T-Shirts much to the consternation of anti gay group, Family Research council. How effective will their protest be? I’m thinking about as effective as the Million Mom protest of JCP when they brought on Ellen Degeneres.
All of these were powered by consumer voices.
Another place where we can use our market power is in changing the food we eat, something that is already building speed. As more and more consumers demand locally grown, organic produce and ethically raised meat, suppliers will sit up and take notice. This is already happening, as we saw with the whole pink slime debacle, people are starting to demand better standards across the board, and if demand grows, the providers who already exist, the farmer’s markets which support small scale organic farms, which in turn promote a healthier environment.
The hard part is changing policy within the government, since they don’t answer to market changes. Change is happening, and its growing, but imagine how much faster it could grow if we reverse the disastrous policies of the last thirty years? If instead of giving welfare to big Ag companies, we invested in small, environmentally friendly farms that provide real food. The benefits would cascade beyond the farmers (who barely scrape by when serving the processed food industry) to our environment and even our health (less processed food equals less obesity). If instead of subsidizing fossil fuels, we began investing in green energy solutions? In new technologies, in better waste management, in better infrastructure? If instead of wrangling with charter schools, we could reinvest in our public school system instead, and train the future job creators of tomorrow?
Because we have the power to enact change.