Saturday, February 19, 2011

Richard Maybury: The Ugly

5) His suggestion for defense stocks is indefensible. That he decries the connection of patriotism being hooked to war, yet makes this investment recommendation, is disconcerting. Others have made this point quite well.

He advocates investing in defense stocks. Given the use of the weapons produced by these companies – for offense, not defense – this is a most immoral position. He explains his views further here:

Quotes to follow are from the above-linked article:

"Some of you have objected to me recommending stocks in these "merchants of death." You say that, given the US government's aggressive behavior abroad, investing in weapons companies is unethical... The weapons industry sells its products all over the world. In my home I have weapons, and these are used only for self-defense and target shooting. The police and sheriff in your home town have self-defense weapons, and I am sure most readers of this newsletter do, too."

We are not talking about handguns and rifles. The issue is much bigger, and of course Maybury knows this. The day F-16s, cruise missiles, M-1 tanks, and nuclear powered submarines and aircraft carriers are available for purchase by the common man I might have a different opinion.

"Innocent people deserve the best protection they can get."

Maybury seems to agree with me...but I am guessing not.

"The ethics, or lack of them, are not in the weapons, they are in the minds of the people who pull the triggers. Weapons are neutral."

If this was so, everyone would be allowed to purchase these weapons. These weapons are used by people whose minds we know. The minds are aggressive and offensive. They are not defensive. The minds are expansionist, as opposed to non-interventionist. These weapons are bought and paid for with stolen money solely for the purpose of intruding in places around the world, outside of any reasonable definition of "national defense."

We require criminal background checks for the purpose of buying a simple handgun. Yet, Maybury advocates the morality of placing a nuclear aircraft carrier group - a weapon system more capable than the military capability of all but a small handful nations - into the hands of those whose background we know all too well. This isn't a neighborhood watch group, or a shopkeeper in a small market.

"I wish there were totally uncorrupt investments, but I do not know of any."

In many ways, I can agree with this statement. However, is it not possible to consider this on a scale? Is the wanton death and destruction of countless innocent lives on the same level as selling beer and wine to a willing buyer, even when the buyer might be an alcoholic? There is no larger crime than ending innocent life. This fact cannot be overcome with the idea that none are pure, so everything is fair game.

"I am often asked, is it ethical to invest in General Dynamics or other companies that make war goods?

" No. But it is one of the less unethical investments we can make. The whole financial system is grossly corrupt.

"One of the most evil things I can do is put my money in a bank, mutual fund, pension or insurance. All such organizations buy US Treasury bonds. This means they loan my money to the government. The government pays them interest, which they pass along to me.

"The $6.4 trillion of US Treasury bonds have become international interest-bearing money. Nearly every organization of any type in America, and many abroad, keep their cash in these bonds.

"So, by putting my money into a bank or almost any other financial institution, I am loaning it to the government, giving politicians the means to do whatever it is they do. With no limitations."

Yes. And of ALL the things politicians do with this money, the most immoral and corrupt is associated with the death and destruction of innocent lives via the weapons system they procure. I do not agree with government spending at any level, but I would gladly trade the immorality of wars as currently practiced for welfare or other transfer payments. Both are theft, only one results in murder.

And again, we know the background check. We know the track record and intent. It isn't the Swiss Army we are discussing here. Maybury cannot be this naive.

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