Cap­tured by the cap­i­tal­ists


There’s a brothel within 500 me­tres of my house.

It’s very dis­creet. I don’t feel too fussed about it, but I wouldn’t want my money to help it grow. If the brothel owner is­sued shares, I wouldn’t buy any.

But I bet it banks with one of our main­stream banks, per­haps one I have de­posits with.

This il­lus­trates an un­com­fort­able truth about mod­ern cap­i­tal­ism.

Un­less you lead an ex­tra­or­di­nary life off the cap­i­tal­ist grid, you are prob­a­bly help­ing fund many, if not all of the fol­low­ing: pros­ti­tu­tion, gam­bling, booze-mak­ers, arms pro­duc­tion, ex­ploita­tive lend­ing, and all the ‘‘bigs’’ like big oil, big tobacco and big sugar.

All these ac­tiv­i­ties are le­gal. Cap­i­tal­ism equates le­gal­ity with moral­ity, so banks will lend to com­pa­nies prof­it­ing from them, and most Ki­wiSaver funds will in­vest in them.

The fi­nan­cial sys­tem makes it hard (at times im­pos­si­ble) for us

Check your Ki­wiSaver’s an­nual dis­clo­sure state­ments on­line

They showwhat you are in­vested in

Start mak­ing choices

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