Nick Vujicic, a motivational speaker who traveled the world through his organization to speak to millions about his Christian faith, became a co-founder of a pro-life bank after he was kicked out of his bank, a false article was published about him, and a grenade was thrown into his house.
Vujicic, the founder, president, and CEO of the Ministry of Life Without Limbs, met with the board of his organization and was suggested to speak for the pro-life cause. Vujicic agreed, but before he even started speaking he faced all kinds of harassment.
“I got kicked out of a bank, with no warning, it froze my credit cards, froze my debit cards … they did a review of me as a client and they don’t want anything to do with me,” Vujicic said in a recent interview on EpochTV’s “Crossroads” program.
Vujicic learned from the co-founder of his pro-life bank that “most banks give philanthropically under social responsibility to give to causes that provide [to] the biggest abortion clinics in America.”
Vujicic said that his new bank, Pro-life Bank, will be a religious for-profit entity and will not fund abortion.
“But we will actually fund 50 percent net profits to Judeo-Christian line nonprofit organizations that are biblically aligned and doing the will of God, according to our belief systems.”
Vujicic attributed the refusal to provide services to certain individuals by private industries to new standards in business management called Environmental, Social, and Governance considerations (ESG). A person may be evaluated based on whether he or she goes along with the business’s nonprofit causes or is environmentally friendly, Vujicic said.
“If I own a V12 twin-turbo [car], which I do, I’m actually then harming the environment. I get categorized as a second-class citizen. It’s going to be called carbon credits. And we’re going to be categorized [on] how harmful Nick is on the environment, socially based on what he believes, and who he gives to, what he doesn’t give to.”
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), ESG considerations are the “yardstick for stakeholder capitalism” and will be essential for corporate success in the future.
Stakeholders “include the enterprise’s owners and shareholders, customers, suppliers, collaborators of any kind, as well as the government and society, including the communities in which the company operates or which may in any way be affected by it,” according to a WEF report (pdf).
The WEF proposed a set of metrics that will be used to rate companies based on ESG standards in order to inform investment decisions. The Corporate Finance Institute noted that investment strategies based on ESG have gained popularity among millennials.
Environmental metrics “might focus on a company’s impact on the environment—for example, its energy use or pollution output, … [as well as] on the risks and opportunities associated with the impacts of climate change,” according to a bulletin by U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Social metrics “might focus on the company’s relationship with people and society—for example, issues that impact diversity and inclusion, human rights, specific faith-based issues, the health and safety of employees, customers, and consumers locally and/or globally.”
Governance metrics “might focus on issues such as how the company is run—for example, transparency and reporting, ethics, compliance, shareholder rights, and the composition and role of the board of directors.”
In September 2020, the WEF provided guidelines (pdf) for stakeholder capitalism metrics based on ESG that will evaluate the composition of the company’s governing body based on factors such as gender, stakeholder participation, and the ratio of “under-represented social groups.”
Among other metrics recommended by the WEF related to the environment are greenhouse gas emissions, size of land used, water consumption, air, and water pollution.
The WEF report also devised various metrics related to social factors such as percentage of employees by age, gender, ethnicity, pay equality ratios comparing women to men, minor to major ethnic groups, pay gaps based on gender and other diversity categories, number of discrimination and harassment incidents, number of suppliers using child or forced labor, employee participation in health and well-being programs, and community investment.
Willis Towers Watson interviewed 170 board members in more than 20 countries and discovered that pay equity is a prime concern for many board directors in Europe and North America, wrote Shai Ganu and Kenneth Kuk, directors at Willis Towers Watson.
“One European director shared that his company’s board had urged management to cap its profit margin at a certain level—and by doing so, had encouraged management to invest in ESG and sustainability priorities, which in turn increased the company’s long-term value,” Ganu and Kuk wrote for the WEF.
Companies with better ESG profiles can benefit from preferential and lower cost of debt offered by financial services firms, as well as from an influx of capital in sustainable investing, the directors said.
Nasdaq has already proposed board diversity rules (pdf) that would impose quotas on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, race, and ethnicity.
David Burton, Senior Fellow in Economic Policy at the Heritage Foundation, asserted that “Nasdaq’s embrace of the ‘social justice movement’ and stakeholder capitalism if widely adopted, would have adverse effects on Americans by reducing wages, incomes, and employment.”
Two researchers for the Mises Institute, Hunter Hastings and Peter G. Klein, consider ESG as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion requirements as “forms of cronyism, diverting business activities away from meeting the wants of customers in voluntary free-market exchanges to aligning with government directives, some current and some anticipated.”
Hastings and Klein described these practices as non-market behavior and metrics that are murky, ambiguous, and costly to implement.
“Executives welcome the ambiguity that makes accountability more difficult,” Hastings, a business consultant, and Klein, professor of entrepreneurship at Baylor University wrote for Mises.
“Corporations exhibit similarly [to business schools] destructive economic behavior with their ‘woke’ advertising campaigns and corporate training programs. Gramsci’s long march through the institutions seems to have reached the corporate HR departments who are the source of much of this uneconomic, anti-capitalist behavior,” Hastings and Klein wrote.
Antonio Gramsci was a prominent Italian communist who realized that it was difficult to incite a revolution to overthrow a legitimate government when people still have religious faith, so the revolution of the proletariat must begin with the subversion of religion, morality, and civilization.
Gramsci wrote that in order to subvert Western society from within, socialists needed to fight a “war of position,” a concept that later came to be called “the long march through the institutions.”