Elon Musk & market morality

By Mississippi Center for Public Policy
April 6, 2022

Elon Musk just slammed ESG - the Environment, Social and Governance process used to inform businesses as they make investment decisions. 

Thank goodness for Mr Musk.

ESG sounds like a good idea. What could be better than having high standards in business to help make the world a better place. Except that is not really what happens at all.

The faux moralism behind ESG is not necessarily a force for good. Take, for example, the issue of investing in oil and gas.

According to the ESG bureaucrats that infest many corporate compliance departments, investing in oil and gas is unethical. As a consequence, there has been some serious under investment in oil and gas - and over investment in renewable energy.

The only problem is that renewables are unreliable. So energy prices have increased. 

Where is the morality behind having older folk struggling to keep their homes warm? What is so moral about rising gas prices that make it harder for low income Americans to cope?

Capitalism works when capital is allocated productively. What ESG does is force capital to be allocated less productively.

Musk tweeted the other day about how producing something for another human being to meet their needs is a profoundly moral good. Indeed. Whether you make electric cars, satellites or burgers, that is much more ethical than anything emanating from a corporate compliance department could ever manage.

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