Raise the Red Boycott

Brookings issued a report in November detailing the GDP distribution among red and blue voters. According to the report, counties accounting for 70 percent of GDP voted for a 78-year-old man who often does not appear to know where he is. The Left hails this data as showing that in addition to an electoral mandate, blue voters have an economic mandate. The big money has gone for “On Golden Pond,” where we live by the golden rule. Those who have the gold get to rule.

Of course, there are reasons to doubt that the 80 million blue votes delivered for Biden actually exist. Biden can’t seem to find the words to criticize China, but he loudly condemns the good people of Georgia, calling for a boycott, because they had the temerity to correct the abusive voting practices which were imposed on them—without the vote of their legislature—in the last election.

Yes, we all know these mail-in voting practices, used in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, cast doubt on the strength (and possibly existence) of Biden’s slight popular majority. What JoeBiden offensively—and in usual, nearly incomprehensible fashion—calls Jim Eagle is in fact an illustration of Shakespeare’s the lady doth protest too much, methinks. Biden (or more exactly, the unseen presidium that controls him) knows he (and they) could not have won the election fair and square.

Changing gears back to economics: consumption, after voting, is the key to understanding the power of red America. If the 74 million people who actually did vote red control only 30 percent of GDP, they cannot be expected to control the component parts of GDP in equal proportion with blue voters. GDP is comprised of consumption, investment, government spending, and net exports. The geographic distribution of these votes—the Democrats overwhelmingly control urban and most suburban votes—suggests that nearly the entirety of the portion of GDP (assuming it cannot be all, let’s say four-fifths of that amount) consisting of investment, government spending, and net exports, is controlled by blue voters. If you back that four-fifths of 30 percent out of blue voters’ 70 percent of GDP, the remaining portion, blue America controls 45 percent of GDP through consumption.

Observing the inverse of the above analysis, red America controls approximately 25 percent of GDP through consumption (i.e., 70 percent of GDP less 45 percent of GDP equals 25 percent of GDP). This makes perfect sense, given that the Democratic Party now clearly represents a coalition of selfish, oligarchic interests, their technocratic affiliates in government and services, and their identity politics dupes. The richer you get, the lower the proportion of your overall income is devoted to consumption.   

Taking a deeper look at statistics, how much economic power does red America have? Twenty-five percent of GDP equals roughly $5.35 trillion. That can, and should, be translated into economic and political clout.  

The fact is with consumption dominating red voters’ economic power, an important way—the only real way—for red America to influence the nation’s politicized economy is to choose carefully how to deploy the consumer power they have. Red America must choose not to purchase products and services that advance political interests that are bad for the country, even if that means choosing inferior substitutes or foregoing consumption because the alternative is more expensive. Boycott red America? Red America will boycott you.

The next question is, “How effective can this be?” Very, if you consider how firms work. Profits are made at what economists call the margins. That is, the last units of service or product sold have the greatest effect on profit, because profit inures to a business only after expenses, interest, and depreciation are paid, much of which is fixed, and much of the variable cost of which nonetheless requires time to adjust to changes. Seemingly small changes in otherwise predictable consumer patterns place exaggerated pressure on the bottom line. The gross profit margin for the consumer discretionary sector in the United States has a median of 33.5 percent, a mean of 35.7 percent, and a standard deviation of 20 percent. Compare this to the blue county financial sector, which has an average and a mean gross profit margin of above 60 percent. The consumer discretionary sector is highly sensitive to consumer decisions. If just 20 percent of red America consumer spending—meaning four of every five dollars are unaffected—were directed away from firms that promote causes intended to marginalize red America or the nation, that would represent more than $1 trillion. Properly directed, there is simply no way for corporate America to ignore that power unless it chooses to market exclusively to blue interests and forsake red markets to actors who either share red America’s politics or keep their politics to themselves.

How you spend your discretionary consumer dollars thus can have a real effect on political behavior. Red America has to learn to exercise that power and to direct its spending towards firms that are, in the very least, neutral in the social-political struggles of our time. If you don’t like their product, but you like their positions, then learn to like their product. If you like their products, but don’t like their positions, substitute another product or do without.

Efforts by a firm to boycott red-state policies should be answered. Punish that firm by spending your money on something else. Firms take political public relations positions because they believe they will profit from them. They know blue America, and their employees, are watching them and will act. They assume red America will just take it. Show them they are wrong. 

Memes are circulating the interwebs suggesting “boycotts are beta.” I can’t even. What’s beta is being that sucker P. T. Barnum said is born every minute. Boycotts were at the heart of the American Revolution. The Sons of Liberty was formed in 1765 to carry out boycotts of goods subject to the Stamp Act, as well as to intimidate ministers administering the tax. The Boston Tea Party was a boycott of high-tax imported tea. The colonists went as far as to make sure no one could purchase the tea by dumping it into Boston Harbor.

Liberty matters and is tied to your economic choices. And one more thing.  

Biden won’t do anything about China. So while you are figuring out who among American interests to boycott—one such interest is encrypted into this essay—and what tastes you will adopt to avoid endorsing policies directed against your interests, here is an easy one: boycott China.

About Jay Whig

J. Whig is an attorney practicing in New York and a resident of Connecticut specializing in insolvency and restructuring. Opinions are his own.

Photo: iStock/Getty Images

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