If someone came up to you and said they wanted to make your life wonderful by curing the world’s ills, but also say in order to do that you would have to give them 60% of your earned income, what would you say? If someone came up to you and said you are at fault for a typhoon in Japan, so your penance will be giving up 40% of your land, what would you say? If someone came up to you and said they would give you $100 million for a project, but in order to receive that you must spend it they way they tell you and then you must match that amount of money over the next 5 years on the same exact project they propose, what would you say?
Welcome to “leveraging.”
Feel like you are being manipulated? Well, guess what? You are. We all are. But the operative word lately is not “manipulate.” It is “leverage.” As in using “levers” to manipulate. Levers are powerful devices to move something. Trying to sound cool and businesslike, bureaucrats, politicians, and non-profit foundations are using the word “leverage.”
According to the Sacramento Bee, “B Lab will establish partnerships with organizations that have regional presence and expertise and leverage financial and technical support provided by the Inter American Development Bank, the Rockefeller Foundation, Halloran Philanthropies, Prudential Foundation, Linklaters, the Ford Foundation, the Avina Foundation, InnovaChile CORFO and Deloitte LLP.”
The B Corporation journey has thus far been characterized by pioneers like Yvon Chouinard, the iconoclastic CEO of Patagonia, who was the first CEO to sign on once B corps became recognized in California.
Chouinard has called prior laws governing corporations and charities too restrictive. He says that for-profit firms often face pressure to abandon social goals in favor of increased profits, while non-profits are overly restricted in their ability to raise capital when they need it to grow.
The B Corporation is another important step in the journey to build a new, more Earth-centered, more sustainable economy. Perhaps something along the lines of what David Korten writes about in his latest book, Agenda for a New Economy, where he says, “to create an economic system that works for all, we need a different design grounded in different values and a different understanding of wealth, our human nature, and the sources of human happiness and well-being.”
Note the effort there to change the language of prosperity to “redistribution of wealth.” “Earth-centered?” “Human happiness and well-being,” the author declares, is to place “social goals” on the backs of corporations, without exactly defining what those “social goals” are. But gee, whatever he says ends in “human happiness and well-being.” Really?
Also note the players in this B Corporation Scheme. The Rockefeller Foundation. The Ford Foundation. Prudential Foundation. Have the Rockefellers, Fords, and the insurance giant, Prudential given up all of their profits? I missed the memo if they have. These are foundations that are busy greasing their tax status with the government while preaching that the rest of us should not be profit motivated. Hmmm…..interesting how that works. They became rich from capitalism and now create foundations “leveraging” money to implement Socialism? Anyone asking why that would be?
Trust me when I tell you this is only one small example of this word, “leverage” showing up in just about every policy document I’ve seen lately. The grant application from the unelected Centralina Council of Governments uses the word “leverage,” often and in many places, to describe their intent on how to use the Federal money. They will “leverage” the funds to either get matching funds or to bend local policies to conform to HUD compliance in the grant.
A “lever” is a lien on existing or future assets and labor. It is also a bribe, but sadly the bribe, used as a “lever,” has been given cultural legitimacy in our vernacular.
What happens when property rights are “leveraged” away from Constitutional rights? When politicians are “leveraging” away our rights by accepting bribes, they completely rescind the oath they took to protect and defend the Constitution. But the bribes they are taking, which create the levers, are on your back, not on theirs. So “leveraging” comes with no consequences. Just as the previous noted foundations are receiving tax breaks from the government and using their donors’ money to do it, politicians are putting feathers in their caps by running around shouting “I brought in grant money,” but using your money to do it. They never tell you it is your money or that they stole your money to get that grant in the first place.
The supposed cure for curing the world’s ills, these days, is always political theft of our rights, our liberty, our labor, our property, whatever our assets may be.
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