Nick Nichols

It is the season when politicians, pundits and partisans of various stripes pontificate about what is in store for the rest of us in the coming year. If you choose to believe these self-appointed soothsayers, we’re going to be treated to a year of government gridlock while we fry on a griddle heated by El Niño and global warming.

I, for one, look forward to a little gridlock in the Halls of Congress. Let them twitter and chirp about all that is wrong with America as long they don’t have the votes to dip their beaks into my bank account.

As for El Niño and global warming, I am waiting for the day when the scientists who privately acknowledge we can’t do anything about climate change say so publicly. That’s right folks. All the economically destructive policies proposed by the environmental lobby to reduce greenhouse gas emissions won’t be worth their weight in recycled paper if the doom and gloom artists prove correct. For the record, global warming isn’t about saving the planet. The global warming debate is about saving expensive beach-front property and species, humans included, who are not able to adapt to change. I believe some call that evolution.

So, if you are not concerned about gridlock and you are prepared to adapt to whatever the climate has in store for you, allow me to join the chorus of soothsayers and offer up some global predictions for 2007 of concern to anyone with an appreciation for free enterprise, private property and limited government.

1. Corporate appeasers will continue to play the Corporate Social Responsibility game, paying tribute to activists who demand cash for their pet projects—revenue that would otherwise provide shareholders with a greater return on their investments.

2. Public relations flacks will continue to pressure their business clients to publish Corporate Social Responsibility reports so they can charge hefty fees, and so their clients can pose for kudos from the news media and the activist community.

3. Big government lawmakers will wake up to the fact that the voluntary Corporate Social Responsibility movement poses a threat to their coveted government power. Therefore, legislation will be introduced to mandate and regulate CSR—it’s already happening in Europe.

4. Activist groups will celebrate the introduction of mandatory CSR legislation as yet another step toward advancing their goal—global corporate socialism. They will use the CSR reports published by businesses as a baseline from which to make even greater demands on corporate treasuries.

5. When all is said and done, the corporate Neville Chamberlains will claim “peace in our time,” public relations flacks will enjoy robust year-end bonuses, big government advocates will pose as corporate dragon-slayers, and the anti-capitalism activists will sing L’Internationale. Who will pay for this celebration? Small investors who used their hard-earned cash to purchase shares in the American dream.

Happy New Year!


Nick Nichols

Nick is a retired crisis communications executive. He also developed and taught graduate-level crisis management courses at the Johns Hopkins University. Nick is the author of Rules for Corporate Warriors: How to Fight and Survive Attack Group Shakedowns. He is a Vietnam veteran.