The Ethics of Voting With Your Wallet Re: Political/Religious/Etc. Values

So I typically avoid this forum, and have a tendency to try and avoid discussing politics and religion too in-depth with folks. Even when I do, a lot of my thoughts are kept deep inside unless I know you really, really well. As time progresses I find it harder to keep some of these thoughts to myself, though. I have some moment where I just come to some sort of realization or take a stance on something and want to discuss it rather than keep it to myself.

I don't know how else to describe the idea, so it could already be its own topic. I wanted to discuss people's boycotts of things like Shadow Complex and Chick-Fil-A because Orson Scott Card and the CEO, respectively, were known to contribute to and believed in denying marriage to homosexuals. Before I go on, my stance on the matter is that denying gay marriage goes against everything this country stands for. So that's where I stand on the topic.

But my stance on boycotting someone's product because of a personal belief is different. Let's focus primarily on Orson Scott Card and Shadow Complex.

When the game released, a lot of people boycotted the game due to Orson Scott Card's involvement in the game as writer of the story. They didn't want to give money to a man that disagreed with their personal beliefs, and considering a lot of these gamers were homosexual it was for good reason.

However, I have a few issues with the boycott. The first is that Orson Scott Card already got his money. He was paid. A boycott wouldn't keep money out of Card's hands, but would instead keep it from a game development company employing a large number of people that put a lot of work into the code, art, audio, and levels of a good game. What if they lost their jobs? Can you argue that it is better to make your point against one man's personal beliefs than to reward a lot more employees of diverse beliefs and ideas with a job tomorrow?

Even then, what is Orson Scott Card's job? To write. This means he would be getting paid to write story and dialogue. So let's assume roles were reversed. If someone approaches you and says "All the critics say the story and writing in this game was bad, so I'm afraid we're going to have to let you go", it would suck but it would be understandable. You were judged based on the job you were assigned and the work you did.

Now imagine someone walks up and says "I'm sorry, but it turns out your political beliefs are different than what we're looking for, so we're going to have to let you go."

Wouldn't that be discrimination?

What is the job of the CEO of Chick-Fil-A? To make sure the company remains profitable. Are his employees underpaid? No. Do they refuse to higher non-whites? No. How about non-Christians? No, they hire those, too. Have they hired homosexuals? Yes.

Now, does the CEO have a salary? Yes, he is paid like any other employee for doing that job.

So is it really anyone's business what that CEO does with his personal money?

You're going to disagree with people in this world. It happens. But we've come to expect a fairness in our own jobs. If my boss turns out to be an Atheist I don't expect her to fire me because I'm a Christian. If I were an employer I couldn't refuse to higher someone because they were an Atheist. The only difference is that people like Orson Scott Card and the Chick-Fil-A CEO are more well known and presumably have a lot of money.

But if it is unethical for someone to refuse me a job for personal political or religious reasons, then why do people find it okay to punish people no matter what quality they do with their job? I've had this issue every time someone brings up Tom Cruise and not seeing one of his movies because he's a Scientologist. I find the man to be excellent at his job, and yet people refuse to reward that (even though he already got his money) because they don't like his religion. That is discrimination.

I think we should rethink how we look at this "Vote with your Wallet" stuff sometimes. I feel like everyone gets so caught up in how important their personal beliefs are that sight is easily lost. I understand why people would want to boycott something due to someone's stance on gay marriage, but when you boycott you are essentially saying "Change your personal beliefs or starve".

Now, the reality is usually that these higher name folks keep getting paid and keep working. They don't starve, though sadly you could end up with a closed game studio and a higher number of folks in the unemployment line. But I just find it unethical not only to refuse someone reward for good work just because of political/religious differences, but also to demand they change their personal beliefs to match your own. People shouldn't be coerced into believing something different. That's not how it should work.

I just wanted to get those thoughts out there.

Unless its something extremely terrible, I don't really bother with it. Thing is, there is always someone connected in the chain of a product that I'm going to disagree with on any number of issues.

When it comes to civil rights, I vote with my wallet. If I know my money is going toward something that crosses a specific moral line for me, I make another choice. My money is still going to be spent. It's still helping someone. It isn't as if I'm somehow withholding it from the economy altogether. However, I will not knowingly give financial assistance to something I consider to be a societal evil when I have other choices which I can make.

About the only thing you can do to influence things is vote with your wallet in a capitalistic society.

I'm completely OK with the people who boycotted Shadow Complex because of Orson Scott Card's involvement. The management of Chair Entertainment should have factored in Card's toxicity to a segment of their target audience before deciding to work with him.

That Card already got paid doesn't matter as part of the purpose of the boycott is to show that any project associated with Card will suffer financially. And that will result in fewer and fewer companies offering him paychecks.

And that strategy has worked to some degree. Earlier this month DC Comics had to effectively scrap a Superman project when they hired Card to write a couple of issues and people raised a ruckus about his involvement. Hopefully in a few more years Card won't be able to get a job other than writing the in-house newsletter for the National Organization for Marriage.

It also wasn't my responsibility to buy Shadow Complex to make sure that the employees of Chair Entertainment continued to have jobs. Using that logic, I should buy product from every company because not doing so will cause someone somewhere to lose their jobs. But companies fail and people lose their jobs all the time.

I'd prefer to give my money to companies that make products that aren't associated with raging homophobics. That's simply an additional trait I look for in product I consume so there's really no difference between me not buying Shadow Complex because of Card and me not buying it because I hate platformers. In both cases I didn't buy the game because I didn't like some aspect of it.

You're absolutely right that people are going to disagree with other people. That's just a fact of life. But the key thing is that I don't have to give people I disagree with my money. I especially don't have to give people I disagree with my money when I know that they'll use part of that money to promote or further the thing I disagree with.

That's why I don't eat at Chick-fil-A anymore: I know that part of the money I hand over to the cashier for a chicken sandwich is going to be used against fine folks like Phoenix Rev and Rubb Ed and that's simply unacceptable to me.

ccesarano wrote:

I don't know how else to describe the idea, so it could already be its own topic. I wanted to discuss people's boycotts of things like Shadow Complex and Chick-Fil-A because Orson Scott Card and the CEO, respectively, were known to contribute to and believed in denying marriage to homosexuals. Before I go on, my stance on the matter is that denying gay marriage goes against everything this country stands for. So that's where I stand on the topic.

The issue for Chick-Fil-A wasn't just an issue of gay marriage. The political fund of CFA was contributing to organizations that 1) advocated against gay marriage, 2) advocated in favor of reparative therapy for gays and lesbians, 3) compared gays and lesbians to pedophiles, 4) advocated for removal of biological children from the guardianship of their gay parents, and 5) said gay American citizens should be forcibly exiled from their homeland.

ccesarano wrote:

So is it really anyone's business what that CEO does with his personal money?

It wasn't only Dan Cathy's personal money. He was funneling his money and corporate dollars through CFA's WinShape Foundation to groups like Exodus and the Family Research Council.

ccesarano wrote:

But if it is unethical for someone to refuse me a job for personal political or religious reasons, then why do people find it okay to punish people no matter what quality they do with their job? I've had this issue every time someone brings up Tom Cruise and not seeing one of his movies because he's a Scientologist. I find the man to be excellent at his job, and yet people refuse to reward that (even though he already got his money) because they don't like his religion. That is discrimination.

Correct. I also discriminate against the Southern Baptist Convention because of its stand on gays and lesbians. Why am I obligated to contribute to them simply because they run a very nice soup kitchen?

ccesarano wrote:

I think we should rethink how we look at this "Vote with your Wallet" stuff sometimes. I feel like everyone gets so caught up in how important their personal beliefs are that sight is easily lost. I understand why people would want to boycott something due to someone's stance on gay marriage, but when you boycott you are essentially saying "Change your personal beliefs or starve".

Now, the reality is usually that these higher name folks keep getting paid and keep working. They don't starve, though sadly you could end up with a closed game studio and a higher number of folks in the unemployment line. But I just find it unethical not only to refuse someone reward for good work just because of political/religious differences, but also to demand they change their personal beliefs to match your own. People shouldn't be coerced into believing something different. That's not how it should work.

Would this extend to the California grape boycott movement led by Cesar Chavez? That movement was not only an economic movement to address the horrible plight of the workers picking grapes, but also a political movement addressing issues like fair wages, rights to collective bargaining, and business practices. It was only through a boycott that the owners relented. Should the workers have remained impoverished, living in threadbare tents, and needing their children to work instead of getting an education so that the owners wouldn't have to pay them more than $2.00 a day and have less profits?

I have issues of taking someone to task with what they do with their personal funds.

To put it a bit in perspective, and I only mention this because I trust this community won't force me in a tangent or to explain myself so we can stay on topic, I am Pro-Life. I don't want to donate any money to the causes that are Pro-Life because I don't necessarily agree with their reasoning or methodology, but it is very, very, very important to me.

How many people out there do you think put their own personal funds towards Pro-Choice benefits and other such charities or organizations? Or employees of those companies? I don't know if I'd be able to spend much money if I had to pick and choose based on that criteria. But more so, imagine if you wrote a book that got rave reviews but I boycotted it because you're Pro-Choice. What would your feelings be, then? And I mean your true, actual feelings that spent hours and hours and days and months crafting this single book.

How do you basically justify the refusal to look at someone else as a human being just because they disagree with you? How do you justify the acceptance of Orson Scott Card potentially being out of a job and living in the poor house just because you disagree?

Maybe I sound like I'm making light of the political issue itself, but to me you're just trading one sort of dehumanizing discrimination for another, which always turns into a perpetual cycle of discrimination because everyone gets a chance to feel (and, truth told, to be) victimized.

EDIT:

It wasn't only Dan Cathy's personal money. He was funneling his money and corporate dollars through CFA's WinShape Foundation to groups like Exodus and the Family Research Council.

Bolded part I was not aware of, and this would change my stance on that issue considerably. Using the company's money to fund a political organization that, yes, sounds absolutely reprehensible, truly is unethical use of customer money.

So in that regard, I do feel the Chick-Fil-A boycott is justified.

Then again, I also realized that there's another potential hole in my argument. While purchasing a book gets the editor and other employees of the publishing house some cash, each book is more directly paying Orson Scott Card than his role with Chair Entertainment or even the CEO comparison. So while you could keep the "judge him for the job he does", my separation between the CEO as a person and what he does with corporate funding is a bit contradictory when analyzing Orson Scott Card, who is his own corporation, so to speak.

I don't know if any of that made sense, but it gives me pause to think a bit more on the matter. Either way, I was not fully aware that the Chick-Fil-A CEO was also using corporate dollars, and that has me changing my stance to agreeing with the boycott in that scenario.

ccesarano wrote:

I have issues of taking someone to task with what they do with their personal funds.

But until I given them up, they're my personal funds. And since I'm not contracted to do so, I shouldn't feel bad about keeping them.

Given what he did to Hamlet, I'm really not going to feel bad.

ccesarano wrote:

But more so, imagine if you wrote a book that got rave reviews but I boycotted it because you're Pro-Choice. What would your feelings be, then? And I mean your true, actual feelings that spent hours and hours and days and months crafting this single book.

How do you basically justify the refusal to look at someone else as a human being just because they disagree with you? How do you justify the acceptance of Orson Scott Card potentially being out of a job and living in the poor house just because you disagree?

Maybe I sound like I'm making light of the political issue itself, but to me you're just trading one sort of dehumanizing discrimination for another, which always turns into a perpetual cycle of discrimination because everyone gets a chance to feel (and, truth told, to be) victimized.

Who says I don't think of these people as human beings? Does it really boil down to the fact that I won't give them money?

I don't research every place where my money goes, but if the details are disclosed I am forced to make a choice. Your perception of their need for your money trumps your moral concerns, and that is your choice. My perception of the seriousness of the moral issue at hand influences my own.

ccesarano wrote:

How do you justify the acceptance of Orson Scott Card potentially being out of a job and living in the poor house just because you disagree?

Orson Scott Card is the only person responsible for managing the brand and business of Orson Scott Card (TM). I mean this is capitalism we're talking about. Everyday companies fold and people get fired because of "changing market conditions." In the case of Card, the changing market conditions are his very public beliefs about gays are no longer really socially acceptable. In business-speak Card's Q Score and brand equity are in the sh*tter.

He could change that by simply focusing more on just being a good writer and less on hating on the gays. Or he could decide that being less vocal about homosexuality wasn't right for him and chose to only pursue projects with like-minded companies and individuals. He'd likely make a lot less money doing that, but he is not owed a fat paycheck.

And sometimes disagreeing and boycotting businesses won't actually harm them. I mean look at Chick-fil-A and that whole Facebook campaign. Literally millions of people proudly lined up to give Chick-fil-A their money because they wanted to show their support of the company's charitable donations or to generally express their dislike of gays and/or gay marriage.

OG Slinger's point of view is pretty much identical to mine.

Don't tell Aetius this, but in this limited capacity, money is really the only speech that matters (damn you citizens united). Taking a part in Internet message boards voicing complaints almost never had an effect, and when it does, it typically -- and rightly -- gets labeled as The Internet Hate Machine (credit to Duckideva).

The only legal and useful method of expressing oneself is through the use of one's funds. Card helped create a product, and there are literally limitless reasons why I wouldn't buy it. My disgust with his personal stance is as good a reason as any, and better than some.

I feel exactly how OG has already described.

ccesarano wrote:

I have issues of taking someone to task with what they do with their personal funds.

I don't. Why should the way someone spends their money be held to a different standard than any other action? When you financially support hate speech and discrimination you are doing harm to others.

ccesarano wrote:

How do you basically justify the refusal to look at someone else as a human being just because they disagree with you? How do you justify the acceptance of Orson Scott Card potentially being out of a job and living in the poor house just because you disagree?

Maybe I sound like I'm making light of the political issue itself, but to me you're just trading one sort of dehumanizing discrimination for another, which always turns into a perpetual cycle of discrimination because everyone gets a chance to feel (and, truth told, to be) victimized.

I think I feel something similar. I don't want to create an an arms race in weaponizing commerce. Our social fabric and civil society is threadbare enough as it is without introducing another way to sort ourselves.

Of course, to some extent the product is the producer, and my enjoyment of a product has to do with my feelings about the producer. But avoiding those goods wouldn't be a boycott, that would just be responding to my own emotions, emotions that create my response to the product in the first place.

Phoenix Rev wrote:

Would this extend to the California grape boycott movement led by Cesar Chavez? That movement was not only an economic movement to address the horrible plight of the workers picking grapes, but also a political movement addressing issues like fair wages, rights to collective bargaining, and business practices. It was only through a boycott that the owners relented. Should the workers have remained impoverished, living in threadbare tents, and needing their children to work instead of getting an education so that the owners wouldn't have to pay them more than $2.00 a day and have less profits?

I think that's different. That's not saying to the business owners that they should change their beliefs or live their personal lives differently, that's saying that you want their business to produce a different product.

[size=18]How To Argue With Infidels 101[/size]

"Please, Won't You Think Of The Negroes?"
Reframe the discussion to show the potential harm to groups with whom liberals sympathize.

ccesarano wrote:

A boycott wouldn't keep money out of Card's hands, but would instead keep it from a game development company employing a large number of people that put a lot of work into the code, art, audio, and levels of a good game. What if they lost their jobs?

"The Monster Was Us All Along!"
Show nonbelievers how taking a stand against intolerance is a show of intolerance on their part.

ccesarano wrote:

Now imagine someone walks up and says "I'm sorry, but it turns out your political beliefs are different than what we're looking for, so we're going to have to let you go."

Wouldn't that be discrimination?

H.P. Lovesauce wrote:

[size=18]How To Argue With Infidels 101[/size]

"Please, Won't You Think Of The Negroes?"
Reframe the discussion to show the potential harm to groups with whom liberals sympathize.

ccesarano wrote:

A boycott wouldn't keep money out of Card's hands, but would instead keep it from a game development company employing a large number of people that put a lot of work into the code, art, audio, and levels of a good game. What if they lost their jobs?

"The Monster Was Us All Along!"
Show nonbelievers how taking a stand against intolerance is a show of intolerance on their part.

ccesarano wrote:

Now imagine someone walks up and says "I'm sorry, but it turns out your political beliefs are different than what we're looking for, so we're going to have to let you go."

Wouldn't that be discrimination?

Is it possible to have a P&C discussion where it's about the ideas as opposed to trying to show how those you disagree with are using logic that marks them as a Very Bad Person and therefore You Win!!!

Seth wrote:

Don't tell Aetius this, but in this limited capacity, money is really the only speech that matters (damn you citizens united). Taking a part in Internet message boards voicing complaints almost never had an effect, and when it does, it typically -- and rightly -- gets labeled as The Internet Hate Machine (credit to Duckideva).

Knowing Aetius, I think he accepts this from a practical standpoint even if he wishes things were different. He's one of the most morally conscious consumers I've ever known. MUCH more so than I. Personally I see him as a prime example of how to live at peace (as much as possible) with your buying choices in American society.

I kinda like to live in a place where non violent but meaningful protest has the potential for an impact. Also a place where people actually believe that and can see it shown through history.

The French and the Scots tend to just riot. In our own history there were territorial and corporate wars (with guns and artillery).

I like public shaming, big billboards, attack ads, and boycotts. Not all views are valid to have. Sorry kids but everyone is not special, and every voice should not be equal. Nelson Mandella should sell more books than Glenn Beck. Bishop Desmond Tutu should have more Twitter Followers than Fred Phelps. Saudi Arabia and Iran should have trade sanctions imposed until they show progress towards gender equality. Aid to Africa should stop for those nations with a trend to theocracy.

To paraphrase JS Mill. In nature [and under the US constitution] all speech is equal and can be spoken; I have the right to tell you to shut the hell up.

KingGorilla wrote:

I like public shaming, big billboards, attack ads, and boycotts. Not all views are valid to have. Sorry kids but everyone is not special, and every voice should not be equal. Nelson Mandella should sell more books than Glenn Beck. Bishop Desmond Tutu should have more Twitter Followers than Fred Phelps.

Except Mandella and Beck aren't writing mommy porn. Tutu and Phelps aren't tweeting Instagrams of their brunch. Of course Mandella should sell more books about politics than Beck; of course Tutu should have more people following his tweets about social justice than Phelps. However, I think the question the OP is asking is about the former as opposed to the latter.

It's no more discriminating against Beck's books and Phelps' tweets to avoid them than it would be discrimination to avoid a restaurant that gives you food poisoning.

To paraphrase JS Mill. In nature [and under the US constitution] all speech is equal and can be spoken; I have the right to tell you to shut the hell up.

Just because you have the right to do something doesn't mean you should do something. No one's talking about making laws about this are they?

I vote with my wallet. Now a days its just about the only method of simply not supporting bullsh*t. I don't feel right if my money goes to anti-gay support. So I go elsewhere. It's not like there is a paucity of options. There are several companies that I try to avoid giving my money to at all costs. However some of them are so monopolistic and pervasive that at times I simply have no choice in the matter.

LouZiffer wrote:
Seth wrote:

Don't tell Aetius this, but in this limited capacity, money is really the only speech that matters (damn you citizens united). Taking a part in Internet message boards voicing complaints almost never had an effect, and when it does, it typically -- and rightly -- gets labeled as The Internet Hate Machine (credit to Duckideva).

Knowing Aetius, I think he accepts this from a practical standpoint even if he wishes things were different. He's one of the most morally conscious consumers I've ever known. MUCH more so than I. Personally I see him as a prime example of how to live at peace (as much as possible) with your buying choices in American society.

I think you're misconstruing me - Aetius regularly argues that money is speech, and I regularly disagree with him. I was heading off a gotcha moment in this situation since I am clearly arguing the converse of my previous stances.

Seth wrote:
LouZiffer wrote:
Seth wrote:

Don't tell Aetius this, but in this limited capacity, money is really the only speech that matters (damn you citizens united). Taking a part in Internet message boards voicing complaints almost never had an effect, and when it does, it typically -- and rightly -- gets labeled as The Internet Hate Machine (credit to Duckideva).

Knowing Aetius, I think he accepts this from a practical standpoint even if he wishes things were different. He's one of the most morally conscious consumers I've ever known. MUCH more so than I. Personally I see him as a prime example of how to live at peace (as much as possible) with your buying choices in American society.

I think you're misconstruing me - Aetius regularly argues that money is speech, and I regularly disagree with him. I was heading off a gotcha moment in this situation since I am clearly arguing the converse of my previous stances.

I did misunderstand for sure. In that case, take my statement as: Yeah. He walks what he talks.

I was actually really disappointed with Card being so vocal about his views, as I greatly enjoyed his works as a young adult (heck, I still have his books on my shelf and read the Ender and Bean series occasionally). But, I won't purchase anything else from him. Amusingly, he made this easier for me with his ridiculous anti-eReader beliefs as well (the last book of the Bean series has only been released as abridged, he later stated that he and his publishers viewed Kindles as a DVD release, and that there was something qualitatively different in the content with the format you choose to read) pretty much meaning I'd have to go find a book somewhere... thus, double whammy for him and I haven't read anything new of his in over two years.

The original post is pretty well predicated around the idea that I have some manner of obligation as to where I spend my money. My thoughts on the matter are summed up very well by this exchange -

SpacePPoliceman wrote:
ccesarano wrote:

I have issues of taking someone to task with what they do with their personal funds.

But until I given them up, they're my personal funds. And since I'm not contracted to do so, I shouldn't feel bad about keeping them.

Given what he did to Hamlet, I'm really not going to feel bad.

There's a few other logical inconsistencies to address, here -

ccesarano wrote:

However, I have a few issues with the boycott. The first is that Orson Scott Card already got his money. He was paid. A boycott wouldn't keep money out of Card's hands, but would instead keep it from a game development company employing a large number of people that put a lot of work into the code, art, audio, and levels of a good game. What if they lost their jobs? Can you argue that it is better to make your point against one man's personal beliefs than to reward a lot more employees of diverse beliefs and ideas with a job tomorrow?

As mentioned upthread, Orson Scott Card is a known quantity - OSC has made his personal views very public. If you hire him and do not factor that into the business decision, you are making a bad decision and open up the chance to have your business punished. If OSC suddenly sprang his opinion out in the middle of making it (or after doing so), that might be another matter. But, if you want to argue strictly from the moralistic views of helping or hurting the innocent bystander, you're still off in this case. The person who hired Card should have accounted for this possibility, and maybe he did. Maybe he figured the notoriety would either be a net positive gain, financially, or he figured the game would be good enough to overcome any potential backlash. Again, if he didn't do those things, then he's bad at his job. People who are bad at their job get less money. This is the system working.

Even then, what is Orson Scott Card's job? To write. This means he would be getting paid to write story and dialogue. So let's assume roles were reversed. If someone approaches you and says "All the critics say the story and writing in this game was bad, so I'm afraid we're going to have to let you go", it would suck but it would be understandable. You were judged based on the job you were assigned and the work you did.

Now imagine someone walks up and says "I'm sorry, but it turns out your political beliefs are different than what we're looking for, so we're going to have to let you go."

Wouldn't that be discrimination?

This is actually a false equivocation. As you said, Card has already been hired, paid, and discharged for his work in standard practice. The comparison you want to make, if you want to be logically sound, is "Now imagine someone walks up and says, "I'm sorry, but it turns out your well publicized political beliefs will cause people we want to buy this product not to buy it, so we're going to have to not hire you."

And that is relatively common, and sound, business practice.

There's a price to pay for making yourself a commodity. Not your work. What kills me is that people think they're taking a noble stand against something by spouting their political views (and I mean this of people with whom I agree or disagree) but then seem incredulous that the act has some sort of consequence. Isn't that the point? Aren't people like Card supposed to be taking on the image of a noble person sticking to their guns and unashamedly pronouncing what they believe, regardless of the consequences? And there are consequences that are both perfectly moral and legal. People who think like you describe want their cake and to eat it, too.

What is the job of the CEO of Chick-Fil-A? To make sure the company remains profitable. Are his employees underpaid? No. Do they refuse to higher non-whites? No. How about non-Christians? No, they hire those, too. Have they hired homosexuals? Yes.

Now, does the CEO have a salary? Yes, he is paid like any other employee for doing that job.

So is it really anyone's business what that CEO does with his personal money?

As has been pointed out, Dan Cathy went a long way towards invalidating your point. He directed both personal and company money towards his pet causes, through a secondary company.

You're going to disagree with people in this world. It happens. But we've come to expect a fairness in our own jobs. If my boss turns out to be an Atheist I don't expect her to fire me because I'm a Christian. If I were an employer I couldn't refuse to higher someone because they were an Atheist. The only difference is that people like Orson Scott Card and the Chick-Fil-A CEO are more well known and presumably have a lot of money.

Actually, the differences are vast, as described above.

But if it is unethical for someone to refuse me a job for personal political or religious reasons, then why do people find it okay to punish people no matter what quality they do with their job? I've had this issue every time someone brings up Tom Cruise and not seeing one of his movies because he's a Scientologist. I find the man to be excellent at his job, and yet people refuse to reward that (even though he already got his money) because they don't like his religion. That is discrimination.

You are equating two very different things. You're equating hiring with sales, which are vastly different. You are, effectively, saying that personal beliefs should have no impact on people's decisions on what they buy or where they choose to go. This is just not reality, nor is it impractical or unfair on the part of the person handing over the money. It is absolutely rational, moral, and logically consistent for someone to want to know where their money is going and to what purpose. Quality of product is just not the only factor in a transaction.

I think we should rethink how we look at this "Vote with your Wallet" stuff sometimes. I feel like everyone gets so caught up in how important their personal beliefs are that sight is easily lost. I understand why people would want to boycott something due to someone's stance on gay marriage, but when you boycott you are essentially saying "Change your personal beliefs or starve".

Or, perhaps, "Divorce your personal beliefs from your company's actions." You're making a really odd argument, here. You are, in short, saying this: "A consumer shouldn't let their personal beliefs affect how they conduct purchases. But it's fine if a business allows an executive or employee's personal beliefs affect how they do business."

Personally, the main reason I'll boycott a brand or product is if the owners are doing something at the workplace that I disagree with or feel is morally reprehensible. There are certain brands for example that I won't buy due to allegations of labor abuses for example, or because of extreme animal cruelty. For example, I long ago abandoned Bank of America because they are total douches and committed a lot of fraud during the housing bubble. If Chick-Fil-A are funneling corporate dollars to anti-gay groups, I see that as crossing the line.

Sometimes my moral views overlap with personal taste. It's the reason I won't go to WalMart - I don't like their labor practices, but at the same time I think their stores are dirty and the clientele tend to creep me out.

But here's a question to the group - since the consensus seems to be that you're held accountable for your political/moral decisions in the marketplace, are you ok with people being told how to vote by their bosses and fired if they don't conform?

jdzappa wrote:

But here's a question to the group - since the consensus seems to be that you're held accountable for your political/moral decisions in the marketplace, are you ok with people being told how to vote by their bosses and fired if they don't conform?

I think you've misread the consensus a bit. There is a difference between being personally for/against an issue or political party, and being a person representing that issue in the media or court. Holding people accountable for public actions(involvement in court cases, publishing articles about civil rights, etc.) is far different than taking them to task for the beliefs themselves. The former interferes with a person's ability to do their job effectively in the grand scheme of things - Fred Phelps might be the greatest ad jingle composer ever, but his involvement is poisonous. Card is a good writer, but his actions have left a lot of negative associations with the target audience. Similarly, any person who has sought higher public office(big city mayor/council, state legislature, all the way up) will have to deal with the same issue, for the same reasons.

If I hire or retain someone who has made themselves a public figure, I am inherently inviting reflection of that person's views on to myself/my company. Some companies are perfectly okay with that(see the latest Starbucks news, for example), other companies would rather remain neutral on pretty much every issue (almost every manufacturing company seems to follow this approach). A business can opt to weigh in on issues and suffer the consequences/reap the rewards, or they can stay out of it and not worry about narrowing their market.

It even goes beyond publicly stating political or religious opinions loudly and publicly. If Bethesda suddenly hires Justin Beiber, Michelle Bachmann, and Jesse Jackson to act as project managers on Elder Scrolls VI, there is going to be a lot of negative discussion and media reaction. This is how it works with public figures.

As to your question, no. Obviously not, and it is not logically or morally the same. It isn't about conforming or acting in a way that your boss wants you to, it is about the consequences of making yourself a public figure with strong stances on an issue. Your boss has no say in what you do as a private individual, morally or legally(assuming you aren't in trouble with the law). My employer cares not what I post here, because it does not reflect on or represent my employer in any way.

jdzappa wrote:

But here's a question to the group - since the consensus seems to be that you're held accountable for your political/moral decisions in the marketplace, are you ok with people being told how to vote by their bosses and fired if they don't conform?

I mean, ballots are secret and all that.

But here's a question to the group - since the consensus seems to be that you're held accountable for your political/moral decisions in the marketplace, are you ok with people being told how to vote by their bosses and fired if they don't conform?

I would hold those as two completely separate scenarios that don't even overlap. Personal judgement of someone who knowingly and enthusiastically participated in Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day to support homophobia is different than a work requirement to give up your right to vote. Also different from people who may have missed the whole Chick-Fil-A story and eat there because they have tasty chicken and waffle fries (that I very much miss, wish someone would steal their recipes and open a politically neutral business that I could eat at).

Demosthenes wrote:
But here's a question to the group - since the consensus seems to be that you're held accountable for your political/moral decisions in the marketplace, are you ok with people being told how to vote by their bosses and fired if they don't conform?

I would hold those as two completely separate scenarios that don't even overlap. Personal judgement of someone who knowingly and enthusiastically participated in Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day to support homophobia is different than a work requirement to give up your right to vote. Also different from people who may have missed the whole Chick-Fil-A story and eat there because they have tasty chicken and waffle fries (that I very much miss, wish someone would steal their recipes and open a politically neutral business that I could eat at).

http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/07/t...

Tanglebones wrote:
Demosthenes wrote:
But here's a question to the group - since the consensus seems to be that you're held accountable for your political/moral decisions in the marketplace, are you ok with people being told how to vote by their bosses and fired if they don't conform?

I would hold those as two completely separate scenarios that don't even overlap. Personal judgement of someone who knowingly and enthusiastically participated in Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day to support homophobia is different than a work requirement to give up your right to vote. Also different from people who may have missed the whole Chick-Fil-A story and eat there because they have tasty chicken and waffle fries (that I very much miss, wish someone would steal their recipes and open a politically neutral business that I could eat at).

http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/07/t...

...oh... my... god... YAY!

ccesarano wrote:

So is it really anyone's business what that CEO does with his personal money?

You answered your own question in the OP. Substitute you and me for the CEO there, and boom, question answered.

That aside, I think that you're in danger of seriously over-simplifying a complex multivariable issue. I would contend that corporate ethics is a tiny player in the equation that determines how we spend our money (i.e. how we vote with out wallets), and is outstripped by several orders of magnitude by things like the state of the our personal finances, advertizing and the behavior of our peers to name but a few.

Seriously, what percentage of our purchasing decisions do we base on the ethics of the company we're purchasing from? I mean, sure, I wouldn't go to Chick-Fil-A if there was one in town because their CEO is a douchewaffle, but that's talking about $10 I might spend once every couple months, out of the several thousand bucks I'd spend in the rest of that time period. That "vote with my wallet" is drowned out by the other hundreds of votes I'm making without even thinking about it. What do I know about the corporate ethical stance of Safeway? Nothing, and yet I'll happily drop a hundred bucks or more on groceries there without batting an eyelid. Where do you buy gas for your car? Is it because you've made an objective assessment of the ethical behaviors of the all the gas station franchises in your neighborhood?

Political contributions are public and subject to a FOIA request. So if any of you donated to a PAC or a party, that is public information. Someone could draw up contributions to the RNC, and see that Jon Q Man donated 1,000 to Mitt Romney.

In the Chick Fil A example it was also made very public with announcements and press.

Your privacy does not extend into public. That chat you had with your lawyer at Starbucks is not a privileged conversation kiddies.