I received a forwarded email from a friend today. The original email was purportedly written by Bill Moyer and in summary, it exhorted Americans to completely stop spending money on January 20th, President Bush's inauguration day. The idea is that by closing our wallets, we'll slow the wheels of commerce in this country, and therefore vociferously express our displeasure with the war in Iraq to our attentive government.
Of course it was immediately evident to me that this is a hoax and Bill Moyer, a respected journalist, is unlikely to have written it, but its content made me pause and wonder.
What would happen if people suddenly stopped spending for 24 hours? The outcome may not be the intended one.
Most people won't even do it. Daily life can not be stopped.
Even if people stopped shopping for one day, they'd make up for it in the previous or next days, so the economic damage is somewhat dampened.
But Even if such a thing happened and there is economic damage, the real victims will be at the lower end of society. suppose people stopped buying from Wal-Mart. Do you think the executives there are going to lose their jobs? They just end up laying off a number of low wagers (many of which are single mothers, seniors, handicapped, etc.) to protect their profits.
Of course you may think if enough people are unhappy there will be change. Sadly the fact is that there is no such thing as true democracy and representation. Countries (yes, including the supposed democratic ones) are largely run by a group of rich and powerful people who know how to stifle people's voices and promote their own agenda.
So spend or not, the war will continue until that time the gods of war decide they have had enough.