Fiduciary Shmiduciary

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We all know that the Bush administration continues to waste millions in taxpayer dollars pimping a Social Security phase-out scheme that no one even wants. Worse, his Bamboozlepalooza tour is anti-efficient: the more people hear, the less they like. So what’s a poor president to do? Easy. Whine about all the money your opponents are spending:

The Bush administration has warned the nation’s biggest labor federation that union-run pension funds may be breaking the law in opposing President Bush’s Social Security proposals.

In a letter on Tuesday to the A.F.L.-C.I.O., the Department of Labor said it was “very concerned” that pension plans might be spending workers’ money to “advocate a particular result in the current Social Security debate.”

Blah, blah. This is all very silly. But there’s a more important point here that Nathan Newman touches on. Why shouldn’t pension money be used for this sort of thing? After all, the fate of labor density here in America rests, to some extent, on whether or not Bush’s anti-worker agenda can be stopped in its tracks. Under most current rules, pension managers are supposed to adhere to certain fiduciary standards in which they’re only supposed to maximize returns on their investments. Conservatives cry foul whenever they hear about some pension manager doing “activist” investing of some sort or other. (See William Greider’s article here for more on this growing practice, and the rationale behind it.) And yet taking action to oppose the Bush administration really is yet another way to maximize those returns—perhaps the best way.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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