WalMart - No Ordinary Boycott

I usually do not participate in petition drives or boycotts as means of influencing a company that is harming the environment or people by refusing to buy its products. The first problem with boycotts are that they are not likely to gain enough momentum to really influence the offending company; I usually prefer being in the position of writing to a company to say, "I am one of your customers, and I really wish you would change your policy on ...." The second problem with boycotts is that corporate relationships are so complex these days that it is not possible to be sure you are boycott a certain company. If you boycott Coca-Cola for its terrible practices in Colombia , for example, do you know that you also need to boycott Sunkist, because it is owned by Coke? The third problem is that corporate misbehavior takes so many forms that it is impossible to know whether you are really hitting the most important miscreants.

I must admit a nostalgic attachment to certain boycotts that have kept my interest for the past twenty years. I am still unable to get myself to buy Nestle's or Coor's products, but I do not have any illustions about this influencing their behavior.

All of this said, staying out of WalMart is no ordinary boycott; it is a decision to opt out of an extremely destructive way of life.

Dr. James Hayes-Bohanan