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2022-06-18 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 671 references Ignore this thread
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A reasonable postulate for virtually every thing that is wrong in the US -- and much of the rest of the world -- can be stated as "selective prosecution has ruined the world, and cannot be fixed until the people enforce equal application of the law."

"ESG", which in the vernacular is "Environmental, Sustainability and Governance", all are externally-imposed costs on corporations, specifically public corporations.  Unlike laws, which are also externally-imposed costs, these costs are imposed by a cartel, and cartels under penalty of being "disinvested" or even having your leadership ejected by force.

Cartels are illegal in the United States, with few exceptions:

Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding $100,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person, $1,000,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding 10 years, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court.

This law (Clayton, which is the second of two, the first being Sherman which criminalized the act while Clayton was rapidly passed to criminalize the attempt irrespective of success) dates to 1890.

It does not just impose a fine (of up to $100 million) but also 10 years in the pokey in the form of a criminal felony conviction for each person involved.

So if you and I get together, agree to impose cost by coercion on other people and in doing so our intent is to do so in a cohesive fashion such that competitors must all comply we have committed a criminal felony.

Cost is cost no matter how it works or what sort of cloaking and greenwashing you do with it.  If myself and three other large Internet providers in a given area all get together over some beers, lament that now we can't get people to work because the government has turned into a free-money fest for them and decide together to all raise prices by a dollar on our customers so we can all offer our employees a nice fat raise we have committed a serious federal offense.  When I ran MCSNet I wouldn't even contemplate having lunch or beers with one of our serious competitors in my market lest the conversation go in that sort of direction and I've now done something that could, quite-reasonably, lead to me doing 10 years in the federal slammer.

Corporations must comply with the law and to the extent that some organization or group lobbies to get laws passed, which all comply with, that's not a felony. 

But absent law such coercion is a felony.


Because without coercion one or more of the competitors in a market will tell said "ESG" people to pound sand.  That firm will have lower operating costs and as a result will tattoo those who do enact said policies.  This is called competition -- and, to be precise, productivity and it is productivity, doing more with less, that is responsible for every bit of our standard of living in the modern world.

In 1890 we, through our representative process, declared such coercion by other than law imposed evenly on all a felonious act.  There is no exemption for "investment companies" like Vanguard, Blackrock and similar to these laws.  None.  Yet here we are, and just like in 2008 when nobody committed any crimes (to directly quote Gary Johnson who was at the time running for President as a Libertarian, and was lying like a bearskin rug) we are facing record-high gas prices and inflation to a large degree precisely because we are not prosecuting acts that, under the law, are declared as crimes.