Once upon a time, during a period known as the Eighties and the Nineties, Al Sharpton – preacher, civil rights activist, media personality, inciter of crowds, and celebrant of all things black – routinely answered to words such as “loud,” “flamboyant” and “crazy.” But for the last decade and a half, the man known as Reverend Al goes by words such as “pragmatic,” “respectable,” “sensible” and “powerful.” Times change, and not necessarily for the better. On the issue of immigration amnesty, that’s especially true.
Al Sharpton, a man who has perfected the art of extracting money and other things of value from the pillars of American society, no longer has to kick down doors to get what he wants. The doors have been opened for him. And many of the people admitting him are those who formerly avoided him as radioactive. As my book, Sharpton: A Demagogue’s Rise, describes, … Read More ➡
Now we have another reason why corporations should welcome – and even seek – ideological diversity among their employees.
Because now the workers are telling their bosses who they can and cannot do business with.
In this case it is a number of companies in the largely leftist Silicon Valley tech industry, where many of the rank-and-file – who have been encouraged to speak their minds (if they are liberal, that is) – are complaining that the fruits of their labor benefit what they view as the odious U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and yes, the despicable Trump administration.
The employees’ outcry has been over the “inhumane” separation of illegal immigrant children from the adults they came to the U.S. border with, despite the fact that many – if not most – arrived with criminals, traffickers, or illegitimate asylum seekers who are … Read More ➡
Never before in the history of corporate America has a company so welcomed accusations of racism as Starbucks. But that could have been expected given the worldview of Executive Chairman Howard Schultz.
Several weeks ago, Schultz announced that on May 29 he would close around 8,000 of the company’s outlets to train employees on how to recognize and avoid unconscious social bias. This was in response to the publicized arrest on April 18 of two black males at a Starbucks coffee shop in Philadelphia. Whatever his ulterior motives, he and other company executives should avoid this route. The training is guaranteed to be expensive. And it will backfire.
Corporate executives today know that to keep their jobs and avoid boycotts they must persuade employees to shed supposedly unconscious race and gender biases lurking within their souls. And though the remedy, known universally as “diversity,” promotes teamwork, in practice it … Read More ➡
By law, managers of employer-sponsored pension plans must act in the best interests of investors. Unfortunately, many such fiduciaries are applying an unusually broad definition. That’s why the U.S. Department of Labor has clarified the issue. On April 23, the DOL released a guidance statement intended to discourage benefit managers from applying the principle known as Environmental, Social and Governance to investment decisions. Such a practice might seem worthy, noted the department, but it may place safety and soundness in harm’s way. The action is especially a rebuke to those who see issues advocacy as a top business priority.
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), alternately known as Corporate Social Responsibility, is a philosophy holding that a corporation is not only a business enterprise, but also a steward of the public good. A company, in this view, can and should be at once profitable and morally conscious. A company must … Read More ➡
With about $6 trillion of assets under management, BlackRock Inc. carries a lot of weight in the business world. And Laurence Fink, CEO and chairman of the New York-based investment firm, wants everyone to know that. In a letter dated January 12, Fink urged dozens of CEOs of publicly-traded companies to expand their horizons beyond the confines of profit. “Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose,” he wrote. “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.” Though such words sound reasonable, they epitomize a common error about the institutional role of the corporation.
For decades, corporations, prodded by government, nonprofit activists and their own shareholders, have been retooling themselves as social problem solvers. Under the doctrine of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), companies are behaving as policy-oriented philanthropies. … Read More ➡
On the same day an Associated Press survey of its member editors determined that workplace sexual harassment was the No. 1 story of 2017, Google’s corporate parent company Alphabet said its CEO, Eric Schmidt, will leave as chairman of its board of directors.
The development comes as Google became the subject of a recent report about corporation-wide mistreatment of women, accompanied by heightened scrutiny of Schmidt’s increasing reputation as a “womanizer.”
According to the New York Post, “news outlets have been sniffing around Schmidt’s former flames looking for a Harvey Weinstein-like bombshell,” but an anonymous source said “there is no sexual harassment.” A Google insider told the newspaper all his relationships have been “consensual” and that there are no settlements from the company to keep things quiet.
Nonetheless Schmidt’s exploits sound positively (Matt) Lauer-esque, with a “marriage” reminiscent of the separate lives existence of Bill and Hillary … Read More ➡
(The following is based on a speech presented by the author at the most recent annual meeting of the H.L. Mencken Club, Baltimore, Maryland, November 3-4, 2017.)
Why are corporations, especially those that provide information technology, promoting radical politics? It’s a question one increasingly hears these days. And it’s a necessary question. For it is a fact: The corporation as an institution, partly out of self-interest and partly out of conviction, is allying itself with the hard Left. And the consequences could be devastating for our nation as well as, ironically, corporations.
When I speak of “radicalism,” I’m not referring to businessmen using the State to achieve and maintain market advantage. Monopoly in this country is a more than a century-old tradition, and it is anything but radical. Nor am I referring to the more recent tradition of corporations paying radical accusers a “diversity tax” in hopes … Read More ➡
Ride-sharing giant Uber has hired former Associate Attorney General Tony West as its Chief Legal Officer because “he’s well equipped to handle the investigations of our past practices,” according to an email from Uber’s new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.
West is at the center of a burgeoning scandal involving $1 billion collected by the government from big banks as settlements in mortgage-fraud cases. The money was not used to compensate victims or turned over to the Treasury. Instead, it was diverted to left-wing activist groups and political allies of the Obama administration. West served in the Justice Department from 2009 until 2014 when he joined PepsiCo.
Reaction to the looting of the settlements has been such that the House passed legislation this week that would prohibit payments to private third parties from settlement monies. The Justice Department had already adopted a policy barring such payments.
The 10-pager composed by newly unemployed James Damore was provocatively composed (not due to inciteful rhetoric, but tempered reasoning), yet also was imperfectly executed. It would be difficult not to stumble when dealing with an extremely hot button issue over 3,000 words. Imagine you were assigned a thesis titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” with a subtitle of “How bias clouds our thinking about diversity and inclusion,” and see how you do.
Damore deserves credit for tackling head-on such an emotionally charged topic, with which he triggered a passion power-surge. The CEO of Google subsidiary YouTube, Susan Wojcicki, immediately responded at Fortune.com with a “what will I tell my daughter” screed, ignoring Damore’s salient points, and fomenting simplistic “gender bias” accusations.
“When I saw the (Damore) memo that circulated last week,” Wojcicki wrote, “I once again felt that pain, and empathized with the pain it must have … Read More ➡
After saying shortly after the inauguration that he expected Donald Trump to do “evil things,” Alphabet (parent company of Google) executive chairman Eric Schmidt was back with another rant earlier this month about the president.
This time the adjective addressed intellect rather than malevolence. Schmidt seized an opportunity to vent at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, bemoaning limits on special visas for foreign workers in “special occupations,” mainly high-tech fields. But the target of his frustration wasn’t just the president.
“I spent the last 20 years announcing that the single stupidest policy in the entire American political system was the limit on H-1B visas,” Schmidt said. “I have recently been trumped (pun apparently intended) by an America where you take the highly legal and highly technical people of seven countries … and you keep them trapped at JFK so our lawyers can spring them out.”