By Connie Lovell
Have you been wondering why the majority of Americans have been thrust into the background of American culture? Do you watch television commercials and wonder who is buying this stuff? Each crazy news cycle brings an element of chaos new to our experience. Media narratives, remixing messages and images into new stories are causing us to doubt our beliefs. But, as the Eagles sing, “There ain’t no way to hide your lyin’ eyes.”
We have arrived at the tipping point when years of cultivation have harvested a new crop of rules and a militant group of regulators. Ideologies identified like alphabet soup now guide our domestic and monetary policy. Regulations labeled DEI or ESG, for example, are litigated into the context of domestic policy, not legislated in Congress. ESG, “environmental, social and governance” standards reach into every aspect of your daily life. When applied to climate change and social justice ESG sounds like good medicine, but to really understand the insidious impact of these regulations, you need to follow the money.
The finance industry, asset managers, celebrity executives, and legal experts have applied ESG using some very creative scoring to pick winners that advance a liberal agenda. Decisions about credit and loan applications now reflect the “good” habits of businesses and institutions. No longer is sound manufacturing and policy practice enough. Compliance with ESG regulations influences loan decisions. At the recommendation of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, FSOC, banks will soon be rated on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The balance of power has shifted to those compliant with a liberal agenda.
The advance of ESG is not limited to institutions. Consider students applying to college or for student loans. Community Service is an expected line item on any application but what is judged to be a valuable endeavor and who are the judges? Is teaching Sunday School as valuable as saving a whale? Achievement is only partly considered when applying for higher education. Environmental, social, and governance standards are also used to weigh the worth of the applicant.
We are culturally and environmentally ripe for this limitation on our personal freedoms. Lessons learned as children to modify behavior and accept certain conditions for the benefit of all are second nature. The Covid pandemic has shown us how far we are willing to go, how much we are willing to give, to signal our compliance for the greater good. Requiring a vaccine passport to attend the theater or enjoy a night out was unimaginable a few years ago. Accepting these modifications to our liberty can be a righteous obligation or subjugation of our freedom. But which is it? Is it both?
Applying ESG and other constraints shepherds people to certain behaviors that they may otherwise avoid. Banks are complicit in advancing this ideology as a board policy adding energy consumption, for example, or social activism as criteria for credit consideration. Say you want to build a railroad to transport produce but can only get a loan to buy a fleet of electric trucks, you would buy the trucks. Think of the entertainment industry. If you want to produce a miniseries about white rabbits you will need to pass through the judgment of banking institutions to secure financing, but if red rabbits are trending, even though only 3% of the rabbit population is red, you, by necessity, must comply to tell your story.
And your story is told on your cell phone. It is your new curriculum vitae. It provides a trove of discriminatory evidence which can be used to determine your ESG score. Using too much fuel? Visiting the recycling center regularly? Got your booster? The data collected in that little device can incriminate you. New technologies allow tracking your activities and spending behavior. The culprits who invaded the White House on January 6 were busted by cellphone tracking. Ballot harvesting operations during the 2020 election were first identified through cellphone tracking and then brought to light with surveillance cameras. Data miners have the drop on you.
The babel of abbreviations and mystic language is designed to confuse and disorient us into thinking we are out of step with the world. The fuzzy language is a “thin disguise” for altering the Constitution without legislation. Application of ESG and other forms of subjective scoring redirects capital to a progressive agenda and away from merit-based investment. This wonky, all of government initiative, discriminates against those that do not toe the liberal party line.
Knowledge is power.