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Posted by: Doug Henwood | April 22, 2011

Non CREDO

If you’ve got an email account and have a rep as some kind of “progressive,” you’re probably bombarded with offers from CREDO Mobile, often via The Nation and Alternet. Their marketing hook is that the big guys, AT&T and Verizon, support the far right and CREDO is all crunchy and nice.

Except that the CREDO part isn’t really true. The company has no network of its own—it uses Sprint’s. And Sprint is aggressively nonunion, while AT&T is unionized. (No doubt AT&T would rather not be unionized, but it is.)

But that’s not all. Sprint gives plenty of money to Republican candidates. In the 2010 cycle (Sprint Nextel Contributions to Federal Candidates | OpenSecrets), it gave 46% of its contributions to Republicans, among them such progressive stalwarts as John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Dan Coats, David Vitter, Jim DeMint (one of the most right-wing members of the Senate), John Cornyn (who once excused the murder of judges as an understandable reaction to odious decisions, among them on abortion), Joe Lieberman, Joe Barton (who apologized to BP after the spill for the White House’s “shakedown” of the company, and who thinks global warming is a good thing). Sprint’s 45% isn’t much different from AT&T’s 55% or Verizon’s 50%.

CREDO claims that it doesn’t fund anti-environment politicians, or those who oppose a woman’s right to choose, or those who are pro-war. That may be true in a legalistic sense, but Sprint does. And if you’re using CREDO, you’re using Sprint.

You can’t shop your way to a better world. Or move your money, either.

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Responses

  1. Though I am in basic agreement with your points, since you really “can’t shop your way to a better world,” you also can’t voluntary simplicity your way to better world, you can’t blog, you cant left observe, you can’t chant, you can’t vote, and you can’t Left Forum either. A better world is possible, but it ain’t going to happen – we are too far gone, the forces are far too great and mutually reinforcing, so there is no real need to get high and mighty about anything we do.
    Besides, CREDO may use a bad company’s network, but it still donates a good amount of money to righteous causes, and that’s better than the alternative. So I”m sticking with CREDO, in full understanding of drops + buckets.

  2. “You can’t shop your way to a better world.”

    Doug, you are my go-to guy for pithiness.

  3. Martin said:

    “A better world is possible, but it ain’t going to happen”

    Um, why did you bother posting a response, then? Guilt?

  4. The answer, Todd, is that this realization is what you could term “truth,” and
    that our beloved Left, even left critics of the left such as Mr. Henwood, should be open to its various shades. You can respond to that truth of pessimism in any way that gets you through your day, my man, but we would save ourselves a good deal of left blather and sloganeering if we reference our social reality with more sociological awareness.
    So that’s why I bother – because I care. And because CREDO is going to pay me millions for this info-defense.
    So, open “CREDO” question for left business observers – can you hear me now?

  5. Anyway, I miss Joe Bageant.

  6. Though I was initially put off by Joe Bageant’s embrace of redneckism, boy was he the man later on. His example of thinking/living will be an inspiration to every dissident, if only we had cause worth fighting for – only the good and wise die young.

  7. “this realization is what you could term ‘truth,'”

    Oh.

    Is that what you call it?

    “our beloved Left, even left critics of the left such as Mr. Henwood, should be open to its various shades.”

    I’m a firm believer in Carl Sagan’s advice: “Have an open mind. Just not so open that your brain falls out.”

    “sociological awareness.”

    Is _that_ what you call it?

    “only the good and wise die young.”

    I guess you’ll be around for a while, eh?

  8. Hey, Todd, could you up the content level of your neo-con rejoinders a bit? Truth, sociological awareness, two terms maybe a bit past your level of comfort, so you degenerate into asshole. Keep writing down those Carl Sagan aphorisms – bring ’em out anytime you need to in the wonderful world of comments in the hinterlands.

  9. “A better world is possible, but it ain’t going to happen”

    and

    “your neo-con rejoinders”

    Pot, kettle, black, you hypocritical asshole.

    Read more Sagan (and Marx).

  10. Martin your logic is bizarre, you write off activism as pointless since we are ‘too far gone’ but then immediately try to justify supporting CREDO due to it being a ‘lesser evil’ or some such thing.

  11. Agreed – CREDO is one of the Working Assets services. Back in 1999 in The Nation, Alexander Cockburn blasted the Working Assets credit card as “feel good” pwogwessivism (his niece at Working Assets Radio notwithstanding). As one correspondent to The Nation observed then, Working Assets was just a mask for Fleet Bank, with its craptastic record of avoiding black neighborhood lending. Then Working Assets moved on to MBNA, sponsor of Dubya and Senator/VP Credit Card aka Biden, and onto working-class hero Bank of America.

    And speaking of Bank of America… heh heh… any thoughts on WBAI’s acceptance of $10,000 from Merrill Lynch for a program on fracking? I honestly don’t understand the ruckus, especially after genocidal carnival barker Gary Null has re-entered the scene in such glory… not to mention the laughable train of premiums offered for sale. Next to this filth, Merrill probably lends a spitshine gleam of, er, grown-up respectability, if not countercultural or rad-red credibility.

  12. i use credo. when i signed up, your help calls went straight to a person (now there’s one intermediate step, but you still get a person), there are no different charges for roaming (there were very different charges with my previous company sprint) and, i was assured, they had not handed over call records to the bush administration (as other cell phone companies had). that’s why i joined. and since you can’t shop your way to a better world (certainly true), would these not be good reasons to give my business to credo?

    but since there is a credo, the innocence project (e.g.) get those tens of thousands of dollars each year. and since shopping won’t bring the revolution (certainly true), and i can’t avoid using the network of a big carrier that will be lobbying for corporatist interests anyway, why not put a few dollars innocence project’s way?

  13. So a reputable comments place gets used for some juvenile name-calling – there’s the computer revolution for you, Todd.
    You can’t just put out churlish pap and expect much back. “Read Sagan (and Marx)” is the kind of wormy pedantry that comes from too much idleness. We could give each other reading lists until the rapture comes, you coming up with your Sagan aphorisms, then perhaps some George Will trite takes on “open-mindedness,” and I can give you back three books in turn for every one you come up with as part of your attempt to educate the lower classes, but if there is no base of understanding to work with, why read at all?
    Credo gives a significant amount of money to good causes, far more than Todd has ever done, far more than Left Business Observer has ever done. So where’s the sense of some superiority coming from? Presumably Todd uses a cell-phone, perhaps Henwood also – is it run on butterfly wings and fairy dust? I have no particular use for the cell-phone, could give one up in a heartbeat, but because I have one, I go for the least worst option. Could it be run by union members using Che Guevara wires? Possibly, but I”m not paying 139.99 for each call.
    Remember, the burden is now on you – show me how this world is getting “better” through the expose of some organization that gave $100,000 to charities that promote abortion rights and poor people’s legal access. Where’s the scoop?

  14. […] who markets themselves through progressive outlets, has no network of their own and uses Sprint.CREDO claims that it doesn’t fund anti-environment politicians, or those who oppose a woman’s right to […]

  15. “Credo gives a significant amount of money to good causes”

    So? How does that refute anything written above?

    “So where’s the sense of some superiority coming from?”

    I don’t know about Doug, but mine comes from reading what some idiot posted online and ridiculing him for it.

    “show me how this world is getting ‘better’ through the expose of some organization that gave $100,000 to charities that promote abortion rights and poor people’s legal access.”

    Are you sure you’re not, like, dyslexic? Show me where you see this premise of yours; I can’t find it. All I see is someone warning others not to be taken in by a company’s charlatanry.


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