Semantic infiltration is the tactic by which political objectives are smuggled into discourse that is ostensibly, but not actually, politically neutral. People who adopt a political faction’s vocabulary also adopt — perhaps inadvertently, but inevitably — the faction’s agenda. So, everyone who values economic dynamism, and the freedom that enables this, should recoil from the toxic noun “stakeholder.”
The Oxford Reference definition is “all those with interests in an organization,” including “shareholders, employees, suppliers, customers, or members of the wider community (who could be affected by environmental consequences of an organization’s activities).” Which means: everyone. “All” in the “wider community” who claim an “interest.” Anyone can make such claims; no one can refute them.
In a dynamic society, resources are efficiently disposed by corporate managements whose primary duty, which other corporate activities do not compromise, is to maximize shareholder value by profitably supplying the demand for goods and services. Furthermore, in a congenial society, boundaries are respected: Most people say about most things, “this is none of my business.”
Self-proclaimed stakeholders, parasitic off others’ labor and accumulation, assert that everything is their business. Actually, although everyone has a right to advocate progressivism, no one has a right to insist on a stake in deploying others’ property for the stakeholders’ political ends.
Carson v. Makin is centered on Maine’s tuition assistance program, one of the oldest school choice programs in the nation. Created in 1873, the program funds students from a town without a public school to attend a school of their parents’ choice—whether private or public, in‐state, or out‐of‐state. For more than a century, parents could direct these funds towards religious schools. In 1980, Maine Attorney General Richard S. Cohen released an opinion that said funding a child to attend a school with a “pervasively religious atmosphere” would be unconstitutional. In response, the legislature changed the law to prohibit families from using the tuition assistance at religious schools.
The Institute for Justice filed a federal lawsuit in 2018 on behalf of three sets of parents—Alan and Judy Gillis, David and Amy Carson, and Troy and Angela Nelson—whose children qualified for the program but were prevented from directing funds towards the schools they preferred because those schools provided religious instruction. The district court initially found for the state and the First Circuit affirmed on appeal. Last July, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.
In today’s ruling, as it did previously in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, the Court flatly rejected the respondent’s claims that allowing religious schools to receive the tuition funds violates the first amendment.
The Wall Street Journal‘s Editorial Board rightly criticizes Biden’s endorsement of a bill, newly passed by the House, that would require the Federal Reserve to include among its goals greater “racial equity.” A slice:
Now House Democrats want to codify racial equity as part of the Fed’s mandate. Their bill would require the Board of Governors and FOMC to “exercise all duties and functions in a manner that fosters the elimination of disparities across racial and ethnic groups with respect to employment, income, wealth, and access to affordable credit.”
The bill directs the Fed to include race in monetary policy, the operation of payment systems, and the supervision of banks and non-banks deemed by the Financial Stability Oversight Council to be systemically important.
Central bankers have a hard enough time balancing full employment with stable prices. Adding a racial equity mandate could cause their models to go catawampus. How small would the black-white unemployment gap have to be, and how high would prices have to climb, before the Fed considers raising interest rates?
Aaron Kheriaty warns of the dangers of the attempt in California to punish dissent by physicians from the official position on covid vaccines. (DBx: Every reasonable person, regardless of his or her position on the efficacy and safety of covid vaccines, should be appalled by this attempt.)
Marty Makary, Vinay Prasad, and Neeraj Sood are among the many physicians who signed a letter, addressed to top U.S. government covidocrats, urging elimination of many remaining covidocratic diktats. (HT Jay Bhattacharya) A slice from the letter:
Many European countries, U.S. states and Canadian provinces have already updated their COVID-19 policies to reflect that vaccines and infection-acquired immunity have reduced the risk of a severe COVID-19 outcome for youth, and to acknowledge that all mitigation measures have unintended consequences. Massachusetts, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Norway, British Columbia and elsewhere have recommended an end to routine screening testing and mandatory isolation periods for children. Most have also eliminated any COVID-19 vaccine requirements for children to fully participate in public life.
The CDC’s COVID-19 school guidelines continue to cause significant disruption to children’s education and to working parents, while providing no demonstrable public health benefit in limiting COVID-19 spread. These policies have serious unintended consequences–-such as school closures, increasing school absences, forcing parents to miss work, and the expense and time of testing. At this point, nearly all U.S. adults and children are protected by either vaccination or infection-acquired immunity, and the U.S. is seeing far lower hospitalization and mortality rates than in prior surges.