WASHINGTON, DC, Sep 28 — Free-market capitalism arrived in America aboard the Mayflower and all the other square-riggers carrying colonists in the 17th century. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services they were seeking political liberty, religious freedom and economic opportunity. The Harvard Business School notes that “the Virginians in Jamestown, the Puritans in Massachusetts Bay, the Quakers in Pennsylvania and other early settlers of what later became the United States all brought with them elements of capitalism, precursors of the future nation’s market-driven direction.”
So, why are politicos, academicians and even corporate executives joining forces in an effort to undermine the very concept that made America great the first time around? Not all, but too many of them are engaging in an effort to replace our economic engine with a decidedly progressive system called Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards.
In a recent interview with Andy Puzder, an expert on the subject of ESG, he told The Epoch Times that “leftist progressive groups are pushing forward environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards on companies and investments, claiming that such standards will benefit society.” He warned that “ESG is simply socialist ideologies being falsely presented as the free market.”
Puzder noted that three of the biggest financial firms on Wall Street, BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard have embraced ESG. These firms control some $20 trillion worth of investments and are using their clout to “impose their will” on companies they invest in. The result is that a growing number of companies in the U.S. and elsewhere are giving in to this newfound, leftist approach to business.
Here’s what Michael Posner, a Senior Contributor at Forbes wrote: “In large part because of [its] explosive growth, the ESG framework has come under the microscope, and is now taking criticism from all sides. Among conservatives, there is a growing chorus of critics who see ESG frameworks as an element of what they deride as ‘woke capitalism.’ In May, former Vice President Mike Pence, writing in the Wall Street Journal, described ESG as a shift in the investment world ‘entirely manufactured by a handful of very large and powerful Wall Street financiers promoting left-wing environmental, social and governance goals and ignoring the interests of businesses and their employees.’ Others, like Senators Ted Cruz [R-TX] and Josh Hawley [R-MO], have piled on, seeking to turn ESG investing into the next political wedge issue.”
Author Frank S. Robinson, a former administrative law judge, penned an Opinion article back in the early days of the ESG movement. He noted that while capitalism may be seen cold-hearted to some, it is an economic system that works for everyone’s benefit; it “gives most people the opportunity to flourish, and the resultant society is the richest attainable, even for the losers…The Left talks about the ‘contradictions of capitalism’, but the only contradiction is that individual striving for advantage serves the common good. It’s anti-capitalism that’s contradictory – the idea of achieving justice by taking away what people have earned. And that this also nurtures poverty rather than solving it…Capitalism is not perfect. No economic system ever can be, and the quest for utopia has produced rivers of blood and tears. But if we accept human imperfection, as we must, a free market economy is as good as it gets.”
America has been a capitalist nation for nearly two and a half centuries. The economic success it has provided for all of us — rich and poor alike — has a history that no one can deny. Communism — socialism on steroids — has been a political structure for little more than 100 years and has created hardship and poverty.
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