Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Moral What?

There was an article in the Sacramento Bee today that discussed how certain organizations (most notably the Simon Wiesenthal Center) have called on certain California agencies (such as the California Public Employees' Retirement System or CalPERS) to dump investments from foreign companies doing business in Iran on the basis of morality (anyone, like, heard of morality in big business?).

Now it seems that CalPERS has made $725 million over the past eight (8) years on these foreign investments but it had also lost $590 million after pulling out from South African investments back in the 1980s (no doubt in protest of apartheid in that region at that time).

I hardly think that, unless there is a significant risk to those investments from a purely business point of view, any of these agencies are going to dump their investments. California, wallowing in a huge budget deficit, needs all the revenue she can get and this isn't the time to be thinking about morals. If anyone wants to address human rights violation and its associated fallout, then the situation in Iraq needs to be resolved first along with better oversight of how we use our military in the future. This means that we are in dire need of a new generation of foreign policymaking capability.