Is the Woke Corporate ‘Worm’ Finally Turning? By Scott Shepard

Corporations are discovering that what’s politically trendy in left-wing circles isn’t always popular or profitable with everyone else. From Scott Shepard at realclearmarkets.com:

Is the Woke Corporate 'Worm' Finally Turning?

(AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)

More than a few executives appear to be glimpsing the high costs of politicized corporate management.

A chief driver of these revelations is surely the rolling market correction that has characterized 2022. At one point last week, the Nasdaq was down 29 percent from its December 31st close.

Adam Smith once noted that “there’s a lot of ruin in a nation,” by which he meant that a country can screw up very many things while still trudging along. In good financial times there can be a lot of ruin in a company, too. When profits are high (or speculative backing is fulsome) and share prices are rising, companies can afford to indulge the whims of their executives or bow to the demands of pressure groups, even if there’s a lot of ruin in those whims or demands. When things get tight, though, the ruin becomes clearer – and thus less supportable. As Jack Kennedy did not but might have said as a corollary: “a falling tide reveals many barnacles.”

In this lowering tide, woke is revealing itself as a barnacle, and companies are responding accordingly. The revelation is being assisted, and the response hastened, by external events that have uncovered even to the unthoughtful what should have been clear: taking a highly partisan role in American politics will engender (and is engendering) a political response from those who oppose the partisan stance. Exhibit one is the case of DeSantis & Florida v. Chapek & Disney, but the parade of horrible consequences that increasingly append to corporate wokeness is lengthening speedily, as has been considered in these pages before. Consider, for instance, exhibit two: Disney’s reputation has declined substantially since Chapek stood up for, you know, “all stakeholders.” Funny, that.

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