Feb 28, 2018

What Dick's assault weapon move means

Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

Dick's Sporting Goods announced this morning that it will no longer sell "assault-style" rifles, high-capacity magazines or any firearm to those under 21 years-old. The publicly-traded retailer had previously pulled weapons like the AR-15 from shelves after Sandy Hook, but pledges that this time they won't make a return appearance.

Why it matters: Such developments are obviously tied to the Parkland massacre and a specific socio-political issue, but it feels like something much larger is going on. Something well beyond ESG movements or corporate PAC donations to particular candidates. Corporate America is becoming partisan, which is a giant step past becoming political.

  • Particularly for consumer-facing businesses, there is now great pressure to either be "with us or against us." The results not only weigh on bottom lines, but also on employee recruitment and retention.
  • There also is a big investment angle here, and I'll be stunned if we don't soon see mutual funds that explicitly buy partisan companies. Not ETFs or mutual funds that do/don't invest in a particular sector (i.e., guns), but ones that invest based on stated corporate political beliefs (on everything from immigration to taxes). Which 401(k) would you like, red or blue?
  • Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei began getting at this on Sunday, and I only see it accelerating.

Go deeper: The no-win corporate tightrope

Go deeper

Exclusive: Global trust in the tech industry is slipping

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The backlash against Big Tech has long flourished among pundits and policymakers, but a new survey suggests it's beginning to show up in popular opinion as well.

Driving the news: New data from Edelman out Tuesday finds that trust in tech companies is declining and that people trust cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence less than they do the industry overall.

"It was 30 years ago, get over it": Mike Bloomberg's partner brushes off NDA concerns

Diana Taylor at a Mike Bloomberg event last month. Photo: Ron Adar/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Diana Taylor, Mike Bloomberg's longtime partner, dismissed the concerns surrounding non-disclosure agreements used at his company, Bloomberg LP, telling CBS News that she would say to those bothered by the allegations, "It was 30 years ago, get over it."

Why it matters: Democratic candidates have used the NDAs as a talking point against Bloomberg, calling on him to allow women to speak about the reported sexual harassment and gender discrimination they faced while working for him.

Trump's opportunity to use Bernie as an economic scapegoat

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Zach Gibson/Stringer, The Washington Post/Getty Contributor

Bernie Sanders is poised to become an economic scapegoat for both the White House and Corporate America, assuming that Sanders comes through Super Tuesday unscathed.

The big picture: If the U.S. economy remains strong, President Trump and CEOs will claim credit (as they've been doing for three years). If it turns sour, they'll blame Bernie (even though it's a largely baseless charge).