Iran Divestment Doesn’t Have To Hurt Pensioners

Iran Divestment Doesn’t Have To Hurt Pensioners

Jonathan Schanzer

Reader Jeff Glasgow wrote me an email (see it in the extended text below), after reading my recent article in the Baltimore Sun about Iran Divestment. He is concerned that pensions could lose value when states divest.

I am convinced that states can simultaneously hurt Iran through divestment and invest wisely for state pensioners. Yes, there are strong companies on the SEC list of Iran-friendly companies. The list includes HSBC and Nokia, for example, which are both poised for growth. But, plenty of other strong investments can add value to a portfolio without funding terror. Terror-free mutual funds have been getting incredible returns. In short, pensioners don’t have to put their futures in jeopardy to punish Iran.

Mr. Glasgow, thank you for your question. If you’re still not satisfied, I would be happy to engage in further discussion.

Mr. Schanzer,

Do you propose, then, to raise taxes to repay the losses suffered by the people who depend for their living on their pension funds? Or doesn’t it matter to you that you are making your point with other people’s money? Josh Mandel is trying to take my pension money. Mr. Obama and you apparently have bigger fish to fry. I really am interested in your answer to the question: How do Mr. Mandel, Mr. Obama, and you justify releasing pension funds from their absolute duty to protect retirees’ money? Why not the same legislation for banks, savings & loans and insurance companies? Please give me your best considered answer. I have seen a number of them, in Ohio House testimony, in Josh Mandel papers, Michael Barone articles and Obama press releases. They are all the same rationalization. Try to give me a different one if you can.

Jeff Glasgow