Conservative Spotlight

Conservative Spotlight: Free Enterprise Action Fund

Shouldn’t capitalists use their influence to maintain free market capitalism? And why don’t companies that benefit most from conservative values — low taxes, small government, less regulation — support conservative politicians?

The continuing mystery of anti-capitalism capitalists reveals itself over and over again. Why is Caterpillar lobbying for global warming, when global warming regulations will stifle earnings from their largest customer — the coal industry.

Why is PepsiCo — the largest seller of bottled water — also lobbying for global warming when global warming hype has already led to a backlash against bottled water (now banned in San Francisco)?

Wal-Mart is lobbying for an increase on minimum wage, global warming and socialized medicine. Why are these companies acting against there own interests, essentially lobbying against their own earnings?

It’s because, “the left has figured out how to use the powerful resources and influence of big corporations to advance their agenda,” said Steven Milloy, head of Free Enterprise Action Fund (FEAF). His group is one way that investors — conservative investors — can put pressure on companies to act in their own (and their shareholders’) interests.

Milloy says that companies have abandoned responsibilities to their shareholders and our free enterprise system “in favor of embracing the false and harmful social activist-promoted notion of ‘corporate social responsibility.”

The Free Enterprise Action fund is the first mutual fund to make investments from a pro-free enterprise, conservative, libertarian angle.

“Our thesis is that left leaning institutionalized investors are pressuring corporate managements to help the left advance their political agenda, so we try and get in there, and push back from the right,” Milloy told HUMAN EVENTS.

FEAF is a broadly diversified mutual fund with 450 companies in the S&P 500. “We provide our investors with a market based return. You could invest in a regular index fund or you can invest with us… the difference is if you invest with us not only do you get the market based return but you get the ideological kicker,” said Milloy.

Although global warming is the most obvious and ongoing issue threatening free market enterprise, Milloy’s mutual fund also counters liberal activists’ attempts to use corporations to lobby against social security reform, Healthcare (socialized medicine), and International economic development issues.

Shareholder activism works both ways: FEAF stirs shareholders to exercise their powers in favor of the free market. They react — viscerally — to leftist claims that corporations should be more “socially responsible,” “better citizens” or such because those euphemisms are the label for the liberals’ initiatives to impose restrictions on the free market.

There are a lot of ways FEAF acts in addition to investing. Among them, as the FEAF website says, are:

• Engaging corporate managements. These efforts may include meeting with management, attending shareholder meetings and filing shareholder resolutions to counter activist pressure campaigns and shareholder proposals.

• Using the media. Working with the media to inform institutional investors, individual investors, employees and the general public about attacks on businesses, how corporate managements respond to those attacks, and the Fund’s principles and actions.

• Marshalling support for Fund activism. Working to mobilize investor and public support to stop corporate managements from surrendering to activist demands and to advance the Fund’s goals.

Milloy told HUMAN EVENTS in just a couple weeks investors will be able to go to Scottrade, Ameritrade or E*TRADE and invest through them, but for now you can visit www.freeenterpriseactionfund.com and download an application.


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