Corporations that are bad for our health, our wallet, our environment and our ideology
Over the last forty years, we’ve seen a massive decline in corporate oversight and regulation. If you couple that with our increasingly inadequate media, it has forced consumers to pay close attention to whom they give their business to and who they should boycott.
One thing I take pride in when I write is pointing out the wrong doing of our corporate overlords. I try and educate the public enough about the companies’ transgressions so they can make a conscious decision to avoid their products.
I know it’s easy to read a story about the misdeeds of a corporation and then find yourself at the checkout counter. Everyone is guilty of it. Even worse are those who are mindful of the company’s offences, but continue to shop there and then mock others who choose to boycott the business saying “it won’t make a difference anyway.”
We all know people like that. At least the uninformed consumer can plead ignorance right? I don’t buy any of it for a second. That mentality is often the reason it doesn’t make a difference in the first place.
While a corporation making a mistake is sometimes forgivable, there are others that are simply beyond redemption. Over the years, I’ve compiled quite a list of companies and corporations that fall into that latter category. It all started out by researching and writing about them. Now I refuse to give them my hard earned money… and so should you.
My list of ten companies and corporations that I believe all progressives should boycott, in no particular order:
J.C. Penney, which I wrote about most recently, likes to rip off their customers. They have done so on multiple occasions by manipulating their sales prices. J.C. Penney has now been caught twice, doubling the price of items, only to put it “on sale” at or above the original retail price.
Like they say; “fool me once, shame on…shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” OK, maybe only one person said that. My point is, why would you continue to shop at a place that has routinely and knowingly ripped you off? That goes for all retail stores.
The world’s largest retailer has led the way in killing the North American workforce. Walmart is the pioneer when it comes to importing cheaper manufactured goods at the expense of the North American factory worker. Walmart has also destroyed most of the mom and pop retail stores (nearly 60,000 of them) in communities where they have moved in, often getting the local government to flip the bill.
They pay their employees a substandard wage, forcing them to go on government assistance. In 2011, American tax payers forked over $2.65 billion in safety net benefits to Wal-Mart workers and the amount is still rising.
There really is too much I can mention here so I’ll end it by saying that there is a high cost to their low prices and we should not be enabling them.
It’s a shame that a recent poll stated that less than 50% of Americans know who the Koch Brothers are. Those who do know them are fully aware of their terrible environmental record in the oil industry and their hyperactive political involvement.
You might be thinking the only way to boycott Koch Industries is go without oil. Well, you’re wrong. They have a whole list of products you should avoid including Brawny Towels, Dixie Products (like Dixie cups), Stainmaster Carpet and many more.
Hobby Lobby doesn’t exist where I live, so when I first heard about them, I thought they were a lobby group for hobby enthusiasts. OK that’s not true, but they are acting like a corporate lobby for companies who wish to be exempted from the ACA’s requirement that they provide insurance that covers contraception. The case is now in front of the Supreme Court.
Is this a good enough reason for progressives to boycott them? Yes. Whether a private company or public corporation should be legally required to provide contraception isn’t really the issue. The fact that Hobby Lobby is going well out of its way to deny women contraception, based on the owner’s religious views is.
I guess the first reason to boycott Coors Beer is that it tastes terrible. The second reason would be Joseph Coors. He was the President and CEO of Coors Brewing during the 70’s and 80’s. More notably though, he was the money behind the Heritage Foundation and other conservative initiatives. He even helped fund Reagan’s Contra effort in Nicaragua.
Imagine to my horror as a Canadian when Coors merged with Molson Brewing. Boycotting Coors was always a personal thing to me. I often wonder what the States would be like if Joseph hadn’t given the Heritage Foundation $250,000 as start-up money. No Reaganomics perhaps? Either way it could have been very different. I’ll stick with my Heineken.
McDonald’s food is terrible for you and tastes just as bad. McDonald’s is one of the leaders in the fast food industry and other restaurants look up them simply because they make money. They keep salaries low and the food cheap (in more ways than one), so their competition feels the need to do the same in order to compete, much like Walmart.
McDonald’s is also king when it comes to marketing to children. No one does it better. Apparently all you need is a clown for a mascot to hook generation after generation of kids on your terrible food. McDonald’s is the prime reason America has gotten fat.
Chick-fil-A has donated over $5 million to groups that oppose same-sex marriage, one of which was considered an anti-gay hate group. We all remember Chief Operating Officer Dan Cathy. He said those who “have the audacity to define what marriage is about” were “inviting God’s judgment on our nation.”
The controversy of 2012 has passed, but that does not mean progressives or LGBT people should forgive and forget. Chick-Fil-A hasn’t stopped donating to these groups.
Fox News Channel
Fox News is owned by 21st Century Fox. While you can boycott the whole company if you want, I suggest sticking to just the news station. Besides, boycotting 21st Century Fox wouldn’t be fair to the Simpsons.
Founding CEO Roger Ailes has turned the channel into the right-wing mouth piece for every crazy tea bagging, conservative Republican out there. Dumbing down the American populace in the process.
On the bright side, Fox News is the easiest product to boycott. Save some of your brain cells and just don’t watch it. Let Jon Stewart watch it for you.
Monsanto is probably the most evil corporation on earth. The Biotech giant has been introducing us to dangerous products since it first released DDT on us in 1944. It then followed with Agent Orange in Vietnam. More recently it has come out with Aspartame, recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) and all the Frankenfood we didn’t ask for.
Monsanto has also been known for its aggressive litigation, suing dozens of family farmers for patent infringement in connection with its genetically engineered seeds. Monsanto currently produces the controversial “terminator” seed. It produces plants that have sterile seeds so they don’t flower or grow fruit after the initial planting. It forces farmers to repurchase the seeds every season.
If your want to boycott Monsanto, it’s tough but doable. Start by avoiding Round-up herbicides, diet food and beverages with Aspartame or milk that contains rBGH.
The “Big Four” Banks
JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo to be exact. The too big to fail bunch. Why in the world would you want to keep those hard earned dollars of yours tied up with these people?
They gamble with our money, crash the economy, ask us to bail them out and then foreclose on our homes. They don’t exist to help you out, they exist to help themselves and they go to great length and risk to do it.
Boycott the lot of them. There are plenty of better and safer alternatives to the big four.
These are just a short list of companies I’ve covered in the past and have actively boycotted. If you have other suggestions (and I’m sure you do), feel free to provide them in our comments section.