Re: Ethical Investment Gone Wild

From: Mark Walker (
Date: Tue Jul 22 2003 - 08:02:59 MDT

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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Emlyn O'regan" <>
    > > The problem is that it is too easy to "bias" the rating -- I
    > > can be "good"
    > > for a decade with the intent of getting a high "angelic"
    > > rating and then coast
    > > on it.
    > >
    > A decade of "goodness" is probably a significant gain in many people's
    > maybe worth carrying the coaster afterwards. It's kind of like saying I
    > work hard for a decade and get rich, then retire.

    Indeed, if one could build up enough "good deed" capital in a decade then
    why not allow them to coast. The good deeds are averaged over a lifetime so
    one would have to amass quite a fortune of good deed capital but in
    principle there is no reason why it shouldn't be done. As you say, retire

    > > For the first few years (when "natural" behaviors) were in effect yes.
    > > But as soon as people figured out how to milk the system the "ratings"
    > > would be of questionable value.
    > >
    > This is where you need a free market effect to step in; if one system of
    > ratings sucks, then others should crop up; the good, bad and ugly. May the
    > best system win, until it loses to another one. Personally, I think no-one
    > could effectively judge the long term effects of each candidate system, so
    > the choice would come down to all the usual crap that we choose from;
    > credibility of the system purveyors, market penetration, glossiness of the
    > pamphlets.

    Yes, some market choice should help weed-out the worst systems. I think the
    perceived fairness of the system and its ability to detect cheats would be
    big factors in the system's survival in such a market.


    Mark Walker, PhD
    Research Associate, Philosophy, Trinity College
    University of Toronto
    Room 214 Gerald Larkin Building
    15 Devonshire Place
    M5S 1H8

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