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Quote of the Day - As long as people will accept crap, it will be financially profitable to dispense it. - Dick Cavett
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Can Profit and Social Responsibility Drink Together?

Is Starbucks evil? There are, on the other hand, Starbucks devotees who would argue against that question to the end of the earth.

Some need Starbucks to survive. They can't do without their morning constitution. It's almost like a feeding tube, if you'll excuse the allegory. Some 20 state court judges and three federal courts couldn't keep people out of the joint.

What if what was yanked instead was money? Would we be as tolerant?

Starbucks has teamed up with Jim Beam and is now offering coffee with a kick: coffee liqueur. Caffeine and liquor in the same drink - it's nothing but confusing. Can't tell whether it's an upper or a downer.

Believing the new drink was not "socially responsible," Pax World Funds dropped some $23.5 million of its holdings in the coffee drink maker. They pulled the plug. That, however, after first requesting Starbucks to drop the alcoholic concoction. What? Did they think the "bucks" part of the name had nothing to do with profit?

Liquor makes money; it has always made money and it will continue to make money. If there's one constant in the world ... well, add a few more like tobacco, gambling ... and you get the idea.

Right. I forgot one: chocolate.

It would appear that Pax World recognizes that in being socially responsible, it will give up profit. That's OK, as long as you know what you're getting into ahead of time. My Mom's pension from the United Church of Christ is much less than her pension from the Episcopalian church. Guess which one invests in a "socially responsible" manner and which one invests in liquor companies?

The question I have is this: will Pax World's investors back up the decision to back out of Starbucks, and likewise boycott their morning fix? Or will the profiteers back out of Pax World and instead invest in another mutual fund with profit as a pure motive?

Guess it depends on whether you have your living will made out and are staring down retirement, or whether you've got a different bottom line in mind.

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Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Thursday, March 24, 2005 at 22:51 Comments Closed (0) |
 
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