Friday, June 23, 2006

Boycott blowback or just rearranging the deck chairs?

The Eclectecon quotes this tidbit from Christopher Hitchens:
Danish exports to the United States have increased by 17 percent and that, overall, the Danish economy has more than compensated for the results of the unjustified Muslim boycott.
Dear Reader: Note that I am not saying that the boycott was unjustified. Those who participated were convinced that the boycott was justified and they stopped purchasing Danish products. What is also clear is that not everyone was convinced that the boycott was justified. Those nonparticipants fall into two categories: those whose demand for things Danish did not change, and those who increased their demand for things Danish in reaction to the boycott. You actually don't have to have any of the second kind for boycotts to have no effect. All you need is for the product to be sufficiently generic, and the proportion of buyer who boycott to be sufficiently small that for each boycotting buyer who switches away from a pound of Danish butter and to a pound of non-Danish butter there is a buyer who would have otherwise purchased the non-Danish butter but who is indifferent between the two.


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