Apple thinks Georgia is suddenly no longer suitable as a location for a movie about a runaway slave. Film shooting Release, starring Will Smith, moved to Louisiana.
This step was taken due to the new rules that will apply to elections in Georgia. They don’t exactly bring back slavery, but President Joe Biden compared them to “Jim Crow,” the apartheid system that prevented blacks in southern states like Georgia from voting until the 1960s.
And it’s not just Apple doing business with Georgia. Major League Baseball (MLB) has moved an important demonstration game, the All-Stars, to Colorado.
These steps will cost Georgia’s economy millions of dollars. They are a major concern among Republicans. The party wonders why business is no longer in their favour.
Under the guise of making elections safer
In the Georgia parliament, they pushed through the new rules under the guise of making elections safer. But according to Democrats, this makes it difficult for the state’s poorest residents to vote. They are often relatively black and vote Democrats relatively more.
Democrats have also raised the alarm about a new rule that would give political officials from Georgia’s capital – all Republicans at the moment – the right to intervene if they believe a district’s vote count is not going right – something Donald Trump is doing. He would have liked that when he lost in Georgia last November.
Major players in the state’s economy, such as Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola, may not leave so easily, but they have condemned the new electoral laws. Nationally, too, Republicans draw the wind from their traditional pillars. Earlier this month, more than a hundred large companies delivered an advertisement in New York times Against blocking the ballot, in Georgia and in dozens of other states.
Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, professor of business economics at Yale University, said Republicans isolated themselves by betting on a low-skilled white voter. “Since the days of President Herbert Hoover (1929-1933), the Republican is the party of businessmen,” he told Politico. “But their image of who works in this business community goes back to the 1920s.”
Every company now has employees from all kinds of demographics, and companies want them to interact well in the workplace. “Business doesn’t care about xenophobia. Nor does it care about isolationism or protectionism. Those weren’t Republican goals since the 1950s. But now they are.”
According to Sonnenfeld, many directors and board chairmen are now ready to protest it publicly, for the benefit of their shareholders.
Not too bold
In Georgia, companies like Delta and Coca-Cola waited a long time to do this: until new electoral rules were adopted. This does not surprise James Bailey. Nor does the management professor at George Washington University in Washington, DC, think their eventual support for fair elections is too bold. “Everyone would like more access to democracy. Even Republican voters would say so. This is not taking a bold stance, it is marketing.”
It literally means: “A group of risk managers sat together for this. They must have tested the company’s response with a group of consumers, just as they test their products. And they concluded that they could say, ‘This is wrong.'”
Bailey doesn’t blame a company like Coca-Cola for that. “It makes their audience happy. Wall Street is grateful they didn’t go too far. Because Wall Street invested a lot of money in Coca-Cola.”
Companies will have to give their opinion more often
Bailey believes that as the United States becomes increasingly politically polarized, companies will have to express their views on political matters more often. But usually along the lines of a New York Times ad: “A Toothless Manifesto.”
The exception applies to companies that already have a left or right image of themselves. “When Starbucks talks about gay rights, it doesn’t hurt them. Because who gets their coffee at Starbucks? Lefties, urbanites.”
The most daring, as it is the most controversial, was the choice of restaurant chain Chick-fil-A – until a few years ago – to give money to anti-gay organizations. But Bailey notes that Chick-fil-A is not publicly traded and can only decide for himself what risks he takes.
In this case they turned out to be modest. My university, George Washington, is known as a hotbed of activity. However, Chick-fil-A has the longest line of the four campus restaurants. A good sandwich is still a good sandwich.”
About changing the “patient” and “non-American” law.
The next time voters in Georgia have to queue for hours at the polling station, they will have to bring water or coffee. Then it is forbidden to do anything for them in appreciation of their civic sense.
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