Monday, November 20, 2006

Cancelling Your Influence

Boortz spent a lot of time on pre-hype of his book today. Specifically, he talked about a recurring theme of his: I Will Never Listen To Your Show Again. It's self-defeating; if you're not going to listen to the show any more, why should Boortz change his mind to suit you?

The same effect happens when you go to the bank and say, "I'm taking all my money out and putting it in the bank across the street because you did _____." Or, when you call a magazine and say, "The last cover article was crass! Cancel my subscription." At the point where a company has lost you as a customer, they have also lost all benefit in trying to satisfy you. If you really want the bank, magazine, or cable company to make concessions or change the way they do business, you have to be either a customer or owner. A much better approach is to say, "I've been a customer since 1994 and I really enjoy your product, but _______ issue has really soured me. I would like some assurance that this won't happen again."

We have seen the "not a customer anymore" effect over and over with UN trade sanctions. The offensive notion that my government should "allow" or "disallow" my trade with another nation aside, limited sanctions may goad some desired effects, but strong sanctions just don't work. If a nation has close trade ties with other nations, they will change their behavior to maintain those trade ties. But, once relations sour to the point that strong sanctions are levied, there is no partnership to salvage; those nations are no longer customers of the offending nation.

Yet, that's not stopping anyone in the US government from pushing for more sanctions against Iran and North Korea. For obvious reasons, they recognize that the strong sanctions that are already in place haven't worked. I'm stupified by their suggestion that even stronger sanctions somehow will!

Hello? McFly? If you want to affect the governments of Iran and North Korea, you MUST be a valued trade partner. It is quite obvious that they are not scared of your stronger sanctions, guns, planes, and bombs. They would be scared of limited sanctions if they had economies that were dependent on trade with other countries!

The Consumer Goods Bomb has drawbacks, I admit. Mississippi residents won't think too kindly of its nation filling Iranian households with refrigerators and dishwashers when they are still rebuilding from Katrina. Without severely hobbling the government's ability to piss other nations off, a Consumer Goods Bombing policy will get very expensive, very quickly. But, given the disgusting cluster-f**k our foreign policy has become, use of the Consumer Goods Bomb in Iraq, Iran, and North Korea is the ONLY VIABLE PLAN.

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