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ASPartOfMe
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17 Jun 2021, 4:53 pm

As DeSantis takes aim at cruise industry, Republicans step up attacks on longtime allies in corporate America

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s refusal to allow cruise ship operators to require proof of passenger vaccinations reflects a mounting willingness by top Republicans to demonize and defy corporations that have been among the party’s closest allies.

DeSantis has barred businesses in the state from insisting that customers be vaccinated, calling it a matter of individual liberty. In recent days, the cruise ship industry has splintered into different camps after beginning the year largely unified behind the idea of compulsory vaccines. Now, some companies are backing down while others such as Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings remain adamant.

The clash between the governor, a likely 2024 presidential candidate, and one of Florida’s major employers highlights the anti-corporate mood of a Republican Party reshaped by former president Donald Trump’s populism. This Republican souring on big business — and enthusiasm to use government power against it — already has rattled companies such as Facebook, Coke, Apple and Delta and may just be getting started.

“It’s a different day and age. In the last 30 years, you’ve seen the big multinational corporations prioritize their own short-term bottom line over American workers,” said Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.). “When you see the behavior of these corporations that have sent jobs overseas, that have weakened the American worker, that frankly have weakened American industry and, at the same time, many of them pursuing a monopoly size status and control … It’s a set of dangers there that we need to confront.”

Now, even with Trump defeated, leading Republicans are slamming CEOs for acting “woke” and exercising excessive influence over the U.S. economy. Some lash corporate leaders with rhetoric that resembles that of socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, accusing them of placing greed above principle and even of aiding the country’s enemies.

Several of the party’s most prominent voices are taking a fresh look at policies on technology, labor, antitrust and finance and, in some cases, are proposing regulations or laws that would explicitly target giant companies.

“There is a well-represented faction on the political right that is openly hostile to Big Business,” said economist Michael Strain of the American Enterprise Institute. “It has real policy significance. It’s not just rhetoric.”

In Florida, DeSantis has signed an executive order and legislation forbidding businesses from requiring customers to provide evidence of vaccination. Each violation is subject to a $5,000 fine, meaning one ship could incur millions of dollars in potential penalties.

DeSantis sued the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in April seeking an unconditional return to cruising. A court-ordered mediation effort ran aground Thursday with the governor’s office blasting the CDC’s “ridiculous and unlawful” regulations.

The CDC requires 95 percent of passengers and 98 percent of crew members to be vaccinated, fearing the tight quarters at sea are ideal for the spread of infectious-disease. In the pandemic’s early days, one of the first known outbreaks occurred aboard a cruise ship called the Diamond Princess, sparking an international scramble to offload hundreds of infected passengers.

Republicans’ populist turn, breaking with the party’s laissez-faire past, has its roots in the last administration. Though he boasted of loosening regulations, Trump wielded federal powers to pick winners and losers throughout the economy.

He ordered power plants to purchase energy from uncompetitive coal and nuclear plants and let the Commerce Department choose which companies could avoid costly tariffs on industrial metals.

He also attacked companies, such as Amazon, General Motors and Harley Davidson for their business practices, including factory locations. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

“The real fault line was trade. The party of free trade based in the suburbs became the party of quotas, tariffs and industrial policy based in rural America,” said Chris Krueger, a strategist with Cowen Washington Research Group. “It just flipped on its head.”

The result is a Republican Party whose members are increasingly comfortable with government involvement in business decisions.

The GOP’s populist transformation is especially striking since so many CEOs are party supporters. Researchers led by Alma Cohen, an economist at Harvard Law School, reviewed the political contributions of 3,800 CEOs over an 18-year period and found 57 percent gave at least two-thirds of their political donations to Republican candidates while just 19 percent similarly backed Democrats.

To be sure, there are limits to the GOP makeover. While Big Tech and Wall Street are under fire, many other large or concentrated industries retain Republican support, such as oil and gas producers.

The party remains uniformly opposed to President Biden’s call to raise the corporate tax rate, which was cut in 2017 from 35 percent to 21 percent, back to 28 percent.

The Republican rethinking accelerated over the past year amid protests following the murder of George Floyd. The response of many CEOs to demands from customers and employees to speak out on issues such as societal racism, climate change and voting rights has left Republican politicians itching for a fight.

After several top executives, including those of Apple, Coke, Merck and Major League Baseball, criticized legislation in Georgia that they said restricted voting, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the Senate Minority Leader, vowed they would face “serious consequences.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) called for revoking MLB’s antitrust exemption while Republicans in the Georgia legislature sought to ax a jet fuel subsidy worth $35 million to Delta Air Lines.

And how is kicking the cruise industry when it is down and finishing them off is going to help anybody?
Hypocritical f*****s


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Mr Reynholm
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17 Jun 2021, 5:42 pm

Dang that meddling DeSantis! Getting in the way of our Glorious, Authoritarian New World Order!



Kraichgauer
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17 Jun 2021, 7:01 pm

I guess the GOP has gone from the party of big business to Donald Trump's cult of personality, led by Trump acolyte, DeSantis.


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ASPartOfMe
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17 Jun 2021, 8:36 pm

Mr Reynholm wrote:
Dang that meddling DeSantis! Getting in the way of our Glorious, Authoritarian New World Order!

Authoritarian? The Cruise line companies are not arresting people for trying to come aboard their property sans vaccine, they are just not allowing them on THEIR property. You have no constitutional right, or human right to go on a cruise.


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Tim_Tex
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18 Jun 2021, 11:00 pm

Kraichgauer wrote:
I guess the GOP has gone from the party of big business to Donald Trump's cult of personality, led by Trump acolyte, DeSantis.


DeSatan is more like it.


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Kraichgauer
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19 Jun 2021, 12:30 am

Tim_Tex wrote:
Kraichgauer wrote:
I guess the GOP has gone from the party of big business to Donald Trump's cult of personality, led by Trump acolyte, DeSantis.


DeSatan is more like it.


:lol: :lol:


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roronoa79
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19 Jun 2021, 4:55 am

Mr Reynholm wrote:
Dang that meddling DeSantis! Getting in the way of our Glorious, Authoritarian New World Order!

Whatever happened to freedom of enterprise? What happened to laissez faire? Didn't capitalists spend decades acting like that was one of their favorite things? Isn't this the kind of government overreach that just a few years ago ppl such as yourself would denounce as authoritarian?

Don't get me wrong, I love watching the slow death of the neoliberal capitalist consensus, but could DeSantis & co be at least a little subtle about their inconsistent standards?

This just sounds like the GoP is against Dems who want to regulate businesses so they have more safety standards. Don't those Dems know that you're supposed to let businesses do whatever they want bc something something ancap something something freedom? I guess the best way to invite GoP overregulation is to have too many safety standards! Health standards discriminate against people who don't give two figs about the health of others and act like it, I guess? Those poor, oppressed, selfish morons are turned away just because they pose a serious threat to the ability of their business to operate safely.


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ASPartOfMe
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19 Jun 2021, 7:52 am

roronoa79 wrote:
Mr Reynholm wrote:
Dang that meddling DeSantis! Getting in the way of our Glorious, Authoritarian New World Order!
but could DeSantis & co be at least a little subtle about their inconsistent standards?

Subtle is completely inconsistent with being a Trumpian.



RetroGamer87
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19 Jun 2021, 8:19 am

Yeah, I've noticed they do that. It's almost right wing socialism.


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