The Motley Fool Discussion Boards

Previous Page

Fool Community Help Desk / The Fool 50 Index


Subject:  Re: New replacements Date:  1/4/2002  11:45 AM
Author:  TMFOtter Number:  1288 of 1360

I urge you to reconsider allowing Philip Morris into your index, and to not consider any company in the future that creates products known to take lives.

Your post does not anger us at all, on the contrary we appreciate these views. We had deep and heated discussions at the Trustee meetings about this very thing in regard to Philip Morris. In the end, the positives of the company outweigh the negatives. That's how it is with EVERY company.

I don't disagree with the tenor of your post. There is much about the marketing of tobacco that is objectionable. But tobacco is a legal product, and I dare say that very few people tried smoking against his or her will. It is legal, it is regulated, and customers have recourse for product liabilities through the courts.

And besides, we have lots of companies that have products or services that are abusable or kill people. Let's look at the list: McDonalds (fat, sugar), Pepsi (sugar, fat), Coke (sugar), DaimlerChrysler (car accidents), Procter & Gamble (fat), Berkshire Hathaway (owns Dairy Queen, See's candies), Sony (how fat kids get playing those video games all day long!!), AOL TimeWarner (ditto the internet and videos), Yahoo (Ditto, ditto), Pfizer (used to own an asbestos mine), Dell (computer shut-ins), Hughes (pornography on satellite TV) AT&T (cable systems, phone sex), ExxonMobil (environment), WalMart & Costco (sell fatty stuff, sugary stuff, smokes, entertainment systems, etc.), Nokia (phone radiation MAY cause cancer), American Express (credit card abuse), Citigroup (ditto), HSBC (ditto), First Data (ditto), Schlumberger (environment), News Corp (smut television and media. Plus they own the Dodgers, who are just plain toxic), Cable & Wireless (phone sex), Southwest Airlines (airplane fatalities).

Lots of companies put out products that some people enjoy and others abuse. They also put out products that can cause deaths, but that are legal. If we start drawing these lines, we get into an awfully slippery slope. Philip Morris is an obvious choice for an index with the stated goals that the FOOL 50 has from a business perspective. I perfectly respect the decision by people to choose not to invest in it, however, and think that no one should even consider a company to own that does not reflect their values.

Thanks so much for your letter- assuredly this will be a debate that will not disappear.

Bill Mann
Chief Trustee
Copyright 1996-2019 trademark and the "Fool" logo is a trademark of The Motley Fool, Inc. Contact Us