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Many criticisms have been leveled against Elon Musk—that he’s part of the elite, that Tesla has been the beneficiary of government handouts and exemptions, that his transhumanist Neuralink is a brain-data-mining operation. Yet his planned purchase of Twitter, his supposed free-speech absolutism, and his subsequent renunciation of the Democratic Party as “the party of hate” have put Musk squarely in the crosshairs of the woke cartel.
Vitriolic Twitter storms, a New York Times–Financial Times biographical exposé, a slew of hit pieces and scaremongering segments in the legacy media, and allegations of sexual harassment have dogged the automobile magnate ever since his Twitter bid. In response, Musk announced on Twitter that he’s assembling a legal crew to sue defamers and defend Tesla (and likely himself) against lawsuits.
But the best indication that the woke cartel has really gone berserk is its removal of Tesla from the S&P 500’s ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) Index. This last rebuff proves that “ESG is a scam.”
I’ve argued that the ESG is a means for dividing the woke wheat from the unwoke chaff to assemble a woke monopolistic cartel, but this exclusion is especially hypocritical and ludicrous. Tesla has produced more electric vehicles than any other manufacturer, yet Exxon Mobil and JP Morgan Chase rank among the S&P 500’s top ESG performers after a recent rebalancing. JP Morgan is the world’s largest investor in oil producers and ExxonMobil ranks first among them.
The reasons given for axing Tesla from the index also prove that ESG indexing is political to the core. Writes Margaret Dorn of Indexology Blog:
A few of the factors contributing to its 2021 S&P DJI ESG Score were a decline in criteria level scores related to Tesla’s (lack of) low carbon strategy and codes of business conduct. In addition, a Media and Stakeholder Analysis, a process that seeks to identify a company’s current and potential future exposure to risks stemming from its involvement in a controversial incident, identified two separate events centered around claims of racial discrimination and poor working conditions at Tesla’s Fremont factory, as well as its handling of the NHTSA investigation after multiple deaths and injuries were linked to its autopilot vehicles. Both of these events had a negative impact on the company’s S&P DJI ESG Score at the criteria level, and subsequently its overall score. While Tesla may be playing its part in taking fuel-powered cars off the road, it has fallen behind its peers when examined through a wider ESG lens.
What we see through this “wider ESG lens” is a political spectacle. ESG grading, notes Bloomberg, is a measure of public relations imagery, not environmental performance. Tesla has been besmirched with bad press regarding supposed racial discrimination, and Musk’s South African provenance is used to support such allegations. In 2018, Business Insider claimed that Musk was a beneficiary of an apartheid emerald mine owned by his father, Errol, and worked by black South Africans. Twitter mobs and other media outlets have continued to repeat the allegation, despite Musk’s convincing refutation.
Tesla and Musk have thus been subjected to the S in ESG—the “social” or “social justice” quotient. “Diversity, equity, and inclusion” means exclusion of the politically incorrect. This applies to corporations as much as it does to individuals. Musk has been deemed a deplorable, and thus his company does not pass “social justice” muster.
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As such, Musk has exposed the contradictions within the woke cartel’s measurement apparatus. Anything that can be used against a company, or its owners, will be used—
when the target runs afoul of the woke arbiters, that is. That’s because the ESG is an impressionistic, qualitative metric that subjects companies to the whims of a woke dictatorship.
I’m not suggesting that Musk is a free-market hero or a lowercase libertarian, but there is little doubt that he’s become corporate enemy number one for the state-backed woke cartel. The battle shaping up between Musk and the regime will prove to be an important one, if only because it pits the power of the latter against a high-visibility manufacturer and the reputed “richest man in the world.” What we will learn is how powerful the woke cartel is and just how far it will go to infringe property rights and eradicate any remaining legitimate (consumer-based) market criteria—no matter how much its moves reek of hypocrisy or how obvious its vendetta.
In today’s political economy, satisfying shareholders and customers has become less important than ingratiation with the woke cartel and the government that supports it. Corporations’ fealty to wokeness, state dictates, and state narratives can be explained in terms of a fully politicized economy. Corporations seek to curry favor with the clique in power, and thus they have become organs of the Democratic Party and the federal government it now runs unilaterally.
Woke corporatism is what happens when social democracy or democratic socialism grows to such proportions as to make profiting nearly impossible without political approval. Unfortunately, Elon Musk will learn much more about woke political capitalism in the not-so-distant future.
Image by Steve Jurvetson via Flickr, CC BY 2.0. Article cross-posted from Mises.
Will America-First News Outlets Make it to 2023?
Things are looking grim for conservative and populist news sites.
There’s something happening behind the scenes at several popular conservative news outlets. 2021 was bad, but 2022 is proving to be disastrous for news sites that aren’t “playing ball” with the corporate media narrative. It’s being said that advertisers are cracking down, forcing some of the biggest ad networks like Google and Yahoo to pull their inventory from conservative outlets. This has had two major effects. First, it has cooled most conservative outlets from discussing “taboo” topics like Pandemic Panic Theater, voter fraud, or The Great Reset. Second, it has isolated those ad networks that aren’t playing ball.
Certain topics are anathema for most ad networks. Speaking out against vaccines or vaccine mandates is a certain path to being demonetized. Highlighting voter fraud in the 2020 and future elections is another instant advertising death penalty. Throw in truthful stories about climate change hysteria, Critical Race Theory, and the border crisis and it’s easy to understand how difficult it is for America-First news outlets to spread the facts, share conservative opinions, and still pay the bills.
Without naming names, I have been told of several news outlets who have been forced to either consolidate with larger organizations or who have backed down on covering certain topics out of fear of being “canceled” by the ad networks. I get it. This is a business for many of us and it’s not very profitable. Those of us who do this for a living are often barely squeaking by, so loss of additional revenue can often mean being forced to make cuts. That means not being able to cover the topics properly. Its a Catch-22: Tell the truth and lose the money necessary to keep telling the truth, or avoid the truth and make enough money to survive. Those who have chosen survival simply aren’t able to spread the truth properly.
We will never avoid the truth. The Lord will provide if it is His will. Our job is simply to share the facts, spread the Gospel, and educate as many Americans as possible while exposing the forces of evil.
To those who have the means, we ask that you please donate. We have options available now, but there is no telling when those options will cancel us. We just launched a new GiveSendGo page. We also have our GivingFuel page. There have been many who have been canceled by PayPal, but for now it’s still an option. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to get the truth to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
Thank you, and God Bless!
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JD Rucker – EIC