Thursday, July 18, 2013

There is an Upcoming Election; Will You Cast a Ballot?

And I would simply comeback with my answer would be is “why bother”. I vote every day for what I believe in and that is in how I spend my dollars on goods and services. That is a much more effective method of sending your opinion to the powers out there.

Many years ago it was necessary to have some form of representation in a central government like there was in the times of Davy Crockett. I remember the Disney portrayal of this where Davy would go to Washington to represent the citizens of Tennessee since they all couldn’t go to the capital since they didn’t have the modes of transportation that we have today.

(I found it sort of humorous that when I searched through the two articles on Davey Crockett and the House of Representatives that I couldn’t easily confirm my belief that it would be located in Washington. I am Canadian so I wasn’t totally sure but I did finally find a reference in the section about expenses and how the representative were paid different sums of money based on travel distance. Mad a lot of sense then because the horses ate more if they had to travel farther).

Well that was before all this Internet stuff and cars, debit cards, smartphones and all the other things we take so lightly that are actually our tools for voting nowadays.

Nowadays an election only results in a bunch of bozos being replaced by another bunch of bozos that will work for your voting area to do everything in their power to ensure that they get this same gig next time an election is called. They just have to learn how to say a whole bunch of words that have no real meaning and don’t offend anybody because almost anyone can vote. They get paid and travel and eat well and get long vacations and they can easily just point to someone else for whatever problem they get shoved in their face. And if they do real well they can go back to practicing law for a higher hourly fee or go on public speaking tours. Why? Because all kinds of people will pay for the legal services of the now higher rate charging ex-politician and listen to the marvels of what he or she didn’t achieve in their time of office.

Let’s look at the real system in action now and specifically at Monsanto. Worldwide Monsanto is seeing the wrath of the consumer voting system in action and it will most likely have to shut down its operation because no one will buy their products. That is a very powerful voice out there and no government can effectively provide legal protection for the Monsanto problem.

It isn't a simple problem with a simple solution but that is how it gets done nowadays. If you all stopped buying at Wal-Mart because you don’t like the way they pay their employees and switched to Costco because that seemed fairer to you then you would see a panic action kick in from Wal-mart in all kinds of ways to “buy back” your business.

It would be nice to shop for locally made goods but the truth is so much is made in China nowadays but that won’t go on forever. Take the case of the computer support business where many companies choose to farm out their support to India based companies that really only greet you with a well-mannered helpful approach but really do nothing to solve your problem. My simple approach to companies who did that was to buy from someone else when I had the opportunity. So Dell lost my next computer purchase to Hewlett-Packard, Bell Canada lost my telephone business to Rogers, McAfee was replaced by Norton and the latter will be replaced by another anti-virus program when I can find one that doesn't use those offshore services.

My actions alone are not going to cause the change necessary but the sum of all the consumers out there will. Their “votes” will do more to determine the direction of our future than any single vote in a political election.

I don’t go to polling booths because I get no sense of anything that my vote meant something at the end of going through that ancient process other than maybe giving some retiree a job for the day. I do feel better though when I vote by buying a product and take some sort of satisfaction when I send a permanent divorce email to Home Depot letting them know that I have sampled business from both them and Lowe’s and have decided that Lowe’s met my requirements and Home Depot did not. The reply was almost like it was written in that same tone you would get in an online chat with a McAfee or Norton rep.

So your debit card, credit card, Paypal account and email are your new methods to go out and make your vote count. Just don’t go too crazy. No you can tell them exactly how you feel, just don’t spend way beyond your means. Some companies get it and I will continue to buy from them even if it might mean I spend a little more on the initial purchase because I know there are longer term costs attached to buying from the guy with the lowest price all the time.

Lots of suppliers are no longer in business because they fell into the trap of getting the big order at the lowest bid price. You cannot sustain a business that way. What happens when that exclusive program runs out with that big box company? The big box guy is always looking for a new supplier at a lower price.

Some of the big box operations recognize that you just can’t go around with the lowest price line anymore because they all have a match the other guy program. I think Lowe’s is a current example of one that is trying to do more than that in their acquisition of ATG stores online retail business. It is next to impossible to meet all your customers’ needs at the store level so they can broaden the inventory list by offering a large range online like they do for items like household fans, appliances and the like. Online shopping isn’t for everyone but if you know what you are looking for, the freight is usually thrown in and the nice guy from UPS brings it your door.

So I vote to buy online more than visit a store simply because it has turned out to be more efficient and cheaper for me; same product but no disappointment if it isn’t in stock in the store. One particular order was for 4 kitchen items that you can only get in a fancysmanshy boutique type store so I placed the order online. They were unable to provide all 4 from the nearest store which was about an hour’s drive away so they actually ended up sending the order from a store almost a thousand miles away and at no additional charge to me but that is what you do to provide excellent customer service so I would likely buy from them again; so the system worked well there and they got to “stay in office” for a longer period of time.

So eventually when no one shows up at the polling booths anymore the news will get hold of that one and that system might change some but don’t hold your breath. They will still try to get you to do get them back in office somehow. I handle all the political survey phone visits the same way I do telemarketers with a quick “No thanks” and a quick push of the off button on my phone. The lawyer/politician in training doing the calling will soon learn that nobody wants to talk about that stuff and he/she might actually try to get a real job.

You have a lot more control than the so-called powers to be give you credit for so use it wisely. Shop at businesses or retailers that represent values that would match yours and you could actually say I could work here. It all gets better from there.

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