Impact Investing in the Trump Era

Impact Investing in the Trump Era

(Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

(Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

As the country is approaching the first 100 days of the Trump administration, one thing seems to be clear. This president is not scared to cut down on wasteful federal spending. Most liberals in the country are terrified and enraged because the reduction of federal spending includes social, humanitarian and environmental issues. However, liberals nationwide should not fear, because now is the golden opportunity for them to finally take responsibility for the causes they so religiously believe in.

An article in Forbes titled, “Why Impact Investing May Flourish in the Age of Donald Trump”, cites that:

“there are good reasons to believe that now is the time to consider an impact investing strategy, putting private capital to work in sectors like alternative energy, healthcare and housing that are facing potential U.S. budget pullback”

Liberals are quick to turn to other people's money to spend on causes they so desperately believe in. However, impact investing allows for private individuals or corporations to do the spending—not every American taxpayer. Impact investing “are investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return” (Global Impact Investment Network).

Most corporations have a customer base that leans liberal politically. For the purpose of staying competitive in the market and building a reputation as a “socially conscious” or “environmentally friendly” company, they may turn to impact investing on the causes Trump has decided to cut spending from.

The greatness of impact investing is that the money being spent is voluntarily being spent. This is the way it is should be in America. The Federal Government’s obligations, as the founders intended, should only be spending for the defense of our country against foreign enemies and the preservation of law and order in society to safeguard the liberty of the individual. All other spending should be left in the hands of private industry. Reducing government spending in categories like social or environmental causes would reduce the power of big government.

One great example of the success of impact investing is the situation that unfolded concerning PBS and Sesame street. When Trump made it clear that federal funding would be cut from PBS, liberals cried wolf. However, Federal Government funding for PBS only made 23% of their entire budget. PBS received support from many other entities including private businesses, universities, and individual contributions. Their survival can go on without the taxpayer fronting the bill. The issue is the consent of the American taxpayer. Through impact investing and private contributions, individuals can consent to how they want their money to be spent. For individuals and corporations passionate about PBS and keeping Sesame Street on the air, they can voluntarily contribute or invest and at the same time have satisfaction in knowing they are voluntarily helping out other Americans.   

In the Trump Age, we will see a rise of impact investing from a majority of corporations. The financial return of  impact investing is incentive.The power of branding and reputation is important for corporations. The free market allows for individuals to hold corporations accountable, thus individuals are more likely to support a corporation that supports causes they value. Concerning individual contributions, those liberals who are so passionate for social changes, environmental changes, or humanitarian causes must put their money where their mouth is. Taxation is theft, and it is neither moral nor justifiable to be spending taxpayer money on anything non-essential to the Federal government.  

Trump is ringing in a new era. Impact investing will pave the way for personal responsibility and civic engagement. Ask not what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for your country.

Follow this author on twitter @Virak_Ath

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