Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says businesses will be more interested in Michigan if voters approve a proposal to ensure abortion remains legal in the state.
“I want to walk into Indiana and Ohio and eat their lunch,” she said last month. “This is a huge opportunity for us.”
It’s not that companies want to be woke.
It’s that they want to survive.
Among the latest fronts in the nation’s culture wars is conservative pushback against corporate support for anti-racism, LGBTQ+ protections and benefits seeking to ensure that employees have access to reproductive health care.
Ron DeSantis’ attacks on Disney are the highest-profile of these skirmishes, along with politicians in states that are restricting abortion access threatening to retaliate against businesses that, for example, offer travel benefits for employees seeking abortions.
At one level, it seems odd that business – the bedrock of conservative politics over many decades – would align with progressives on such issues.
But it’s a bottom-line decision, and red state governors and legislators who attack “woke” businesses are hurting their states’ economic prospects.
Whitmer heard it loud and clear when Cummins, an Indiana-based giant best known for its diesel engines, criticized its home state’s new abortion restrictions.
“We are deeply concerned about how this law impacts our people and impedes our ability to attract and retain a diverse workforce in Indiana …” Cummins said in a statement. “As we continue to grow our footprint with a focus on selecting communities that align with our values and business goals, this law will be considered in our decision-making process.”