Marco Rubio Puts Big Business on Notice

 

Senator Marco Rubio published an important Op-Ed Monday titled, “Corporations that undermine American values don’t deserve GOP support.” I read it in the NY Post but it may be syndicated elsewhere. We have been seeing an astonishing change in the mindset of corporations over the last 20-plus years. For most of the previous century, corporations tried to remain politically neutral, and if anything they leaned to the right. Rubio starts with that premise:

“What’s good for General Motors is good for the country.” This was a ­defining American ­adage in the last century, because it was true: US corporations helped to make our country the most prosperous in the history of the world. But with the profits came a corporate duty to care for the strength of the nation and its citizens.

But something has changed in the last couple of decades. Rubio identifies two trends, both of which stem from an internationalist perspective on the part of the CEOs. “It became trendy for executives to view themselves as ‘citizens of the world.’ Love of country, free speech and traditional faith and other bedrock American ideals became unfashionable.”

The two trends are insidious. First, the corporations offload what used to be American jobs to other countries, especially China. Second, they criticize the American public who hold traditional views, support every woke endeavor, and get involved in legislation they don’t agree with.  I’m only summarizing. You’ll have to read the entire article.

But Rubio puts these CEOs on notice:

As our corporate leaders care less and less about the strength of our nation, the policy advice they give lawmakers makes less and less sense for our country.

Cutting corporate taxes, and especially investment taxes, makes sense if US companies are going to invest in American industry. But if they’re instead prioritizing offshoring operations or simply returning windfalls to shareholders, then policymakers are going to start being more careful in how we structure tax cuts.

I completely agree with Senator Rubio. For most of my conservative life I have supported business in general. That impulse needs to be tamed. These CEOs have become internationalist sophisticates and do not have the American people as part of their interest. Sure, corporate interests are not always in harmony with every national interest, but they shouldn’t be in opposition to American interests.

Published in Domestic Policy
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  1. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Good post, Manny. What is especially frustrating is that they don’t even know what they’re supporting! (See the Georgia voting bill.) They see the headline and just say, “sign me up.” That kind of sloppiness is unbecoming to a CEO, never mind to any citizen. My sentiments are like yours, although I’m skeptical whether anyone in Congress will give the cold shoulder to corporations. We’ll see . . . 

    • #1
  2. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    Manny: Most of my conservative life I have supported business in general.  That impulse needs to be tamed.

    Me too but woke corporations have tamed my impulse completely.  For the first time ever, I have no sense of pride in or loyalty to American brands and I no longer care what happens to them.  Let the EU and the rest of the world go after Big Tech and let them fend for themselves.  

    • #2
  3. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Good post, Manny. What is especially frustrating is that they don’t even know what they’re supporting! (See the Georgia voting bill.) They see the headline and just say, “sign me up.” That kind of sloppiness is unbecoming to a CEO, never mind to any citizen. My sentiments are like yours, although I’m skeptical whether anyone in Congress will give the cold shoulder to corporations. We’ll see . . .

    I’m wondering Susan if they did or did not know what was in the Georgia voting bill.  On the one hand they may have sloppily went out on a limb and against it.  Or, which I think may be more probable, they knew what it was and agreed with the Liberal perception of it.  I don’t know but I tend to think on the latter.  

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Manny (View Comment):
    Or, which I think may be more probable, they knew what it was and agreed with the Liberal perception of it. 

    Or they didn’t know what it was and agreed with the Liberals who attacked it! ;-)

    • #4
  5. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):
    Or, which I think may be more probable, they knew what it was and agreed with the Liberal perception of it.

    Or they didn’t know what it was and agreed with the Liberals who attacked it! ;-)

    LOL!  That is very possible, maybe the most likely!

    • #5
  6. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    Rubio has come a long way from his Gang-of-8 super-Amnesty days.

    • #6
  7. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Good post, Manny. What is especially frustrating is that they don’t even know what they’re supporting!

    I more or less expect this from a star professional athlete who can’t keep his/her mouth shut but corporate CEO’s should know better and when they don’t they should not get favorable treatment.

    • #7
  8. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    American Corporations are eagerly fulfilling Kruschev’s prophecy about capitalists selling socialists the rope the socialists will hang them with.

    Too bad Little Marco doesn’t really mean any of the rhetoric his staffer wrote for him. He will do nothing to change anything, lest he anger the Republican “Free Trade” dogmatists.

    • #8
  9. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    Victor Tango Kilo (View Comment):

     

    Too bad Little Marco doesn’t really mean any of the rhetoric his staffer wrote for him. He will do nothing to change anything, lest he anger the Republican “Free Trade” dogmatists.

    Exactly. He is posturing. Just put us back in power and we will get them this time !!!!!

    Republicans like Rubio always rattle their saber until they take power. 

    Corporations just didn’t go left yesterday. But, Rubio went right yesterday 

    • #9
  10. Chris Oler Coolidge
    Chris Oler
    @ChrisO

    It sometimes seems like a PR game to me. Corporations don’t want the Twitter warriors to come for them, so they take a path of less resistance. Meanwhile, they anger the other half of the country. Doesn’t make sense to me. 

    So, what are they getting out of it? I think we could identify a number of things and label them under Crony Capitalism. D’s want the power to choose the winners and losers and the big globalist companies say, “Cut me in and we’ll use our resources to help.”

    • #10
  11. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    Just put us back in power and we will get them this time 

    “Next time we promise to try harder,” – Republican Party Motto since 1996. 

    • #11
  12. GFHandle Member
    GFHandle
    @GFHandle

    I wonder if the corporations aren’t playing a demographic game. They may think that the Democrats are a better bet than the Republicans going forward. Align with Dem on social issues (which cost nothing), give them money that used to go to the other party, and reap the economic rewards. What, actually, can the Republicans offer the large corporations these days that the Democrats can’t? With unions weak and the Democrats not much interested in workers as such, the two are no longer natural enemies.

    Then too the top tiers of business were once educated in basically conservative institutions. Since Vietnam it is quite different.  As Plato knew, lose education and you lose everything. 

     

     

     

    • #12
  13. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    I wonder if the corporations aren’t playing a demographic game. They may think that the Democrats are a better bet than the Republicans going forward.

    It’s not even that. Corporations are notoriously short-sighted, and they know in the short term it’s safer to side with the left because conservatives are basically nice people who won’t march on their homes and threaten their children if they fail to comply. Whereas leftists are evil and violent and will do exactly that.

    And perhaps it is even simpler than that; business elites have been thoroughly indoctrinated in leftist ideology to the point where their blood is now 90% Kool-Aid.

    • #13
  14. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Good post, Manny. What is especially frustrating is that they don’t even know what they’re supporting! (See the Georgia voting bill.) They see the headline and just say, “sign me up.” That kind of sloppiness is unbecoming to a CEO, never mind to any citizen. My sentiments are like yours, although I’m skeptical whether anyone in Congress will give the cold shoulder to corporations. We’ll see . . .

    I wanted to be able to ask the CEO’s who piled on about the Georgia voting bill without knowing what was actually in it if they made other business decisions with as little knowledge and thought as they apparently did that one. Why should we believe that you CEO won’t make future business decisions with no reference to actual facts and data? 

    • #14
  15. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    A corporation is a quasi-person. A multi-national corporation is a citizen of the world. 

    Rubio is right to put them on notice, but it will do little good, as our laws pretty much tell corporations which parts and to what degree to house in the US and which to house elsewhere to maximize profits. 

    And quasi-persons don’t care about ‘dancing with the one who brung you’. They are mercenary, even monstrous, in their existence as market-eating profit-sharing entities. 

    • #15
  16. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    GFHandle (View Comment):

    I wonder if the corporations aren’t playing a demographic game. They may think that the Democrats are a better bet than the Republicans going forward. Align with Dem on social issues (which cost nothing), give them money that used to go to the other party, and reap the economic rewards. What, actually, can the Republicans offer the large corporations these days that the Democrats can’t? With unions weak and the Democrats not much interested in workers as such, the two are no longer natural enemies.

    Then too the top tiers of business were once educated in basically conservative institutions. Since Vietnam it is quite different. As Plato knew, lose education and you lose everything.

     

     

     

    It’s possible they make that calculation but these tech companies like Facebook seem pretty Liberal. 

    • #16
  17. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Has anybody else read Frank Herbert’s Dune series?  He frequently started his chapters with a quote or blurb that ‘set the tone’. One comes to mind here.

    Bene Gesserit saying: never support weakness, always support strength. 

    • #17
  18. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Has anybody else read Frank Herbert’s Dune series? He frequently started his chapters with a quote or blurb that ‘set the tone’. One comes to mind here.

    Bene Gesserit saying: never support weakness, always support strength.

    Osama Bin Laden said something like that too – if people see two horses they will support the strong horse over the weak horse.

    • #18
  19. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    GFHandle (View Comment):
    I wonder if the corporations aren’t playing a demographic game. They may think that the Democrats are a better bet than the Republicans going forward. Align with Dem on social issues (which cost nothing), give them money that used to go to the other party, and reap the economic rewards. What, actually, can the Republicans offer the large corporations these days that the Democrats can’t? With unions weak and the Democrats not much interested in workers as such, the two are no longer natural enemies.

    The Dems are pushing to get rid of Right To Work laws nationwide and strengthen unions.

    But I’m sure it’s fine.

     

    • #19
  20. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    GFHandle (View Comment):
    I wonder if the corporations aren’t playing a demographic game. They may think that the Democrats are a better bet than the Republicans going forward. Align with Dem on social issues (which cost nothing), give them money that used to go to the other party, and reap the economic rewards. What, actually, can the Republicans offer the large corporations these days that the Democrats can’t? With unions weak and the Democrats not much interested in workers as such, the two are no longer natural enemies.

    The Dems are pushing to get rid of Right To Work laws nationwide and strengthen unions.

    But I’m sure it’s fine.

    Unions are parasites upon businesses. At their birth they actually help workers, but they soon become corrupt as they begin to drive the business like wasps that make zombies out of spiders. Which might work, if ‘investors’ weren’t doing the same thing from the other end. 

    And a schizophrenic zombie gathers no brains, as the saying goes. 

    A multi-national business can choose between paying child/slave labor, paying low wages in a non-first world country, or paying “fair” wages (and all the other stuff) in the US, but the price they can sell their widget at doesn’t care about the worker.

    So they do the math and hire to stay competitive. 

    Except for Nike. They’re just evil. 

     

    • #20
  21. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    TBA (View Comment):
    A multi-national business can choose between paying child/slave labor, paying low wages in a non-first world country, or paying “fair” wages (and all the other stuff) in the US, but the price they can sell their widget at doesn’t care about the worker.

    Indeed.

    Free trade orthodoxy is usually sold with the assumption that 1st world workers will always be able to add so much more value than 3rd world workers that they’ll retain their comparative advantage.

    Something that doesn’t hold for an increasing number of products and services. Eventually wages will converge – don’t know when, but that’s    the point of balance.

    • #21
  22. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    In no way do I stick up for corporations jumping on the woke propaganda bandwagon.  But if I had read the article by Marco Rubio and had not known who the author was — just that it was a U.S. senator — I would have assumed it was written by Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.  Marco Rubio makes it sound like the U.S. government is doing corporations a big undeserved favor by not trying to drive them out of the country with even higher taxes and more labor regulations.  Are we supposed to raise taxes on all corporations to punish some for publicly supporting political causes we disagree with?  Or do we have variable tax rates depending on the values corporations publicly espouse?  Do you not think that when the Democrats are in charge (hey wait a minute, they’re in charge right now, aren’t they?) they would not use this power to tax discriminately?

    When was this golden time when people built or invested in businesses for the good of their community, not because they were trying to make a profit?  It must have been back when workers took jobs just for the pleasure of working, not because they selfishly wanted a paycheck.

    • #22
  23. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    When was this golden time when people built or invested in businesses for the good of their community, not because they were trying to make a profit? It must have been back when workers took jobs just for the pleasure of working, not because they selfishly wanted a paycheck.

    My impression is that companies were part of the community they were in – your town had a grocer, a shoe repair guy and a drugstore and that was where everyone went and they would sponsor teams, donate stuff for town events, maybe pay for band uniforms. People would work in part because not working was viewed as somewhat shameful. Women would volunteer for stuff. 

    This particular social contract was of course not universally honored, but it did help make sense of life for a lot of people before our loyalties became so atomized that profit was the only thing that counted. 

    Perhaps a lot of the wokeness of businesses is a misfire of the impulse that made the grocer donate food for a church event; a way to share (and especially get) love and affirm the importance of community. 

    • #23
  24. No Caesar Thatcher
    No Caesar
    @NoCaesar

    The current “Big-Tech” corporate landscape, etc. reminds me of my studies of corporate history in business school.  During the 1950s and 60s it was easy (comparatively) for US companies to make a lot of money.  The rest of the developed world had been destroyed by a World War and Socialist economics.  They thought this was the norm: “new normal”.  They got fat, dumb and complacent.  Over time competition came along, and kicked them to the curb.  Some relearned how to compete, some didn’t and…

    I think we are at the early stages of a repeat of this dynamic now with Woke Corporations.  This time it’s the ones who’ve benefited from the early mover benefits of the hardware/software/networking revolution of the last 40 years.  Apple/Alphabet/Facebook/Amazon et al think that their dominance is normal.  They can easily indulge in their politics and still be rich.  Woke is a luxury good, that only the very rich (or those attempting to pass as such) can afford.  There will come a reckoning.  When?  I can’t say, but the trends all move faster, as the speed of communications has sped up.   So it will be in years, not decades.  

    • #24
  25. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

     Some relearned how to compete, some didn’t and…

    Most of the ones who didn’t got bailouts.

    • #25
  26. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    No Caesar (View Comment):

    The current “Big-Tech” corporate landscape, etc. reminds me of my studies of corporate history in business school. During the 1950s and 60s it was easy (comparatively) for US companies to make a lot of money. The rest of the developed world had been destroyed by a World War and Socialist economics. They thought this was the norm: “new normal”. They got fat, dumb and complacent. Over time competition came along, and kicked them to the curb. Some relearned how to compete, some didn’t and…

    I think we are at the early stages of a repeat of this dynamic now with Woke Corporations. This time it’s the ones who’ve benefited from the early mover benefits of the hardware/software/networking revolution of the last 40 years. Apple/Alphabet/Facebook/Amazon et al think that their dominance is normal. They can easily indulge in their politics and still be rich. Woke is a luxury good, that only the very rich (or those attempting to pass as such) can afford. There will come a reckoning. When? I can’t say, but the trends all move faster, as the speed of communications has sped up. So it will be in years, not decades.

    Yes, a lot of people think that the tech giants of today will be here forever.  But how many past giants of technology or retail are shadows of their former selves?  Twenty years ago people laughed at you if you weren’t on America Online, now they laugh at you if you still have an AOL e-mail address.  IBM, Sears, Montgomery Ward, the list goes on and on.  Chrysler was not the biggest auto manufacturer, but they were still huge.  How many models still bear the Chrysler nameplate today?  Two?  Apple may still be huge 30 years from now or they may be the next Compaq or Gateway 2000.

    • #26
  27. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    In no way do I stick up for corporations jumping on the woke propaganda bandwagon. But if I had read the article by Marco Rubio and had not known who the author was — just that it was a U.S. senator — I would have assumed it was written by Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. Marco Rubio makes it sound like the U.S. government is doing corporations a big undeserved favor by not trying to drive them out of the country with even higher taxes and more labor regulations. Are we supposed to raise taxes on all corporations to punish some for publicly supporting political causes we disagree with? Or do we have variable tax rates depending on the values corporations publicly espouse? Do you not think that when the Democrats are in charge (hey wait a minute, they’re in charge right now, aren’t they?) they would not use this power to tax discriminately?

    When was this golden time when people built or invested in businesses for the good of their community, not because they were trying to make a profit? It must have been back when workers took jobs just for the pleasure of working, not because they selfishly wanted a paycheck.

    That’s not how I read it. Corporations get government benefits. There is a such thing as corporate welfare. If they receive benefits they have an obligation not to work against American interests. 

    • #27
  28. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Manny (View Comment):

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    In no way do I stick up for corporations jumping on the woke propaganda bandwagon. But if I had read the article by Marco Rubio and had not known who the author was — just that it was a U.S. senator — I would have assumed it was written by Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. Marco Rubio makes it sound like the U.S. government is doing corporations a big undeserved favor by not trying to drive them out of the country with even higher taxes and more labor regulations. Are we supposed to raise taxes on all corporations to punish some for publicly supporting political causes we disagree with? Or do we have variable tax rates depending on the values corporations publicly espouse? Do you not think that when the Democrats are in charge (hey wait a minute, they’re in charge right now, aren’t they?) they would not use this power to tax discriminately?

    When was this golden time when people built or invested in businesses for the good of their community, not because they were trying to make a profit? It must have been back when workers took jobs just for the pleasure of working, not because they selfishly wanted a paycheck.

    That’s not how I read it. Corporations get government benefits. There is a such thing as corporate welfare. If they receive benefits they have an obligation not to work against American interests.

    There should be no corporate welfare, period.  I don’t care if you are Chic-fil-A or Woke Incorporated.  And looking over Rubio’s article again, I don’t see him giving any examples of corporate welfare. 

    Furthermore — and I know that I am outside the current Republican mainstream on this — I do not think it is working against America’s interests to employ people in foreign lands.  If you are a giant international company selling products all over the world, it is only logical that you would have manufacturing facilities in numerous countries, rather than having everything built in just one country. 

    Even if you think that populist Republican politicians know better than the people working in a given industry how their supply chain should be set up, Republicans are in charge half the time and Democrats are in charge half the time.  You cannot give the power to Republicans to write the rules to please you and expect that when the Democrats are in charge — as they are currently — that they won’t use that power to boss industry around. 

    • #28
  29. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    In no way do I stick up for corporations jumping on the woke propaganda bandwagon. But if I had read the article by Marco Rubio and had not known who the author was — just that it was a U.S. senator — I would have assumed it was written by Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. Marco Rubio makes it sound like the U.S. government is doing corporations a big undeserved favor by not trying to drive them out of the country with even higher taxes and more labor regulations. Are we supposed to raise taxes on all corporations to punish some for publicly supporting political causes we disagree with? Or do we have variable tax rates depending on the values corporations publicly espouse? Do you not think that when the Democrats are in charge (hey wait a minute, they’re in charge right now, aren’t they?) they would not use this power to tax discriminately?

    When was this golden time when people built or invested in businesses for the good of their community, not because they were trying to make a profit? It must have been back when workers took jobs just for the pleasure of working, not because they selfishly wanted a paycheck.

    That’s not how I read it. Corporations get government benefits. There is a such thing as corporate welfare. If they receive benefits they have an obligation not to work against American interests.

    There should be no corporate welfare, period. I don’t care if you are Chic-fil-A or Woke Incorporated. And looking over Rubio’s article again, I don’t see him giving any examples of corporate welfare.

    Furthermore — and I know that I am outside the current Republican mainstream on this — I do not think it is working against America’s interests to employ people in foreign lands. If you are a giant international company selling products all over the world, it is only logical that you would have manufacturing facilities in numerous countries, rather than having everything built in just one country.

    Even if you think that populist Republican politicians know better than the people working in a given industry how their supply chain should be set up, Republicans are in charge half the time and Democrats are in charge half the time. You cannot give the power to Republicans to write the rules to please you and expect that when the Democrats are in charge — as they are currently — that they won’t use that power to boss industry around.

    In an ideal world this would be so.  But I understand that Mercedes has stopped production of two vehicles because of lack of chips.  Outsourcing your parts to foreign countries is a great during times of mutual prosperity, but fragile when international competition heats up.

    • #29
  30. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    In no way do I stick up for corporations jumping on the woke propaganda bandwagon. But if I had read the article by Marco Rubio and had not known who the author was — just that it was a U.S. senator — I would have assumed it was written by Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. Marco Rubio makes it sound like the U.S. government is doing corporations a big undeserved favor by not trying to drive them out of the country with even higher taxes and more labor regulations. Are we supposed to raise taxes on all corporations to punish some for publicly supporting political causes we disagree with? Or do we have variable tax rates depending on the values corporations publicly espouse? Do you not think that when the Democrats are in charge (hey wait a minute, they’re in charge right now, aren’t they?) they would not use this power to tax discriminately?

    When was this golden time when people built or invested in businesses for the good of their community, not because they were trying to make a profit? It must have been back when workers took jobs just for the pleasure of working, not because they selfishly wanted a paycheck.

    That’s not how I read it. Corporations get government benefits. There is a such thing as corporate welfare. If they receive benefits they have an obligation not to work against American interests.

    There should be no corporate welfare, period. I don’t care if you are Chic-fil-A or Woke Incorporated. And looking over Rubio’s article again, I don’t see him giving any examples of corporate welfare.

    Furthermore — and I know that I am outside the current Republican mainstream on this — I do not think it is working against America’s interests to employ people in foreign lands. If you are a giant international company selling products all over the world, it is only logical that you would have manufacturing facilities in numerous countries, rather than having everything built in just one country.

    Even if you think that populist Republican politicians know better than the people working in a given industry how their supply chain should be set up, Republicans are in charge half the time and Democrats are in charge half the time. You cannot give the power to Republicans to write the rules to please you and expect that when the Democrats are in charge — as they are currently — that they won’t use that power to boss industry around.

    Agree that setting up shop in countries you are selling to is not anti American. But moving factories over seas is. Supporting immigration for cheap labor is. 

    • #30
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