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Since someone brought it up ... why boycotts and overly political business owners are stupid

by: Eric B.

Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 11:07:46 AM EST


Someone asked me the other day if I had a list of pizza chains that were acceptable to do business with. My answer had something to do with not wanting to put that much effort into ordering pizza. I mean, if you're ordering pizza it pretty much means you've given up on dinner, and putting much thought into who to order from just seems excessive.

I brought it up in my social media networks in response to the ongoing flap about Papa John's. More specifically, the CEO of Papa John's telling everyone who will listen that he's going to jack up the prices on his pie or cut hours or some other nonsense over Obamacare. I think he's looking at a 15 cent-a-pie hike to cover the costs, which makes him mad because he's got to pay for those 2 million pizzas he's giving away somehow. Apparently, this has a bunch of people whipped into an angry froth, calling for a boycott of the chain.

Here's my official position: I don't care. Well, okay, I do care. I'm ordering food, and political diatribe ain't a side item on the menu. John Schnatter's comments, and he's the CEO, really just amount to an expression of his intentions to punish his customers with higher prices for electing the guy he didn't want to win. If you've followed this at all closely, you might have also heard of that owner of a bunch of Florida Denny's who said he plans to announce on his menus that customers are being charged extra for Obamacare, and that if they don't like it they can tip less. 

Can you think of a more idiotic thing for a business owner to do? As for me, Papa John's has always worked in the past. It's not very good pizza, but they've got varieties and usually price going for them. Like most of you, however, I'm not interested in being punished by the owner of a business I haven't yet patronized or being told by him that he's punishing his employees for something I did, so I went to the competition and instead of paying 30 cents for two pizzas, I spent $35 with a local pizzeria. My message to John Schnatter is very similar as it is to those hillbillies who keep talking about secession: Stuff a sock in it, make your pizzas, and bring them to me when I want them. I'm paying for pie, not your political opinions. I'm the customer, asshole, and in this case I'm right.

Over the years, there's been an increase in the number of called-for boycotts of this business for this and that business for that. If we actually heeded every boycott that came down the pike, we wouldn't be allowed to shop anywhere. I realize that it's worked before, and it's a good way to scalp hunt, but what say we start to do a better job of separating commerce from politics. Everything is too politicized today as it is. I mean, yes yes yes, everything at its core has a political element, but what say we just do a better job of making our choices as consumers based on what kind of commerce is best and our political choices based on what kinds of policies are best?

Eric B. :: Since someone brought it up ... why boycotts and overly political business owners are stupid
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