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Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey has outdone perhaps all of his peers in “woke” corporate America by delivering an unctuous and high-profile denunciation of Georgia’s new voter integrity law. It wasn’t enough simply to attack Georgia for its attempt to restore a modicum of election integrity — Quincy overtly lent Coke’s support to Democrats for an additional legislative power-grab.
We want to be crystal clear and state unambiguously that we are disappointed in the outcome of the Georgia voting legislation. Throughout Georgia’s legislative session we provided feedback to members of both legislative chambers and political parties, opposing measures in the bills that would diminish or deter access to voting.
Additionally, our focus is now on supporting federal legislation that protects voting access and addresses voter suppression across the country. We all have a duty to protect everyone’s right to vote, and we will continue to stand up for what is right in Georgia and across the U.S.
– James Quincey, Chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company [Coca-Cola]
Georgia’s law does nothing unusual. It limits early voting and requires voter ID in circumstances that already prevail elsewhere, and it bars electioneering tactics like handing out free food near polling places. Quincey is from the U.K., where handing out food to potential voters is already a criminal offense (called “treating”). He almost certainly knows that meltdowns over Georgia’s law are a hysterical overreaction. Quincey is either being willfully ignorant, or (more likely) deliberately dishonest for ulterior motives.
That shouldn’t surprise anyone. Quincey’s willingness to lie about Georgia and defraud its voters of fair elections fits well into a long career of defrauding regular people around the world — a skill Quincey has cultivated for years.
As CEO, Quincey has dutifully offered his tributes to woke politics. In 2019, he wrote a new mission statement for the company, full of pieties like “Start with facts, based in science” and “Reduce our carbon footprint” that sound plagiarized from the Marin County Democratic Party. In 2020, Quincey promised $500 million in tribute to businesses based on the race of their owners. Then, Quincey opened the year by lecturing the country about how it wasn’t diverse enough.
“Corporate America has “a long way to go” when it comes to diversity in leadership, the chief executive of Coca-Cola has said.
James Quincey said boardrooms and management teams across the Fortune 500 were still falling short when it came to representing the wider diversity of the US. He said just 14% of senior leaders came from diverse backgrounds, less than half the representation in the wider American population. Quincey said Coca-Cola was helping to address the issue through internal training and advancement programs, as well as by setting standards for its suppliers.
“The one great thing that large companies like Coke can do is they can influence the ecosystem of smaller companies around them and help them realize the dream,” he said. [Yahoo]
Of course, it’s all a sham. In one moment, Quincey babbles about diversity and climate change. In another, he spends millions to undermine a bill targeting forced labor in China’s Xinjiang Province. Quincey’s rise is a case study in ruling class corruption, and his reign as CEO is a study in using politics as a shield for business objectives.
Born in the U.K., Quincey began his career as a management consultant with Bain & Co. before lateraling over to Coca-Cola in 1996, joining the company’s Latin America strategy group. He spent the next 12 years in the company’s Latin American operations, rising to president of the South Latin division in 2003 and then president of the Mexico division from 2005 to 2008.
Quincey’s focus on the far north and far south of Latin America means he probably wasn’t involved with Coca-Cola’s alleged murder of trade unionists in Colombia and Guatemala.
Coca-Cola was accused of hiring hitmen from the AUC between 1990 and 2002 to kill at least 10 labor union leaders who were trying to organize Coca-Cola’s plants. [Telesur]
But given what Coke sells, there was another way to kill far more Mexicans in the long-term: Get the population to drink as much Coca-Cola as possible. Quincey was excellent at this job. No country is more hooked on Coca-Cola than Mexico, where the average citizen drinks the equivalent of a 16-oz bottle every single day. The damage wrought by all this soda became clear while Quincey was leading the company’s efforts in the country:
The consequences of this became apparent in 2006, when the release of Mexico’s National Survey of Health and Nutrition revealed that diabetes – the country’s leading cause of death – had doubled since 2000. Between 1999 and 2006, the average waist size among women of childbearing age increased by nearly 11cm. And during the same period, obesity among children aged five to 11 rose by 40%. No other country in the world had experienced a rise in obesity of that magnitude – Mexico was on its way to becoming the fattest major country. [The Guardian]
Coca-Cola fought doggedly to avoid admitting any role in Mexico’s exploding health problems, instead arguing that Mexicans just didn’t exercise enough. They had good success, since for a foreign corporation, Coca-Cola exercised stunning influence over Mexican health policy:
As Mexico began to grapple with obesity, and soda’s role in it, the industry began to counterattack with the argument it uses everywhere that soda is under siege. “Obesity comes from taking in more calories than you spend,” said Jaime Zabludovsky, chair of the board of ConMexico, the processed food and beverage producers’ group.
Virtually every government panel on fighting obesity includes Coca-Cola, and often other food companies. Armando Ahued Ortega, Mexico City’s secretary of health, has often warned that diabetes is causing the collapse of Mexico’s health system. And dialysis (kidney failure is a major consequence of diabetes) isn’t even covered. If it were, the health system could pay for nothing else. “There goes everything else social security covers – cataracts, cancer, everything,” Ahued said in 2013. Yet the same year he and Mexico City’s mayor presented Coca-Cola with its Health Conscious Organisation award for its “promotion of active lifestyles”. [The Guardian]
Mexico’s Coca Cola-fueled obesity crisis is so awful that the Mexican undersecretary of health recently surmised that Coca Cola could be responsible for the nation’s extremely high rate of COVID-19 deaths.
Mexico is among the countries worst affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. It is third in the list of nations which have suffered most deaths due to COVID-19 infection, United States of America (USA) and Brazil are the two countries ahead of it. Now, the Health Under-Secretary of Mexico has pinned the blame for the high number of deaths, at least partly, on soft drinks.
During a visit to the Southern Chiapas province in July, Hugo López-Gatell claimed that the rampant consumption of Coca Cola – by far the most popular soft drink in the country is chiefly responsible for putting Mexico in the throes of an all-out health crisis.
“Why do we need bottled poison in soft drinks? Health in Mexico would be very different if we stopped being deceived by these lifestyles sold on television and heard on radio and which we see on adverts – as if this was happiness,” the undersecretary stated. [International Business Times]
Of course, Coca Cola is probably not entirely to blame for the elevated rate of COVID-19 morbidity in Mexico, but the link between Coca Cola, obesity, and death by COVID-19 in Mexico is still stunning.
According to the Washington Post, about “one in every 100 deaths from obesity-related diseases is [caused] by sugary beverages.” Mexico is reported to have the highest amount of deaths related to sugary beverages and the United States trails behind it.
While obesity caused by the consumption of sugary beverages like those produced by The Coca-Cola Company have clearly been linked to a higher risk of death when contracting COVID-19, it’s a bit of a stretch to singularly place the blame on these companies. The 180,000 worldwide death toll is nowhere near the estimated COVID-19 death count. [Film Daily]
According to Coca Cola’s critics, the company has done far more to harm Mexicans than merely ruin the insulin resistance and immune systems of its peasant class.
Mexican labor law requires corporations to pay out 10 percent of pre-tax profits to workers. But according to former employee Angel Alvarado Agüero, Coke found a way around that rule. It was the classic strategy of Hollywood Accounting, adapted to the poor, ever-fatter people of Mexico.
In order to avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars in profit sharing to hundreds of Mexican workers, The Coca-Cola Export Corporation created a new company in 1986. This new company, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Export Corporation was named Integrated Services Management and Senior Management (SIAAGSA). The Coca-Cola Export Corporation then fired all its employees in Mexico and hired them back immediately into SIAAGSA. SIAAGSA will always show little to no profit. For example, in 2007, when Mr. Alvarado was forced out of the company, The Coca-Cola Co./Coca-Cola Export Corporation, made US $700 million. Thus $70 million should have been distributed among hundreds of employees instead of just a few million dollars that was divided among the workers.
Because SIAAGSA showed little profit, the profit sharing only benefited a small number of top executives at Coca-Cola. Coke claims that Mr. Alvarado has always been an employee of SIAAGSA, and was not eligible to participate in the profit sharing!
James Quincey, who in 2005 was appointed president of Coca-Cola’s Mexican division also became the head of SIAAGSA in 2007. [Killer Coke]
Using financial chicanery to screw people out of money they are owed is a tactic Coca-Cola has unsurprisingly used in America as well. While Quincey tries lecturing America about what laws it should be allowed to pass, he’s also fighting to avoid paying a $12 billion tax bill the company piled up through its questionable accounting tactics.
The Coca-Cola Co. is facing a potential liability of $12 billion in its long-running tax battle with the IRS, the company said Wednesday.
The dispute centers on “transfer pricing,” where Coca-Cola licenses intangible property — such as the use of Coca-Cola’s brand and trade name and formulas — to its foreign licensees so they can make, distribute, sell, market and promote Coca-Cola products.
In November, the company was hit with an adverse ruling by the U.S. Tax Court, in which the court predominantly sided with the IRS. [BizJournals]
Even in the U.S., $12 billion is real money. It could have paid for almost all of President Trump’s border wall construction, for instance. Instead, like so many companies, Coke has hoarded for itself while doing virtue signaling for the Democratic Party.
Republicans in Georgia and nationwide have responded to Quincey’s behavior with typical impotent fuming. Georgia Republicans made a show of removing Coke from their offices. Coke is unlikely to care in the slightest.
If the GOP wants Coke to pay attention, perhaps they could stop treating corporations like it and Delta Airlines as untouchable when they make political interventions on behalf of the left. The GOP could start to genuinely care about the basic physical health and robustness of ordinary Americans. It should be revolting and offensive to all conservatives and nationalists that two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese.
Coca-Cola played a crucial role in bringing about this obesity crisis by flooding the nation’s gullets with barrels of corn syrup-infused sugary drinks. If Coca-Cola believes in holding the GOP “accountable” for securing elections against fraud, then it’s time that Republicans hold Coca-Cola accountable for its role in reducing Americans to obese, diabetic wrecks. America needs fair elections and a pro-American ruling class far more than it needs a health-destroying beverage company.
Or maybe Republicans could turn their eyes south, towards the neighbor whose health James Quincey helped destroy. They could bolster relations with Mexico by promising to find and pry back all money Coke may have stripped from workers with accounting tricks, and hand it over in return for fixing the border meltdown.
That might sound a little odd to conservatives used to seeing Mexico as a semi-hostile neighboring power. In the past, economic nationalism typically meant supporting American companies above all else. But that image is out of date. Today, countless corporations, Coca-Cola among them, are “American” in name only. They despise ordinary Americans and ideologically serve the Globalist American Empire.
Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, in contrast, was a close partner of President Trump, and is about as friendly toward America-first nationalism as any Mexican leader is likely to be. He’s shown far more interest in American sovereignty and election integrity than Coca-Cola ever has. He negotiated the deals with President Trump that fixed the migration crisis. He was one of the last foreign leaders to acknowledge President Biden’s “victory” in the 2020 election. And right now, his government is outraged at how Biden’s chaos at the border has created mayhem in Mexico.
While Mexico’s leadership is willing to help secure the border, Coca-Cola’s unsubtle message is that it’s time for America to be “Open, Like Never Before.”
In 2021, it would be far more patriotic and in the national interest for America to work with Mexico against the predatory global behavior of Coca-Cola, than to dogmatically cling to loyalty towards an “American” company that doesn’t care at all about ordinary Americans.
Perhaps it’s time for Republicans to join forces with Mexico and bring Coke to heel. The US and Mexico should build a border wall, create a safe election infrastructure, and make Coca Cola pay for it.