Cause, Not Charity

Cause, Not Charity

“I guess we can’t buy all the stuff in my Wayfair cart,” my wife tells me. We just bought a house, and I think Wayfair has figured it out, their marketing has been rather aggressive lately.

Can’t blame her, Wayfair has some nice stuff.

If you missed the news, Wayfair is in a bit of trouble because some of its employees went public after learning the company was selling beds to a government contractor tasked with maintaining a border detention camp. The beds were for the kids we hear about in the news.

Wayfair execs didn’t back down - claiming business is business. The “why” is making revenue so their employees can have jobs.

One of them going so far as to muse why the company was being forced to take a political stance.

As the water starts to boil, they offered up a $100,000 donation to the Red Cross.

Money has this weird thing where it is both personal and political. The money in your pocket is yours. The money spent by the government is ours. Clean money and dirty money all depend on the avenues used to extract that money from the customer. Some money we are proud to earn, there are other sources of income we’d rather not tell people about.

Does every company have to take a political stance? Every company already does. Anyone who participates in any side of a transaction in a capitalist society is taking a stance. Most are small, some are significant; every one of them is personal.

A company driven by cause would go out of their way to provide no-profit furnishings for migrant families who are resettling here - it would be built into their business model and serve the very foundation of their identity.

A company who throws money at a charity when problems arise is merely painting a crumbling building.

Business is business, and all business is political.

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