As the Powerline essay points out, it must be disheartening for Leftists now-a-days since many of the things they advocate are being adopted by the private sector. However, this sentiment won’t last long and, like the Go Green campaign during the 1990’s, will only be symbolic in the end. The so-called social responsibility campaigns companies undertake will ultimately hurt their bottom lines and that is why such efforts will end up being sacked or done in name only.
For example, Bank of America announced during the latter part of June that they would no longer finance private prison and detention centers. However, The Wall Street Journal pointed out in an article earlier in the week that the announcement wasn’t entirely true, even when it came to ending financing for gun manufacturers and fossil fuel-related efforts. From the article:
“Bank of America’s announcement last week followed pledges to stop lending to some fossil-fuel companies and gun manufacturers. But because of pre-existing relationships, the bank is on course to provide credit to some of them for years to come.”
The Journal also points out that, despite JP Morgan Chase’s declaration that it would not provide banking services to private prison companies when their contracts expire, the bank still lends to two private prison firms, Caliburn and CoreCivic. Bank of America’s Environmental Solutions Group reviewed and approved a deal done in conjunction with other banks to provide financing to GEO Group, Inc. that operates prisons and detention centers, respectfully. Furthermore, The Wall Street Journal also reports:
“Sturm Ruger & Co. was briefly without a line of credit when Bank of America let its loan to the gun manufacturer expire after the pledge, according to regulatory filings. Wells Fargo stepped in to take Bank of America’s place.
Yet shortly before the gun pledge, Bank of America committed to provide $43 million as part of a large bankruptcy-financing package for gun maker Remington Outdoor Co., according to a court filing. The bankruptcy financing replaced an earlier loan in which Bank of America participated. Activists urged people to boycott the bank. The bank has since sold its portion of the loan.
The bank has continued to lend to Vista Outdoor Inc., which operates firearms division Savage Arms. Last November, Bank of America and other lenders extended a new $559 million loan to the company, according to filings. Vista Outdoor has said it plans to sell Savage Arms business but has yet to do so.”
This is the quandry so-called socially conscious decision making puts companies in: Are they vehicles of social change or do they exist to make money? In a capitalist economy, companies can only thrive when they make profits resulting from their creating value. The radical campaigns many corporations undertake (usually resulting from outside pressure from Leftist organizations) emphasize a company’s virtues instead. The example of Unilever’s failing miserably at undertaking so-called sustainability endeavors demonstrates that they are not a formula for success.
This doesn’t mean companies should not act moral and responsible when providing products and services. However, if corporations do decide to undertake such political decisions it should be because they want to do it, and not resulting from the pressure or expectations of Leftist moochers, religious figures, Ivy League educated intellectuals, or media hacks. Banks, fossil fuel companies, and other firms targeted by the Left owe nothing to them, society, or some sort of higher purpose.
If firms decide that they do exist for a higher or nobler cause, Unilever’s failure clearly shows that companies do so at their own peril. The Left’s intent is to ensure corporate America’s demise resulting from the Left’s anti-capitalist efforts and firms that sanction the Left’s ethics embrace their destructive effects that comes along with doing so.