Vote With Your Wallet

Using Purchasing Power to Influence Policy Change

How do we make purchasing decisions? Price? Quality? Convenience? Surely all are important considerations.

But what about a company’s environmental record? Would Volkswagen’s emission scandal be a factor when purchasing a car?

How about corporate stock buybacks that benefit shareholders at the expense of employees and consumers? How many of us paused before buying the latest iPhone from Apple?

The most important votes we cast are not for politicians. They are for products.

Every time we buy something, we are supporting a company’s business practices. Do I agree with Apple’s manufacturing policies? No. But I’m guilty of supporting those policies as I write this on my iPhone.

Political change is only marginally influenced by what happens on the ballot. The real opportunity for change comes at the register.

To force the changes that are so often desired but rarely achieved, consumers need to consider the policy implications of their purchases. We need to think of businesses as politicians supporting a certain set of policies. Where would companies, both big and small, come down on the political spectrum?

Until we are willing to make purchasing decisions based on business practices, significant change will be hard to come by. Pick the issues that matter most to you, and buy from companies that support those views.

It’s time to decide how principled we really are. Be empowered to vote with your wallet. It will be your best chance to make a difference.