President Calvin Coolidge said, “The chief business of the American people is business. They are profoundly concerned with producing, buying, selling, investing and prospering in the world.” We were in 1925 and are a near-century later.
Corporate CEOs, though, have increasingly been distracted from producing, buying, selling, investing and prospering. Too many are involving themselves in social and political matters that have nothing to do with their businesses, threatening shareholder and business prosperity.
Consider Disney’s fervid opposition to a Florida law to keep public-school teachers from talking to five- to eight-year-olds about sex and “gender-transitioning.” Disney has joined the hard left in mis-describing the act as the “don’t say gay” law and vocally opposing it. In doing so, this company has alienated many Americans, reducing the value of the company as reflected by its stock price.
Or consider North Carolina’s own Bank of America. Led by CEO Brian Moynihan, the companyhas endorsed “equity” over equality. Equity means active, real discrimination on the basis of race, sex, and other protected classifications. It calls for a race- and sex-based spoils systems, regardless of personal efforts, productivity, or other unique factors. Equity and other woke capitalist movements remove incentives to achievement that are fundamentally necessary for business and civic success.
Bank of America has called for Western nations to spend $150 trillion to zero out carbon worldwide, and is making it harder for other American corporations to invest in cleaner carbon in technologically viable ways, even as events in Europe and here at home show that decarbonizing on political rather than financial and technological schedules make our enemies richer while impoverishing us. This isn’t “sustainability;” it destabilizes the whole world. It isn’t profitability; it reduces living standards for hundreds of millions of people at home, and billions abroad.
The Free Enterprise Project has joined with two allies, the Job Creators Network and 2nd Vote, to form the Boardroom Initiative (BI), which will fight back against woke capitalism in all its forms and protect shareholders, employees, customers, and communities from its spread. BI will encourage corporations to get back to business and out of social and political fights that do not advance their business efforts.
BI’s first initiative is submitting a shareholder proposal at Bank of America’s annual meeting next week requesting an outside audit of the company’s diversity policies. Shareholders and communities deserve to know if Bank of America is peddling equity over equality and Critical Race Theory over meritocracy in its hiring and employee training practices.
Moving forward, BI will let the public know what the wokest corporations are up to, grading companies on a scale of sanity, from doing their jobs to losing their minds. It will provide the great center/right majority in this country the tools they need to be wise spenders, voters, and investors – and how to be successful activists, fighting to save American business from the climate-catastrophists and the new-racism and new-sexism purveyors.
Woke capitalism, from corporate CEOs becoming social activists to companies promoting racist pseudoscience to the proliferation of ESG investment requirements, threaten businesses, shareholders, and retirees. It erodes the heart of American free market capitalism that has ushered in the most vibrant middle class in the history of the world. The fight against this corporate cancer is a fight to return the country’s business culture to one President Coolidge would recognize.