What if all businesses were politically polarized?

That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column, here is one bit from it:

Imagine a “right-wing” supermarket chain and a “left-wing” alternative. The right-wing chain could offer discounts for NRA members and send money to the Republican Party. The left-wing version might have a commercial relationship with Planned Parenthood, sell more vegan products and take special care to promote women up through the ranks.

Maybe that sounds implausible, but many retailers have already segmented their markets through frequent buyer programs. You get better deals from the companies you patronize regularly, most of all from airlines and hotels. It requires only some stretch of the imagination to think that more of those programs could be organized around ideology. After all, if you are going to be “a Hilton customer” or “a Westin customer,” maybe politics could play a role. You personally don’t have to be very ideological; you simply might accept an ideological division over one that is purely arbitrary. Once in place, the continuing existence of the better deal from your preferred supplier will make this arrangement self-enforcing, just as I keep on flying United because of all my accumulated miles.


Social media accounts tie companies to ideologies more tightly than in the past. Who would have thought Delta Air Lines was a “left-wing” company? Maybe it isn’t really deep down, but it’s all over Facebook and Twitter that the airline revoked a discount for NRA members and just lost a tax break from the state of Georgia. At some point, the company might start acting out a left-wing persona to cultivate their available allies, whether or not it reflects the company’s true views.

Do read the whole thing.


Bottom Up Fascism?

What about polarized "Gentlemen clubs"? A right-wing one full of girls looking like Stormy Daniels and a left-wing one full of diversity...

This already exists. Some years ago, I recall running into a left-wing friend while shopping in a Trader Joe's.
"What are you doing here? This is a liberal place!", he quipped.

The romanticism associated with languages as espoused by multiculturalism promulgates an association of subjectivity through assimilation. Yet students in the 80’s and 90’s studied foreign languages less and less in America. “What [multi-culturalism] apparently did not do was promote the study of other languages, or indeed of other culture. ” Multi-culturalism introduced foreign authors and black history into the curriculum, but it did not teach the root of their language, their psychology, or the ideas of Ferdinand de Saussure.
And with the rise of technology, it has become almost a moot point. In 2001, “according to the American Council on Education, 34 percent of all four-year American colleges and universities made foreign-language study a graduation requirement in 1965, while only 20 percent do now. ” As of 2018, Brian Caplan has suggested eradicating the requirement for high school and college students. John D’Agata asserts that only five percent of the world population speaks English. Yet composition teachers still instruct pathos and ethos and logos to freshman in college.

98% of businesses are big government leftist, 1% right wing, and the rest neutral.

Signs of big government leftist businesses:

Customers must pay and government must put money in customer pockets so they have paying customers.

Customers who are sinners are welcome if they have money in their pockets.

Everything bad is caused by government, and government must fix it.

Government must provide cheap transportation, a business must not be burdened with building transportation. (That's why Africa sucks for businesses.)

Government must deliver educated workers, a business must not be burdened with teaching reading and math. (That's why Africa sucks for businesses.)

The 1% right-wing cater mostly to the home schoolers living in rural compounds, or their urban outposts.

The remaining 1% pay their workers well in order to put enough money in their pockets to buy what the business produces, and supports tax and spend so transportation, educated workers, and everything else associated with civilization exists.

In Gujurati, to have dominion is Ādhipatya dharāvō, a oronym, if one loosens his Orion’s belt, for Hippocratic oath. My sister is a doctor, a neonatologist, so perhaps that’s the only reason I read it that way. But I don’t see it any different then in Psalm 10:35 “And His righteousness to children’s children.” Children, of course, cannot have children. Or at least, should not have children.
The Hippocratic Oath is oath taken by physicians. It is a widely known Greek medical text. It requires a physician to swear, by a number of healing gods, to uphold ethical standards. The sense of god is in the oath. And as a oronym, the word hypocrisy is in the title itself. The Oath remains a rite of passage for medical graduates in many countries.
In David Walker’s Appeal in Four Articles: Together with a Preamble, to the Coloured Citizens of the World, he says “that God Almighty is the sole propretor or master of the WHOLE human family.”

I think that the example of companies selling home school supplies to rural compounds is absurd. I suspect that the supplies are delivered by the Post Office driving on government funded roads.

Can you provide an example of a company that is part of the one percent.

What could go wrong? I love being lectured and talked down to by the businesses where I go to spend my money. It really makes me want to go back to them and spend more money.

Have you seen a Subaru ad lately?

Who doesn't like outdoors, love, and family? Oh and dogs!


I'm not a big fan of the outdoors or family, and I definitely do not like dogs.

Which reminds me... I have never understood why it's okay for dogs to deposit their bodily wastes on sidewalks, but not okay for humans to do the same. I mean, if it's a health hazard, why do we let dogs do that? And if it isn't a health hazard, why do we criminalize it for humans? Dogs should be banned from all urban areas. ("Urban areas" is defined as "anywhere I might want to walk.")

I would also levy a tax on all dogs and use it to subsidize cat food and cat litter.

Dogs are for insecure people in need of sycophants.

Got news for ya, your cat craps outside too. Difference is the dog owners (usually) pick their waste up.

Cays bury their crap. Admittedly sometimes in people's flower beds, but still.

When you start to get the family part, you'll get the dog part. That is not to say we go around the "dogs as children" bend. They are animals, but with aligned interests.

Our dog went nuts a couple weeks ago, alerting my girlfriend to lock up the house and get inside. She later heard that a couple burglars had been arrested on the street below. We don't want a gun in the house, but I think she is starting to be open to a bigger dog.

You were almost mugged by reality😉

I am actually more open to guns than she is. She knows what they are though. Her adoptive father was a collector-dealer with 4 safes and 100+. I used to shoot with him, which you kinda have to do when your girlfriend's dad has a lot of guns.

Still, I can see her point, and the data the NRA doesn't want you to have is that a gun in the house increases all cause mortality.

I had a Great Dane who managed to convert all the "catz rule, dogz drool" people like yourself, who met him. As in, the most vehement cat person I know would cuddle with him on the couch. I am sure you would have denied your feelings, however, and only been affectionate with him when no one was looking.

Apparently, some humans wish to spread crap around in public, and so aspire to dogs social status. But dogs social status actually arises from not seeing things that way.

"I would also levy a tax on all dogs and use it to subsidize cat food and cat litter. Dogs are for insecure people in need of sycophants."

Jean-Jacques Rousseau agreed: "It is my test of character. There you have the despotic instinct of men. They [dog lovers] do not like cats because the cat is free, and will never consent to become a slave. He will do nothing to your order, as the other animals do."

You and JJR have never hunted with a dog.

Our dog is quite dedicated to catching the mostly native rodents after our fruit trees. She corners one, and then looks at me like "well?" And yes, we have dispatched the common enemy.

I merely stated that Rousseau and Ricardo agree in their assessment of the typical owners of dogs v cats. A cat would not wait for its human master to kill the rodent.

Dogs’ brains have twice as many neurons as cats:

I heard that Subaru foresters are the favorite vehicle of lesbians. I have no idea if it's true but I wonder if Subaru is planning on that stereotype. Have not seen a Subaru ad as I do not watch commercials , having cut the cord.


To this I can attest. When my now-cute wife, then-cute girlfriend drove a Forester when we lived in San Francisco, I thought she might get kidnapped. Who knew?

Yet they are also very popular with survivalists, home schoolers, and Calvinists in the Interior West. Maine, Alaska, and the unfashionable bits of Montana are lousy with them. A Forester is a the same as an Outback with the base engine but a thousand bucks cheaper. The common denominator is road salt, low quality roads, and sensible shoes.

Yep, lesbians love Subarus, and have since the 90s. They're the comfortable-shoes of the car world.

I think you reworked some comments from this site ;-), which is fine of course.

I can see a line in there that states the sensible position:

"Companies that have a clear chance of being dominant market winners will prefer less ideologically tinged decisions, because they want to sell to virtually everybody."

But I am troubled by the underpinning that being "not NRA" is being left. That's not true. Being "not left" and "not right" at the same time is in fact how a company becomes non-political.

It's odd they'd have the discount to begin with, but to remove it from pressure from left wingers makes it political.

They have discounts for hundreds of groups, so maybe not that odd. You'd think a group supporting the individual rights wouldn't be that controversial, but there is a big right/left divide on that.

The discount was so small, and used by so few people that I assumed it was one of many trivial specials delta had with lots of groups. But I have seen no actual evidence about this.

I'd assume small too, and not the best one you could get. It was only used 13 times. Cheap advertising to 5 million members.

I am pro 2A. Thinking the NRA is only about the 2A is a mistake. It has become a political animal, just as concerned with ever encroaching socialists, supporting cops, and is often indistinguishable from a generic conservative group.

When you offer discounts to everyone else but take them away from one group that is not being "Not NRA" or "not right." It's very much against the group you're singling out.

This is occasionally getting played as some special discount that Delta gave the NRA. It's not. It's the same dumb deal that any group can get for it's members. That barely anyone used it shows how not-special it was. It's putting the NRA on a special level below everyone else, not keeping them at the default level.

so it was just a group discount like the ones you can get at a restaurant for a birthday party? The outrage machine is hilarious.

The problem was the timing and giving in to pressure. Had they stalled for six months and came up with a list of hundreds of stupid pretend discounts to get rid of at the same time that would have been fine. But allowing the left to troll on twitter without consequence would make gun owners look weak.

Cowen fails to mention Chick-fil-A, which has been at the center of the culture wars. Left wing, right wing, Chick-fil-A doesn't serve either. Cowen isn't the first to oppose polarization of commerce. Here is an Atlantic article from 2012 opposing boycotts of Chick-Fil-A because of the restaurant chain's position on gay rights: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/07/in-defense-of-eating-at-chick-fil-a/260139/ Me, I like their milk shakes (made with, you won't believe this, actual ice cream!). While Chick-fil-A may be at the center of the culture wars here, not so in China - there are no Chick-fil-A restaurants in China, lots of KFCs but not one Chick-fil-A. Could it be that Chick-fil-A thrives on the polarization in America?

Actual ice cream as opposed to what, ice milk?

Yes, many fast food shakes have been made with ice milk and thickeners (like guar gum to get the texture closer to an ice cream milkshake).

@bluto - ok thanks. Guar gum is also used as a laxative and industrial lubricant (fracking).

One of the secrets to Chick-Fil-A's success is that they don't hire low IQ morons. Same for Tulsa based QuikTrip. Come to think of it, maybe that's political too.

No, it's racist. Like the math requirement recently eliminated for California state colleges.

The secret of their success. Chick-Fil-A refuses to hire liberals.

Seriously, do business with firms that provide location, price, product, service. Go to a fast food place to get fed fast. The few times I've been to Chic, I've been very happy with them. I don't care what is their position on anything.

Some say Subaru is for liberals? I own one and I'm further right than Attila the Hun.

Although, a Subaru with a Hillary sticker is my definition of redundant.

David Brooks once made a joke about how in his progressive neighborhood, everybody either drove a Volvo, Saab, or Audi, because it was fashionable to own a luxury car, but only if it was made in a country that was hostile to US foreign policy.

Yes, the Germans have a history of hostility to US foreign policy. So buy an upscale VW Hitlermobile. Take that! Germany was, is, and will be a socialist hellhole of one sort or another.

They should have bought Ladas.

I've often wondered about this.

Increasing market fragmentation and hypercompetition may encourage businesses - e.g., those in the media - to specialize and chase smaller numbers of loyal niche consumers, or die (as trying to be a neutral, all things to all people, provider either (a) no longer works or (b) means competing with monsters like Amazon).

Seems almost like the logical continuation of the "focus on your core" trend in strategic management (versus the old "be a giant conglomerate w/ scale and eggs in multiple baskets").

There are still a gob of us in the middle. http://www.people-press.org/interactives/political-polarization-1994-2017/

This confirms my priors. 1994-2017 Conservatives move a bit right, and liberals move way left.

Almost all of that leftward movement happened after 2011. And there seems to be an interesting central movement by conservatives. from 1999 to 2004, that was gone by 2011.

"liberals move way left"???

Who is advocating going BEYOND nationalizing every corporation these days, which was what was liberal leftist in the 40s, 50s 60s???

I grew up in the 50s and 60s when "the left" was advocating eliminating all private ownership of anything, except MAYBE your toothbrush and underwear.

I've been wondering about this exact thing as a sort of secession/civil war in slow motion. If liberals and conservatives manage to completely separate themselves into distinct social circles, distinct schools, distinct stores, distinct jobs, then the only things left to be contested will be political regulations and physical territory, the first of which can be solved by sufficient federalism and devolution - perhaps including administratively cleaving off cities into new states - and the latter becomes less relevant every day.

tHe sOuTH will RiSe aGain?!

Bonus trivia: I'm reading the excellent James M. McPherson book, "Battle Cry of Freedom" on the US Civil war. It's a fact that the north was much more technically advanced than the south, and a better place to live, but southerners rallied behind their rich slave owners and supported succession, which extended even to church denominations (northern Baptists vs southern Baptists for example). Groupthink. I see the Red States following the same path today.

Ray - McPherson's book is wonderful and you should also read "A Savage War" by Murray and Hsieh which is a better 'military' history of the conflict.

There is another alternative explanation. It even explains why Iraqis and Afghanis didn't just fall in line with the US plans to remake their country. Though US control was much better than the alternative power centers, groups of humans don't like outsiders imposing things on them, even if those things may seem good.

But that explanation doesn't allow you to pat yourself on the back and tsk-tsk at the rubes in the South who don't acknowledge your obvious superiority.

@triclops41 - I agree with you, and I have southern roots (my forefathers, as in the 1880s, were some of the first Greeks in various towns in the South, which I will not mention since it would be easy to figure out my real identity). But also you cannot deny the Nigerians would probably be better off under the UK as a commonwealth, ditto the Filipinos under Spain or the USA, the path taken by the Hawaiians. Globalization works, but 'local is the yokal' and that's the way it's been since the days of the caveman clan.

"then the only things left to be contested will be political regulations and physical territory, the first of which can be solved by sufficient federalism and devolution – perhaps including administratively cleaving off cities into new states – and the latter becomes less relevant every day"

Well, that's already been done. The cities are Boston to Northern Virginia, greater Chicago, and the entire West Coast.

The conservative areas are pretty much everything else, but they blame the cities for oppressing them by ignoring them and taking all their educated workers, who can't wait to flee because they are liberals who want a future.

Why they voted for a guy who lives among the liberal elites he hates because he wants a cut of their wealth, and he sees middle America as an armpit too poor for him to live in is a puzzle?

It seems conservatives blame liberals for their suffering because liberals won't make them middle class, much less rich, and mostly just ignores them.

I’m old enough to remember 2016. Iirc, conservatives didn’t draft trump, they just used him to protest bush iii, and a bunch of establishment neocons.

This. He started as a joke, and got stronger but by then the “Stop Trump“ bulwarks couldn’t agree on either how to proceed or who’d be the standard bearer.

Then it was “rally around the anti-Hillary”, and one has to admit, it was entertaining to see her lose against someone as willing to lie as she is.

Interesting take on ideological segregation as a form of hidden anticompetitive collusion. There are some plausible theories that market forces push against discrimination even without antidiscrimination laws. The argument is that businesses suffer when they limit their customer, supplier, and hiring pool. Wouldn't the same arguments apply to ideological discrimination? I suspect that collusion built around ideological segregation might be difficult to sustain for the reasons that many cartels break down: too much temptation for individual firms to cheat, where "cheat" in this case means to become more ideologically inclusive.

I think it's very useful to contemplate a dystopian future where naturally apolitcal firms have all become politicized, mainly to highlight the absurdity of trying to foster such politicization to begin with. There might be reassuring reasons, though, to doubt that such a dystopia would actually emerge, despite activists' best (worst?) efforts. Delta already seems to have recognized its mistake; it now seems to be searching for a way to de-politicize itself. Delta originally responded to pressure from a loud, concentrated interest. It may have learned, though, that it's better off serving a much broader, even if quieter, ideologically diverse customer base.

The Becker model of discrimination holds all else equal: if the productivity and efficiency gains were the sole calculus. However, I think there's an important second level game that firms play: would the efficiency gains make sense if there was enough collusion among consumers to boycott or punish the firm? All those efficiency gains from hiring black or foreign labour in the South hundred years ago would make little sense if it seriously threatened customer loyalty, reputation or the safety of your property.

I imagine a similar case would happen in other cases like ideological discrimination. The variable isn't other firms, its non-economic consumer preferences.

Talk about living in the bubble. This is already the case that plenty of cpmanies and businesses donate money to political parties and hold ideological biases. Another Cowen phones it in article I surely won't click through and read the whole thing.

Not really. The Chick-A-Fil store that raymond mentioned is obvious, but not too many others. Most of the time corporations that cater to the general public are neutral. Of course in general Wall Street investment banking firms seem to favor Democrats and defense contractors Republicans, but they don't cater to the general public.

Wall Street investment banks give plenty of money to Republicans, especially if they sit on the banking committee or another relevant committee. I don't know so much about defense contractors.

Ben & Jerry's?

Back in the 1990s I seem to remember Domino's being targeted by the left as an opponent of legal abortion...

"Left wing, right wing, Chick-fil-A doesn’t serve either." Doesn't anybody appreciate a good joke at this blog? [For the mentally challenged, Chick-fil-A doesn't sell wings, left wing or right wing of the poor bird.]

Really? That's completely illegal, so you should notify the FEC if you have evidence of such a thing.

Without getting specifically political it seems many companies now see a need to tout a "commitment" to "diversity" or "sustainability" etc etc blah blah blah. Even the NHL now has a "Hockey is for Everyone" PR campaign with outreach to blacks and gays.

Perhaps companies do this as a signal to their employees as well as to a customer base they see as more ideological than previous generations. It just gets tiresome, like when every product was claiming to be "green."

That seems more like an attempt to market to new consumers, less so signalling. Well, I guess its signalling in some sense.

God forbid somebody be excluded from having their brains turned to mush by the head-hunting sadists of the NHL.

It’s the new gluten free!

Oh and by the way, if you're looking for corporate ideology keep an eye not just on how they market to customers but on company foundations and where they target their donations

This was the case in Finland at least till the seventies. Workers shopped at workers co-operatives and used banks and insurance companies owned by "red capital" , wealthier people and rural people had their own options. "Kenen kassia kannat"( Whose grocery bag are you carrying) was a campaign by the progressive (leftist) Elanto in the 70's to remind workers not to shop at the ideological enemy.

Theaters, sports teams and such were too naturally segregated among ideological lines.

Branded grocery bags have proliferated in the US in the last 15 years or so, giving consumers the opportunity to signal their lifestyle -- upscale Whole Foodsiness or the down-to-earth local Piggly Wiggly.

(And of course carrying these reusable canvas bags, whatever the brand, signals we don't kill trees or dolphins with paper or plastic!)

Why were grocery bags not branded in America 15 years ago? Why would companies pass up on free advertising? European grocery bags have been branded for decades.

I always thought of that in isolation, which is easy to do with Finns, but that was the result of a civil war and that campaign came when it was running out of steam. By the late 70s that was on its way out.

The Cooperative movement in the UK was also closely linked to the Labour party and Socialism. They were a "mutually" owned supermarket, insurance and other services chain. The belief was they would outcompete the capitalists by not needed to make profits. While they had some success there were many failures. So socialists now try to compete by taking over governments and banning things they don't like.

I think it has already happened in many industries (how many liberals shop at Walmart?) but airlines seem the least likely candidates. Because of the hub system, certain airlines dominate certain regional markets (e.g. Delta in Atlanta and Detroit)

This is called pillarization, not polarization.


Instead of looking it as right/left political effects on a company brand, what I think the post is missing is something MORE SERIOUS: the United States brand.

Coca Cola and McDonalds and KFC and Nike and all US brands are imperiled by Trump nationalism which separates the world between "us" and "them".

It's hard to market a US based global brand to a "them" when your image is based on your own nationalism which eschews the them.

Questions to ponder from the post:

By the way, I like Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice-cream. Does Ayn Rand have her own ice cream or flavor? What would it be.

If you marketed to teens, what side of the gun debate would you want to be on.

What if you can't avoid taking a position, like Dick's Sporting Goods which either sells or doesn't sell assault weapons. Do you put your fingers to the wind and make a choice.

"Does Ayn Rand have her own ice cream or flavor? What would it be."



Reminds me of an untrue but amusing just me. “What do vegans live on? Soy and hate.”

Joke not “just me”

Does Ayn Rand have her own ice cream or flavor? What would it be.

According to Barbara Branden, Rand's favorite food was Swiss chocolate, so Chocolate Qua Chocolate?

And if Ayn Rand had a soup flavor, it would be a seafood chowder called The Virtue of Shellfish

Swiss Chocolate holds life affirming values because it represents man as a heroic being moved by its desire to achieve its desires and to assert his own values. Instead of appealing to so-called altruism, which is the battlecry of inferior men, looters and moochers, it provides superior man the selfish happiness that one derives from superior flavor. To say "I love Swiss Chocolate", one must know first how to say the "I." And to pay for Swiss Chocolate, one must first make money, that is, to create something valueable, to think.

I beg to differ. Chocolate does not speak the language of selfishness.

Chocolate is the confection of love.

Did you give or receive a box of heart shaped chocolates.

"Chocolate is the confection of love."
Love is selfish.
"[Selfless love] would have to mean that you derive no personal pleasure or happiness from the company and the existence of the person you love, and that you are motivated only by self-sacrificial pity for that person’s need of you. I don’t have to point out to you that no one would be flattered by, nor would accept, a concept of that kind. Love is not self-sacrifice, but the most profound assertion of your own needs and values. It is for your own happiness that you need the person you love, and that is the greatest compliment, the greatest tribute you can pay to that person." - Ayn Rand

"A 'selfless,' 'disinterested' love is a contradiction in terms: it means that one is indifferent to that which one values." - Ayn Rand


I guess I will never get a chocolate from you.

Would you reject my offer of a Hershey Kiss if you thought it was for my benefit and not yours.

How does one go through life believing that any act of charity by one person to another is only based on the giver's self interest. You would certainly be on high alert if someone offered a helping hand. Altruism can be viewed as a signal which demands or inspires reciprocity, making everything a win win situation. So, in that respect, generosity and gift giving are selfish acts if they inspire reciprocity.

That’s in contrast to the Hugo Chavez favorite, Red Special, which only comes in only size container, but is unfortunately always out of stock.

Thiago, you sound like a total idiot. It's not any different than "monstrous dimples." One must have a disinterest for power or else one will be corrupted by it. One must be able to say I-Language. Or speak Eye-language. You clearly, can do neither.

Try again. For example, Japan is among the most ethnically exclusive countries in the world and yet its global brands have done just fine (the liberals and lesbians buying Subarus don't seem to mind). Celebrating diversity is little more than empty virtue signaling.

Does the Japanese Prime Minister tout nationalism and an us versus them campaign? No, he is more likely to offer tea to a guest rather than a slap at a foreigner. Japanese manners promote Japanese brands.

Prime Minister Abe is a well-known nationalist (which is why people criticize him for it). E.g., he may offer tea but adamantly refuses to apologize for "comfort women."

If Korean government accepted compensation by Japan, but did not share it proportionally with the comfort women, does that make the Korean government pimps?


You can be nationalist at home, but not nationalist antagonist with your neighbors, like Canada or Mexico. You can't point to anything Abe has done that is aimed at offending other countries based on nationalism other than losing face by admitting to the comfort women issue for Koreans.

As for the US brand, you should do more research on its diminution and effect on consumer products. I would suggest that you search the Pew reports on this subject, and also some of the marketing literature as well.

Japanese multinationals don't brand themselves as distinctly Japanese or imply that their Japanese heritage gives them any kind of inherent advantage over other brands.

They have ironically learned from past attempts to do this that Americans are much better at this game of cultivating consumer opinion. Of course, they don't have any good explanations as to why American cars then don't sell well at all in the supposedly open Japanese market.

The President is our Chief Brand Ambassador too? In addition to all his other duties? Interesting idea. I want to live in a world where this is not true, but think you might be right that we live in one where it is.

Why not? If it sells, sell it.
In the case of Atlanta, the legislators reveal they spent some 40 million in tax breaks for 13 gun nuts. If that is a reveal, then we should be hesitant to pass federal money out to states, it gets wasted.

You may need to go back and read that article again.

Not spending is now spending. And if Delta had a special discount for a transgender group and decided to drop it and the legislature did the same thing in response, the left would be praising the legislature for its "allyship."

You probably meant to say we need to avoid giving money to the federal government, they give it to states, who then waste it.

Patriot Mobile is a conservative cell phone service. This trend is only going to grow.

Crypto techies hated central bankers for a long time, then Ripple Labs provided regulated entry for central bankers, and has recruited many fiat banks to the crypto system. If it sells, then price discrimination to favored politics is just fine and dandy.

I'm a liberal and I shop at Walmart all the time, as do my liberal parents.
It's cheap and I can get everything in one stop. I'm not spending extra money and time, to impress people I don't know. I have both amazon and walmart stock.

But you sound like a liberal who doesn't hate conservatives and doesn't have disdain for white people who aren't urban and who aren't at least upper middle class.

Also who does not live in a city that shuns Walmart stores.

Oh, God. How much time the pity party of the far-right will last?

I didn't have distain for white people who aren't urban and/or upper middle class until after they voted for Trump. Thanks for living down to the left's expectations, white working class!

As a libertarian you should know how terrible are people's "choice set" when it comes to politics. Don't read too much into it. And in keeping with the literature theme, don't write them off either.

I'm not really. I'm expressing my disapproval in the hopes that they will improve.

How do you feel about the upper middle class whites that voted for Trump?


So what you really mean is that you didn't have an excuse to disdain rural, working class whites until Trump, even though they only played a small part in his election.

Cool. Now tell us what you think of black people, and if there is time, the Jews.

I think black people get talked down to by (mostly white) people who haven't got a fucking clue what it's like to be black far too much. And I don't think about jewish people at all, really.

Apparently already exists in Russia (at least Tatarstan):


So what? In some Brazilian cities, each bar, store, etc. catered to one political group to the exclusion of others.

Isn't this Sam's Club versus Costco?

We are members of both and I'm still trying to figure out why anyone would prefer Sam's except they sell Pampers. Our baby boy goes through enough diapers to justify the Sam's membership, but I can't find anything else to buy there. I'm sure I'm missing something.

Give my best to Morris Applebaum V.

Imagine a discount card stomping on a human face, forever.

... and now imagine someone "liking" it on Facebook.

You'll find some interesting examples in Australia.
The national flag carrying airline (Qantas, privately owned, but with a government bar on foreign ownership becoming a majority) presently has a gay CEO. It flamboyantly courts the LGBTQIA crowd, with the CEO and uniformed staff participating in the gay mardi gras, and circulating cringe-worthy staff guidance to advance gender politics through language. It also co-opted staff to wear a pro LGBTQIA split wedding ring during the recent national vote on gay marriage.
Minor banks boast they only lend for renewable energy. Major banks boast they won't lend for steaming coal projects, only coking coal projects. (No, I don't get it either.)
On the other hand, a Christian-owned brewery was pilloried and forced to apologise for a light hearted ad featuring a friendly discussion between gay and straight members of Parliament (from the one political party, as it happens) on gay marriage.
The generalisation I would draw is that these examples are not of party-political positioning of corporates, but rather the dominance of green-left-gender activists well to the left of the major left wing political party (the Labor Party) though a combination of pushing their own interests from positions of corporate office and intimidating any corporate that tries to maintain a respect for the individuality of customers and workers and their rights to their own consciences, opinions and free speech.
I hate it.

What’s lgbtqia?

LGBT: Abbreviation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender. An umbrella term that is often used to refer to the community as a whole. Our center uses LGBTQIA+ to intentionally include and raise awareness of Queer, Intersex and Asexual as well as myriad other communities under our umbrella.

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Market segmentation by ideology by and large runs against the grain for most companies, as these are primarily interested in maximizing sales and revenues.

In Hungary, right after the fall of communism, many companies tried to curry favor by cozying up to the party in power, only to be burned when the government switched. After about two full parliamentary cycles, most businesses decided that they were not in the politics business, and largely stayed out of the political fray thereafter.

There are of course exceptions, notably the press and media, in which the product itself is partly ideology. On the other hand, your Ford dealer does not want to be known as the car for the right, unless this segments the market in a meaningful way. (It hasn't traditionally, for cars.)

And I can assure you that, even at Trader Joes, some product manager will eventually pipe up, "If only we could sell to conservatives, we would increase our market share..."

By and large, business is about making money, not about political affinities.

Prius is kind of seen as a car for the left (at least by some people I know on the left, even though other customers may have praxtical reasons for choosing it)

“Take special care to advance women along” as if that is a behavior on which the left has a monopoly. Tyler is utterly oblivious to what a buffoonish bigot he is.

We bought a refrigerator a few years back from Home Depot. Friends on two occasions told us tgat Home Depot was a "red" company and we shoukd have gone to Lowes which is "blue".

Seems so silly.

Maybe they meant is a communist front organization.

I'm all for differentiating between people who think like that and people who don't.

And build a space ship to hold the really smart people and send them to another planet somewhere to prepare it for when the earth is destroyed. The 'really smart people' would be defined by those who buy groceries based on political affiliation.

Then the rest of us can go about our lives peacefully for a generation or so until it happens again.

Huh. Never once heard that. And I'm as democrat as they come.

This isn't specifically red/blue political but the prevailing view in the business press has always been that Lowe's is more female-friendly than HD, pressing HD to improve its own service

This may not be a popular idea but here goes: a lot of current political polarisation summaries state the gap between left and right is quite sharp in the youth today, and at distinct variance to past patterns. Could these companies 'lurching left' simply see the writing on the wall?
After all, I'm a Democrat, won't pretend otherwise. I feel optimistic about 20 year out demographics. Could companies not be making the same calculations?

Seems it's happened before - look up "pillarisation", formerly (?) prevalent in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Anyone have an opinion on how that all worked out?

I find it really odd anyone can get the loyalty programs to work. I've tried using them, but I can save more on one cheaper flight via competition than the loyalty program could save in a decade. Over two or three flights, it would be enough to pay for first class. I guess it might be OK if I flew round the world daily, but at that point it would be cheaper just to get my own plane.

So I end up subscribing to all the loyalty programs but never using them. But I have a job so I can just pay the fare/bill anyway.

Knowing the laziness of the left, their products would be much more expensive due to lack of productivity.

I used to joke that there would only be two companies in the world, who I called jokingly Coke and Pepsi. The conglomerates would be so large that all the companies in the world would be owned by, or aligned with, one of the two. You'd work at a Coke job, drive a Coke car, shop at a Coke store and would have nothing to do with your enemies, who were driving the enemy Pepsi car. This was how I tried to explain the coming tribalization of the US, were folks were stuck in their own bubbles and would only shop at stores that were aligned with their political tribe.

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