Glenn has long warned of the threat ESG poses to the free market and our individual liberty. However, many conservatives still defend ESG as a way of setting socially positive parameters around the free market, distracting from the real threat ESG poses. ESG not only threatens the free market, it moreover transfers the power of the market out of the hands of the consumer into the pockets of the elites.
What is ESG?
As Glenn's audience is well aware, ESG stands for "environmental, social, and governance." It is a scoring system for businesses based on their compliance with environmental and social standards. Certain factors are considered in an ESG score, including "climate change adaptation, energy efficiency, employee health & wellbeing, diversity, equity, & inclusion (DE&I), and human rights." This scoring system is mostly self-reported by businesses to entice asset managers who are looking to invest in "environmentally friendly" or "socially-conscious" businesses, however, some governments, such as the EU, are increasingly requiring ESG reporting as a pre-requisite to operate within its jurisdiction.
What's the big deal? Doesn't the free market protect ESG?
ESG defenders say the self-reporting nature of ESG is a free-market incentive rather than an arbitrary standard imposed on businesses. However, the reality is much closer to extortion for leftist purposes.
Large asset management firms, who have a monopolistic market share over the asset management industry have chosen to prioritize ESG investments. That means if you don't want to comply with ESG's leftist standards in YOUR business, you can kiss investment goodbye.
ESG is already affecting YOUR money.
Take Blackrock as an example. The asset management behemoth manages over $10 trillion which is equivalent to HALF of the U.S. GDP. Blackrock alone has invested a total of $110 billion in ESG funds. What does that entail? The main criterium for investment isn't the likelihood of turning a profit—these firms are now incentivized to invest in ESG-ranking funds over others that may yield a higher profit. In short, they are using YOUR money to invest in companies based on ESG scores rather than their likelihood of returning on investment.
With ESG, the main criterium for investment isn't the likelihood of turning a profit.
Blackrock isn't alone. Second only to Blackrock, the DWS Group invested $36 billion in ESG, comprising 11 funds. Parnassus Investments poured $33 billion into ESG. Bank of America calculated over $200 billion was invested in ESG bond funds between 2019 and 2022. These investments skewed towards left-leaning organizations, putting conservative organizations at an inherent disadvantage. It is nothing less than extortion—"you won't get any investments unless you comply with my political beliefs."
As Vivek Ramaswamy said on Glenn's show, "They're using the money of everyday American citizens, most of the listeners of this program, yours and mine, to foist values onto corporate America, to advocate for values, in corporate America." Instead of putting your money towards companies that will GROW your personal wealth, these monopolistic asset management firms are using YOUR money to financially promote its leftist-based values, turning asset management into political advocacy.
"They're using the money of everyday American citizens [...] to foist values onto corporate America."
This isn't only happening on the business level—it's affecting numerous consumers. ESGagainstus.com has been collecting stories of individuals and businesses having their bank accounts frozen due to their personal beliefs that don't comply with the ESG agenda. How many more people will it affect until we stop it?
Conservatives need to stand up to ESG.
There is already some positive legislation coming from conservative states combatting ESG. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has gone so far as to ban ESG practices statewide:
By applying arbitrary ESG financial metrics that serve no one except the companies that created them, elites are circumventing the ballot box to implement a radical ideological agenda. Through this legislation, we will protect the investments of Floridians and the ability of Floridians to participate in the economy.
Will other conservatives do the same?
ESG turns asset management into political advocacy.
The issue of ESG is nothing short of putting freedom of conscience and the power of consumer choice back in the hands of the PEOPLE, rather than elite corporations. As Glenn said, "We must return the power to the hands of the people." The issue of ESG will force our leaders to show their true colors: those who are willing to stand up for the people against elitist corporations and those who will do the elitists' bidding.