nader's stock portfolio
October 28, 2000 6:38 AM   Subscribe

nader's stock portfolio "In the financial disclosure form Nader filed on June 14, the Green Party presidential candidate revealed that he owns between $100,000 and $250,000 worth of shares in the Fidelity Magellan Fund. The fund controls 4,321,400 shares of Occidental Petroleum stock." Read on for more...
posted by saralovering (27 comments total)
Combine it with this piece, which suggests that Salon's editorial line is definitely directed towards the swing states where Nader plays a balancing role:

The choice of who will write the agenda, appoint the judges, negotiate (or tear up) the treaties, starting Jan. 20, 2001, is not between Al Gore and Jesus Christ, or, in fact, between Al Gore or Ralph Nader. In America, we're not going to get a president better than Gore. We may well get a lot worse...

It also makes interesting points about the racial and social profile of the Green Party, which suggests that it's hardly the natural inheritor of the progressive cause.
posted by holgate at 7:38 AM on October 28, 2000

This is ridiculous. Magellan is a mutual fund, for Gods' sake. An individual investor has no say whatsoever in the allocation of funds.
posted by shylock at 9:41 AM on October 28, 2000

Yes, but the share holders do know the fund's holdings. Why should Nader get a pass that even Bush and Gore don't get?
posted by owillis at 9:42 AM on October 28, 2000

This really a cruel blow.

I'll wait for Nader's response, but if Nader doesn't dump his holdings in that Fidelity fund, I may just have to vote Sparky.
posted by snakey at 9:49 AM on October 28, 2000

sorry, this IS really a cruel blow. . .
posted by snakey at 9:49 AM on October 28, 2000

Magellan is a mutual fund, for Gods' sake. An individual investor has no say whatsoever in the allocation of funds.

Yeah, but there are plenty of other funds that use ethical investment as their principal selling point.
posted by holgate at 11:20 AM on October 28, 2000

And here are a couple of other resources.
posted by holgate at 11:24 AM on October 28, 2000

Ouch. All I have to say is that I'm stinging right now. Ralphie boy, don't let me down!
posted by ed at 11:54 AM on October 28, 2000

sorry, this IS really a cruel blow. . .

Welcome to Presidential Politics 101.

As my Dad once told me, if you run for President, you WILL get your closet cleaned, but good.

I agree with the position that Nadir should not get a free ride on this one. Trash Bush and Gore all you want, but be mindful of your own glass houses.
posted by ethmar at 12:34 PM on October 28, 2000

I must admit that it's refreshing to see all the Nader bashing on MetaFilter these days. The preponderance of 'I love Ralph' posts was getting really old.
posted by snakey at 12:39 PM on October 28, 2000

I suggest you people check your own 401k funds and investment portfolios before you start pointing fingers.
Ralph does need to respond to this, but I don't see it as a big enough issue to make me change my vote.

posted by black8 at 1:14 PM on October 28, 2000

I, for one, could care less about politicians’ investment portfolios.

I take that back, I want know exactly what they have. Maybe I can make some money.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 1:19 PM on October 28, 2000

...he owns between $100,000 and $250,000 worth of shares in the Fidelity Magellan Fund...

what's with the sloppy figure? not sure about that extra $150k ?
posted by pnevares at 1:26 PM on October 28, 2000

Right on, Skallas!!
BTW-As a black man, I don't really understand why the Dems feel they deserve my vote. Any sensible person votes their interest or conscience or both. This "shut up and trust us" attitude is only slightly less annoying than the crass pseudo multi-culti extravaganza put on by the GOP this summer.
If Nader supporters don't fit the idea of what progressives should look like-fine. The AGENDA is what I'm down with.
posted by black8 at 2:32 PM on October 28, 2000

I think that the percentage of black voters voting for Nader is around 3%, which is pretty close to the overall vote.

Thanks for the links holgate, it's pretty refreshing to see that there are mutual funds that I would feel comfortable investing in if I understood or was interested in that type of stuff :).
posted by kidsplateusa at 3:10 PM on October 28, 2000

Skallas wrote:
I'm half expecting Gore to get on TV and read the parable of the Prodical Son right before the 7th.

Wierd things happen right before an election (when there's no time left to check out the facts). I'm half expecting Gore to get on TV and say Nader murdered somebody.
posted by leo at 4:54 PM on October 28, 2000

Greens, pull yourselves together!

This is really trivial and irrelevant.

First of all, how many of us have money in a savings account at Wells Fargo, Citibank, Chase etc? If so, where do you think that money is? It's not in some vault, I'll tell you that. It's flowing around the world in the form of loans to corrupt dictators who exploit the poor; or in the form of investments in energy projects that ravage the environment; and so on. The point is that we're all living in a capitalist society so you can't escape capitalism without escaping society altogether. Of course, the global dominance of capital over society is precisely the problem, but you can't solve the problem by pretending it's not there. Indeed, before you can solve it, you have to bring attention to it; and you bring attention to it through electoral action, media action, consumer action and (above all) direct action.

Secondly, there's no evidence that merely holding stock in evil companies (and they're all evil) makes any difference. For example, the money to be made by investing in the energy market depends on supply and demand for energy, rather than the number of willing investors. If there are profits to be had, there will always be at least a few people greedy enough to take them. That's just the way the system works -- if we want to overthrow the system, we need to coordinate our actions toward its most vulnerable parts (viz., those mentioned above)

Thirdly, it's just absurd to equate Gore's favors for Occidental with mere ownership of stock. Read that Nation article.

Finally, it's crucial to remember that this campaign is not about Ralph Nader. It's about breaking the grip that the corporate-owned Republicrats have on the future of this country.

Salon has always been a house organ for the Democratic Party, so the great number of personal attacks on Nader is a welcome sign that we are winning. It would be tragic if, owing to the Dem's scare tactics, the Greens fail to cross the 5% line.

Don't let that happen: even if you are in a swing state, vote Nader!
posted by johnb at 8:03 PM on October 28, 2000

Yeah, it'd be a shame if they didn't reach that magic 5%, so they can dig their hands into the government's never ending cookie jar. I hope they get zero percent.

Of course, if that happened, they'd probably just sue someone.
posted by Jart at 8:28 PM on October 28, 2000

I'm glad Nader had the opportunity to make a lot of money and give it away to the causes he supports. I'd like the same option - but I'm reasonably certain that once I climbed into that income bracket, I'd be the evil superrich he wants to tax at 50, 60, 70 percent.

In fact, I think everyone should get a tax cut, so they can pump up their mutual funds, invest in Cisco, and make a pile for the charity of their choice. Vote Bush - so everyone can be as rich as Nader!

Mwah hah hah.
posted by lileks at 8:31 PM on October 28, 2000

As opposed, Jart, to sucking off big business for campaign dollars, draining the vigor out of citizens with a homogenized political process, pepper spraying dissenters at labor rallies, locking out citizens from their own democracy and ownership of public goods.

Yes, dear god, $12 million compared to the $200 million tax break General Motors got from a single paragraph in a budget bill passed a few years ago is a fucking outrage. $12 million compared to Trump’s latest tower, which got a windfall of $500 million from City Hall while schools in Harlem use books printed in the 80s and I watch the homeless pile up in the tightest housing market in the nation, is an incomparable injustice. How can we stand for this? We sit in gas ravenous SUVs in longer commutes to pay higher tolls while public transportation languishes, unused in its tracks. Who am I going to sue when my taxes and my fellow citizens’ taxes make up 85% of the tax base and corporations pay 15%? Who do I sue then? What jury in the country has the power to give me back the democracy and rights wrested by the WTO? The US has lost five cases at the WTO’s courts in Geneva in a row. Our nation’s soveriegnty was usurped by Clinton for corporations. Who do I sue to get it back? Who, which person, is liable for my country watching its citizens get apathetic, its exectations drivin down until less than half care or vote? Which station, which newspaper is responsible for underreporting medical malpractice (70,000 last year) and work-related deaths (40,000 last year)? Who do I sue?

I can’t. I don’t. I vote to get Ralph’s grubby paws on the $12 million dollars.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 10:38 PM on October 28, 2000

Jart -- If you want lower taxes, your highest-priority task should be public financing of elections. After all, where is your tax money really going? Hundreds of billions of dollars are going to pay for military equipment that even the Pentagon admits is unnecessary; for military aid to Israel and Columbia; for subsidizing pharmaceutical research; for fighting the "drug war"; for building prisons to hold nonviolent drug offenders; and so on. The vast majority of the budget is wasted in this way -- it's called corporate welfare.

I'm always amazed how few people (especially on the right, but not only there) understand how politics in this country actually works. I mean, when the business elite and their political cronies get together in private international conferences, what do you think they talk about? Britney Spears? No, they talk about how best to implement their "common agenda". Simply put, the handful of people who own the country are running it, and they accomplish this partly by buying off politicians.

It's really simple. If you want smaller government and a smaller federal budget, you should be in favor of public financing of elections, because the only beneficiaries under the present system are corporate welfare kings. Seriously, have a good look at the budget. Without public financing, you're never ever ever going to get smaller government, because the arms manufacturers (for example) will never believe they have "enough" money.

What about so called "social spending" (social security etc)? The thing to keep in mind about such programs is that the only reason they exist is to prevent political unrest. In effect, this is the only real difference between Democrats and Republicans. When politicians meet privately with business elites (not a rare circumstance), the Democrats tend to be a bit more nervous about popular revolt. That is, on the Democrat side, there tends to be a worry -- openly articulated -- that if you let things get too bad for the majority of people, they will start to figure out what's going on and do something about it. Hence their strategy of appeasement. The Republicans, on the other hand, tend to be a bit more relaxed, preferring to handle dissent by means of straightforward repression (arresting activists, covert operations, etc). If there can be said to be a difference between Democrats and Republicans, that would be it.

The Greens reject this whole plutocratic arrangement. They want to remove power from the permanent corporate government in Washington DC, and give it back to the people. It's true that the Greens also take leftist positions (which I happen to agree with), but don't let that distract you from the core problem -- the tremendous political power held by literally a few hundred of the world's largest shareholders. Democracy -- where everyone has equal political power -- would be a better arrangement, and could be achieved cheaply via a few acts of Congress.

Observe that this political question of democracy vs plutocracy has nothing to do with the economic question of capitalism vs socialism. Once we get democracy, we Greens are quite happy to thrash out a compromise with the Libertarians or the Buchananites etc. But the political situation we have now is so corrupt, so far from a democracy, that policy ideas departing from the elite consensus -- however popular, and in whatever direction -- have little chance of adoption.

Conclusion: If you don't like Nader, then vote for another third party candidate. Personally, I wouldn't vote for Bush/Gore under any circumstances, for fear of contributing to the illusion of legitimacy.
posted by johnb at 11:47 PM on October 28, 2000

Thrash out a compromise with the Libertarians, eh? The GPUSA platform calls for the state to confiscate "all income over ten times the minimum wage." Have fun compromising with Libertarians on this one.

The GPUSA platform calls for a ruinous tax on estates - and Nader concurs. Our family has a small business; I know how these taxes affect us, and when Nader says the estate-tax relief only affects the rich, he's either lying, or he's deluded, or we're one of those unfortunate exceptions he'd sacrifice to make a larger, better point - namely, people with 12 million bucks in property are thieves!

Except for him!

posted by lileks at 1:25 AM on October 29, 2000

Hardly lileks. Nader isn’t a member of the Green party and has a seperate platform than the one you cite. He does not “concur” with the GPUSA platform.

Sorry to deflate you.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 1:43 AM on October 29, 2000

In fact, I think everyone should get a tax cut, so they can pump up their mutual funds, invest in Cisco, and make a pile for the charity of their choice. Vote Bush - so everyone can be as rich as Nader!

There used to be a popular rhyme in Washington and it went like this:
Don't tax you,
Don't tax me,
Tax the fella
Behind the tree.
posted by leo at 1:45 AM on October 29, 2000

It also makes interesting points about the racial and social profile of the Green Party

Umm...didn't the Democrats start out as the slave owner's party?
posted by lagado at 1:33 AM on October 29, 2000

lileks -- Obviously, if the Libertarian Party won't compromise, they won't get anything done. (Sorry but that's politics, bub.) The rest of what you say has no basis in fact. For example, you assert "The GPUSA platform calls for a ruinous tax on estates - and Nader concurs." As far as I can tell, this is just false. And the other statements in your post are also false, I'm afraid.
posted by johnb at 3:12 AM on October 29, 2000

The Libertarian party won’t compromise, because it’s a core issue. You can’t support high progressive taxes and BE a Libertarian.

The GPUSA platform calls for a ruinous tax on estates - and Nader concurs." As far as I can tell, this is just false.

The GPUSA platform is about ten yards long, so I’ll quote instead of link: They want a steeply progressive tax on inheritances over 1 million. So if someone inherits a business that’s worth a lot on paper but has no money in the bank, they’re going to have to break up assets to pay the government.

Here’s Nader’s site’s quotes on death-tax relief proposals: He calls it an “anti Dynasty tax,” intended to “break up the swollen fortunes of the rich.” By his standards, a business with assets that exceed 675K are “superrich.” Surely he’s not stupid enough to think that.

Of course he knows that. But Nader wants to deconcentrate economic power, and if a few small businesses get chewed up in the process, too bad.

And yes, I know the GPUSA isn’t the party Nader’s running under, but they endorse him, and he agrees with them on a wide variety of issues.

And the other statements in your post are also false, I'm afraid.

Which ones? The fact that estate taxes will hammer our family business? The fact that Nader supports a tax structure more progressive than the one we have today, which sucks up 40% on the Federal level? The fact that he not only wants to raise taxes, but impose new ones like a tax on stock market “speculation,” or a tax on “sprawl” ?

Unless I have this all wrong, and Nader’s a flat-tax advocate. I could be wrong.

posted by lileks at 8:43 AM on October 30, 2000

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