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Wed Apr 7, 2021, 01:01 PM

A word of warning about jumping into bed with Corporate America

As tempting as it is to rejoice that at least some of Corporate America is willing to support democracy when it comes to GOP voter suppression laws, we need to pause before we accept their outstretched hand. It may not be a handshake we can live with when all is said and done.

The theory is that these handful of corporations are reading the tea leaves and concluding that it is in their best financial interests to side with their customer base. In other words, the specter of the scary boycott is all we need to bring these corporations over to our side. You have to ask, when have boycotts ever really succeeded and just how often do they pretty much fail at the end of the day given the short memories all politicians know the American Public is famous for? The answer is that it depends on the boycott and whether the government and other corporations decide to get involved. Boycotts can work against financially vulnerable organizations but it is a lot more difficult to have a negative financial impact on a large multinational with a diverse product base. They are simply too big for the average person to keep track of all of their products and the further you get from the initial boycotted product, the more you lose support for the boycott. People get boycott fatigue rather quickly and corporations know it.

There is also the aspect of social media pressure. Negative perceptions of any organization can certainly impact an organization's bottom line, if sustained over a long period of time. Again, when was the last time you saw a sustained negative media campaign to shame a corporation into acting socially responsibly? They come and they go just as quickly once the next cause du jour comes along.

While corporations certainly wield a lot of power and influence, do we really want to rely on them to spearhead our grievances or would it not be smarter to accept their support but only as another arrow in our quiver rather than the main archer taking aim at our foes? Once corporations are weaponized, do they not inevitably use their influence to increase their own power? You only have to look as far as the role they have played in our politics as puppet masters of the GOP. They give some politician 50K and they get tax legislation that saves them billions. A great investment as it turns out. There is no reason to believe that they wouldn't do exactly the same thing if they sided with the Democrats.

We certainly can use the help of corporations but if we merely take them at their word rather than looking at their past performance, we run the risk of becoming the next corporate shills.

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Reply A word of warning about jumping into bed with Corporate America (Original post)
Joe Nation Wednesday OP
CrispyQ Wednesday #1
kentuck Wednesday #2
inwiththenew Wednesday #3
Midnight Writer Wednesday #6
stillcool Wednesday #4
Buckeyeblue Wednesday #5

Response to Joe Nation (Original post)

Wed Apr 7, 2021, 01:08 PM

1. We also need a "Hold Them Accountable in 2022 & Beyond" campaign,

wherein we let the corporations know that we are going to track who they send political contributions to in future elections. Otherwise, this is all just a temporary ad campaign for them.

What we really need is to revoke personhood rights for corporations. They have too much power & the framers never meant for them to have personhood rights just like We the People. They are the only non-living entity to do so. Unions, civics organizations, churches, small businesses, even governments, don't have personhood rights, they have the privileges we grant them. Used to be the same with corporations until the late 1800s.

Here's a really great one page primer on corporate personhood from The Sierra Club.

https://vault.sierraclub.org/sierra/200509/corporation.asp

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Response to Joe Nation (Original post)

Wed Apr 7, 2021, 01:11 PM

2. Democrats should stand behind small businesses....

...and tax the hell out of the big corporations.

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Response to Joe Nation (Original post)

Wed Apr 7, 2021, 01:25 PM

3. They are getting in front of any legislation to make any meaningful impact on their bottom line

They didn't suddenly realize they needed to support more progressive causes out of the kindness of their hearts. It is a cold, calculated business decision in which they are betting that the Democratic party will be controlling the government for the foreseeable future. Businesses see this and know they need to get on the correct side in order to keep their sweet heart deals.

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Response to inwiththenew (Reply #3)

Wed Apr 7, 2021, 04:45 PM

6. Exactly.

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Response to Joe Nation (Original post)

Wed Apr 7, 2021, 02:34 PM

4. politicians come and go...

mega-corporations and their major stock holders last for generations. It really doesn't help them to have an unstable social environment. It's why the United States interferes with other countries, to make it safe for businesses to do their thing. The good thing is they must have calculated, for whatever reason, that being against voter suppression is to their advantage. Politicians will always be susceptible to graft. It starts at the village hall with things like zoning laws.

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Response to Joe Nation (Original post)

Wed Apr 7, 2021, 02:57 PM

5. Corporate America needs to retain/attract talented workers

Most of those workers are socially liberal. That's why corporate America has been so vocal about racial injustice during the past year. That's why corporations were offering benefits to same-sex partners before gay marriage was recognized nationally.

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