You’ll Talk, But You Won’t Act

A Reuters article on bottled water touches on issues of corporate control, water sources, and truth in advertising.  At the very end is a very interesting quote from a portfolio manager (emphasis mine):

Dave Kolpak, a portfolio manager at Victory Capital Management, said the environmental objections will have little impact on the bottom line for either Pepsi or Coke, though he admitted it could slow the market’s growth rate.

“Pepsi and Coke do not make a lot of profit” on bottled water, said Kolpak, adding that people may talk about the issue, but will likely continue buying some bottled water. Victory Capital owns about 3 million shares of PepsiCo among its $62 billion under management.

There is a confidence there that comes from knowing without a doubt exactly how we react to the concerns of the day.  The environmental impact of bottled water could be huge, and investors and executives can reasonably assume most of us will do nothing about it.  Corporate monopolization of a natural resource like water is a huge concern, but it is the cocky assumption of interested inaction that bothers me.

What about you?  Do you act?

Is individual action even effective, or must it be collective action?

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2 Responses

  1. Both individual and collective actions are really important, but collective action is almost always more effective, I believe.

  2. I agree. I find that individual action can spur or encourage collective action. It is certainly something we look for, even when it doesn’t always make sense.

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