Remember how the US cut into the French tourism trade?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Well here is a chance to do the same thing for Venezuela's gas company.

H/T Captain's Quarters .


Knucklehead said...

I hate when this happens! It has been so long now that I no longer have any idea why but I decided to boycott Citgo back when I was a kid (if anyone knows what Citgo mighta done in the mid to late '70s to provoke a particular knucklehead, shout out). It is possible (but unlikely - somewhere, sometime, I musta gotten desperate) that I have not purchased gasoline at a Citgo station in 30 years.

I have some problems with boycotts but I am not immune to joining them. A particular problem is identifying whether or not you will do any harm to the intended target.

For example, if you don't buy gas from Citgo stations and the stations themselves are independently owned then at least the initial economic harm is done to people who really have nothing to do with the likes of Hugo Chavez. Ultimately, though, if the boycott were sufficiently successful the independent owners would switch their affiliation or go independent.

If that were to happen at a large enough scale Citgo might suffer for a while but would eventually sell their product to other gas stations and you'd wind up buying Citgo gas anyway. Products like oil and gasoline are quite fungible (can be sold or traded pretty much anywhere for a pretty consistent market price). For example, the "US" refusing to buy oil from Iran just means Iranian oil is purchased by someone else for the same price and we buy someone else's oil. We feel better but it does no harm to Iran.

It would be interesting. A boycott of Citog gas stations would undoubtedly send a message to Chavez because station owners would soon howl. He wouldn't care though. He can sell his gasoline anywhere.

Things like boycotting Phwance I can make at least some marginal contribution to. I have, for example, not gone to Phwance when I could have. I won't deliver into the nation that much of my money. Gotta buy the Better Two-Thirds perfume from time to time, though, and she likes two stoopid Phwench ones. No point fighting that one. And I do like cognac. I've heard all the arguments about some brandies from various other sources being just as good but so far I have to say I have not been impressed. So I break my boycott twice a year to purchase two bottles of Phwech pwoduct: one perfume, one cognac. What can I say, I'm a bad person.

But I can't help. As I said, I no buy Citgo. Kinda like asking me to boycott Hollywood. I don't go to the cinema (or so rarely that it might as well be never), so I already boycott them.

terrye said...

Needless to say it would be symbolic more than substantive.

Knucklehead said...

Well, symbolic has some value. But what would "substantive" be? We're not going to put Venezuela out of business with a Citgo boycott. But who knows, it might disprupt Citgo enough that some folks in Venezuela might decide that Chavez is too expensive to maintain.

The boycott of Phwance didn't undo them and hasn't changed their attitudes or behavior. Anyone who pokes around wine racks might have noticed that he selection of Phwench wines has dropped rather noticeably as have the prices. That's hit somebody, somewhere in Phwance in the pocketbook and they've probably at least made their pain known to the powers that be.

I suspect this Citgo thing might grow some legs. We'll know in a few weeks if we hear station owners pleading that it isn't their fault but they're the only ones being hurt. Boycott away. Like I said, I can't help since I don't buy their gasoline; can't reduce $0 any further.

terrye said...

I think it just makes people feel like they are voicing an opinion.

Kind of up yours sort of deal.

Knucklehead said...

That works fer me, Terrye!

chuck said...

Around here, Citgo used to be the gas at 7-eleven. Whether that was the case nationally, or still is locally, I have no idea. Anyone know how these franchises work? If gas is up to the individual franchisee, I assume they can just change suppliers and signs.

reliapundit said...

FWIW: because of chavez&co, i posted a call for a boycott of citgo on may 5, 2006.