Thursday, April 26, 2007

State Should Invest In Those Who Do Good

The Minnesota Senate should be applauded for its vote to pull the state’s investments out of companies that benefit Sudan’s government.

Of course we shouldn’t put money into businesses that turn a blind eye to genocide in the name of making a buck. It should go without saying.

That it took us four years to make the decision to disinvest from such companies is, of course, another matter. Where were we in 2004? 2005? 2006? It’s better late than never, apparently.

But why stop here?

Sure, the crisis in the Darfur region has big names from Hollywood speaking out, but it shouldn’t take George Clooney to move the Minnesota Legislature to action.

There are opportunities to do the right thing with our state’s money each year. If lack of involvement in genocide is the barometer we’re using to determine whether someone’s worthy of an investment that doesn’t say much for us.

We shouldn’t just run from businesses that play footsies with murderous regimes. We should also turn away from those who pollute the environment, pay sub-standard wages and export American jobs.

Since disinvestment from companies that work with Sudan is viewed as a strong economic punishment, why shouldn’t we also use our money to reward those companies that do good? Why not invest exclusively in companies we would be proud to work for ourselves?

Christopher Truscott can be reached at If he could come up with $500, he’d buy a share of Google.

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