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  • Peter Herzer

Corporations Are Using Your Money Against You

This Opinion Piece was written and submitted by an individual.

In a very real way, the issues presented in this election cycle (and doubtless the next) by aren’t even the real issues. Instead, they are rallying points to inflame and galvanize an already somewhat compliant voter base into keeping them in power and positioning them to realize the next steps in their agenda.

(Need a primer on ESG? Check out this article from Townhall).

Because American constitutional law generally limits the actions that a sitting government can take against its constituents. Yet over the last fifty years an alarming agenda has steadily infiltrated academia and the media. This agenda now permeates throughout our culture and politics. But since half of the population still believes in adherence to the Constitution and still has representation, these narratives cannot openly completely scrap the system under which we function, and impose the government controls that they desire. Instead, the private sector has been conscripted to accomplish quietly some of what cannot be done openly.

Using Your Money to Fund Programs Against You One key to control of the population is control of the money. Financial institutions (with Blackrock at the fore) and nearly all major banks have invested themselves in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) scoring. The scores are based upon a company’s commitment to “remedying” social injustices in these areas based on various aspects of a company’s operations and culture. For example, a company which actively works to limit or eliminate fossil fuels earns a high Environmental ranking. Similarly, a company which supports LGBTQ+ platforms earns a high Social ranking. A company which boasts a high level of employee diversity earns a high governance ranking. In turn, investment firms can route incoming capital to these ESG companies and punish companies which do not participate by bypassing them. Banks can award or deny business or personal loans using the same criteria. In addition to picking their winners and losers, ESG companies use their gains to fund social justice initiatives rather than meet traditional fiduciary responsibilities such as paying full dividends or interest at an appropriate rate, reinvesting in the company or research, and the like. In other words, ESG companies do not put the well-being of you, the shareholder, first, but instead use your investment money to fund an agenda against you.

Using ESG to Limit Your Freedoms There have been several chilling developments recently.

PayPal changed its policy to include a $2500 fine, taken directly from the user’s bank account, for promoting “disinformation.” After a huge outcry from the public (and the loss of billions of dollars in stock value nearly overnight from account terminations by users), PayPal claimed that it never intended for this language to find its way into actual policy. Somehow their army of lawyers missed this point. The newly amended policy, however, while it eliminates “disinformation,” does not eliminate the $2500 fine from other equally nebulous supposed violations. These include “the promotion of hate, violence, racial or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory...". PayPal makes clear that the definition of a violation is at its sole discretion. With that latitude, PayPal can fine you, the user, for any activity which goes against the narrative. Trying to buy a 2A, pro-life, “All Lives Matter,” or MAGA tee shirt might just cost you, the user, $2500 (and you don’t even get the shirt). United Parcel Service (UPS) has just made policy changes which require unreasonable disclosure of both vendor and personal data. UPS will require access to a firearms vendor/shipper’s books and records on items being shipped as well customer data related to the sales. There is no guarantee or description of how this data will be used or protected. If the Obama administration’s “Operation Chokepoint” failed to cut off firearms sales by reducing the number of banks which would process the transactions, and if the government failed to bring a firearms registry into law, UPS is well on its way to accomplishing both. It is legal to purchase a firearm online, but at what cost to your privacy? And there are two other convenient benefits: UPS, a complicit company, will be rewarded by requiring the more expensive overnight shipping option, and these chilling policy requirements will significantly damage, perhaps, destroy online gun, ammunition, and gun supplies sales. Firearms won’t be the only products that you will be potentially prohibited from purchasing. Using ESG tactics as a cudgel, any product deemed inappropriate will ultimately be regulated or eliminated. Do you prefer a gasoline powered automobile? In a few years it will not matter, even if you can find an ESG bank to give you an auto loan for one. The three big American automakers have already begun shifting away from fossil fuel powered vehicles to electric ones. It makes no difference that the technology is not sufficiently developed to support electric vehicles or that they are prohibitively expensive. The auto industry has already been severely damaged by pandemic lockdown parts shortages and, with pressure to abandon traditional vehicles, has announced the discontinuation of some of their best-selling models (e.g. Dodge Challenger and Charger). Consequently, the financials for these companies do not look good. There is a very real possibility of bankruptcy. To what end? The answer is supposedly clean renewable energy, but the range of the electric vehicles is so severely limited it will mean that no one goes very far from home, at least driving, and hence the population will be far more manageable.

Your Money Has No Value If You Can’t Access It (Or It Isn’t Real) How would you survive if your friendly neighborhood bank decided to deny you access to your own money? How would you pay your bills or buy food or medicine? While freezing a bank account is currently justified by suspicion of illegal activity or unpaid debts, the piper calls the tune in determining the definition of illegal activity. In a clearly draconian move, Canadian banks froze the bank accounts of protesting truckers. Under a lawless government, what crisis or user activity might be used as a trigger to deny an account holder from access to his/her own funds? The account holder wishes to purchase an “unapproved” item? Perhaps being an outspoken advocate of an unpopular idea will be enough for economic censure. The new digital currency currently proposed by the Biden administration will allow these questions to linger as philosophical ones but permit instant unimpeded control and punitive action. If currency is digital, then the owner can be cut off from it or denied monies due to him/her (as in payment for a job) just as easily. And just like PayPal and GoFundMe, which tried to keep the money donated to help the Canadian truckers, the government or its agent, the bank, can take funds from the account at any time with the push of a button and potentially without recourse. Fighting Back Nineteen state attorneys general have begun an investigation into the ESG practices of six major banks. This investigation will hopefully unravel the connections between the banks, the UN and, by extrapolation, the World Economic Forum (WEF). Some red states have begun pushback by divesting state employee retirement funds from financial institutions such as BlackRock. Among states which have divested or are in the process or consideration of divestiture are Texas, South Carolina, Louisiana, Arkansas, Utah, New Hampshire, West Virginia, and Florida. As a result, BlackRock stocks have been downgraded from “buy” to “neutral.” In addition to stock having dropped significantly in value as angry users cancelled their accounts, House Republicans are launching an inquiry into PayPal’s new change in policy. But it is not enough to rely upon others to make the efforts on your behalf. Each of us can fight back. Research the financial firms with which you do business. Simply type “ESG” and the company’s name into a search box. If the company is heavily invested, move your business elsewhere (many regional banks offer relief from the ESG practices of the major banks). Similarly, avoid doing business with companies which would punish you for exercising Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms. Take some sum of money out of the bank and keep it elsewhere. Pay for as many goods as you can using cash. Don’t use your credit card for any purchase you don’t want tracked.

Most important of all, VOTE.

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