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April 30, 2021

Conservatism’s Overdue Divorce From Corporatism & Its Sleaziest Characters
[Buck Throckmorton]

Why is Target’s CEO becoming such a prominent advocate for woke, left wing politics?

Target CEO Brian Cornell says George Floyd “could have been one of my Target team members”

Target CEO Brian Cornell says George Floyd’s murder pushed him to do more about racial equity, diversity

Perhaps it’s because he is looting the company, and his becoming a prominent social justice warrior is an attempt to distract and seek protection from the redistributionists on the left.

Target CEO Brian Cornell's total compensation rises to $77.5M

One of the great things about the political realignment going on right now is that conservatives like me no longer need to hold our noses and defend capitalism’s robber barons and parasites, just because we are all opposed to socialism. We conservatives are still very much in favor of free enterprise, but with corporate America now aligned with socialists on virtually every left-wing social issue - and actually engaging government to snuff out their smaller competition - corporatists will not have me defending them if the left sends them to the gulags, figuratively or otherwise.

Just because of my passionate opposition to socialism, I used to try to defend vulture capitalists like Mitt Romney, who gutted companies for fun and profit. Likewise the Wall Street investment bankers who pushed job-destroying debt on companies run by CEOs who could be seduced by confidence men in fancy suits. I tried to defend outsourcing as preferable to bankruptcies, but every job sent overseas just sent more wealth to the C-Suites. When I saw private-equity groups buy successful small businesses and then fire all the employees, I tried to convince myself that these people were not evil, but that they were just the visible faces of capitalism’s creative destruction.

I ultimately realized that these are people that cannot be defended. They prosper by deliberately inflicting harm on good people and organizations. They don’t create wealth, they re-allocate it to themselves, and leave a trail of destruction in their wake. I am glad that they are on the other team now.

Some years ago, my wife worked for a prominent company that imposed a massive pay cut on most employees so as “to save the company.” As our household took a pay cut, she said her employer was evil. At the time, I tried to defend the company and its executives, because a pay cut was preferable to her losing her job altogether. But almost immediately after the pay cut went into effect, the executives of that corporation showered 7-figure and 8-figure bonuses on themselves “for saving the company” and as “retention bonuses.” And shortly after that the company went into bankruptcy reorganization anyway. In retrospect, the wage cut was just a delaying tactic by the executives. It gave them time and an excuse to loot tens of millions of dollars from the company before a bankruptcy judge could prevent them from accessing the remaining cash in the bank. My wife was right – they were truly evil people.

One more thing on CEO pay, libertarian apologists will mumble that a business can compensate its CEO however much it wants, and further, that it’s not really salary because he merely exercised stock options. Uh huh. To which I can counter-argue that if a business is going to stick its nose into politics affecting me, then I can seek to impose laws and regulations on that business to cripple the CEO’s ability to loot a publicly-traded company. And – if it’s just “stock options” and not real pay, then every single Target employee can also receive $77 million of this fairy dust compensation too, right? Of course not. Target’s CEO looted $77 million of the company’s capital, and there’s not near enough capital to do that for every employee.

There are truly evil people in in the business world, just like there are in any profession. And right now, our corporate class is led by the worst of them. Woke corporatists are like male feminists, their left-wing advocacy can serve as a mask to hide the awful character of who they really are.

(buck.throckmorton @ protonmail dot com)

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posted by Open Blogger at 03:32 PM

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