Review of

PragerU Video: ESG: Woke to Broke

Our summary of Andy Puzder's video: Andy Puzder explains what the Environment-Social-Governance (ESG) corporate responsibility rating system is, and its pernicious effects on the economy. It punishes oil companies and other profit-making enterprises. ESG disrespects the key role of profits in our modern prosperity, and even undermines free enterprise. It is a dangerous ruse, stemming from the ulterior motives of elites who want to undermine capitalism.

Panegyric to Profit

Harold Scrutaip Plutocrat Institute, Cisco, TX Published 23 Oct 2021

Reviewer: Harold Scrutaip

It’s a dilemma. Since all energy giants now publicly admit there is human-caused global warming, and since more and more young Republicans believe it, what’s our next move? I don’t think fighting ESG is the solution, though I suppose it is a useful piece of our strategy.

I suspect, though, that this video won’t make much of an impression. If a typical member of our target audience watches, and then, a couple hours later, you ask them what’s wrong with ESG, I picture something like, “Uh… it’s anti-capitalism, or something.” (At that point, don’t bother asking a follow-up question.) They know little or nothing about the institutional investing world.

But that’s ok. Let me mention the positives of the video. Above all, it stays in formation with the Package. The profit motive brings you electric cars and Netflix, and you wouldn’t even have food or clothing without it. And a smug, deluded elite just wants control. And they’re saying oil companies are “destroying the planet.” And they’re preening in the New York Times (“Boooo…”). And, that worrying about “social good” is woke (“Boooo…”).

Energy Company

Now that we’ve commandeered that word “woke”, I think it’s a good strategy to stick it in everywhere possible. The left still wants everyone to think it means anti-racism. But it’s been working increasingly well for us to apply the word to pretty much any progressive inanity. I assume “woke” will eventually lose its potency for us just like “political correctness” eventually did; but I’d predict that “woke” will work its magic well beyond 2024.

I re-watched several times to see if there is ever any hint of worthwhile intentions in ESG. There is not, and I approve. I think even the tiniest acknowledgement that ESG may be well-meaning has the great danger of awakening curiosity or doubts in our young viewer’s mind. Solid, bold lines are better: “There is absolutely nothing meritorious about ESG.” It’s that simple. (Which of course is part of our larger strategy of cultivating minds that want black-and-white answers, and that get uneasy when something seems complicated.)

I’m still bothered by the remoteness of ESG, though. Andy Puzder tries to connect ESG to “your pocketbook”, that your 401(k) may decline, vote with your self interest, etc. Several things: one, our young audience doesn’t yet have 401(k)s; and two, it may “smell” funny to the audience…as in, “wait, aren’t we talking about principles here, that we’re the righteous free speech conservatives?” I suppose Puzder could instruct me, “but self-interest and self-reliance are key principles”, et cetera. Nevertheless, I worry that this could set off bullshit detectors in the heads of our more cynical kids…

Regardless, we need to do whatever we can to keep government away from our interests. If demonizing ESG helps, I’m in.

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