J.D. Tuccille at Reason:

Political polarization is having far-reaching impacts on American life, harming consumer welfare and creating challenges for people ranging from elected officials and policymakers to corporate executives and marketers,” according to a new paper in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing by researchers from Arizona State University, the University of Wyoming, and four other U.S. universities.

The finding that everything is becoming politicized builds on a growing mountain of data. Even before political tensions hit their current fever pitch, a 2018 survey found that “Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of consumers around the world will buy or boycott a brand solely because of its position on a social or political issue” (the number for the U.S. was 59 percent). In 2020, a separate survey reported that “83% of Millennials find it important for the companies they buy from to align with their values.”

“[W]hat if polarization is less like a fence getting taller over time and more like an oil spill that spreads from its source to gradually taint more and more previously ‘apolitical’ attitudes, opinions, and preferences?” Pennsylvania State University’s Daniel DellaPosta asked in a study published in June 2020 in American Sociological Review. “[E]ven many initially apolitical lifestyle characteristics, from musical taste to belief in astrology, can become politicized as signals for deeper beliefs and preferences—a tendency most saliently captured in the popular image of the ‘latte liberal’.”