Target has announced that they will not be allowing
the Salvation Army
bell ringers outside of its stores this holiday season. In the past
Target has been the number 2 source of revenue for the Salvation Army,
behind Wal-Mart, bringing the charity $9 Million in donations during
the holiday season.
Target claims to have made this decision based on its
company policy against allowing solicitation in front of the store.
Target says that not allowing other groups to collect while at the
same time having bell ringers in front of the store every year was
causing some issues with perceived unfairness. Target also claims that
since it allows in store donations to some charities that it is
fulfilling its duty toward charitable giving.
All people should boycott Target over this decision,
political conservatives. We support lower taxes and one argument that
we rely on when making the case for tax cuts is that charitable giving
increases as the tax burden decreases, so private sources fill the
void left when the government has to cut programs due to decreased tax
income. For this argument to work then we need to support all
charitable programs and work to ensure that giving is as easy as
possible for as many people as may want to give.
When a company such as Target, one which purchases a
great many of its
products from overseas and thus increasing the level of need in
America; it is unconscionable that they would attempt to limit
charitable donations that go to some extent to support the people in
this country who once worked in textiles but no longer have that
opportunity due to companies like Target passing up on American
suppliers. Further, it stands to reason that Target employees are
likely to be some of the recipients of assistance, based on the amount
that the multi-billion dollar corporation pays its employees. It is
Target's option to decide where it sources its products and how much
it pays its employees, but Target should certainly not limit the
public's ability to give to charities which help to offset the
shortfalls created by Target's business model.
The suggestion that I offer is this: If you would
typically spend $200
at Target this Christmas season, give that amount directly to the
Salvation Army instead. If you cannot afford to both redirect that
$200 and to still get gifts for everyone you intended to, then simply
redirect the money and explain what was done to whoever does not get a
gift. The meaning of the Christmas season is such that it is much more
important that we take care of our fellow man, especially if they are
on hard times, than that we support Target by purchasing gifts that
likely will not have lasting meaning for the recipient anyway. Target
is not known for selling heirloom quality gifts anyway, so if you make
a $200 donation to the Salvation Army in your gift recipient's name,
then you have given them a greater gift than you could have purchased
at Target anyway.