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Thursday, May 5, 2022

Failed Globalization / Immoral ESG, and New Hope via The Catholic Framework for Economic Life

Written by  William Raynor  
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Failed Globalization / Immoral ESG, and New Hope via The Catholic Framework for Economic Life

Faith-Based Economic Principles in the Era of World-wide Chaos            

Is there a new direction to the Great Economic Reset (aka: The World Economic Forum’s Agenda 2030)? Or because of current events, is it an attempt to salvage and accelerate Agenda 2030 to the present? Consider what was recently said in response to the Ukrainian conflict: 

 

  1. “BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said that the Russian invasion of Ukraine “has put an end to the globalization we have experienced over the last three decades…… Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and its subsequent decoupling from the global economy is going to prompt companies and governments worldwide to re-evaluate their dependencies and re-analyze their manufacturing and assembly footprints — something that Covid had already spurred many to start doing,” he wrote.” (Zilber, March 24, 2022). 
  2. “In off-the-cuff remarks at a recent meeting of the Business Roundtable, President Biden said, “There’s going to be a new world order out there, and we’ve got to lead it.”” (Forbes, March 25, 2022). 

The WEF and globalists continue to emphasize a type of corporate social credit scoring system commonly referred to as ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance).

The disruption of the old ‘new world order’ and to the planned new ‘new world order’ has The World Economic Forum (WEF) and many others reconsidering the potential for an even newer ‘new world order’. Combined with controversial macro-economic factors (global digital currency, inflation policies, etc.), it is past time to critically evaluate our international commerce system.  

Despite being thrown off balance, the WEF and globalists continue to emphasize a type of corporate social credit scoring system commonly referred to as ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance). ESG documents often contain non-objectionable buzzwords / terminology that sound reasonable on the surface. Environmental areas include issues like climate change, energy usage, and pollution. Social concepts contain labor standards, human rights, etc. And corporate governance examples include topics like transparency, excessive CEO compensation, community engagement, etc. After all, who isn’t for a clean environment, a harmonious social system, and good corporate governance?  

The Catholic Framework for Economic Life (CFEL), not just useful for Catholics, was developed in 1996 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

With all the mismanagement, disarray and chaos of the current global economic system however, reassessment of ESG is urgently needed. To conform to ESG benchmarks, large multi-national corporations and NGOs often implement distorted policies they perceive as politically correct. Their desire is to appease the vocal extreme-left, international governing regulatory bodies, and biased media conglomerates. But they also try placate their less vocal employees, customers, suppliers, and community stakeholders. In an attempt to have it both ways, they use the ESG structure with its ‘flexible’ language. Additional points:

  1. The problematic nature of the ESG system is not necessarily the components per-se. Enhancing environmental, social and governing areas are noble pursuits. The wicked problem arises from the distortion and misapplication of those areas. Deceptive and malicious policies often branch off from foundations, assumptions, and language veiled as magnanimous. Large corporations, NGOs, global governing entities, and others in the Davos elite, have unprecedented power. They can use ESG definitions and programs as an excuse to pursue goals / agendas for designed problems, perceived problems, or problems that don’t exist at all. Globalists can change terminology and adjust policy as they measure compliance elasticity.
  2. Many forecasters also believe corporate ESGs will be implemented at the personal level (individual citizen level) for control /micro-managing nearly all aspects of life. The definitive slippery-slope indicating how politically correct, ‘woke’ and thought compliant a person is. Any deviation to it however, and the individual is done (Canadian truckers have first-hand experience on the practices of ‘cancel culture’, being de-platformed, de-banked, assets seized, etc).
  3. ESG advocates frequently exclude God: It is hard to make sound environmental decisions without thoughtful consideration to the environment the Lord has created. It is difficult to make comprehensive social decisions involving other people without being Christ centered. It is an arduous task to make all-encompassing governance decisions without Biblical principles.
  4. ESG can be false idolatry: many have made environmentalism their religion, societal identity politics their faith, and worship their global governing overlords. Their fanatical beliefs, although under a different name, drive their doctrines and desire to control others.

Out of the suffering of global conflict, tension and uncertainty however, new hope for peace, prosperity, and human development exists. Fortunately, a better structure is available: The Catholic Framework for Economic Life (CFEL). The CFEL, not just useful for Catholics, was developed in 1996 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Because Christian values and morality are at the core of the CFEL, it has the necessary guardrails when competing interests arise.

It consists of ten points outlining essential protections, responsibilities, and opportunities for economic stakeholders. Those ten points are:

  1. The economy exists for the person, not the person for the economy.
  2. All economic life should be shaped by moral principles. Economic choices and institutions must be judged by how they protect, or undermine the life and dignity of the human person, support the family, and serve the common good.
  3. A fundamental moral measure of any economy, is how the poor and vulnerable are faring.
  4. All people have the right to life, and to secure the basic necessities of life (e.g., food, clothing, shelter, education, health care, safe environment, economic security).
  5. All people have the right to economic initiative, to productive work, to just wages and benefits, to decent working conditions, as well as to organize and join unions or other associations.
  6. All people, to the extent they are able, have a corresponding duty to work, a responsibility to provide for the needs of their families, and an obligation to contribute to the broader society.
  7. In economic life, free markets have both clear advantages and limits; government has essential responsibilities and limitations; voluntary groups have irreplaceable roles, but cannot substitute for the proper working of the market and the just policies of the state.
  8. Society has a moral obligation, including governmental action, where necessary, to assure opportunity, meet basic human needs, and pursue justice in economic life.
  9. Workers, owners, managers, stockholders, and consumers are moral agents in economic life. By our choices, initiative, creativity, and investment, we enhance or diminish economic opportunity, community life, and social justice.
  10. The global economy has moral dimensions and human consequences. Decisions on investment, trade, aid, and development should protect human life and promote human rights, especially for those most in need wherever they might live on this globe.

Because Christian values and morality are at the core of the CFEL, it has the necessary guardrails when competing interests arise. For this reason, it is more comprehensive than the secular ESG model globalists want for a centralized world economy. Note how many times morality is specifically mentioned in the CFEL’s 10 points.

Real and sustainable human development requires yielding to God’s will – not the will of those who brought us this global turmoil.

Still, the WEF and other globalists continue to advocate not only more of the same, but for hyper-globalization. Consider the following with ESG:

1. Environmental examples: Rather than reshoring and decentralized local decision making, globalists want to levy the planet’s environmental capacity even more using a highly centralized global governance system. All while telling others, that they are the ones more environmentally responsible.

  1. Supply chains: massive economic activity and millions of containers on enormous cargo ships zigzagging around the planet. What is the real environmental impact when reshoring and shorter more regional supply chains are feasible with advanced robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence? And the same globalists with huge economic incentives that created these global supply chain monsters, are the ones that want to increase it even more? While often manufacturing in lax locations on pollution and carbon emissions (not to mention labor abuses and human rights)?
  2. Energy independence was achieved just a few years ago, but we have since outsourced that to adversaries whose fuel is often less clean. Pursing green energy and renewables is vital, but we also need the clean fuels, expertise, and practices of our own energy producers in the interim. Ironically, it’s the ESG system itself that needs to be cleaned up and freed from harmful pollutants.

2. Social examples:

  1. The suffering of migrants and U.S. citizens from immigration policies implemented by the human smuggling industrial complex. At our southern border especially, many government contractors, public officials and NGOs (sometimes with nefarious funding) have exacerbated human trafficking, drug running, violent crimes, gangs, unchecked health hazards, etc. The divisiveness between the immigrant community and citizens from their globalist’s policies is beyond reprehensible. The lives that have been destroyed pitting individuals against each other is the antithesis of moral behavior. But despite the human carnage, globalists continue with their political and economic agendas.
  2. Human dignity: Many international corporations / globalists sought profits while ignoring human rights. Many have encouraged cancel culture pushing non-diversity of thought. Many go to lengths to instruct others about inclusiveness, while excluding anyone who does not share their radical views. And many in the WEF and Davos crowd continue to do so while lecturing others on their future plans to be great ESG leaders. Their narrow and distorted social views have had an adverse impact on the areas they claim to champion (diversity, equity, inclusion, etc).    
  3. Children’s education: Schools need to focus on reading, math, and science and leave the morality aspects of parenting to parents. Nowhere have things been more evil than with our children in many K-12 systems. Some organizations have enabled or condoned vile public policy in this area directly or indirectly. We all know of noble exceptions inside the system who have been silenced, shunned, or pushed out with careers destroyed. And not just schools, but many entertainment outlets, theme parks, etc. What many children and their parents have had to endure is disturbing at the deepest level.

3. Governance - what are the actual ESG track records to date of international corporations, NGOs, and global governing entities?

  1. Automation: for many years, globalists have known about the impact from technology like advanced robotics, artificial intelligence, the ‘internet-of-things’, etc. They’ve done well at leveraging automation advantages when it fits their interests and enhances profits. But with few exceptions, what have they actually done to mitigate against the disruptions on the other side of the equation? What positive governance activities of significance have they actually engaged in for the causes they claim to care about? Will the same globalists suddenly change their current practices for future ESG and the Great Economic Reset? Or will they continue with their established track records and exploit them further for even more wealth, while redistributing yours?  
  2. Critical supplies: How many pharmaceutical manufacturers have actually reshored operations back to the U.S. after the emergency shortages from the Covid crisis? Or are we still exposed today after the PPE calamity and pandemic? What about current food supplies? How much supply chain shock are we potentially exposed to at this moment? What are global producers, suppliers, and policy makers in international organizations doing right now? Or is it another crisis that globalists can nurture to later convince us they are needed to resolve it?

In the above ESG areas, the CFEL would have been a more comprehensive model with less chaos. It would have yielded enhanced outcomes by better balancing of the moral interests of diverse stakeholders. But in the mind of most globalists, what’s good for profits, power, and central control over others is what ESG will be used for. Its not just that globalists have frequently excluded faith based principles like those in the CFEL, but they have aggressively inflicted harm on believers with their disdain towards them.

CONCLUSION

Perhaps Larry Fink is correct about the end of globalization as we know it. Whether that is the case or not though, this should be an inflection point, because real environmental, social and governance spheres should be enhanced, not degraded. Real and sustainable human development requires yielding to God’s will – not the will of those who brought us this global turmoil. As an alternative, the CFEL could go a long way to reconciling the moral deficiencies / chaos of the current system, and the globalist’s planned Great Economic Reset.

Catch the Latest at RTV — ELON MUSK: A Lost Boy in Post-Christian Neverland

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REFERENCES

“A Catholic Framework for Economic Life”. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (2015).  (https://www.usccb.org/resources/catholic-framework-economic-life-0). 

Forbes, Steve. New World Order: What America Needs If He’s Serious. Forbes Magazine. March 25, 2022. (https://www.forbes.com/sites/steveforbes/2022/03/25/biden-says-us-must-lead-new-world-order-what-america-needs-if-hes-serious/?sh=53006e2a1640 ).

Zilber, Ariel. BlackRock CEO Larry Fink says Ukraine war spells end of globalization. New York Post. March 24, 2022.

(https://nypost.com/2022/03/24/blackrocks-larry-fink-ukraine-war-spells-end-of-globalization/).

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—Dr. William Raynor is a retired Professor of Business from the State University of New York

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Last modified on Monday, May 9, 2022