Over the years, I’ve spent quite a bit of money at Mens Wearhouse, in the low four figures. They generally have a good selection of clothing at pretty good prices, and in the Twin Cities have conveniently-located stores. Overall I’ve been a pretty satisfied customer. After this week, though, they won’t see a dime from me, thanks to their support of the anti-free market mobs in Oakland that ravaged the city over the last couple of weeks. This picture shows where their organizational sympathies lie:
I don’t need to give my money in trade to people who despise my ability to make free-market choices. There are plenty of other businesses that sell good quality men’s clothing at reasonable prices who don’t put signs in windows that cheer on the mobs that do this to their neighbors and fellow businessmen:
Mens Wearhouse had a choice to stand with the market that made them a success and with their fellow businessmen in the community. They chose to stand on the side of the mobs. I won’t stand in one of their stores again. I guarantee it.
I mentioned this on Twitter this morning, and a few people thought that maybe Mens Wearhouse was simply hoping to keep the mob from smashing in their windows and vandalizing their property. Perhaps, but appeasement is hardly commendable — and it rarely works in the long term anyway, as Rudyard Kipling instructs us in his classic poem Danegeld:
IT IS always a temptation to an armed and agile nation,
To call upon a neighbour and to say:
“We invaded you last night – we are quite prepared to fight,
Unless you pay us cash to go away.”
And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
And the people who ask it explain
That you’ve only to pay ’em the Dane-geld
And then you’ll get rid of the Dane!
It is always a temptation to a rich and lazy nation,
To puff and look important and to say:
“Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away.”
And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
But we’ve proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.
It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
For fear they should succumb and go astray,
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to say:
“We never pay any one Dane-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost,
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that plays it is lost!”
One final thought for those who fail to heed this lesson: Even if you’re the last to go up against the wall come the revolution, that’s still where you’ll end up.
Broken glass is shown at a Men’s Warehouse [sic] building in downtown Oakland, Calif., Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011 after a Occupy Wall Street protest earlier. Cleanup work is under way at Oakland’s city hall plaza the morning after a massive anti-Wall Street protest turned violent and chaotic. Graffiti is covering a number of businesses in the immediate area around Frank Ogawa Plaza, where thousands had gathered for a mostly peaceful protest Wednesday. Some windows also are broken, and debris is littering the street.
Update, 11/4 11:15 am: A truly stupid argument comes from some place called Brand Channel, that says it’s my own fault for buying at Men’s Wearhouse since George Zimmer donated to Barack Obama and Democrats. I don’t refuse to patronize businesses based on legitimate political donations. When the entire company supports anti-capitalist mobs running amuck in the streets, that’s quite a different matter. One might think that a website that calls itself “Brand Channel” would understand that difference.