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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Great Consumer Lovefest

After nodding and hmm-ing through my physician’s annual speech and plug for his favorite exercise program this morning, we parted ways amicably, he a little richer, and I, naturally, for the Culvers drive-thru next door.

Halfway through my bean and ham soup (hot, yet lacking in excitement), I noticed my soft drink cup trumpeting: “Taste How Much We Care TM.” As I shifted my focus to my LCD monitor displaying an email-in-progress, my signature quote rebuted the Diet Pepsi:

"It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest." - Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations.

When did we start to care whether business cared? What do we get out of the deal if they do care? Do we care about them?

We care whether the meat is red or greasy enough, if the coffee is hot and the pop fizzy, or if the service is fast and slightly better than hostile, but none of these quantify whether our favorite eatery cares about us, or we about them.

We hope they care about our money. Because, by chasing the mighty greenback, they’re going to deliver the best product they can for the dollar, within proper cost ratios and demand curves.

A business that professes to “care” about me is a business I cannot trust. If my drink cup is not even mail-merged to display my name, how do they know I am not an ax-murderer? Were I, would they still care?

Further, can they say nothing good about their product? Why not “Taste How Fizzy Is Our Pop TM” instead of “Taste How Much We Care TM?”

I fear, following in the steps of Compassionate Conservatism, Public-Private Partnerships, and It Takes a Village, Business That Cares is another pacifier to the masses and an insult to the intelligent.