Joe Biden’s ‘End of Shareholder Capitalism’ Would be the End of America as We Know Her

by Kevin D. Freeman on July 13, 2020

Immediately after the celebration of our nation’s 244th birthday, the former Vice President of the United States and the Democratic candidate for President tweeted an intention to Transform America.

It was a well-received political sentiment, especially by the media and progressive elements in our nation. But what does it actually mean? Please understand that this is not merely a slogan. It is a full-on dog-whistle of intention for progressive leftists (aka Marxist Revolutionaries). Some may blindly ignore Biden through their media-inspired dislike of Donald Trump. But make no mistake. This is not a mindless statement from a benign old man facing dementia. This is the sole and entire purpose of the left and the intent goes far beyond simply minor course corrections in policy.

Keep in mind how silent Joe Biden has been so far on so many issues. He has flat out refused to condemn the liberal mob. Silence is compliance. Some say silence is violence. There can be no doubt that this man has chosen sides. He wants the far left to know it, but he wants to hide it from the rest of America. So he uses code words.

One good and telling example was Biden’s release of his economic plan which calls for the end of shareholder capitalism.

What is so amazing about this is that it was reported without a blink by CNBC. Yet this is one of the most revolutionary proposals ever made by a leading candidate for the White House. It is a fundamental strategy to carry out the promise of transforming America. It passed unnoticed without any real scrutiny. But what it means for the future of America is frightening.

Basically, it means full-blown socialism/communism/Marxism, following the path of Venezuela and so many failures before that. And, we are approaching what the legendary economist Dr. Thomas Sowell says could be “a point of no return.” This is frightening those who have been deeply harmed by this same path in other nations and are shouting warnings of “don’t do it!” This isn’t hyperbole. It is potentially the end of America as the best hope for mankind.

What is meant by Shareholder Capitalism?

Basically, Biden is threatening to effectively end individual ownership and the profit incentive. The notion that corporations should serve the interests of their shareholders was explained by the late great Dr. Milton Friedman in an oft-cited New York Times article published in 1970. At the time, there was a debate raging about the purpose of a corporation. Dr. Friedman’s article, for example, dealt with questions such as, “Whether a company ought to lower prices to help offset inflation even if it meant foregoing profit?” From the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 and over the past 40 years, it has generally been accepted that the purpose of corporations has been to serve their shareholders. Of course, companies should follow the law. And, corporations must maintain a good relationship with society or they would lose customers and employees and thus harm the shareholder. These are givens of an admittedly imperfect system. But plenty of companies have benefitted from being ethical economic citizens and serving society at large. These companies attract a good labor force and appeal to more customers. This is the basis for shareholder capitalism.

The problem comes when managers of corporations determine to manage companies for some primary purpose other than to get a return for shareholders. The theory sounds well and good, but the practice quickly leads to disaster in multiple ways mostly because it rejects free-market principles. There are real-world examples where restaurants chose to benefit customers at the expense of owners. They let the customer pay whatever they would like for a meal. It starts as a gimmick but eventually these restaurants fail. And that happens even in China.

There are also examples where the primary objective is to increase employee wages. Sure you want to serve customers and hopefully make a profit. But when the #1 objective is to pay employees the most possible, failure is inevitable. Even the $15 minimum wage in Boston was more than an almost 200-year old restaurant could handle. And, it should be noted that the idea of keeping prices as low as possible for customers is mutually exclusive with the notion of paying employees the most possible. The same is true for just about any other goal you might propose.

The only real balance comes from the free market. By focusing on profit, a balance is struck. Wages have to be high enough to attract workers. Prices have to be low enough to attract customers. Owners who make profits can donate the money they earn for social good. Governments get a share of those profits. Free market competition provides opportunity. Of course, society has an interest in preventing monopolies and making certain that products and workplaces meet safety standards. In our system, those are handled by laws, regulations, and the potential for private litigation. In other words, society sets the rules and the role of corporations is to maximize profitability within those rules. There are the threats of fines, imprisonment, and costly litigation if the rules are broken. It’s not perfect, but it has proven pretty successful over time. Corporations that damage the environment can be sued. Harmful products are either regulated away or the market suffocates them. People won’t invest in companies at risk of continuing lawsuits. But all of these function based on free markets and profits.

Joe Biden’s Threat

What Biden is suggesting is imposing “Stakeholder Capitalism.” It sounds warm and fuzzy, but is in many ways a gateway drug to Marxist totalitarianism. Basically, Stakeholder Capitalism eliminates the market mechanism and forces a focus on the stakeholders of employees, customers, or society at large. Without profit as a measure, there is no objective basis for evaluation. Thus, politicians, bureaucrats, or initially the mob sets the standard. Unless shareholders are trapped, they will remove their capital looking for a better investment. All business is thus forced to serve society as a whole rather than shareholders. In other words, there is de facto collective ownership of the means of production where there can be no free market. And without a free market, decisions must be made by the bureaucracy, leading to a Marxist hell.

This is not hyperbole and the push to a stakeholder approach is already underway. A very recent example comes from Ford. Some employees objected to the fact that Ford manufactures cars for the police. But since police are “bad,” the company was asked to stop. Ford’s management team has argued that police are necessary and that selling police cars is profitable, helping to preserve jobs and providing a return for shareholders. But the mob wants that activity stopped. It’s enough if a handful of employees say that police cars make them feel unsafe or devalued. Even if the majority of Americans want the police properly funded and supported, the mob says, “NO!” Under a stakeholder system, the mob eventually wins because they seize the reins of power.

Another recent example comes from Goya Foods, a socially responsible company and the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States. Goya supports diversity, community, and the environment. They donate meals, they honor employees. You would think that was acceptable. But too bad for them, President Trump honored the company as part of an executive order to support Hispanic Prosperity. Because the CEO Robert Unanue showed grace in participating, the Marxist crowd immediately called for a boycott. In other words, all CEOs must fall in line or be punished.

A third example comes from all the “woke” companies who have pulled advertising from Facebook until they deplatform and censor ideas of which the mob disapproves. Never mind that Facebook has recently installed a panel heavily biased to the left that will be a de facto censor. The mob demands total obedience. Facebook is not allowed to have anything resembling free speech or face the wrath of companies under the thumb of the Marxist mob.

A fourth example comes from shareholder activism pushing ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) over profit. Part of the ESG movement is an attempt to convince shareholders they should abandon shareholder capitalism and adopt stakeholder capitalism on their own. But part of it is using public money and your retirement money to force that agenda without the real owners even having a say in the matter.

Of course, Joe Biden is just following the Marxist mob. He is afraid that if he doesn’t fall in line, they will come for him. The far left has taken power in the Democratic Party and they are not afraid to use it. Representative Ilhan Omar last week stated (as reported in the Washington Examiner):

‘As long as our economy and political systems prioritize profit without considering who is profiting, who is being shut out, we will perpetuate this inequality. So we cannot stop at criminal justice system. We must begin the work of dismantling the whole system of oppression, wherever we find it.’

Right-leaning news sites quickly picked up Omar’s remarks, reporting that she had advocated for the “‘dismantling’ of the U.S. economy and its political system.”

The implications are enormous and the examples from history should be obvious. Unfortunately, no one seems willing to grasp that this would mean that economic freedom would be lost. Job opportunities would be limited. Eventually, society would tell you what work you were allowed (required) to do. Consumer choice would be limited as well. You would be told what products you could buy and at what price. And the Nanny State would control what you are allowed to eat and drink. Remember the limit on soda size they tried in New York? Without a free market, eventually there would be no opportunities to invest either. There would be shortages. Incentives to work would collapse. Basically, it would be like the old Soviet Union. Or Cuba. Or Venezuela. Your life becomes subject to the total control of “the people.”

The worst part is that none of the promises of betterment would come true. Eventually, all of the stakeholders would be worse off, not better. Consumers lose. Workers lose. Investors lose. Minorities lose. The poor lose. The environment loses. Remember Chernobyl? There is no social justice as nearly everyone loses.

Who wins? The elite and the ruling class. They get and maintain control at the expense of the people. Read Animal Farm by George Orwell. “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.” This has been true in every communist takeover. Eventually, the people become products themselves as we’ve seen in the organ harvesting of Chinese dissidents. Oh, and by the way, foreign communists would win as well.

What This Means to You

The mob is now clear. They want to defund the police. In fact, Biden says the police “absolutely” should be defunded. Crime rates will rise. They want to destroy the traditional nuclear family. They are pro-choice but will eventually devalue life with euthanasia as well. They will push for the end of private property. They will limit your freedom of religion and right to worship God as you choose. There will be strict limits on law-abiding gun ownership. You will only be allowed to support “acceptable” candidates. Everything you do or say will be scrutinized. In short, your right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness will be subject to approval by the mob which will have taken over the government. And the final layer of protection is private property ownership under the rule of shareholder capitalism. That is being attacked today as we see with Ford Motor and Goya Foods. Joe Biden just said it will be ended once and for all if he is elected.

Why It Would Become Permanent

Think it can’t happen here? Take a look around you and see how rapidly everything is changing. The very tragic and unacceptable murder of George Floyd has been used as an excuse for Marxist leadership to push a hidden agenda within the otherwise admirable truth that Black Lives Matter. Somehow, that has morphed into “defund the police,” and a justification to punish anyone who expresses anything other than the approved party line. People are losing jobs and even their lives for saying, “all lives matter,” or supporting the police, traditional family values, or a political candidate.

According to Tucker Carlson, the immediate adoption of Democrat policies would have the effect of ceding permanent control to the Democrat Party:

Carlson predicted what the Democrats will do if they win the presidency and control of both houses of Congress, as current polling indicates they will. His predictions are based on what Democrats themselves have said.

• They will immediately grant amnesty to 20 million illegal immigrants and get them on the voting rolls, making it impossible for the Republicans to win any more national elections.
• They will abolish the Senate filibuster rule, allowing a 51-vote majority to pass into law anything they want.
• They will enlarge and pack the Supreme Court, eliminating the constitutional safeguard against tyranny.
• They will grant statehood to the District of Columbia, enlarging their Senate majority.

The most frightening thing about seeing this happen here is that America has always stood as the last line of defense against such evil. Those fleeing communist oppression have come here. If America falls, where do you go?

Unfortunately, when the government controls the economy, there can be no opposition. Without economic liberty, there is no political liberty. How can you field an opposition candidate if you have no control over money? You can’t.

Also, when one side controls your speech, you have no voice. We are seeing this even now. Social media is censoring speech. You are only allowed to say the right thing the right way or you are cut off. Even Google is altering search results with huge political implications. You are told what you are allowed to read and even think. The slightest deviation will be punished as we are seeing with Facebook being boycotted by advertisers. We even see vicious attacks on well-known leftists (including J.K. Rowling and Noam Chomsky) who dare to question cancel culture. Somehow, Orwellian Marxists are claiming that exercising free speech is denying free speech.

YouTube recently removed a video from a car guy who decided he would rather have a gas-powered vehicle as his next car rather than a Tesla. You can’t make this stuff up. Rich Benoit posted his latest project, “Why I’m selling my Tesla and going back to Gas.” Within a few hours it was taken down for “violating community guidelines.” He has 700,000 YouTube subscribers and 80 million views. To his knowledge, there was nothing in the video that violated any guidelines. But he dared cross the Tesla “cult” (his words) and they forced the video off the platform. Again, it’s mob rules denying choice.

And don’t think that the outright Marxists attacking the far-left is a good sign of crazy progressives “eating their own.” Something similar happened in Russia during the Bolshevik revolution and in Germany during the Nazi takeover. It never ends well.

Joe Biden provided a taste of one-party rule when he declared “you ain’t black” if you aren’t supporting him over Trump. In other words, you aren’t allowed to think for yourself. Your skin color determines how you must think. And oh, by the way, if you are thinking of voting for Trump, then you are also a racist and automatically disqualified from any rights whatsoever according to the mob.

The far left doesn’t even want to allow you to consider a contrast between Biden and Trump. In fact, even the New York Times is working to prevent a debate between the candidates. And Biden continues to avoid the spotlight.

Ben Franklin, under the pen name Silence Dogood, once wrote: “Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom.” Of course, Franklin was a founder so we aren’t allowed to remember what he said. In fact, it may be considered violence to even quote him.

And then there is “cancel culture.” Basically if you say or do anything (or somehow just “are”) contrary to what the mob deems acceptable, you should lose your job, your right to speak, your freedom, and your property. And maybe you should lose your right to live. Quoting the Washington Examiner:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has been leading calls to boycott Goya Foods after the CEO complimented President Trump, waded into the debate in her predictably shallow manner on Twitter last week. “People who are actually ‘canceled’ don’t get their thoughts published and amplified in major outlets,” she wrote. “This has been a public service announcement.”

If there is no opportunity for discussion or dissent (and you can clearly see that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t believe there should be), all of society is forced to conform to what “the people say.” And that, is how you get totalitarianism, or as Tucker Carlson calls it “authoritarian hell.” There will be no freedom to complain. It will be economic slavery, voted in by a cowed and deceived public. The “silent majority” will be silenced once and for all. So we had better pay attention.

We often comment on the global economic war where the enemy is external to our nation. This is a case of a domestic economic war underway and it is existential. If you want to see the hope and promise of America offered to all Americans and future generations, it is time to stand up now! We can start by defending shareholder capitalism while we still have a voice.

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