Companies are already political, and can be just, too

In response to your Nov. 4 article (Work&Money) "Small investors for social justice": I found this piece well balanced and interesting, but was troubled by several quotes used. Hans Stoll says, "I just don't think it is wise to use corporations to enforce a social or political agenda," and Sheldon Jacobs is paraphrased as saying, "Investors should draw lines between their political and financial agendas."

Given that corporations mobilize large amounts of money for political fundraising and advertising, employ teams of lobbyists and lawyers, and operate with considerable weight in the political arena, it seems only reasonable to view investing in a corporation or mutual fund as a form of political activity.

These companies are not merely passive moneymaking entities; they aggressively pursue very specific political agendas. The unwillingness of financial consultants to recognize the inherent political and moral implications of, say, investing in weapons manufacturing or the gambling industry, serves to highlight the deep problems recently exposed by corporate scandals. The belief in a disconnect between financial dealings and politics, and of profit as the only good, led to the creation of a class of corporate executives seriously lacking in moral and ethical sight.
Jesse Minor
Islesford, Maine

Regarding "Small investors for social justice": There has been a recent emphasis on how the lack of real self-esteem affected the theft of much of the corporate money that has been lost. Many involved saw themselves in a negative way, and felt that a great deal of money would make them somebody. This terrible need to feel good about oneself has been a major motivation in perhaps most of what has been going on in the US.
Edward C. Sharp Jr.
Lake Junaluska, N.C.

They want war, but will they go?

In response to your Nov. 6 article "Antiwar views split along generation gap": Was it honest oversight, or does the writer really believe that an active draft would not alter the opinion of 18- to 29-year-olds in the US regarding the possibility of going to war with Iraq?

I understand the reduced warmongering fervor among older Americans, especially those who saw firsthand the horrors of war. And I can understand a 3-to-1 margin of support for going to war among 18- to 29-year-olds. But let's not forget the main reason they are ready to go to war: They don't have to. How many of these patriots will?
John Folker
Idaho Falls, Idaho

Women and peacemaking

Regarding the Nov. 7 Opinion piece "Inclusive security: Recognize all stakeholders in stability": I appreciate this call for the involvement of women in peacemaking, particularly in the Middle East.

It's disheartening to hear only the voices of men in the discussion of war, not least because women and children are oft made the justification of such an attack.
Cynthia McLean
Vancouver, British Columbia

A leash is not always a safety line

In response to the Nov. 8 essay "My active son becomes a moon": I, too, brought a leash to use with my younger child when traveling through an airport, but hesitated because it looked inhumane. When my older daughter broke lose and ran across a crowded room, I scooped up the toddler and corralled her big sister. After that experience, I gratefully attached the leash to the younger child who got bored, ran around my legs, and unwittingly hogtied me. It was all I could do not to tip over like a felled tree. So even though I congratulate the author's son for cooperating, a leash is not a safety line for all children. For some, it's just one more form of fun.
Evelyn Horn
Bloomington, Ind.

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