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View Diary: CalSTRS Hits Gun Manufacturers where it hurts: The Pocket Book (59 comments)

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  •  But they won't refuse. (0+ / 0-)

    Because most don't care. One Union's dismissal is another retirement fund's gain. The company is not being significantly financially harmed. It is a hollow victory. Gun companies are and will continue to be financially lucrative.

    It's a good thing that Teachers aren't in the gun biz. But others will take their place and the new investment will be nearly as terrible for society.

    I wish for the downfall of every gun company but the economics are what they are.

    •  A clear conscience for CalSTRS is it's own victory (6+ / 0-)

      It's easy to say "someone else will pick up the investment".  Because it is true.

      That's OK.   Those funds can have the investment.  There are lots of people who make money investing in PayDay loan companies.   I won't be one of them.   Just because they will make money, doesn't mean that you have to be involved.

      You see it as a hollow victory because they keep on and they stay in business.   I see it as a real victory because people used their money to make their voice heard.   Teachers, at least in California have said they want out of the gun business.

      Let someone else profit by dealing death.  But a lot of teachers in California can go to bed tonight knowing their retirement fund isn't backing something they don't believe in.

      You don't have to depend on downfall as a victory.  A clear conscience is a victory.

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:57:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's a low bar for victory. (0+ / 0-)

        By this metric, strip mining in West Virginia and the Centralia incident have been a startling victories. I just have to wonder if its another teacher's association would pick it up. Texas would fit. It would have the benefit of being oddly funny in just shifting the investment one state over.

        •  Inch by Inch (6+ / 0-)

          You're viewing this as saying "well, only one backs out, everyone else picks up.. or they invest in something else.."

          No.   What CalSTRS has done is a victory for CalSTRS.   But it also sets a bar for what others should do.    

          In fact, by removing money and resources or forcing investment groups to re-evaluate you form a real, not symbolic victory.  You, at a minimum, raise the cost of business... even if just for a short while.

          The more investors that also take this tact, the more it pays off.

          The key argument you make is an argument I always count as "woe is me, why bother" argument.   This argument basically says: the problem is too big.  Anything we do makes absolutely no difference.  Woe is me, I can't do anything about the problem.

          I'm reminded of an old saying:  "Inch by Inch, Life's a Cinch.  Yard by Yard, it's very hard".   You're wanting to leap yards ahead and you see the movement of an inch as a reason to pull the "woe is me".   In fact, I view it as a small step in the right direction.

          One foot ahead of another.   That's sometimes all you have.  Inch by Inch.  You take one small step.  You add another small step.  Each small step doesn't instantly end the gun industry.  It doesn't change the culture.  It doesn't stop someone else from making money.   But it does make a small step in the right direction.

          I will take small steps in the right direction, every small step in the right direction, and I will praise it as loudly as I can.

          Inch by Inch.   Because every inch is worth taking.  I cannot turn up my nose at victories large and small.  And forcing an investment group to rethink their investment strategy is a big victory for a public teachers union.   It says they forced a $20B investment group to drop a profitable client because they used their resources to make that happen.

          All it takes is enough people to follow that lead.   Maybe they will.  Maybe they won't.  

          Inch by Inch.

          Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

          by Chris Reeves on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 11:19:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You are trying to convince yourself, not me. (0+ / 0-)

            There is no harm to the company and this is purely a PR stunt by a monolithic parent company. Listen, it's not progress. It's just not. Not by any stretch of the imagination. If it was, well then the right people are doing gangbusters every day because life is full of hollow "victories" like this.

            The gun manufacturers will continue uninterrupted making profits that make them richer and help lobby to make you poorer. Nothing has changed except for ownership. That's no victory. And how great will you feel if the union just invests in Lockheed stock? Or Raytheon. Or Northrop Grumman. Then they'll have actually just upgraded their status in the death merchant market.

            •  Have you forgotten the ending of apartheid in (10+ / 0-)

              South Africa?  A program of divestment grew up over years, all over the world and pretty strongly in the US, and had a definite impact on the South African economy. It added to their isolation and the pressure to come into line with international standards for a "republic."  

              If withdrawing investments from gun companies has an economic impact, it will be over time, as more organizations act.

              Divestment, like boycotts, doesn't work if you try to fight every evil at the same time.  There's already a move to get universities (and then others) to divest from oil companies, part of a process of redefining them as NOT BUSINESS AS USUAL, but a form of corporate irresponsibility that threatens the livability of the planet.  I think we can do divestments from gun companies too, though it should be focused on teh most irresponsible in terms of how they distribute their wares and how they lobby.  Can't do all the bad guys at once, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't let them know that we're awake now, we're noticing, and they will get hurt in the long run.

              tmservo433, I think your argument would be stronger if you included the history of divestments (apartheid, Nestle) as well as the argument that it's better to do something than nothing.

              --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

              by Fiona West on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:57:04 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  You seem strangely reluctant to do anything (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BYw, radical simplicity

              Even moral actions are significant.  Why are you so reluctant to support this? It's not asking anything of you.

        •  But it's the only serious one (0+ / 0-)

          It is logically consistent and can be argued on a philosophical basis.  And this can be done without lying or fudging the facts.  

          "Und wer nicht tanzen will am Schluss - weiß noch nicht dass er tanzen muss", Rammstein, "Amerika"

          by cris0000 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 11:49:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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