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I feel terminally boring

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Dec. 20th, 2001 | 02:19 pm

I just wandered over to the benefits office and told them to withhold more money for retirement.

At least that means that the current federal government doesn't get as much of my money. (Which they'd probably just use to harras people working on positive progressive causes.)

It's also kind of nice that the mutual fund management company has a social choice fund. Although both Microsoft and WalMart are on their top 10 investment list. (eeewww.). Investing in walmart or investing in the department of defense & office of homeland security.

What an unpleasant choice.

I get the feeling that the US tax laws are structured to funnel money from people saving to funding megacorps. Just one of the many ways that the federal government strives to support US corporate power.

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Bram Boroson, Master of Subtle Ways and Straight

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from: bram
date: Dec. 20th, 2001 07:08 pm (UTC)
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I too have investments. Nontrivial amounts actually. Motivated by my father, an ex-60s radical (once sued for libel by Barry Goldwater), who now writes about personal finance.

His pro-mutual fund argument is that these corporations once served only the rich, but can now serve everyone. Although that argument has plenty of holes in it, I've preferred not to rock the boat and unload all my funds (we'd have a lot less to talk about.) I think I did sell about 10% of my holdings after W took office.

I have some TIAA-CREF "social choice" but haven't looked into what they actually invest in.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Dec. 20th, 2001 09:39 pm (UTC)
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Okay, I have to pick at a big hole in the mutual fund argument. When the mutual fund buys the stock its not the invester who gets control, its the fund management company. If people were buying the stocks directly then I could see the people having more influence over the corporation. However the since fund companies are usually just rated on expected return on investenment, there's a selection pressure toward the most profitable corporations regardless of how "ethical" the corporation behaves. And as far as I'm concerned theres a number of unethical behaviors that are more profitable in the short term. (such as employing third world laborers in abusive sweatshops where any attempts to unionize are typically met with extreme violence.)

The TIAA-CREF "social choice" fund only invests in companies that don't:

  1. fail to adhere to sound environmental practices
  2. operate in northern ireland without complying with certain acts and principles
  3. Have significant involvement in weapons manufacturing
  4. Have significant involement in gambling operations
  5. produce and market alcohol or tobacco
  6. produce nuclear energy


Of the list my favorite choices for being important are 1, 3, and 6.

Though I'm going to pretended that the social choice fund is good enough.

Although I think I may invest extra money in companies that I do my most frequent business with. (Sort of being a communist in a capitalist world.)

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