The Role of Business in America: A Discussion on ‘Bud Lighting’

Recently, Budweiser has faced backlash from customers due to an advertising decision that has offended many. This has caused many of its U.S. workers to lose hours, income, and possibly their jobs. At the same level, it has potentially created angst on the production floor and in the break rooms between supporters and antagonists, while furthering the divide between labor and management.

Columnist Jonah Goldberg states that “America will be better for it” if corporations retreat from politics. This is just another reminder of the short memory of some conservatives who forget how they enthusiastically embraced the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling that corporations have the right to free expression of opinion, just like people do, enshrined in the First Amendment.

While one side applauds the open-mindedness of Budweiser, a much bigger faction of formerly loyal customers wants no association with the product. Sadly, a marketing decision has caused many of its U.S. workers to lose hours, income and possibly their jobs. At the same level, it has potentially created angst on the production floor and in the break rooms between supporters and antagonists, while furthering the divide between labor and management.

The bottom line is that businesses supply goods and services, feed families and support stockholders and retirement programs. Companies all have competitors who will gladly take away their market share and associated profits when they fail to meet the needs or disappoint their customers. Socially responsible companies do not risk the jobs of their employees and the income of investors by associating themselves with volatile social and political issues, regardless of what side of the spectrum their management sympathizes with.

Source: Tampa Bay Times

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