Liberals and Corporate Loyalty

I move in pretty progressive circles (and am a pretty liberal guy myself). Family, friends, church, workplace–they’re mainly left-wingers, ranging from somewhere-to-the-left-of-center to way-over-by-the-foul-line-and-maybe-even-beyond.

There’s a lot of rhetoric that goes along with hanging around these folks. Some of it is big political debates–being pro-choice or pro-marriage equality, say. Some of it is much more, I don’t know, cultural. I don’t know many people who admit to listening to country music, for instance, and team sports, especially football, seem to be looked down on by a lot of people I know.

Then there’s a real suspicion of corporations. For a lot of people I know Corporate America = Greed, globalization = Bad, people who trust corporations = Stupid or Misguided. And yet, I was having a discussion with a cousin of mine who is definitely in this category, and she was bemoaning how it was that she was flying out of Toronto ON AN AIRLINE OTHER THAN <<<PORTER AIRLINES>>> and how TERRIBLE AWFUL HORRIBLE this was because <<<PORTER>>> was so wonderful and every other airline was so appalling.

I thought her enthusiasm was kind of amusing, especially as her rhetoric tends to be so anti-Big Business. So I mentioned it to another relative, other side of the family, similar outlook on the world, and was all prepared to share a little laugh about it, but she interrupted OH MY GOSH POOR HER TO HAVE TO FLY AN AIRLINE THAT ISN’T <<<PORTER AIRLINES>>> because <<<PORTER>>> is the ONLY airline worth anything at all.

Anyway, since then I began making a list of Liberals With a Bizarre (IMHO) Attraction to Certain Corporations Despite Being Anti-Corporate in General. Turns out they’re everywhere. Apple is a big example, of course. Target seems to be one too. There are car companies that fit, too–Saturn, for all the good that did it, and Volvo, and Subaru. Some of these are Good Corporate Citizens, I am sure, but not all of them.

Anyway, this isn’t about yelling HYPOCRISY-- I’m just being amused. As for me, I don’t have any particular fondness for <<<PORTER AIRLINES>>>, never having flown on it. I use a PC but have been happy to use Macs in the past, I never owned a Saturn, I don’t see the hype about Target, etc., etc., but I must confess to being a huge fan of a corporate-owned baseball team–

Do you see this? In yourself, in others? What corporations? Please share!

You are aware of the recent conservative flocking towards Chick-Fil-A, aren’t you? Or FOX News? Or the near-religious devotion to Ford or Chevy in truck owners (who seem to be fairly conservative)? It’s hardly limited to one particular political slant.

However no one was shy about criticizing Apple during the brouhaha about manufacturing. And support for Target (and Costco) is particularly because they do things that go against the cut costs no matter what policy.
Perhaps liberals aren’t as narrow-minded as you think, and that criticism of corporations is due to specific reasons, not blind hatred?

I don’t know what <<PORTER>> airlines is, but I much prefer Southwest because they don’t rip me off for baggage, have an understandable pricing system which actually lets you change flights without big fees, and has a seat selection policy not based on arcane levels of frequent flier club membership. Politics have nothing to do with it.

It doesn’t seem too confusing to me. Corporations are by default greedy and evil, so when you find one that resists the corporate desire for profit uber alles and engages in practices that you find cooperative or reasonable or humane, you hold onto them that much more tightly. And when a corporation you previously liked turns out to be greedy and evil after all, you stop liking them. See Apple and Chik-Fil-A.

Is it the fact that they’re incorporated that makes them by default greedy and evil? If instead of being a corporation, a business was a partnership or a non-incorporated sole proprietorship, would it be different from “by default greedy and evil”?

Or is the private property of the means of production by default greedy and evil?

5 minutes were up

Bolding mine.

It’s not blind hatred, it’s that corporations are by default evil and Nazi-like.
I am aware that many Democrats have more reflective opinions on corporations. But one should not ignore this trend, which is the equivalent of Teabaggers complaining about big gubmint.

Smile when you say that, partner.

I’ll go so far as to say that some of the most hard-core, progressive liberals I’ve ever met are big fans of team sports, because the concept of sitting in a crowd, eating hot dogs and drinking beer while root-root-rooting for the home team seems to transcend political ideology.

Some of them even (non-ironically) enjoy country music because that’s what they grew up with.

And of course, Midwestern liberals and conservatives were united in their loyalty to Marshall Field vs. Macy.

I think there’s some mixing up of “hippies” (reject the corporate hegemony! - or whatever) with liberals who hate corporations who have the worst of the human rights/workers rights violations, etc.

Not to mention that there are plenty of conservative working-class people who hate corporations that export jobs, put small companies out of business, etc. It’s not an either/or thing on either side.

Corporations are by default greedy and evil.

I think that liberals are in general a lot more likely to do actual research to inform their buying decisions, and so are choosier about what they buy. Most of the stereotypical liberal brands are higher quality but still good values; they reflect longer-term thinking instead of the false economy of cheaper “race to the bottom” type stuff like you might find at Wal-Mart.

At the risk of pushing the thread in an even more partisan direction, I would suggest that the general attitude of liberals doing research and willing to pay more for quality versus conservatives just buying whatever’s cheapest applies to their voting habits as well…

Granted, liberal consumers are far from immune to marketing and especially as of late companies have somewhat subverted this trend with things like greenwashing, but in general I think the phenomenon you’re seeing is simply a reflection of liberals being pickier consumers. That they tend to be a little more affluent doesn’t hurt either.

I’m sure Porter is a fine airline --in fact I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. But it’s absurd to expect to always be able to fly them unless ones travels are very limited geographically. They only fly to twenty cities in eastern Canada and the U.S.

Just out of interest - why quote the entire OP to then reference one word, Porter, in your reply? I can remember the name of the airline for the 2 minutes it took to get to post number 12.

I know liberals who have favorite college or professional teams, love country music & even own guns. And still think the Bush family is crap–& hope that Ricky Perry is finally on his way out as governor…

But I don’t know any folks now who plan to move to a yurt, raise goats & live off the land 100%. So we must deal with some corporate entities. I buy organic/local/sustainable produce & meat–when I can. But I don’t inquire about the happy lifestyle of the contents of every breakfast taco. And I’ll buy my moderate amount of Made-In-China crap from Target, not WalMart. Just a matter of taste, not purity…

That’s some interesting logic and reality distortion you got going. It’s not often I’m compelled to rise to the defense of conservatives, but this is so ignorant and insulting, I couldn’t let it go unnoticed.

The premise you’ve presented that conservatives don’t care about quality is ridiculous.

How to torment the American Left:

Release a story revealing that Starbucks makes their coffee from ground-up baby seals.

There really is a “Porter Airlines”? Wow.

I wonder how many companies are able to garner loyalty from partisans of all stripes by talking a good game about their social/political leanings. Do the devout actually cling to firms that promote themselves in Christian business directories, even when price and service aren’t so hot?

I might try to avoid a company that’s really done something sleazy and refuses to change its ways, but don’t lavish business on “good corporate citizens”. Give me a decent product/service at a respectable price and I’ll settle for that, as long as you’re not dumping greasy ground-up baby seal remnants in my driveway.

Porter is hardly a classic example of an exploitative corporate entity bent only on sustaining itself and fleecing the public. For 1 thing, they’re an airline and airlines almost never make money and so have little influence and 2 they have 30 odd airplanes. Who the hell feels an airline with a fleet of 30 Dash 8s could be a threat to the public good?

That’d explain why they over-roast the hell out of their beans, at least.

Do you really want to know? It’s because I wrote that message on an iPad, and I can’t figure out how to use cut and paste on that device.