Individual Choices and Shared Costs: The Case of Protesting Chick-fil-A

Two cheeky websites have borrowed from economists' latest idea on making people feel the true cost of their choices.

By Imara Jones Aug 09, 2012

Two websites have responded to [Chick-fil-A’s anti-gay stance]( with a novel approach. Instead of forcing millions of Americans to chose between their fried chicken sandwiches and support for LBGT civil rights, [Chicken Offset]( and [Chick-fil-A Confessional]( allow people to perhaps do both. Though glib and slightly campy, these sites represent a growing movement by economists to grapple with the fact that our individual choices have broader consequences. To our detriment, the way that both our economy and the broader society is organized often passes the costs of those choices on to others, while we solely enjoy the benefits. These sites want to change our approach. At Chicken Offset, progressive minded Chick-fil-A addicts can purchase a $1 credit for each meal eaten at the Mayberry-esque establishment. The site pledges that $0.90 of the dollar credit will end up at[ It Gets Better Project]( or the [Williams Institute]( But their essential thrust of the websites is correct. Chick-fil-A Confessional takes a slightly different approach. Instead of a flat rate, this site calculates donations based upon the amount spent at the poultry-pushing restaurants. The more you spend the more you have to give. In addition to It Gets Better, the site lists the Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD as potential beneficiaries. Recognizing the impact that the recession has had on many, "hugging a gay" is also a compensatory option offered by the site. It would be great if these portals also listed LGBT grassroots organizations on the front lines of local communities, as well as those dealing with the crisis of queer youth of color. As our publisher, [the Applied Research Center, has explored](, these groups are horribly underfunded and the LGBT movement suffers as consequence.