Sunday, July 14, 2013

Americans have forgotten the power of the boycott

Americans have forgotten, or at least been an entire generation removed, from the good old fashioned notion of the boycott to lower prices.  In the 1970's when inflation started to take a big foot hold, we decided to boycott certain things.

It was 1974 to be more exact.  I remember each week, the trip to the grocery store created 'sticker shock' each time I bought food items.  Each week the prices changed, maybe they changed daily, but I only shopped once a week.

Before the term 'gas shortage' became a popular mantra for gouging Americans, the price of food had been pretty reasonable. I remember paying $.49 for name brand salad dressing, $4.00 for a pair of Wrangler jeans in the department stores, and no more than $.10 for a loaf of bread.

One of the items that really shot sky high was coffee.  I love my coffee and so do many Americans, then and now, and just going without it was something I did not relish.  But give it up, we did!  Myself and nearly every American, let that high priced coffee sit on the shelves. Each week I saw other shoppers just look at the coffee prices and keep on moving, not buying even one can of it.

  We bought teas, juices and cocoa to drink instead.  Well, well, suddenly, in a few weeks, big companies understood that 'nothing plus nothing, Still equals nothing.' Their high prices are worthless when no one is buying their product. No sales still does equal no profit.

We did the same for gasoline.  Today, as then, oil companies want us to believe in an oil shortage, so they can continue gouge us, while they (the oil barons) rake in trillions of tax free dollars.  We bought small cars back then, usually foreign cars because back then, American auto makers had no clue how to make a good, small vehicle.  We did not take vacations, we utilized the local parks and beaches, did family things like go to the local parks and have fun picnics and played volley ball and badminton, as a real family. 

 We put in vegetable gardens if we had even a tiny patch of yard, if not, we started community gardens.  We made No car trips that were not absolutely necessary.  Commuting 4 hours to a job, one way, was totally absurd to us. But then, even small towns had jobs galore.  

Then in the 1980's we started to raise those damned kids known as Mall Rats.  They went to the malls in droves with their friends, bought up anything and everything just because 'my friends have it too' and they felt 'entitled' to whatever their little hearts desired.  Big mistake on our part as parents, I must say.

So the art of 'boycott' got lost, Americans have forgotten that the Only thing big corporations understand is money.  You can only get their attention by hitting them where it hurts, in their big fat bank accounts.  So when you boycott high prices, companies lose money and they cringe.

You might say: "Giving my one Big Mac won't produce any results."  No, but getting hundreds, thousands and even millions of Americans to give it up WILL!

I'm hoping Americans knock off the high priced buying addictions one day in favor of boycotts once again.  Remember, it's not forever, just till prices come down.  Stop feeding those monsters we call corporations.  Stop being spoiled. You Can do without certain items for the short term.  You will not die.