It’s been an interesting week as far as world politics go. A certain male, whom I will refer to as the Tweeter-in-Chief has managed to upset pretty much everybody. In case you have missed the numerous tweets and headlines, here is a snappy list put together by Australian show The Project:
Now one of the more controversial (if that is possible) items on the list is The Wall. You know, the one that will span the length of the US / Mexico border (all 3145 kilometres). As borders go, it’s quite impressive. Watch this video (with the sound on!) created from about 200,000 (yes there are that many zeros) images from google earth:
Josh Begley’s stunning & evocative video ‘Best of luck with the wall’
There is now a movement in Mexico to support Mexican products and another encouraging the boycott of American firms doing business there. Four were mentioned in this Time article: Coca Cola, McDonalds, Starbucks and Walmart- with the #adiosStarbucks / #goodbyeStarbucks being one of the more popular tags to pop up on Twitter. My own Twitter search brought back #AdiosProductosGringos #adios #adiosmcdonalds and then #adiosStarbucks.
The issue I have with boycotting the multinationals is that even though the profits (and sometimes the taxes) go elsewhere, the employees are generally locals. So boycotting the local Starbucks means that your neighbour gets laid off because no-one is buying Starbucks. If locals turn their buying power (consistently) to the local product, surely then the neighbour will have a chance at still being gainfully employed. It may entail losing his job with the multinational to increased competition rather than a boycott. At the same time, one would expect opportunities with local businesses to start opening up. Then the profits and the taxes (and the employment) stay in the local arena.
I know this is a really simplified way to look at it, but boycotts tend to be short lived as the aim of the boycott is to pressure and change a certain behaviour. The power of the masses. If the masses are suffering as a result of any boycott action, it makes boycotting less attractive.
No simple answers here – maybe we should all buy Mexican 😉 except then I wouldn’t be able to buy Finnish…