Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Is ethical investment an oxymoron?

Are you a self-funded retiree with a conscience, investing in what you believe to be ethical investments?

Or maybe you sleep well believing your superannuation fund invests ethically so that your benefits are not derived from the misery of others?

Dream on, baby...

The chances are that the lifestyle to which you have become addicted, and which you now desperately hope will continue, is increasingly being financed by pain, tears, and suffering (not to mention mass murder) of those being exploited in your name.

Capitalism is finding it harder and harder squeeze profits from its enterprises, having to push "efficiency" and "productivity" ever higher in order to maintain the growth necessary to stop the house of cards collapsing. In the process, have we reached a point where ethics has become anathema?

Consider the plight of Sheraton's Algerian workers >>>

(I'm not suggesting that you sign the petition, just that you read the introductory article in order to understand the "shareholders profit and workers lose out" thing in a real world setting.)


Blogger AndrewM said...

There are two big problems with an ethical investment strategy. The first is that it might not be as ethical as it first appears. It may not be as extreme as the Sheraton example you linked, but it may be just a front. Remember all that Indonesian furniture Hardly Normal were selling which turned out to be made from logs with fake sustainably harvested stickers?

The other problem is much more compelling. Companies that are run ethically with sustainable practices a) are few and far between, and b) don't make money, because making a profit is itself unsustainable.

Now you might invest in something that doesn't make money (or, in fact, loses money after fees, charges and taxes are applied) if you're a philanthropist, but not otherwise.

October 30, 2011 8:38 AM  
Blogger Davoh said...

Consider the plight of 'investors' in Telstra and QANTAS ..

October 30, 2011 6:33 PM  
Blogger Davoh said...

Is ethical investment an oxymoron?


October 30, 2011 7:23 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Davo, you have this annoying habit of making cryptic comments which assume the reader knows what you mean.

If you're not prepared to offer a few words which seek to explain what you mean or why you're saying it, I'm not prepared to publish such "comments" in future.

I'm certainly not going to get into the game of following up every comment you make with "why do you say that, Davo?".

Capiche, paisano?

November 01, 2011 8:13 AM  
Blogger Davoh said...

mm,OK(bear in mind that am not a "self funded retiree" in that am existing by the good graces of the Australian taxpayer) and also living in the distant countryside of New South Wales (also by the good graces of a benevolent landlord) Will,at some stage, address the question and definition of "ethics" and "investment".

However, I have given it some thought - and a response, in detail, may well take roughly 25 pages ...

On the other hand, that sort of effort may well require payment.

Whaddya want, Gerry?

November 04, 2011 5:14 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Davo, that was another Clayton's comment.
You really are hopeless. :-)

November 04, 2011 11:21 AM  
Blogger Davoh said...

Hope-less ? only if you believe so ... heh.

November 06, 2011 1:22 AM  
Blogger Davoh said...

(and i will write this - publish if you're game ...)
mm, i guess it's one thing to post "shock, horror - isn't it awful" ..
while sitting comfortably on - yes - a gummint pension in the Blue Mountains.

One might take more notice - or take you seriously IF you were posting from Algeria, or thereabouts.


November 06, 2011 1:44 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Davo, are you saying that only a rape victim's comments about the wrongness of rape should be taken seriously?

Are you saying that anyone who hasn't been raped should not be taken seriously if they hold forth about the wrongness of rape?

November 06, 2011 9:29 AM  
Blogger AndrewM said...

@Davoh: I don't think you understand how capitalism works. In order to be paid to write your 25 pages you have to be able to advertise your skills as a writer - point to examples of peerless prose by Davoh that are likely to persuade someone that paying you to write is a good idea.

Your previous posts on Gerry's blog wouldn't persuade Blind Freddy.

Alternatively, you could do what most people end up doing with their novellas and screenplays and the like - write it on spec and shop it around in the hope someone will pick it up.

November 08, 2011 9:57 AM  

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