LostLibertyCafe.com | A lot of people these days are interested in socially conscious investing. I think it’s wonderful that investors are starting to look for investment opportunities that don’t support ills such as worker exploitation or environmental degradation. But there is one area of socially conscious investing that I haven’t heard much discussion about: government violence.
When you invest in government bonds, you are investing in present and future violence. In the present, you are loaning the government money that it will use to engage in a number of violent activities (like waging war, operating prisons, and financing international terrorism). Over the course of the loan, both principal and interest will be paid for by coercive taxation.
To the extent that you (or your mutual funds) buy government bonds, you are driving down the rate of interest at which the government can borrow to finance its evil deeds, making violence that much more profitable.
It is not enough that we avoid investing in companies that engage in unethical behavior. We must also be aware that in our attempt to “balance” our portfolios and find “safety” in turbulent markets by investing in government, we are investing in—and benefitting from—violence.
By Nash Yielding