Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Scores: A Threat to Individual Liberty, Free Markets, and the U.S. Economy

Published April 26, 2023

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) scoring systems have rapidly become one of the more polarizing issues in the United States. Over the past half-decade, the economies of most sovereign states—especially those in the Anglosphere—have been rapidly transformed, with wealth, power, and influence becoming increasingly concentrated in the hands of a select few oligarchic individuals and institutions promoting ESG and their new economic ideology of “stakeholder capitalism.” As a result, ESG has become one of the gravest threats facing the free societies of the world today.

At its core, ESG is a social credit scoring system that ideologically aligned elites and subservient bureaucratic authorities have developed to “reset” the global financial system to their advantage, fundamentally transforming society in the process. This is accomplished by altering traditional frameworks of evaluating businesses and assessing investment risk. Rather than determining the credit-worthiness and value of a business or industry based upon objective measures such as profit, return on investment, consumer demand, and other material performance measures, ESG’s architects seek to judge entities based upon subjective and difficult to quantify social and environmental goals. These objectives typically have little or nothing to do with business success in the marketplace based on consumer demand expressed through their purchases.

Entities deemed unworthy, such as those involved in the hydrocarbon extraction business, firearm manufacturing, or even agricultural production, are being frozen out of financial markets and denied access to basic financial services. This restricts their access to investment infusion, loans, insurance policies, and other factors, while also limiting growth potential, restricting the ability to hire qualified workers, and forcing the reallocation of funds away from purchasing goods and services used as inputs for manufacturing, stock, and inventory in favor of subjective political goals. ESG’s ultimate goal is to transform the global economy by fundamentally altering the free marketplace, by limiting supply of goods that consumers demand, and socially engineering consumers to demand different products.

This paper offers a sweeping overview and comprehensive assessment of ESG. It outlines ESG’s historical roots, details a sample of commonly utilized ESG metrics, reveals ESG’s primary architects and overseers, analyzes the myriad deleterious consequences of ESG, and gives a detailed analysis of how new ESG mandates in the European Union will have drastic consequences for American society. Moreover, the paper discusses current anti-ESG policy solutions being orchestrated at multiple levels of government, and proposes a set of concrete policy recommendations for state and federal lawmakers.

Make no mistake: ESG is one of the most dangerous threats to American society that we have ever faced, from both an economic and ideological perspective. Time is running out to stop it in its tracks. However, there are solutions. Read on to educate yourself on the inherent dangers ESG propagates and the steps we can take to prevent its permeation of our country.

URL: https://heartland.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/2023-ESG-ReportvWeb-2.pdf