Consuming: Why it Wont Work (The Critics)
The standard criticism of boycotts falls into two areas. First, some people say, "why does it matter what one person buys or doesnt buy, it wont effect the conduct of some large multinational company or country." Its true that many boycotts have failed. However, many boycotts (or the mere threat) have succeeded. This includes:
Many boycotts and their results are controversial. But each boycott started with an idea, a cause, and one person saying, "I disapprove of a companys, industrys, or countrys conduct and activities and I will not buy their products."
Conscientious consuming is a personal choice. Many people refuse to do business with certain companies not because they believe their choices will meaningfully hurt the companies, but because they do not want to enrich and thereby empower, unconscientious companies with their conscientious money. Conscientious consumers just sleep better at night.
Another criticism is, "what if it did work?" What if for instance, a large number of people would only buy American products? The reality is that there are many types of products that are not made in the USA. Also in many cases the companies that produce products in the US would not be able to meet the demand of US consumers.
In the near term, purchasing patterns wouldnt change that much. People would buy a needed product from available sources. However, if consumers communicated their desires as vocal consumers, the message would get through to some manufacturers that US products were favored. Overtime, some manufacturers might take this type of consumer preference into account when deciding where to manufacture products.
Remember conscientious consumers affect positive change, one person at a time.