Thursday, October 27, 2005

Reflections on Iraq and Other Things

U.S. Military deaths in Iraq reached 2,000 yesterday.

In an unrelated note, back in 1999 I started a college fund for my oldest daughter. Mostly, I invested some money in S&P 500 Index funds, but I picked some individual stocks for a small portion of the fund. One of those stocks was JDS Uniphase, a Nasdaq company specializing in Internet infrastructure components.

When the bubble burst, the stock tanked. My investment guy says that I should sell it, because in the face of mounting losses, I am just throwing good money after bad. I told him that if I sell my stock now and admit defeat, all the college money that I invested in JDS before will have been invested in vain.


Blogger ryan bradley said...

How long ago was this JDS conversation you had?

I hear the internet is on the upswing again, and it seems likely from everything going on in the industry. so that investment might pay off.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

While it's true that I hold a small amount of JDS stock, the story was intended as a parable about the war. On a second reading, I'm not sure I telegraphed that well enough.

7:04 AM  
Blogger the Rising Jurist said...

In the event that you sell your stock, it is unlikely that the remaining share holders will assassinate the corporate directors or destroy the corporate headquarters.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

That's true. I'm not saying anything about whether we should or should not leave Iraq. In fact, I tend to think we shouldn't, a la the pottery barn rule.

That doesn't mean that the "they will have died in vain" argument isn't stupid, though. We don't honor our dead soldiers by sending their brethren to join them.

12:09 PM  
Blogger the Rising Jurist said...

I don't know that I'd go so far as to say it's stupid. If we were to leave now, leaving Iraq in shambles, then when the inevitable anarchy occured, the death of 2000 U.S. soldiers would have been in vain.

Of course, I agree with what I think is your point, specifically that that reason alone cannot justify our continued presence. I personally ascribe to the "you break it, you buy it" rule, too. For us to leave now would be just plain cold-blooded.

9:40 PM  

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