12 November 2021

"Anti-woke" exchange-traded funds target Trump's base

Dan Grant is fed up with “wokeness.” He’s sick of such companies as Nike Inc. and Coca-Cola Co. taking liberal positions on social justice issues. “People are tired of woke companies, tired of wokeness overall, and tired of companies putting their social justice activism ahead of generating profits for their shareholders,” Grant says, sitting in a small Nashville office festooned with dinosaur fossils and a pet Australian snake-necked turtle named Melvin.

The former JPMorgan Chase & Co. banker is betting that the 74 million people who, like him, voted for Donald Trump are mad about it, too—mad enough to buy shares of his company’s exchange traded funds, which invest in companies Grant and his colleagues deem unwoke. That means they lean right politically or are at least neutral in their activism and donations. Grant is chief executive officer of 2ndVote Advisers, a small group of politically conservative money managers pushing against what they see as a stampede toward left-leaning, socially conscious investing on Wall Street...

In December, 2ndVote will launch an ETF perfectly attuned to the latest Trumpian cultural grievance: a “First Amendment fund” called the American Freedoms ETF. Composed of companies with permissive speech policies, the fund excludes platforms such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter, which the former president claims unfairly “censor” him. Grant insists the fund’s purpose isn’t political. Rather, it’s an expression of economist Milton Friedman’s dictum that a company’s sole responsibility is to make money. 
More at Bloomberg Business Week.  I can think of a half-dozen TYWKIWDBI readers who will undoubtedly be delighted to purchase shares in these ETFs.

12 comments:

  1. Sin funds, and blue/red funds have been a thing for decades now, and ESG for probably as long. I'm not sure there's anything new here except for calling it "woke".

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  2. "Milton Friedman’s dictum that a company’s sole responsibility is to make money." And that, ladies and gentleman, is how it all hit the fan.

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  3. Don't they realize the majority of these newly woke companies are doing so as marketing? They're just shifting with social attitudes to appeal to people that care about social justice. Do they really think Nike gives a damn about equality when they use sweat shops?

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  4. 1: The grift never ends.

    2: Let's be very clear that the term 'anti-woke' is being morphed by the right to be a euphemisms for supporting racism and inequality. They need to hijack this term because 'pro-racism and inequality' is not a slogan you can run on. But wokism is a gentle enough term that many people can read into it what they want and then support racist and injust policies without naming it that. And once again, the right manages to push the left to defend things like 'not being racist', which is quite frankly insane. And of course, the left, in its gullibility, now is struggling to defend these very just causes.

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    1. The left keeps digging its race and gender identity hole deeper and deeper. Had the left remained focused on economic justice, for the entire lower and working class, it would be miles ahead of where it is now. Hillary's deplorables (some who voted for Obama) are ever more culturally enveloped by the right. This is not good and it's a self-inflicted wound.

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    2. "Had the left remained focused on economic justice, for the entire lower and working class, it would be miles ahead of where it is now."

      Agreed. The only political sticker on my car is from the Bernie Sanders campaign.

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    3. Had the left remained focused on economic justice, for the entire lower and working class, it would be miles ahead of where it is now.

      And what exactly do you think is in the two Big Biden Bills, one of which has passed, and the other on its way? And let's not forget the child support check that were in the Biden bill that everybody already forgot about....

      It is nonsense to say that the left is not focused on the working class.

      You really have to think about your position when you think that standing up against racism is somehow wrong. Or just go ask any non-white friend what they think.

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    4. "the term 'anti-woke' is being morphed by the right to be a euphemism for supporting racism and inequality"

      This is just the latest iteration of an ongoing, very successful right-wing tactic: using the latest progressive buzzword as an ire-inspiring alias for "all the stuff we hate." It doesn't matter what a concept actually means. Wokeness, political correctness, critical race theory, even social justice itself, are interchangeable. Each new word stirs the base into a fresh outburst of the same old rage.
      The cycle will repeat again and again, as rage is the fuel that keeps the Party going.

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    5. Not to be confused with the latest ongoing partly successful left-wing tactic: using the latest conservative buzzwords as an ire-inspiring alias for supporting racism and inequality. It does not matter what the concept actually means. Each new concept stirs the progressives into a fresh outburst of rage. The cycle (right-wing rage at left-wing concepts, left-wing rage at right-wing concepts) will repeat, as rage is the fuel that keeps the Parties going. Meanwhile, the moderate majority who are a little left or right of the center, watch in slack-jawed frustration as any sort of unity is sacrificed to the rage machine.

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    6. Being anti-racist is not the precise equivalent of being anti-poverty or pro-economic justice. Just ask the 20,000,000 whites (twice the number of blacks) living below the poverty line if they feel heard by the NPR-type liberal. I think fighting gross economic inequality is far more potentially effective and measurable than fighting racism. In other words, go after the consequences of racism rather than beating the subject to death in the academisphere--teasing-out every last grievance and identifying every path to signalling wokeness, while the rich get richer and the... Many university graduates are now steeped in knowledge of race and gender and have no working, actionable knowledge of class. As to the Dems latest spending bills: Not all bad, but I’ll fall over from shock if any of thi$ reaches the most oppressed class in my community: the mostly white homeless population, who need, most of all, a robust, federal, social housing program. As in, housing intervention in a wildly predatory marketplace. It’s these homeless whites that are getting gunned down by the police and the homeless haters in my community. White-on-poor white violence. But, I won’t be shocked if these new spending bills subsidize a retired professional’s purchase of a luxury Tesla sedan.

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    7. I think fighting gross economic inequality is far more potentially effective and measurable than fighting racism

      There is not reason why both can't be done at the same time. And it's perfectly possible to fight poverty while making sure you're discriminating while doing so. That is what anti-racism asks.

      Many university graduates are now steeped in knowledge of race and gender and have no working, actionable knowledge of class.

      Nonsense. Anti-racism specifically recognizes the internationality of being in different classes. And that while being poor and white is miserable, being poor and not-white is more miserable.

      It is one of my great frustrations that people keep pretending that the government can only focus on one thing. The whole reason why we elect multiple representatives in government is so they can do more than one single benevolent dictator king could.

      Life is complex. There are few simple solutions. We need to acknowledge that.

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  5. If a company's social justice-friendly campaign increases profits, does that uphold the Friedman doctrine?

    Do campaign contributions that don't directly impact profit violate it?

    I feel like Grant's explanation has some holes.

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