Looking a Gift-horse in the Mouth

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).

Looking a Gift-horse in the Mouth

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:20 am

Comic Relief money invested in arms and tobacco shares

Millions of pounds donated to Comic Relief have been invested in shares in tobacco, alcohol and arms firms, BBC Panorama has learned.


Having donated to help some good cause, should you care how they invest the money? Note carefully, that does not mean how they use the money, but what they do with the funds while they are waiting to be allocated to the Charity's aims.

To my way of thinking this is not the donor's concern at all. Of course, from a Buddhist point of view trading in Arms or Alcohol is wrong livelihood, but the charity fund managers are not Buddhists. Their duty is just to maximise the income from the Charity's capital. The charity is not trading in Arms or Selling cigarettes to children — quite the contrary, it is working to prevent the damage caused by these social evils.

Comic Relief wrote:"We put the money into large managed funds, as many other leading charities and pension funds do," they said.

"On balance, we believe this is the approach that will deliver the greatest benefits to the most vulnerable people."
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Re: Looking a Gift-horse in the Mouth

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:42 am

As you say, bhante, it is not strictly against the aims of the charity but in my view the charity should consider a triple bottom line approach just as a business would - in fact, even more carefully than a business would.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20120319164505AA7aFUD
Yahoo wrote:there is a movement where stocks are selected based on 3 basic criteria...sometimes called Triple Bottom line, 3P's or Three Pillars

1. Profit - the company has to make one
2. Planet - the company and its product/service should not harm the environment
3. People - the company should be socially responsible to people. Their product/service should be ethical, not take advantage of its workers (pay fair wage, no sweatshop production) and not take advantage of indigenous peoples (eg. displacing them through clear cut logging in Brazil or damming a river and flooding out villages)

A lot of these criteria are quite subjective and difficult to "add up" as to to how much negative an infraction might be.

here are some links to read

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_bottom_line
http://www.ibrc.indiana.edu/ibr/2011/sp ... icle2.html
http://getsustainable.net/triple-bottom-line.html


:namaste:
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Re: Looking a Gift-horse in the Mouth

Postby Schaublin » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:30 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Comic Relief money invested in arms and tobacco shares

Millions of pounds donated to Comic Relief have been invested in shares in tobacco, alcohol and arms firms, BBC Panorama has learned.


Having donated to help some good cause, should you care how they invest the money? Note carefully, that does not mean how they use the money, but what they do with the funds while they are waiting to be allocated to the Charity's aims.

To my way of thinking this is not the donor's concern at all. Of course, from a Buddhist point of view trading in Arms or Alcohol is wrong livelihood, but the charity fund managers are not Buddhists. Their duty is just to maximise the income from the Charity's capital. The charity is not trading in Arms or Selling cigarettes to children — quite the contrary, it is working to prevent the damage caused by these social evils.

Comic Relief wrote:"We put the money into large managed funds, as many other leading charities and pension funds do," they said.

"On balance, we believe this is the approach that will deliver the greatest benefits to the most vulnerable people."



Using stored wealth to alleviate suffering involves decisions. Allowing others to use one's stored wealth relieves one of the burden of decision and ensures the continuation of professional "do gooders". Misplaced altruism and the cynical "amygdala hijacking" techniques used to extort wealth have nothing to do with kindness.

Furthermore, any concerns about how money is invested pales into insignificance when it is understood that simply by using debt based fiat currencies, one is supporting (albeit unknowingly for most people), the threat of violence that backs them.
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Re: Looking a Gift-horse in the Mouth

Postby Mkoll » Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:17 am

Schaublin wrote:Furthermore, any concerns about how money is invested pales into insignificance when it is understood that simply by using debt based fiat currencies, one is supporting (albeit unknowingly for most people), the threat of violence that backs them.

:goodpost:

I saw the documentary "The Money Masters" and, wow.
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Re: Looking a Gift-horse in the Mouth

Postby Schaublin » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:17 pm

Mkoll wrote:
Schaublin wrote:Furthermore, any concerns about how money is invested pales into insignificance when it is understood that simply by using debt based fiat currencies, one is supporting (albeit unknowingly for most people), the threat of violence that backs them.

:goodpost:

I saw the documentary "The Money Masters" and, wow.


Yes, it behooves anyone who wishes to understand the architecture of control and exploitation to research:

Who issues "money"?

Who benefits from the seigniorage?

How is it that usury - the most blatant form of predation of one human being upon another, is seen in most parts of the world as quite normal?
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