The recent spate of “Occupy…” events by protesters got me wondering.
It is we, the consumers, that made the corporations rich in the first place by giving them our business?
One of the protesters was angry at a supermarket chain. Nobody forced the consumer(s) to patronize any particular supermarket.
My wife and I discovered a long time ago that certain exotic fruits (such as figs, custard apples, rambutan and chikoo) and vegetables are either more expensive at the supermarkets or even unavailable compared to the ethnic food stores.
Indeed, some vegetables are fresher at these stores than the supermarket chains.
As such, we only go the supermarket at the end of our trip to “top up” what we could not find elsewhere.
Suppose that half of all consumers in Surrey boycotted the supermarkets and patronized the smaller stores instead.
What would happen to the prices at the supermarkets?
They would be forced to lower the price or risk throwing out half their inventory as spoiled.
The same would happen with other items such as clothes, staples such as rice, pasta, and flour, soaps and hygiene products, etc.
I realize we cannot boycott certain businesses (eg. all gas stations), but we can be selective in where to spend our hard-earned cash.
Why did the consumers in New York, Europe, and elsewhere not adopt that strategy instead of protesting in front of corporate headquarters?
Boycotting sends a much more powerful message than mere banners and slogans.