Politicians are famous for finding the most current popular parade and running to join it, even if they’ve arrived late.
It’s disingenuous and perhaps why being a member of Congress is ranked as one of the least trusted occupations in the country. However, identifying those movements that attract headlines, along with more and more followers, is something organizations need to consider when they’re thinking about their reputation and future.
Currently, there’s a movement brewing, stoked by more media attention of the number of companies that paid zero corporate taxes last year as a result of the President’s 2017 tax bill. It delivered a double benefit to corporations by reducing the rate on corporate income while expanding tax breaks. Leading the parade is Amazon and its $150 billion dollar man, Jeff Bezos, neither of which have done nothing wrong by taking advantage of the new tax laws.
What Bezos and other chief executives need to realize and understand is the growing grassroots movement against such generous tax breaks, as left-leaning candidates for president rally public sentiment against them. To quote Bob Dylan, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” Right now, the wind velocity is picking up as we get into more election rhetoric daily.
While the tax breaks have done some of what was promised, in terms of generating more investments by companies and improving economic growth, wage growth for workers overall has remained stagnant and the gap between the haves and have-nots continues to expand and divide the country.
Leaders need always be mindful of grassroots movements, even those that may seem implausible, and continue to ask “what if.” Look no further than the last presidential election. How many of you really thought that a reality television star would be elected President?