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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Florida Republican’s Row With Mickey Mouse Historic BFF Exposes Widening Gap Between GOP and Corporate America

There is a growing rift between Corporate America and the GOP—two groups that have long been bedfellows.

The latest incident involves Disney and its decision to speak out against Florida law that prohibits the instruction of sexual orientation or gender identity from kindergarten through third grade. Republicans in the state, including the governor, reacted furiously, voting to strip Disney of the special taxes and self-governing privileges it has held for 55 years.

What follows is a dispute between the GOP and Corporate America over restrictive voting measures and bathroom bills. In 2021, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell explicitly warned companies to “stay out of politics” – though he later softened his tone.

Meanwhile, Democrats are trying to capitalize on the fracture.

As a management professor, I study how the values ​​and political views of corporate executives influence the decisions they make on behalf of their companies. While I believe the CEO is partly responsible for the growing business-GOP divide, it isn’t the only factor driving it.

breaks up a tight relationship

The close relationship between Corporate America and the Republican Party dates back to the 1970s. The companies provided financial support to conservative war chests and in return received business-friendly policies such as lowering corporate taxes and regulations.

This alliance has arguably been a huge success for Big Business. Corporate taxes are only 1% as a share of US GDP, the lowest since 1930 and down from 4.1% in 1967.

But the union has become strained in recent years over a number of social issues, particularly regarding LGBTQ rights.

For example, in 2015, several companies, including Apple and Walmart, denounced so-called religious freedom laws, such as a law passed in Indiana that would allow businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ customers. The following year there was a similar corporate backlash to North Carolina’s ban on transgender individuals from using public bathrooms. Boycotts by several companies, including PayPal and the NCAA, led to a partial repeal in 2017.

The companies were also vocal on matters such as his travel ban from Muslim-majority countries during former President Donald Trump’s presidency and his comments after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. To some, it looked as though he and other Republicans played a role in preparing the ground for a January 6, 2021, revolt at the Capitol may be the last straw, as dozens of companies, including AT&T and Marriott, said they would cut back. Will donated to 147 Republicans who voted against ratifying the election of President Joe Biden.

The fight continues over the election for more restrictive voter laws. Republicans in states across the country cite alleged fraud in the 2020 election – despite no evidence – as the motivation behind their push.

And as the Supreme Court weighs in Roe v. Wade, a landmark decision upholding women’s right to have abortions, the issue will certainly generate more controversy between Republicans and companies, some of which have indicated they will support employees who are terminated. want to have a pregnancy.

Why have companies become more assertive in recent years and are ready to upset a coalition that has helped them lower their tax bills and regulatory hurdles?

My research suggests that there are three driving forces for this trend.

CEOs doing what ‘feels right to us’

The CEO is the top decider of the corporation, which means his political leanings can filter into business decisions.

And in recent years, CEOs of some of the biggest US companies have cited their personal values ​​as a reason to speak up on social issues. As Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan told The Wall Street Journal in 2016, “Our jobs as CEOs now involve driving what we think is right.”

In my own research, I have found that a CEO’s political affiliation can affect how a company spends money. CEOs who donate mostly to Democrats spend more on their employees, community activities, and environmental issues, regardless of their company’s profitability. That is, it looks like they think it’s the right thing to do.

Republican CEOs, on the other hand, link spending on external issues to financial performance, reflecting the belief that companies are first and foremost responsible to shareholders.

Recent research also shows that liberal executives pay more attention to gender diversity within their companies and are less likely to reduce their workforce when economic conditions worsen, in line with liberal priority values.

But relatively few CEOs are staunchly liberal, so the CEO’s influence on the trend may be limited. A recent study found that of the more than 3,500 people who served as CEOs of companies at the Standard & Poor’s 1500 from 2000 to 2017, only 18% donated primarily to Democratic candidates, while 58% mostly donated to Democratic candidates. given to the Republicans.

increasing activist activism

Employees also play an important role in driving corporate activism.

Recent management research shows that companies with more generous employees spend more resources on improving issues of gender and race diversity and sustainability. Similarly, a 2019 study found that companies are more likely to accept workers’ demands on issues such as reducing carbon emissions and increasing wages for front-line workers when they have a more liberal workforce.

Companies can respond to research showing the benefits of listening to their employees and showing their voices. For example, workers show more trust and commitment to a company when they feel it shares their values, leading to higher productivity. A 2017 survey found that 89% of employees said they would accept a lower salary to work at a company whose value matched their own.

Other research shows that engagement in social activities such as protecting the environment leads to lower employee turnover.

In my own research, which tracked companies’ engagement on same-sex marriage issues in the 2000s and 2010s, I found that CEOs’ chances of speaking up on same-sex marriage increased significantly when more employees donated to Democrats. Were — which was true even when CEOs were conservative.

tracking popular opinion

Public opinion is another factor possibly driving the growing rift with the GOP.

Corporate executives follow public sentiment, as they seek to minimize the risk of losing customers for their products and services.

The debate over gay marriage is one example. Public support for allowing gay people to marry was over 50% for the first time in 2011 – it is now 70%. Up until that point, very few CEOs had made a public statement on the issue, according to my gay marriage research. Once popular opinion hits the halfway point, however, much more companies — including those led by conservative CEOs — begin to speak in its favor. Interestingly, even generous CEOs said little as of 2011, including those who had already provided employees with domestic partner benefits.

And recently, it has become even more important for companies to consider public sentiment when deciding to take a stand on the hot-button issue. That’s because their younger customers, especially millennials, increasingly say that CEOs have a responsibility to speak up and will be more likely to buy their products if they do.

On voting laws, a recent survey found that a majority of people support legislation that makes voting easier, not harder.

who is leaving whom

But corporate America is not necessarily moving away from the Republican Party to the Democrats.

Instead, businesses are trying to make it clear that their concerns are not biased in nature. More than 100 companies signed a statement supporting voter rights in 2021 and against bills that would restrict access, emphasizing this point.

I believe a closer look at the three main factors behind the rise in corporate activism – particularly the role of workers and the public – reveals something else. Companies aren’t shying away from the Grand Old Party. Instead, the GOP seems to be drifting not only from corporate America, but also from American public opinion – millennials in particular.

This is an updated version of an article published on April 22, 2021.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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