American businesses’ increasingly illiberal policies

Patrick Hauf of the Washington Free Beacon explores the factors driving more American businesses to the political left. (Note that my headline substitutes the more accurate word “illiberal” for the term “liberal” in Hauf’s opening line.)

American businesses are adopting increasingly liberal policies and public stances due to pressure from progressive activists within corporate America, rather than social media outrage cycle, according to corporate watchdogs.

The practice of marshaling a minority of stakeholders in a company to advance a political cause is often referred to as “shareholder activism,” and the tactic has proven effective in the 21st century. Shareholders of publicly-traded corporations push for reforms aimed at achieving political, rather than business, ends. The results can be seen in major American companies publicly backing liberal positions on major culture war issues, from the “racism” of the American flag, to transgender bathrooms, and pro-life legislation.

Stephen R. Soukup, vice president of the market research firm “The Political Forum,” works to inform his audience of this corporate bias through his company’s newsletter. He said he worries that not enough conservatives are aware of this leftwing bias within the shareholding world to even begin fighting back effectively.

“The initial goal should be to make shareholders and large institutional investment firms aware that this is going on,” he told the Washington Free Beacon. “You have no idea how many people have reached out to me saying they had no idea.”

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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