Friday, April 29, 2011

Bryan of Why Now? gets to the very essence of our capitalistic system.

“People don’t seem to understand that corporations are required by law to prioritize profits over everything, and can be sued by their shareholders if they don’t. Corporations are required to be evil, which is why they need to be heavily regulated for their government bestowed gift of limited liability and existence. Corporations are creations of government, not the market.”

Exactly. Greed may be 'good', but human nature being what it is, regulations are better.


mahakal said...

I don't agree with you guys, there is no need to give limited liability to any organization that seeks its own profits above the public interest.

Steve Bates said...

mahakal, I don't think Bryan and ellroon are advocating that; they're simply describing the way things are.

Corporations have always been structured in a way that "seeks its own profits above the public interest," and that is effectively immutable. (Feel free to try to change it; a lot of us will be very grateful if you succeed.)

Our Founders wanted to keep corp's on a short leash, having seen what British corp's inflicted on British colonies. But that policy didn't last, and given that it disfavored the very wealthy, probably couldn't have lasted.

Given that some destructive aspects of corporate behavior are built into the very mechanism of incorporation, and their right to exist is unlikely to be challenged, the best we can do is regulate the hell out of 'em.

[CAPTCHA text: "charie" ... what we all should be of corporate intentions.]

ellroon said...

Thanks, Steve. Appreciate the explanation.

Mahakal, it was really a realistically cynical observation by Bryan that I thought worth requoting. It would be nice if we didn't need to have amoral corporations existing, but since they're here, they need to be watched and regulated.

mahakal said...

We do not need amoral corporations existing. Thank you.

If the love of money is the root of all evil, ban them. They have no right to exist at all.

ellroon said...

I hear you, mahakal and understand what you are saying, but human nature being what it is, here they are. Banning efficient greed is a nice idea but impractical.

What we can do is educate our children to have higher morals and ideals and regulate the hell out of the corporations that exist. It will be a continual process and recidivism will occur whenever we think that greed and selfishness and indifference to the pain of others is gone. Like what is happening now. Who knew we could forget so eagerly and so fast the lessons of the Great Depression?

mahakal said...

What you propose does not work, Ellroon. How much regulation will a for profit corporation tolerate? How will you keep their money out of politics? Why do you think that the result of your regulations would be any different from past attempts to regulate what should not be allowed to exist? Regulatory capture is always the inevitable result.

I am not against a corporation being created to serve the public interest, with governance structures appropriate to that end. And so we can very easily continue to engage in economic endeavors that benefit the whole public and not the narrow interests of a small group of wealthy elites.

If you think you can regulate JP Morgan, you don't understand who pulls the strings.