By the Editorial Board
The party that once pampered corporations is now punishing them for supporting climate change mitigation, LGBTQ rights, gun reform, abortion rights and more. Just as they like to pander to the anti-“woke” extremists in their base, Republican office holders should consider that today’s businesses, much like those at the height of country-club-republicanism, tend to reflect the dominant company – if only because to do otherwise could hurt their bottom line. It is the Republican Party, not corporations, that is out of step with America on these issues.
The most obvious example of the ironic rift between the GOP and business leaders is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ attack on Disney. After the iconic company slammed DeSantis-backed legislation that attempts to silence discussion of LGBTQ issues in classrooms, DeSantis led a charge to strike down the law’s long-standing self-reliance provisions. ‘state that benefited Disney World.
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DeSantis, who is likely running for president, has already hurt his state with this showboat showdown against Mickey Mouse. Disney has postponed the planned move of thousands of its California employees to Florida, a development many attribute to the fight against DeSantis. But never mind – crushing a major employer in one’s state and thereby damaging the state’s economy is the price to pay for bending to the base.
Reuters reports that such politically motivated attacks on corporations are far more common in state legislatures, with the vast majority led by Republicans rather than Democrats. (More irony, given the age-old hit that Democrats are “anti-business.”) The news service tracked at least 44 bills or new laws in 17 red states, in addition to executive orders from governors. and other leaders, who penalize companies for making business decisions the Republican base doesn’t like.
The sanction of choice is for states to take their business out of companies that show too much of a social conscience. Texas adopted this strategy to punish JPMorgan Chase & Co. and other banks which, for very rational reasons, began to limit their commercial ties with companies involved in the extraction of fossil fuels or the manufacture of weapons. fire.
It is unlikely to end there. With the annulment of Roe v. Wade, some companies are creating policies to help employees from anti-choice states travel to pro-choice states for abortion services — a reasonable offer of employer health care at a time to keep employees happy is a protection against staff shortages. Yet a Texas lawmaker is already trying to ban such policies, telling Reuters, “No company doing business in Texas shall be permitted to subsidize…abortion travel in any way.”
Republicans once believed that free enterprise, unhindered by government, would ultimately do what is good for society, simply because it is in its own financial self-interest to do so. Societies have not changed in this regard. What has changed is a party that now only believes in consolidating power by pandering to extremists.