Warning: disturbing content
When possible, as a consumer/investor, I would like to make informed purchases and investments so as to not contribute to the harm and therefore be connected to the problem. Today, I read that Brunei legislated stoning as punishment for the so-called crimes that are people's sexual orientation and adultery. I don't understand how those are punishable or even considered crimes. I don't know how our governments even get away with having any affairs with the governments that commit such crimes against humanity. Now, I can't change the government but I can vote with my dollars, and unlike voting every four years, with my dollars I get the chance to vote everyday. So if I could know the products that are from such countries or companies that engage in such activities then I can steer clear of them and make better informed purchases/investments.
The Canadian government, despite being so-called liberal, has sold billions of dollars of weapons to the Saudi regime. I wish the Canadian government has ethical guidelines in line with the UN declaration of Human Rights. For example, the Norwegian Sovereign State Fund has an ethical council to prevent against investment in companies that abuse human rights. I only wish the Canadian government thought to do the same.
I'm not perfect and my ignorance or failure to research companies is one aspect that I'd like to improve. When buying products I'd like to know where they came from. Hiram you mentioned you're focusing on Epicurean Economics this year, have you looked into marketplace information on the ethical background of companies? When making purchases, I'd like to know I'm not involved in transactions that have the negative side-effect of harming others or enriching/empowering those who would harm others. There's fair-trade, sustainably harvested goods, but what about ensuring products produced/made by those who are ethically consistent with the UN declaration of human rights? In an age of information technology, why can't we expect or demand as individuals to have guidelines/info for better informed purchasing/investment decisions.