6 Comments

The unanswered question is how Dems can turn this Repugnant stupidity into effective voter campaigns that reaches "Independents" or even people in the R bubble. Being correct by itself is insufficient. Reminds me to listen to that previous podcast on Dem messaging.

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"It is stupid almost beyond reckoning." Sigh. (Have you heard "stupidity kills, but not fast enough"?)

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I'm a long time fan and I subscribed just so I could comment (but I'll stay subscribed if I can financially)

I retract at false equivalence and both sides-ing coverage (you taught me that!), but here, without offering a bit of context, I think you undermine your own points a bit. There WAS (and is to a small extent) a bit of a movement to incorporate social issues into investing, the most prominent example I can think of being divesting from fossil fuels: https://gofossilfree.org/divestment/what-is-fossil-fuel-divestment/

I'm not well versed on the history, but I think it was popular in colleges and it was somewhat effective. Here in NYC there was pressure on the pension managers/treasurers to think about this, and there was similar pushback - the managers/treasurers were legally obligated to consider financial returns, not politics. The counterargument though was there was a real financial risk and that it was irresponsible to remain heavily invested if climate risks are not accounted for.

There are levels of ESG ranging from divesting from certain industries (like tobacco and firearms) to investing only in companies that are trying to make a positive impact:

https://investor.vanguard.com/investor-resources-education/article/4-kinds-of-esg-funds-what-you-need-to-know

And whether this is a difference in marketing or something actual, it is a real thing Republicans are backlashing against. I REALLY hope this ESG culture war doesn't drag down B-Corps companies and benefit corporations because I think those ARE socially conscious in a substantive way to their DNA (in a way that makes sense to me) and I'm hopeful that is a promising mechanism for capitalism to correct itself in some way.

None of this changes the punching-self-in-face legislation that Republicans are actually implementing....it just clarifies the record that this didn't just come out of thin air. And that's important to maintain trust amongst your readers (and for the researcher too!). It puts a bit of an asterisk on your work in my mind - the divestment campaign, and levels of ESG investing aren't something hidden or niche that you could be forgiven for overlooking.

Thanks for your work and coverage. Forreal - keep it up.

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Sorry, but I thought an obvious point was simply missed, one that explains why they aren't so stupid.

They don't believe that the corporate investments will be held responsible for those kind of risks. They'll just be excused. Either by changed legislation, captured regulators, unbudgeted enforcers.

The GOP is all about making those "risks" go away or be socialized. So having investors make the risks costly again, sabotages the conservative project to deregulate.

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They don't seem unhappy with ESG principles when these are applied to renewable energy. Just the latest of what gets referred to generically as "supply chain issues" for the solar industry:

https://www.pv-magazine.com/2023/07/13/us-customs-solar-exclusions-might-be-de-facto-ban-on-chinese-polysilicon/

Anti-ESG hearings, investigations and media portrayals are probably somewhat effective at sowing FUD within corporations and investment groups, as to whether any actions, remotely construed as "ESG," will end up with them sued or subpoenaed or dragged through some social media pile-on. So just adding a bit of risk or perception of risk to certain otherwise-desirable paths.

And as stupid and creepy as the "anti-globalist" and other accusations and rhetoric is at these hearings, somehow the GOP won three million more votes than the Dems in the 2022 House election. Scary.

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