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Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy pushed back on billionaire Mark Cuban’s claim that pushing “woke” capitalism is “good business.”
During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” with host Shannon Bream, Ramaswamy, author of “Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam,” blasted Cuban’s comments and pointed to brands like Bud Light and companies like Target as proof that going “woke” is bad for business.
“My view is that businesses have a purpose,” Ramaswamy told Bream. “It is to provide products and services to customers who actually need them and, yes, to make a profit unapologetically.”
“When those businesses wade into social disputes, not only is that often bad for business, just look at what happened to Bud Light, look at what’s happening to Target,” Ramaswamy added. “But more importantly, it’s bad for our civic culture in our country, because what we need is apolitical spaces that bring people together.”
2024 candidate Vivek Ramaswamy on @mcuban's comment that 'woke' capitalism is good business:
"My view is that businesses have a purpose — it is to provide products and services to customers who actually need them, and yes to make a profit unapologetically …" pic.twitter.com/C0CoZmHM4u
— The Recount (@therecount) June 18, 2023
Last week, Cuban said going “woke” is good for business in an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, despite both Target and Anheuser Busch losing tremendous amounts in market value after conservatives pushed back on LGBT-themed campaigns.
“There is a reason almost all the top ten market cap companies in the U.S. can be considered ‘woke.’ It’s good business,” Cuban told the newspaper. “Most CEOs have enough experience to know to just wait out the news cycle until they go to the next one.”
The “Shark Tank” co-host made similar comments in late May to Michigan business leaders, saying “woke” means ensuring a company’s workforce “looks like” a product’s customer base and “making sure you can reflect their values and being able to connect to that.”
Ramaswamy said that places in the private sector, like sports stadiums and labs, are where Americans should be able to “unite” despite political differences.
“So I think woke capitalism is bad for capitalism, but it’s also bad for American democracy,” Ramaswamy concluded. “That’s why I’ve been leading the crusade against it for the last several years, and that’s what I’m taking all the way to the White House.”
Since Bud Light partnered with social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney, a man who identifies as a woman, sales for the beer brand dropped 23.9% compared to the same time last year, according to Fox News. Similarly, Target’s market capitalization had reportedly fallen $15.7 billion as of last week following boycotts over the company selling “tuck-friendly” swimwear and having Pride Month displays that often appeared near the front of stores.
Ramaswamy wasn’t the only one pushing back against Cuban’s “woke” business comments. Even Cuban’s fellow “Shark” Kevin O’Leary countered his claim, saying, “The role of a business, a corporation in America for the last 200 years, has been to serve customers, their employees and their shareholders … not to educate society on the social issue of the day. They’re learning that very quickly.”