With Summer just around the corner, many readers will find themselves indulging in tasty, frozen treats to assuage the summer heat. While such past times are emblematic of American culture (remember chasing the ice cream man down the street with your dollar from mom?), be mindful of what company (and cause) you fund.
Ben and Jerry’s ice cream is a top-notch ice cream company that first opened it’s doors in 1978 and have been known for their off-beat advertising. Recently, Ben and Jerry’s have taken a big step into the world of politics. More than, say, using environmentally conscience packaging or something fairly benign, this most capitalist of companies have taken a stand against capitalism and the free market. On their website, they adamantly stand by the Occupy movement.
The website enumerates the vital issues that the Occupy movement aims to redress. Sounding more like a Cuban party leader’s manifesto than a capitalist company’s website, it states:
-The inequity that exists between classes in our country is simply immoral.
-We are in an unemployment crisis. Almost 14 million people are unemployed. Nearly 20% of African American men are unemployed. Over 25% of our nation’s youth are unemployed.
-Many workers who have jobs have to work 2 or 3 of them just to scrape by.
-Higher education is almost impossible to obtain without going deeply in debt.
-Corporations are permitted to spend unlimited resources to influence elections while stockpiling a trillion dollars rather than hiring people.
And just like that, after reading “The Ice Cream Manifesto”, I became a Breyer’s man.
Since 1978, Ben and Jerry’s have been making full use of an economic system that in a remarkably short time had made this nation a powerhouse and envy of the world. Like Warren Buffett, Matt Damon and an array of other Capitalists, they wish to foster socialism (and, evidently, class warfare) once they have a comfortable amount of wealth. I understand the advocacy of socialism by the lazy, but to have a company that innovates and works within our capitalist system to amass its wealth support the occupiers’ brand of collectivism just plain wreaks of hypocrisy.
To make matters worse, Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben and Jerry’s, is facilitating vandalism of money to spread socialist rhetoric. He and his group, the Movement Resource Group, are trying to make a difference in this war against capitalism. No, he’s not spreading his own wealth around- don’t be ridiculous- he’s raising money to distribute rubber stamps with anti-corporate spending messages on them to encourage people to stamp their money with slogans like “Corporations are not people” and “Money is not speech”. Of course, should Cohen get in trouble for defacing money, how long do you suppose it will take before he cites his use of money as “free speech”?
This summer, I will beat the heat by enjoying the occasional ice cream cone filled with chocolate-mint ice cream. I will abstain from funding further a company that works against the interests of this country and encourage others to do similarly. I will, however, eagerly anticipate the day when Ben and Jerry’s commits fully to their cause and releases “Cherry Guevara”.