The Rockefeller Foundation, mega-banks, and even taxpayers via the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have provided millions of dollars toward pushing a new type of “socially responsible” corporate structure known as the “benefit corporation.” More than 15 states have already signed on. Critics, however, say the scheme will further undermine what remains of the market system while promoting deeply controversial United Nations Agenda 21-linked notions of “sustainable development.”
Under the “benefit-corporation” agenda, companies would no longer be just responsible for producing shareholder profits. Instead, a firm that becomes a benefit corporation would also have to pursue other goals that appear noble at first glance — sustainability, social justice, environmentalism, social responsibility, and other alleged “public benefits.” Apparently, creating jobs for workers and profits for shareholders, as well as goods and services that consumers want to purchase, is no longer enough.
If and when companies decide to become benefit corporations, they would obtain significant advantages over traditional firms dedicated to maximizing value. After receiving certification from a Rockefeller-funded outfit known as “B-Labs,” which is at the heart of the nationwide push, B-Corps could become eligible to receive everything from major tax breaks to preferential access to lucrative government contracts.
State governments across America are under heavy pressure by powerful lobbyists to adopt legislation creating “benefit-corporations” within their jurisdictions. Along with Washington, D.C., at least 17 states have already passed the necessary laws — Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia. Another dozen states, meanwhile, have bills introduced in the legislature.
Because the vast majority of Americans know nothing about the benefit-corporation agenda, legislation to lay the foundations of the scheme has met with little resistance so far. In North Carolina, however, liberty-minded activists succeeded in stopping the effort in May — if only temporarily — by explaining the more sinister side of the plot to lawmakers.