Dear Wall Street Investors – Writing 101

Carol A. Hand

I wonder if you realize the power you have to begin transforming the world for the better. Today, you can review your portfolio and ask if your investments follow the ethics and principles of permaculture.

3-ethics-spring-2015-5-638

Image: 3 Ethics of Permaculture (Lonnie Gamble)

(The link will take you to Gamble’s slideshow: the image is slide #5)

Earth Care.

Do the corporations supported by your investments enhance the health of the environment or practice policies that lead to pollution and escalating climate change through destructive environmental practices?

People Care.

Do the corporations you finance with your hard-earned dollars pay the people who work for them living, reasonable salaries? Provide reasonable job security and decent retirement pensions? Are employees treated well?

Do the companies produce quality products that enhance people’s lives by providing necessary products at a reasonable price? Are products built to last, or seen as disposable to increase profits by selling replacements frequently? Do the companies you finance introduce poisons that negatively impact people’s health and cover-up these hazards by misleading the public with faulty studies? Do they supply outdated products (fossil fuels), known carcinogens (pesticides, herbicides), or new risky chemicals without proper testing and trustworthy research studies (pharmaceuticals, genetically altered materials)?

Do they pay their fair share of taxes? Or have they sought tax-havens by establishing their corporate headquarters off-shore? Have they shown a commitment to employees and communities by maintaining production here or have they shipped jobs overseas to lower their overhead and increase corporate profits?

Fair Share.

Do the salary structures reflect a commitment to equity, providing all employees with a decent living wage, or are they skewed to disproportionately reward CEOs and stockholders?

You have the power to make a difference.

It’s possible to let your investments reflect your values. If you discover that your money is being used to finance harmful products and practices, or add to growing social inequality, you can change how and where you invest your money. It’s the easiest way to approach social change in a virulently capitalist society.

Note:

Please be patient with me. I’ve been unable to visit many of your blogs recently, and I still have so many comments to answer today. It’s harvest time, too, and time to do all of the outside jobs that need to be completed before winter arrives. A great time to enroll in Writing 101? Hmm…

I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by daily writing assignments. This isn’t the best post I’ve written, but I still think it has merit as a foundation for dialogue. I look forward to comments from those who have far more knowledge about economic matters and permaculture…

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About Carol A. Hand

What matters are not the titles I’ve held or university degrees I earned or the size of a house or bank account. It’s really what I’ve learned from ordinary people like me whom I’ve met along the way. They taught me to live with gratitude and give thanks for each new day.
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13 Responses to Dear Wall Street Investors – Writing 101

  1. Debra says:

    Writing 101 sets a grueling pace for anyone trying to write with content as a goal. It always sounds good on paper to say consumers and investors have purchasing power but so far I haven’t exactly seen a lot of evidence to believe that is true.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Writing 101 is grueling. It would be much easier if it weren’t harvest time.

      True, I didn’t have time to develop these ideas the way I would have liked. Still, I think it’s worth considering. In the days when I had investments in wall street through TIAA-CREF, I made sure my contributions were at least invested in companies labeled as “socially responsible.” These days, the little savings I have are in a local credit union – not earning much in interest, but available for others in the community who need loans.

      Like

  2. Good post on an important topic.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rajagopal says:

    By now you must be relaxed with your daily schedules, carol; do not pack too many things into your agenda. Even with your accumulated engagements, this post is not one of those light pieces as it carries the weight of your deliberations. Extension of the concerns of permaculture into investment management is a great idea as some of the so called big corporates are the biggest culprits in the matter of honouring commitments towards social and environmental weal even though it is part of their mission statements. I agree with you on the desirability of equity holders playing their due role by ensuring that investments are locked with only those companies playing by the rule book…best wishes… Raj.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. hsampson says:

    Thanks Carol! I´ll share this with some friends! Wise words as usual! Loved it Thank you very much indeed!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. sojourner says:

    If I share something, DO NOT feel as though you need to respond!

    All of us who blog understand how answering comments, even though we desire to answer them, can almost be overwhelming at points!

    We understand! Do not reply to this;-)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. sojourner says:

    Reblogged this on An Outsider's Sojourn II and commented:
    Consider the following, if that is, you care more for your family, the planet and other people than making money by gambling on the evil that is the stock market!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I know a number of stockholders have taken these principles to heart. This is the primary reason behind recent shareholder activism, with ordinary shareholders introducing proxy measures requiring corporations to behave in a more earth-friendly way. Here’s a Huffington Post article about an Exxon shareholder who has introduced anti-fracking and similar resolutions at Exxon’s annual meetings: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marcia-g-yerman/activist-mother-exxonmobil_b_3998861.html

    Liked by 1 person

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