I started my business ethics class tonight, and the proposed LA boycott of Arizona came up for discussion. It was definitely interesting; we have a broad spectrum of backgrounds in the class, and things did get a little heated with some people, and the conversation did take a few turns off the main path. People get heated about the recently passed immigration law in Arizona, and rightfully so – it hits a lot of people close to the wallet or to the family, or both. For this entry I’m not going to focus on the law – even though it apparently just echos the national law – but on the propsed boycotts of Arizona.
You have a few cities talking about a boycott – I’ve heard of it from Los Angeles and San Francisco off the top of my head. The City Council of Los Angeles voted for it and the mayor has already said he’ll approve it.
That’s great, man! Good job, council and Mr. Mayor. It’s nice to see you pandering to your electorate by proposing a boycott that will have no effect on your personal finances (but will knock about $8 million of contracts out of the budget – as always with politics, follow the money) but will certainly fuck up a bunch of people whom you claim to be supporting with the boycott. You know, people whose jobs and salaries are not guaranteed (like, say, a Mayor or city councilman’s is), but are subject to the whims of the business cycle. This boycott will likely affect small businesses, causing them to cut hours, lay off workers, or close. I’m guessing at least a few of them will be some of the hard-working illegal immigrants who you ostentatiously claim to support with this boycott.
But that isn’t important, is it? What is important is to make a grand gesture, a gesture which won’t leave you any worse for the wear. Nice job, folks. Maybe someday you’ll put some of your own skin on the line for what you claim to believe, but I’m not holding my breath.
People proposing boycott won’t feel the effects of it.