Is ESG Destroying or Disguising the Profit Motive?

It has long been contended that environmental, social, and corporate governance scores (ESG) are the Left’s attempt to weaponize every non-leftist’s money against his personal beliefs and economic interests. This is patently true . . . to an extent.

Infiltrating and extorting the corporate and financial elite, the ESG zealots pressure and capture the levers of large economic investment institutions to implement the Left’s agenda. For investors who oppose their money being used to further left-wing causes at the expense of maximizing their returns, there is little they can do to “take their money elsewhere.” Many of these individual investors are part of larger corporate or governmental plans managed by mega-institutional investors, such as BlackRock, from which escape is extremely difficult or impossible without being diminished economically even further.

Ultimately, the Left’s goal is to destroy the profit motive—at least within the private sector. After all, no state university’s faculty or public-sector labor union is demanding lower salaries for members. Since the private sector can spend only what it makes and the government spends what it takes, ESG is nowhere near as economically harmful for government salaried employees as it is for the middle-class investors who are or who have spent their working lives in the private sector. The latter’s retirement cannot be increased by a deal cut in the bowels of the federal bureaucracy or through legislation written by the elected officials beholden to these government unions. 

No, the virtuous scarcity and nobly diminished returns are only for those investors and workers who must first make the money the government takes; and the immediate and ultimate economic detriment they suffer from the destruction of the profit motive within the private sector is merely an investment in the future—of socialism.

The profit motive has long been the biggest bar to the implementation of left-wing economics. Why? Simply, leftists fail to produce anything but economic misery and malaise and governmental dependence. Hence, the need to have the populace embrace scarcity as a social good, because it unburdens the Left of the need to advance economic policies that expand economic opportunity and wealth; and, consequently, frees them (if no one else) to capriciously redistribute wealth—at least until they run out of other people’s money.

While vile, the support for ESG by the Left makes perfect sense within the perverse confines of their ideology: create a pandemic of fear (the “climate apocalypse”) to scare a sufficient segment of the public to disdain the profit motive; jettison the free market and the economic system that facilitated it; and abandon the highest standard of living in human history. So, too, one can understand how, due to the disinformation and misinformation of the Left, many non-leftists have been induced to conflate climate change with the climate apocalypse, and submit to this radical agenda. As the Left has long bragged, they never let a crisis go to waste—especially ones they manufacture.

Yet, what of the elitists who command the helms of mammoth multinational corporations and of institutional investors? Have these alleged captains of capitalism really turned their backs on the profit motive that so fabulously enriches them? Are they true believers in the climate apocalypse and, indeed, the entire leftist agenda that ostensibly is antithetical to their economic interests?

Of course not.

A recent pronouncement by HSBC, multinational corporations, and major institutional investors reveals they remain wedded to the profit motive—for themselves, anyway; however, they are loath to let public opinion, let alone morality, impair their ability to maximize a return on investment, regardless of what—or whom—is sacrificed.

Per Breitbart:

The largest bank in Europe [HSBC], which has nearly three trillion dollars in assets, has said that it will no longer finance new oil or gas fields to supposedly meet its commitments to achieving the UK government’s goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by the year 2050 . . . 

Hailing the move, the chief executive at climate finance campaign Make My Money Matter, Tony Burdon said: ‘It’s another nail in the coffin for fossil fuel expansion, and a massive signal to other UK banks that the game is up on new oil and gas.

Doubtless, Vladimir Putin was equally thrilled. He knows European countries in the thrall of the climate cult will continue to come running to Russia for the requisite fossil fuels to heat their frozen citizenries.

Elation at the announcement revealed that the climate cultists, in particular, and the Left, in general, are imbecilic hypocrites.

Alex Chan Tsz Yuk/SOPA Images via Getty Images

In addition to autocratic, aggressor nations such as Russia being enriched by ESG, so are the multinational corporations and mammoth institutional investors:

HSBC has also come under criticism for its close relationship with the world’s number one polluter, Communist China, even going so far as to debank pro-democracy activists and politicians in Hong Kong as well as supporting the imposition of the CCP’s draconian national security law, which has all but crushed the protest movement in the former British colony.

Well, well! There you have it: the profit motive. 

Not content with maximizing their returns on investments by suckling at the teat of governments’ heavily subsidized “renewable energies,” facilitating a genocidal regime’s capabilities to oppress its citizens is also on the menu. For these manipulative denizens of the “one percent,” investing a tithing in the Left’s ESG hokum is almost worthy of being a tax-deductible advertising expense for virtue signaling. Clearly, it works. Compare the ESG’s proponents’ demands for boycotting Communist China and Cuba, Iran, or even Venezuela to aid their oppressed citizens’ life and death struggle for freedom.

Oh, wait . . . 

ESG both destroys the profit motive for you and disguises the profit motive for the 1 percent who collude with the Left and abet repressive regimes—you know, the autocrats and worse that the Left warns are on the rise throughout the world. Clearly the Left just does not give a damn how many eggs are broken in making their messy socialist omelet.

If one finds this criticism unduly harsh, consider this scenario: a leftist, a fat-cat corporate leader, and a woke capitalist walk into the Communist Chinese laogai, look a tortured Uyghur in the eye and boast: “Sure, we abetted your persecution. But we saved the planet.”

For a tidy profit.

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About Thaddeus G. McCotter

An American Greatness contributor, the Hon. Thaddeus G. McCotter (M.C., Ret.) represented Michigan’s 11th Congressional district from 2003 to 2012 and served as Chair of the Republican House Policy Committee. Not a lobbyist, he is a frequent public speaker and moderator for public policy seminars, and a Monday co-host of the "John Batchelor Show" among sundry media appearances.

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