Why wait for elections to vote when you could vote every day, several times if you like. Of course, I’m talking about the old “voting with your pocketbook”. Your impact is probably far greater than you realize. It’s all the greatest things about this country neatly wrapped up: capitalism, democracy, and freedom of association, speech, and choice.
Sometimes it takes a little digging and research to find out if your money is going to someone you want it to go to. Sometimes it’s easy. Let’s take our local government for starters. If you like how the city is running, shop there, give not only the businesses some income but also some taxes to your city. This applies to the county and state level, too. With the internet, it’s not that hard to shop out of town or out of state. If you are going to shop at a store that has multiple locations, you can pick which county you want to give your money to. If you don’t agree with your city, county, or state representative, you can try to contact them (good luck with a response), or you can just find out what they do for a living and do your business elsewhere. If you like them, show them with your purchasing dollars.
Large, multinational corporations might be a little harder to pinpoint on where they stand on the issues. There’s plenty of talk about Walmart, if you don’t like them, don’t shop there. If you side with them, spend your money there. Figure out where you spend your money, whether it be fast-food restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, whatever. It’s possible that issues and agendas that are extremely important to you may not be well served by how you spend your money. Being an informed consumer means more than finding bargains. Once in a while, substitute coupon clipping with a quick check on places you shop.
Lastly, more people are getting their points across in more ways than ever, be it letters to the editor, call-in recordings, blogs, websites, and advertising. Our community is no different, and it’s good to see all the involvement. Take note of these people; some are doctors, lawyers, teachers, business owners, many aren’t one-timers, and are usually consistent with their point of view. If you like what you see and want to help them, find out more and support them in a way you see fit. If, on the other hand, they consistently infuriate you, make your point by giving your hard earned money to someone more like-minded. This is not a call for a ban on anyone, just smart voting through informed spending.