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ESG and Stakeholderism Will Kill Capitalism and Democracy

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Politicians and political talking heads commonly fearmonger about the death of capitalism and democracy, but the real threat lies under their noses: ESG investing and stakeholderism worming their way more deeply into more corporations. 


ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) investing is a system of non-standardized metrics used by investment firms. They are used to arbitrarily decide what and who they should provide capital to. Systems for scoring ESG can differ widely from one investment firm to another.  

Stakeholderism, the idea of promoting the interests of the stakeholders of a firm, dovetails with ESG investing to result in investments based on sociological ideals vs practical financial decisions. What both of these have in common: a whole list of non-financial priorities and metrics, some in conflict, most of them subjective, and many that will cost money and will hurt the bottom line. 

These ESG metrics and stakeholder desires divert attention away from the traditional beneficiaries of corporations, shareholders. The people that depend on their 401Ks, pension funds, and stocks for security and investment growth. Stakeholderism relegates shareholders to just another stakeholder among many and adds priorities that do not focus on customers, shareholders, or profits. 

Supporters of stakeholderism as a system of governance for corporations believe that they should serve the interest of all their stakeholders. Investopedia explains, “under this system, a company's purpose is to create long-term value and not to maximize profits and enhance shareholder value at the cost of other stakeholder groups.” In other words, profits for shareholders will be going down the drain as time and money are spent on a multitude of social priorities.  


Many corporate leaders are embracing ESG because it makes them less accountable to shareholders and gives them more control over other people’s money. They can steer more corporate resources to their pet projects and political virtue signaling, often at the expense of their shareholders. It even gives them an out for poor financial performance, they can blame ESG while touting their losses as an ideological sacrifice. 

There is even proof that ESG funds underperform their peers. According to Harvard Business Review, ESG shareholders earn less money.

No one can serve two masters, let alone more than 15 non-financial metrics and a variety of stakeholders. Throwing out the system that benefits shareholders will end capitalism, the golden egg of prosperity for the west. Capitalism has created unparalleled economic success and reliable affordable energy.  

In a 1970 New York Times article, economist Milton Friedman stated that he believed that "social responsibility," socialism and acting in the best economic interests of a company are incompatible: 

“This is the basic reason why the doctrine of ‘social responsibility’ involves the acceptance of the socialist view that political mechanisms, not market mechanisms, are the appropriate way to determine the allocation of scarce resources to alternative uses.”


ESG and stakeholderism are soft fascism. The government, through voluntary compliance and coercion by leftist politicians and imbedded bureaucrats, determines the leftist metrics and constituencies for the corporation to prioritize. We’re already seeing this as banks and insurers are pressured not to invest inlend to and insure fossil fuels. Never mind they provide 80 percent of our energy and are legal products.  

Exxon passed up a moneymaking oil and gas play because it could hurt their ESG score only to have one of the two largest oil companies, both owned by communist China, buy them up and make the profits for their owners. This whole idea of ideologically motivated ESG investing and net-zero-pledges seems to be exclusively done in the west. Countries like China just opt out.

All those who want a strong and functioning free America must resist the World Economic Fund (WEF) stakeholderism and the hard left’s wish list of corporate policies masked under the banner of ESG. The left cannot win decisive victories through elections so they are seeking to get corporations to impose their will on unsuspecting Americans without their say. 

We should not let them destroy American capitalism without a vote. 

It’s time to follow LouisianaMissouri, and South Carolina’s example and move investments from ESG companies, ESG funds, BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street. All these groups are pushing for ESG in all corporations, and with it, the death of democracy and capitalism. 


Frank Lasee is a former Wisconsin state senator and former member of Governor Scott Walker’s administration. The district he represented had two nuclear power plants, a biomass plant and numerous wind towers. He has experience dealing with energy, the environment, and the climate. Frank is now President of Truth in Energy and Climate. Read more at 

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