Several of the largest, most well known corporations in America also happen to be some of the most left-leaning. Indeed, in today’s hyper-partisan political era, intensified and arguably defined by the election and administration of President Donald Trump, left-wingers in positions of corporate power have used their leverage and political leanings to effectively add a whole new term to America’s political lingo - Woke Capitalism.
Under the Woke Capitalist model, companies aren’t just producing and selling a product to create shareholder wealth and provide for employee livelihoods, they are also assuming the mantle of social justice, or fairness and equality as defined by liberals. In such a system, products are selected not merely based on how they will sell, but rather on whether an agenda is furthered and/or certain protected groups are offended, and employees are subjected to rigorous speech and thought codes that adhere to leftist norms. Deviate, and risk retraining at best, and termination at worst.
However, the willingness of America’s woke corporations to forsake profits in the name of social justice and leftist causes doesn’t seem to extend to the payment models of their top leadership, who with few exceptions don’t seem willing to take a personal pay cut to further their notions of equality.
Here are a few notable examples:
Razor company Gillette ran an ad earlier this year lecturing men and boys against “toxic masculinity." Then, a May 2019 commercial featured a transgender boy shaving with his father. Brand adviser Dean Crutchfield called the company’s “toxic masculinity” ad campaign a “risky move,” but apparently it wasn’t risky enough to keep Procter & Gamble (Gillette’s parent company) from paying CEO David S. Taylor a whopping $17,354,256 in 2018.
Paypal, which notably banned, then reinstated two left-wing targeted conservative websites in 2017 after public backlash, is now reportedly partnering with the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center to determine which accounts should be banished from the platform. Coming from what should be an impartial transaction platform, given Paypal’s size and market share it’s a move that could deny a vital role in commerce to individuals and groups based on political views alone. Writes Republican National Committeewoman Harmeet K. Dhillon: “PayPal’s CEO claims to want companies to be a ‘force for good.’ They could be a force for equality, inclusion and freedom, and could ensure that a marketplace of ideas remains competitive and open. Instead, they have become a force for exclusion, segregation, and the silencing of dissidents.” Yet that CEO, Daniel H. Schulman made $37,764,588 last year.
And then there’s Starbucks, which employs baristas so woke that they’re completely comfortable asking cops to leave on the basis of a customer feeling “unsafe.” Indeed, this coffee company’s social justice activism history is extensive and well documented, from its calling for same-sex marriage legalization in 2012, to gun-free zones, to the elimination of Christmas symbols on its cups, to its promise to hire 10,000 refugees after Trump’s travel ban, to a “Race Together” campaign that urged baristas to write the words on the cups of their nonwhite customers. And that’s just the tip of the proverbial froth with this social justice behemoth. Of course, CEO Kevin R. Johnson made $13,382,480 to sort all of it out.
From its hiring of take-a-knee protester Colin Kaepernick to be the face of its ad campaign to its decision to allow the former San Francisco 49ers QB to dictate its much-panned nixing of the Betsy Ross flag shoe line, it’s hard to get much more woke than Nike. And yet, the athletic apparel company isn’t too social justicey to pay its CEO, Mark G. Parker, a hefty $9,467,460.
Nothing says woke like boycotting Georgia for its new abortion law while profiting from doing business in China, a well known human rights violator, but that’s just how Disney rolls these days. Its CEO, Bob Iger, said it would be “very difficult” to film in the state, but cashing those checks to the tune of $65,645,214 … not so hard.
Target’s woke transgender-friendly bathroom policy stirred up a hornet’s nets in 2016, sparking praise from the left and boycotts from the right. However, a seeming testament to the fact that boycotts don’t work in the long haul, the retailer was still able to pay CEO Brian Cornell $17,204,069 last year.
If mass layoffs, factory closures, and offshoring qualify as “woke” these days, General Motors is as wide awake as they come. The motor giant’s decisions may have hurt American workers, but certainly hasn’t hit CEO Mary T. Barra, who made $21,870,450 in 2018.
If you look up “Woke Corporation” in a dictionary, Google’s famous logo has got to be right there. Yet, CEO Sundar Pichai only made $1,881,066 last year, a marked decrease from the $200 million and $100 million he made in stock awards in 2017 and 2016. In a stunning example of self reflection, the search giant’s CEO rejected a stock award last year. In what may or may not be a related incident, an employee at an all-hands meeting reportedly challenged why Pichai makes so much while others struggled to make ends meet in expensive Silicon Valley.
The New York Times
I could go on and on, but we’ll end with the company President Trump loves to call “fake news,” The New York Times. Few media outlets are as woke as this one, and that’s saying something. Yet, its CEO, Mark Thompson, still managed to pocket $6,132,813 last year.
Turns out, liberal individuals aren't the only ones who don't practice what they preach. Woke Corporations are just as hypocritical.