(Rubin Report) – This is a countdown of the ten worst companies that conservative investors should avoid. While many or most of the Fortune 500 companies engage in “woke” corporate practices, some are more aggressive than others. Rubin Wealth Advisors, in conjunction with William Flaig, portfolio manager at American Conservative Value Fund has identified the ten of the worst companies.
Investors can’t completely avoid placing their funds into all woke companies, but they can avoid investing in the worst of the offenders.
Ten Woke Companies that Politically Conservative Investors Should Avoid:
10. Alphabet – GOOG
9. Starbucks – SBUX
8. Apple – AAPL
7. Amazon – AMZN
6. Comcast – CMCSA
5. AT&T – T
4. Nike – NKE
3. Meta (Facebook) – FB
2. Bank of America – BAC
1. Disney – $DIS
If any company should have the notion of being “woke” come to it naturally it certainly seems that Starbucks (NASDAQ; SBUX) the international coffee giant, would be the likely choice. The brainchild of Howard Schultz, who launched the green aprons back in 1987 after a trip to Milan in 1883 sampling caffeinated blends, has been helping Americans wake up for almost four decades.
Recently, however, the brand known for its strong taste has doubled down on bitterness when it comes to politics by offering some interesting blends of anti-American selections for investors. Consider these menu items chosen from Starbucks “Today’s Woke Specials”:
The company committed $1 million back in 2020 to support “equity” projects in conjunction with the group Black Lives Matter which walks a fine line between being a Marxist think-tank and a domestic terrorist group. They also allow their employees to wear t-shirts bearing the BLM logo, even going so far as to purchase the shirts for employees.
The company has been walking right up to the line of taking the “Christ” out of Christmas for nearly a decade. While rumors swirl as to their motives regarding everything from seasonal coffee cups to employee directives about not saying “Merry Christmas,” it is clear that Starbucks’ corporate preference is for a secular feel to one of the two most sacred of Christian seasons.
In 2013, Schultz (who did his undergraduate studies in the well-armed Upper Peninsula of Michigan) announced that Starbucks would no longer allow customers to carry guns in their stores. This was gratuitous and unrequited as there was no precipitating event that led to the announcement. It was simply a preemptive assault on the 2nd Amendment rights of customers.
Perhaps what’s worse than what Starbucks is serving up these days to customers and employees is what they have decided to take off the menu, that being protection for their employees who do not buy into their woke agenda.
In 2020, the National Center for Public Policy Research, acting within its program titled “Free Enterprise Project,” petitioned the company that prides itself on a “diverse and inclusive environment” that seeks “diversity in the broadest sense,” to extend its workplace protections to employees who hold differing political views. Starbucks declined. After presenting the FEP request at the annual Starbucks shareholder meeting, FEP Director Justin Danhof said:
We… made a very simple request – we asked that you extend [your Equal Opportunity Employment Policy]to include protections against viewpoint discrimination. That’s because, all across corporate America, the political left is engaged in a fierce cancel culture that seeks to root out conservatives.
Starbucks EVP Rachel Gonzalez said the following in explaining Starbucks’ denial of the request:
Given our ongoing effort to support a welcoming environment at Starbucks, our board of directors believes a public report detailing potential risks associated with omitting viewpoint diversity from our written employment opportunity policy is unnecessary and not beneficial to our shareholders.
I know friends who have shared numerous stories of their sons or daughters who worked at Starbucks and who were shunned or silenced for expressing conservative political views. What Starbucks says is “unnecessary” could be better termed “unwelcome.”
Since being inspired by Schult’s trip to Milan and his existential encounter with European coffee, Starbucks has expanded its offering of beverages to the point where it almost requires an advanced degree in chemistry to become a barista. What started as, “do you want room for cream,” has become “a grande vanilla latte, no foam, extra pump, with a caramel drizzle.” Starbucks is arguably the most diverse drink company ever created.
They are not, however, diverse in their politics. Like so many other woke corporations there is one choice, and one choice only. Starbucks serves only political correctness to their customers and employees, and it comes only in Trenta-their largest cup size.
Don’t let Starbucks have access to your conservative investment dollars. Their politics are more bitter than a venti black-eye. Ask your portfolio manager to “hold the Starbucks,” then let your taste buds find the likes of Black Rifle, Freedom Hill, Thrasher Coffee, Mount Rushmore, or any one of a handful of brewers whose ownership and management support our values.
That’s your investor morning wake-up call.