When Progressives Start Defending Capitalism, It’s Time to Get Nervous

Aug. 21, 2019
Bob Adelmann

When Tim Cook, Jeff Bezos, Jamie Dimon, and the presidents of the Ford Foundation and Progressive Insurance all line up in support of something, it's time to be wary: an agenda is being promoted.

These worthies were among the 181 CEOs who climbed on board the Business Roundtable's latest iteration of its "statement on the purpose of a corporation." In 1981, the group's statement was something everyone could support: it held that corporations "have a responsibility, first of all, to make available to the public quality goods and services at fair prices, thereby earning a profit that attracts investment to continue and enhance the enterprise, provide jobs, and build the economy."

In 1997 it was shortened to read: "The principal objective of a business enterprise is to generate economic returns to its owners."

Now, the revised statement is claimed to be a response to a 2016 Harvard study that found that 51 percent of those polled between the ages of 18 and 29 did not support capitalism while one-third supported socialism. A 2018 Gallup poll of the same cohort confirmed the Harvard study: only 45 percent of those polled viewed capitalism favorably, a 23-point decline from 2010.

The new statement puts stockholder interests last, behind the interests of customers, employees, suppliers, and local communities. That's correct: the people with the capital, those willing to risk it for the opportunity to make a profit, are now last in line.

Among the 181 CEOs signing onto the new statement is Tricia Griffith, President of CEO of Progressive Corporation, the insurance giant. This is the same Progressive outfit whose chairman Peter Lewis donated millions to the ACLU and (jointly with George Soros) MoveOn.org. She said: "CEOs work to generate profits and return value to shareholders, but the best-run companies do more. They put the customer first and invest in their employees and communities. In the end, it's the most promising way to build long-term value."

But haven't American corporations always done that? Isn't that how Progressive grew from nothing in 1937 to 99th position among Fortune's 500 largest U.S. companies? By putting customers first and giving them the best value for their insurance dollar? What's the real message being delivered here?

Another supporter is Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation. This is the same Ford Foundation that donated $100 million to the Black-Led Movement Fund (BLMF), which serves as a donor network supporting the Movement for Black Lives, a social justice outfit endorsed by Black Lives Matter (BLM). Said Walker:

This is tremendous news because it is more critical than ever that businesses in the 21st century are focused on generating long-term value for all stakeholders and addressing the challenges we face, which will result in shared prosperity and sustainability for both business and society.

What's interesting is that the Ford Foundation isn't an American corporation but is a private foundation seeking to change the American culture in line with its globalist vision. But it supports the "new vision."

If you like this kind of hard-hitting news – info you won't get from the major media – sign up for G2 (military-speak for intelligence gathering). For only $7/quarter you'll have links to the most critical news of the day delivered right to your inbox. Sign up here.

The new statement was also endorsed by Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, who said "The American dream is alive, but fraying."

This sounds awfully much like the plaint of Elizabeth Warren, the Democrat Senator from Massachusetts who introduced her Accountable Capitalism Act in 2018. At the time, she complained that "between 2007 and 2016, large American companies dedicated 93 percent of their earnings to shareholders. Because the wealthiest 10% of U.S. households own 84% of American-held shares, the obsessions with maximizing shareholder returns effectively means America's biggest companies have dedicated themselves to making the rich even richer."

Her bill, she said, will "fix it." If passed into law, it would restore "the idea that giant American corporations should look out for American interests." First, her bill would require every American corporation with more than $1 billion in annual revenues to obtain a federal charter in order to continue to do business in the United States. At present, corporations are chartered by the states.

Second, under her bill employees would elect at least 40 percent of the board of directors. In addition, at least three-quarters of the board would be required to give its assent for any corporate political expenditure.

This would pave the way, if her bill becomes law (a much greater likelihood if she becomes president in 2020), for federal mandates demanding that certain "interests" be represented on the board; hiring more women, more blacks, more "people of color"; limiting salaries of the CEO; limiting share buybacks unless equivalent funds go to workers; mandating financial support of certain charities; demanding expanded employee benefits; limiting the company's "carbon footprint" in the phony war against "climate change"; implementing gender equality; and prohibiting discrimination against LGTBQ people, among other things. Those "other things" would only be limited by the imagination of statists like Warren, who want the federal government to force American corporations to bend to their agenda.

What's the real agenda here? Is it defending capitalism? Or is it paving the way for passage of Warren's bill even if she doesn't win the presidency in 2020?



Business Roundtable website

CNN: America's CEOs just made a significant, if mainly symbolic, change

Business Roundtable's Press Release: Business Roundtable Redefines the Purpose of a Corporation to Promote 'An Economy That Serves All Americans'

Business Roundtable's Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation

Fortune: America's CEOs Seek a New Purpose for the Corporation

Business Roundtable: Our Commitment

Background on Business Roundtable

Washington Post: Business leaders say Obama's economic policies stifle growth

TruthorFiction.com: Ford Foundation Donates $100 Million to Black Lives Matter-Truth! & Fiction!

TruthorFiction.com: Chairman of Progressive Insurance Peter Lewis Donated Millions to Left Wing Organizations-Truth!

The Wall Street Journal: Companies Shouldn't Be Accountable Only to Shareholders , Editorial by Elizabeth Warren

Warren's Accountable Capitalism Act

Add new comment

Plain text


McAlvany Weekly Commentary provides investors with valuable monetary, economic, geo-political and financial information that cannot be found on Wall Street. Your host David McAlvany presents a solid strategy of wealth preservation for your financial and retirement assets while living in an unstable economy.

Through its client focused, customized approach, MWM is committed to providing independent, well-researched, objective advice, and investment professionalism. At MWM, our client commitment is to preserve capital, manage risk, and grow your assets in an ever-changing global environment.

At International Collectors Associates (ICA), we specialize in the sale of bullion, semi-rare U.S. and European gold coins and secure offshore storage in Switzerland for your precious metals. Our highly trained and experienced advisors strive to help you in customizing solid strategies of wealth preservation for your financial and retirement assets.

McAlvany Financial Group

The McAlvany Financial Group has a contrarian, in-depth approach to its analysis, allowing the company to avoid decisions based on emotion, and thus combine maximum risk mitigation with consistent real growth for its clients’ investments. Integrity, attentiveness, and longevity have characterized the company’s client relationships since 1972.