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Vote with your money

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Opinion GENERAL HEADER

It seems like every few weeks there is a new company that people suggest boycotting because of a recent scandal or discovery of unethical behavior. The people who tend to start the boycott-bandwagon are celebrities and then it grows with their band of trusty fans following suit. 

SoulCycle and Equinox, two popular high-end fitness boutiques, have joined the boycott list because a chairman of the company who owns these two gyms is hosting a campaign fundraiser for President Donald Trump. Now with every boycott comes people who agree with it, and those who hate it. In this case, Twitter celebrity Chrissy Teigen, as well as Sophia Bush and Billy Eichner, retweeted in support of the boycott, among other brands that supported Trump. Then Candace Owens, an author and anti-Democratic activist, tweeted “Multi-millionaire celebrities cutting ties with their 400 dollar-a-month gym because the billionaire owner won’t do what they say is peak first-world problems.”

Now, this incident has inspired many Twitter users to agree with Owens, that you can’t boycott a company just because you don’t like their policies or how the CEO spends their money, because its their choice and they don’t have to listen to you. However, the beauty of capitalism, even with its flaws, is that it allows consumers to vote with their money, so you can decide not to spend money with a company for any reason you choose. Millionaires boycotting their gyms is no different than a person supporting LGBTQ rights by choosing not to eat at Chick-fil-a. It might not make one bit of difference to a company’s bottom line or create lasting change, but at least you know your money isn’t contributing to the problem.

Companies like Amazon get away with underpaying and overworking their staff because not enough people take the time to find out how ethical companies actually are. Until people put their own personal convenience aside and boycott, companies like Amazon can simply do as they please.

Some may wonder why they should even bother to try to make the world better for anyone else, considering most of the time it does not seem to matter at all. Imagine if bus riders in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955 never boycotted public transit because they didn’t think it would do anything. Their determination helped guide America out of segregation and inspired a legacy of fighting for change. We can’t let something as minuscule as the fear of not making a difference stop us from actually trying to make a difference.

We have this same mentality when it comes to the 2020 election. Are we, as a nation, really willing to vote for candidates we don’t believe in solely because we want to side with the winners? We should vote for the person we believe will be the best for our nation, not just the person we think will win. For example, if you want to vote for Democratic Presidential Candidate Elizabeth Warren, but instead choose former vice president Joe Biden solely because you think he’s the Democrats’ only chance of beating Trump, then you really haven’t let your voice be heard. It sounds ridiculous to hear doesn’t it? So why can’t we have that same mentality towards all aspects of America.

By choosing to spend your money at a certain business, store or restaurant, you are effectively giving that business your own stamp of approval.

So, I am asking you as a fellow American, vote with your heart and for your ideals, and not just on election day. Every choice you make as someone living in this country impacts this country. Every vote counts, every dollar matters and every person has the ability to stand up for what they believe in regardless of the crowd around them. You are voting with your money whether you want to or not, so I hope that it matches what you believe.

Edited by Adam White, Joelle Conway

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