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Wed Apr 7, 2021, 12:01 PM

A word of warning about jumping into bed with Corporate America [View all]

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 [View all]
Joe Nation Apr 2021 OP
CrispyQ Apr 2021 #1
kentuck Apr 2021 #2
inwiththenew Apr 2021 #3
Midnight Writer Apr 2021 #6
stillcool Apr 2021 #4
Buckeyeblue Apr 2021 #5