Monday, April 12, 2021


I'm very skeptical about this:
More than 100 chief executives and corporate leaders gathered online Saturday to discuss taking new action to combat the controversial state voting bills being considered across the country, including the one recently signed into law in Georgia.

Executives from major airlines, retailers and manufacturers — plus at least one NFL owner — talked about potential ways to show they opposed the legislation, including by halting donations to politicians who support the bills and even delaying investments in states that pass the restrictive measures, according to four people who were on the call, including one of the organizers, Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a Yale management professor.
Remember when some corporations very publicly announced that they wouldn't give money to Republicans in Congress who'd back Donald Trump's efforts to steal the 2020 election? Very soon afterward, we learned that the money was beginning to flow again. Next year, when most of these Republicans are up for reelection, I expect very few January 6-related donation bans to still be in place. Democrats want to raise taxes on the rich and corporations. Republicans don't. So corporations will be giving to the GOP again.

I expect this new campaign to be similarly evanescent, assuming it ever amounts to anything beyond this carefully crafted leak to the media. And while I don't want to fall for conspiracy theories, this almost seems calibrated to work in Republicans' favor.

Think about it. Republicans are now selling themselves as the "working-class party," the party that hates "elites." Your right-wing relatives are already easily enraged by phrases such as "woke capitalism"c and "corporate communism."

None of this changes GOP officeholders' preference for giving more and more money to corporations and the rich. But this battle makes Republicans seem like the champions of ordinary people.

So corporations make what are likely to be mostly empty gestures in response to these bills. Some liberals will be fooled and will think better of these corporations, which will help the companies' bottom line. Right-wing voters won't manage to mount serious boycotts -- they'll still drink Coke.

So the companies aren't taking big risks. Maybe they'll get one or two bills tabled or modified. And then, having pocketed liberals' goodwill, they'll go right back to giving money to Republicans, who, in turn, will have enhanced their image as the anti-"elite" party.

I don't really believe that the companies are coordinating this with the GOP, but they're not really working at cross purposes.

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