When corporations come calling with high-minded concerns, run. From Dr. Joseph Mercola at lewrockwell.com:
Pouncing on investors’ interest in environmentally friendly, sustainable investing, the S&P 500 ESG Index was launched in 2019.1 ESG, or environmental, social and governance, funds are supposed to be those focused on companies with strong environmental ethics and responsibility, but further investigation reveals rampant greenwashing has occurred, and many ESG-labeled funds are far from “sustainable.”
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been scrutinizing ESG funds for years, as their popularity soared. While funds focused on socially responsible investing were valued at $2.83 billion in 2015, this grew to $17.67 billion by 2019, when Alex Bernhardt, U.S. head of responsible investments at investment consultant Mercer, told The Wall Street Journal, “In every asset class, in every region, ESG product development is the thing right now.”2
Fast-forward to 2022, and the SEC is cracking down on ESG labels, with multiple investigations launched into ESG greenwashing on Wall Street by multiple mega-banks. Globally, $41 trillion are expected to flow into ESG funds in 2022.3
Strictly speaking, “inflation” means expansion of the medium of exchange. That’s the province of the government, the central bank, and the banking system. Everyone else, and that includes mega-corporations, are just along for the ride. From Ranen Aschemann at mises.org:
Seventeen months ago, as the keys to the oval office changed hands, for all of the political animus and theatrics, one thing seemed a given: the US economy would roar back to vitality in historic fashion, a point of optimism in a nation of discord and incertitude. Yet hope would give way to ambivalence, which, in turn, gave way to serious doubt. Today, a pathetic 23 percent of Americans feel economic conditions are even “somewhat good.” The primary reason for such abysmal economic sentiment? Inflation.
As consumer prices have accelerated out of control over the past year, a new political narrative on inflation has emerged, one that alleges corporate impropriety as the primary catalyst. The motive for such a messaging shift from select members of the political apparatus is clear: a need to shirk accountability for evidently inflation-inducing policies. Unfortunately, the corporate greed narrative has apparently paid dividends to its progenitors, garnering increasing acceptance among the body politic at large. Indeed, according to one poll from Data For Progress, a majority of likely voters now believe price-gouging is a major contributor to heightened inflation. However, that inflation is brought about by corporate greed is a sophistic political lie in every respect.
Yes, corporations are greedy. People are greedy. It turns out that greed is a natural characteristic of the human condition. It always has been. Why, then, has inflation only recently exploded after 40 years of calm, now clipping along at better than four times the Federal Reserve’s target annual rate of two percent?
Politicians love to point the finger at corporate greed for high prices, mostly to obscure theirs and their central bank’s role in fiat debt creation, which is the ultimate engine for higher prices. From Michael Maharrey at schiffgold.com:
There is a meme floating around social media that seems to prove greedy corporations – specifically oil companies – are the root cause of inflation.
How does this meme stack up to reality?
Short answer — it doesn’t.
The meme tells us that ExxonMobil earned $5.5 billion in the first quarter of 2022 compared with $2.7 billion in Q1 2021. The meme goes on to conclude “We’re not paying for gas, we’re paying for greed!”
This meme is a great example of the fact that trying to draw conclusions based on a couple of numbers pulled from any context will likely lead you to the wrong conclusion.
The meme uses ExxonMobil’s net income as the basis for its assertion. If you look at the company’s income statement, you will find the data is correct. The company reported a net income of $5.48 billion in Q1 of this year and $2.73 billion in Q1 2021.
First, it’s important to understand exactly what these numbers represent. Net income accounts for revenue minus all expenses, including operating expenses. taxes, interest, debt service, etc. This number is highly susceptible to accounting manipulation. This number is often reported as “profit.”
The deeply held beliefs of socialists generally find no support in history or logical analysis. That, of course, has never stopped a socialist. From Jon Rappoport at lewrockwell.com:
Let’s get something straight. There is no pure form of socialism, where “the government owns the means of production.”
The means of production own the government, and vice versa. It’s always collusion. Elite power players stitch themselves together like a walking Frankenstein corpse.
Socialism can be done with a smile or with guns and jails. Styles vary.
For example, the Council on Foreign Relations [CFR] believes an international “joining of hands across the water” would be just dandy.
You could call the CFR’s agenda socialism or Globalism or fascism or dictatorship or the corporate state—it doesn’t matter. For the sake of brevity, call it socialism.
At street level (not within the CFR), every proponent of the socialist “solution” either has no idea who installs it and runs it, or astonishingly believes “the government” can be transformed into a beneficent enterprise and shed its core corruption, as it takes the reins of absolute power.
Corporations are filling up with all sorts of executives who don’t make the corporation a dime. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:
Is it coincidence that the decline – and impending fall – of the car industry correlates with therise and proliferation of such things as chief sustainability officers?
Rivian – the electric truck maker that has so far only made a small handful of them and will never sell many of them because there are only so many people who can afford to spend $70,000 on a vehicle – has just named its very first CSO, Anisa Kamadoli Costa. She is a long way from Zora Arkus Duntov or John Z. Delorean, engineers and makers of cars.
But not from the World Economic Forum (WEF) where she “served” – interesting term, given the context – on the Global Future Council on Human Rights. Her degree is in International Economic Policy and she has been acclaimed “one of twelve forward thinkers at the intersection of sustainability and style by Marie Claire magazine. Her prior-to-Rivian gig was at the Tiffany & Co. Foundation, where she “drove the company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) agenda.”
The globalists envision of corporatist uni-state, but everything they’re doing is impoverishing or killing the customers that support the corporations. From Jon Rappoport at lewrockwell.com:
Lately, I’ve been posting articles about elite power groups and their historical connections to Russia.
Here is a piece that raises a problem these power groups have been facing—a problem that won’t go away.
I wrote and posted this article On June 10, 2015. Here it is:
Stay with me on this one. You’ll see what the powers-that-be are really worried about.
You can roll up Bilderberg, the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, the World Trade Organization, NAFTA, and the several current trade treaties nearing completion…you can insert all these Rockefeller Globalist forces into one great corporate agenda, and…
There is a problem. A problem for Globalism. This is, behind the scenes, what the titans of control are whispering about.
It starts here: understand that mega-corporations are the instruments of world domination. They move into countries where cheap labor, land, and resources are abundant, and they take over. This is what they’re meant to do. This is the plan.
The managements and boards of America’s largest corporations went along with Covid-19 totalitarianism without a peep of protest. From David Stockman at brownstone.org:
A while back, corporate America was bending over backwards to appease the Virus Patrol with lockdowns, mandatory masking and threats to fire anyone who didn’t take the Jab.
This was supposedly owing to the “science,” but it has long been evident that the latter was a limpid cover story. Big Business complied because the business culture of the corporate elites has become deeply confused and even corrupt.
Their stocks being vastly overvalued owing to the Fed’s relentless and egregious monetary expansion, the C-suites have lost track of their #1 duty—profit maximization. The latter has been sacrificed to corporate virtue signaling, head pats from the politicians and invitations to White House soirees.
These corporate “statesmen” get all the above psychic rewards, plus mighty fat stock option enrichment, too, because the Fed won’t see it any other way. They are pleased to call it “wealth effects” policy, when the truth is it is market-wrecking and wealth-destroying policy.
The utter economic waste and injustice to employees, shareholders, and various other stakeholders brought on by the new corporate virtue signaling is now starkly evident in the global data that prove beyond a shadow of doubt that the whole Virus Patrol-dictated anti-Covid regime was completely wrong from the very beginning.
If you’re fondest dream is to run a major corporation some day, you’re going to get the shot. If you’re a working Joe who doesn’t think much of the corporate climbers, you’re probably going to resist getting the shot. From Michael Tracey at anti-empire.com:
A “F-you” from the people who sell their labor, not their soul
It’s not often that I’d feel compelled to share a full reader email. I get a lot of emails… and let’s just say the quality can vary.
But here’s an extremely high-quality email that’s worth reproducing. It comes in response to an article of mine from last week about the media’s unshakable obsession with partisanship in relation to the phenomenon of “vaccine hesitancy.” Glance at most popular coverage of the issue and you’d come away thinking that Republican voting inclination is the only relevant variable in why millions of Americans are “hesitant” to take COVID vaccines.
I don’t know about you, but my hunch when examining vaccine uptake data from around the country has long been that socioeconomic status — or, to put it more simply, class — is a highly salient factor, perhaps even dwarfing partisanship. And while race also does get mentioned a fair amount — among racial groups, blacks have the lowest predilection to get vaccinated — whatever racial disparities exist could easily be more a function of socioeconomic status than any intrinsically “racial” factor.
Issues of class tend to be less exciting than race and partisanship for the media to bicker amongst themselves about though, so it’s unsurprising that this would be mostly glossed over. And it should go without saying that the vast majority of people who work in the media/nonprofit/activism complex come from a very distinct socioeconomic stratum, hence why they often miss trends that derive from lower-class sensibilities with which they are unfamiliar, and seldom ever encounter.
The letter-writer below asked to remain anonymous for reasons that will become obvious once you begin reading. But most relevantly, he/she has direct firsthand experience with disparate vaccine uptake rates among differing socioeconomic groups, and proffers a theory explaining these disparities. The context here is a corporate one, but the dynamics referenced strike me as universalizable enough to potentially account for a large degree of overall “vaccine hesitancy.” And yet what he/she’s getting at is essentially never considered in US media squabbles.
I wouldn’t necessarily endorse every aspect of the conclusions proposed, but I endorse the worthiness of airing the opinion. Emails like this make the more “unkind” feedback I receive worth it!
The US governance model is fascism: the government and corporations teaming up for mutual advantage at the expense of everyone else. From Jonathan Turley at jonathanturley.org:
Below is my column on the expanding role of corporations as surrogates for the federal government. The White House is openly calling for greater corporate action to address censorship, health care, and other issues. That call is being supported by a growing list of Democratic members, journalists, and academics who have discovered the advantages of shared corporate governance.
Here is the column:
Teddy Roosevelt gave a speech in 1902, “The Control of Corporations,” which warned of the danger of corporate power over citizens’ lives. Calling corporations “creatures of the state,” he said they must be controlled by “the representatives of the public.” Roosevelt was a Republican, but his distrust of corporations (and his later faith in big government) would become a touchstone of Democratic politics for generations, from the Great Depression to the Great Society.
Like the reversal of Earth’s magnetic poles, American politics now seems suddenly to have flipped: Democratic leaders increasingly advocate for corporate governance while Republicans voice populist themes. From supporting the largest censorship programs in history to privately mandated vaccine “passports,” liberals are looking to companies like Apple or American Airlines to carry out social programs free from constitutional and political limits imposed on the government.
This new model of governance was evident when White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked about a mandated vaccine passport system. She responded that it is “not currently the role of the federal government” but noted that the administration hopes to see such a mandate from “private-sector entities, universities, institutions that are starting to mandate, and that’s an innovative step that they will take and they should take.”
In what passes for brilliance among contemporary American executives, being anti-business is actually good for business. From José Niño at mises.org:
These days it’s not your typical latte-sipping millennials who are going woke. Taking a stroll around America’s largest metro areas will have one believe social justice is the latest fad that’s sweeping across corporate boardrooms. Much has been written about woke capital—businesses’ recent pivot to signal their affinity for leftist movements—and what it means for society at large. Suffice it to say that since last year, this trend has accelerated at breakneck speeds.
Scratching one’s head in utter confusion should be a natural response to corporate America’s virtue signaling. One has to wonder why big business, which has traditionally been perceived as a reactionary institution aligned with the political right, would make common cause with radicals on the cultural left. Counterintuitive as it may seem, corporations and prominent business moguls have many incentives to jump on the virtue-signaling bandwagon.
For megacorporations, woke signaling is a matter of self-preservation in order to protect themselves from ravenous mobs in both the virtual and physical realms. What’s more, in a time when hall monitors—state and nonstate—are lurking around every corner waiting for individuals to commit some kind of impropriety, many institutions will go out of their way to signal their compliance with the regime’s standards. Not abiding by the regime’s accepted behavior comes with major social and financial costs that the bulk of businesses are not willing to bear.
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