Reader comment on: Let States Divest From Iran
Submitted by Jeff Glasgow (United States), Sep 1, 2007 17:54
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.
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Jewish Policy Center replies:
Mr. Glasgow raises an excellent question: will state pension funds lose their value if and when states divest from companies that deal with Iran? The short answer is no, but let me give a longer explanation.
Yes, there are a number of strong companies on the SEC list of Iran-friendly companies that clearly add value to state portfolios. The list includes strong companies like HSBC and Nokia, for example, which are both poised for growth. But there are plenty of other strong investments that can add value to a portfolio without funding terror. There are actually terror-free mutual funds that have been getting incredible returns. States need to follow the lead of companies like Roosevelt Investments, which has been a pioneer in finding great returns on terror-free investments.
I am convinced that states can simultaneously hurt Iran through divestment and invest wisely for state pensioners.
Mr. Glasgow, thank you for your question. If you're still not satisfied, I would be happy to engage in further discussion.
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