So the pandemic is finally ending, and all of us are ready to return to the office—well, by “all of us” I mean white guys. And let’s face it, they’re the only ones who get a vote, right?
You see, recent surveys have shown that most corporate executives—still predominately white men—want to end all these touchy-feely flexible work schedules and this 21st-century telecommuting nonsense. They want to get back to their cushy offices where they can survey their kingdom of cubicle serfs and more effectively terrorize their employees. In fact, “executives are nearly three times more likely than non-executive employees to want to return to the office full-time.”
But the average Latino or Black office worker is not so thrilled at the idea, as studies show that the “desire for flexible work policies is strongest among employees of color.” There are several reasons for this, including the fact that ethnic minorities in corporate offices still face discrimination and suffer more stress than their white colleagues.
African Americans in particular are fans of telecommuting, because “remote work increases a feeling of belonging and makes it easier for Black employees to manage stress.” Perhaps this is why white employees are seven times more likely than Black employees to want a return to full-time office work.
I guess we don’t need to ask who put the white in white-collar.
Of course, being able to telecommute is a privilege, one that is far less likely to be extended to ethnic minorities in the first place. For example, a “disproportionate percentage of minorities” were deemed essential workers during the pandemic, and they were forced “to continue coming to work—potentially exposing themselves and their families to the virus“—even while office workers were often able to work from home.
Latinos are overrepresented in non-office jobs, and “the gap between the labor force and executive representation is wider among Hispanics than any other group.” One of the many reasons that the Latino death rate was so high during the pandemic is because most of us couldn’t just Zoom it in.
Yes, Latinos helped keep the country going during this horrific plague, but we are still waiting for that thank-you note.
But speaking of corporations and ethnic minorities, it’s worth noting that “numerous studies have shown a clear correlation between companies with diverse leadership teams and business success.” So having nothing but white guys on the board of directors is not only a bad look, but more important, it’s the best way to assure commercial ruin.
And you know what else is harmful to companies? That’s right—voter suppression.
OK, the connection might not be obvious, but a recent study estimated that voter suppression is correlated to declining wages. Furthermore, the Texas GOP’s drive to prevent Latinos and Black people from voting could cost the state thousands of jobs “as businesses and investment flee the state.” All told, “Texas’s voter suppression measures will cost the state $14.7 billion in annual gross product by 2025 and $1.5 trillion over the next 25 years.”
Of course, it’s not just Texas, as the Republican love of authoritarianism “is undermining the perception of the US as a very predictable and stable environment,” leading to “concern about medium and long-term political stability of the US business environment.” Basically, rich executives—conservative by default—are discovering that “the lower taxes and less regulation Republicans promise aren’t much good without a stable democracy.”
Now, a few CEOs have taken tentative steps to say, “Hey, could you please not destroy the country?” But the Republican response has been, as expected, to accuse those leaders of promoting “corporate propaganda that promotes Marxist tactics” and becoming an “instrument of anti-American ideologies.”
Wow! Who could have predicted that Republicans would out Wall Street execs as a bunch of commie pinkos?
But we’re talking about the GOP here, which knows no limits to its paranoia. Also, conservatives feel they can talk trash about companies because their party is supposedly good for the economy—despite a century of evidence to the contrary.
In truth, the Republican Party has no talent for business innovation. Look at our esteemed ex-president’s floundering attempts to build his media empire. Or ask yourself: “When was the last time a conversation on Parler went viral?”
No, conservatives are more about blowing things up than developing bold ideas or creating a better future. They have “focused on dismantling the government and stopping legislation” and moving America back toward a mythical 1950s that sucked for everyone who wasn’t white. This is a “negative project, rather than a positive one, and breaking things takes little of the hard work and creativity that it takes to build things.”
When we rely on people who hate government, dismiss the importance of foreign policy, have no idea how to run an economy, and lack common decency, we should not be surprised when the result is a disaster.
Just bad business.
Featured image by sun dazed/CC BY-SA 2.0