I just read the editorial against CalPERS considering reversing course on the tobacco investment ban. People have very different opinions on the efficacy of social investing, and I won’t debate that here. The first part of the editorial was great, and only advocates their point of view.
What did strike me as frighteningly ill-informed was “…CalPERS money ultimately is taxpayers’ money.” That logic means all public employees’ take-home paychecks are still taxpayer moneys and can be regulated to prevent the purchase of “offensive” items.
The source of funds was originally from taxpayers as payment for work performed. Once delivered, it isn’t taxpayer money anymore. The paycheck belongs only to the worker and the retirement contribution belongs only to the workers and retirees through the fiduciary trust which holds those funds for them.
Can you imagine mandating to the Editorial Board members what groceries are allowed, since you personally don’t believe they should eat certain “bad” foods; and then basing your prohibition on the claim that you provided their Fresno Bee paychecks by buying their paper? Probably wouldn’t sit very well with the staff at The Bee would it?
Rob Theller, administrator, City of Fresno Retirement Systems