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  •  Lots of reasons why this won't work (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM

    First, how do you plan to pay me for the shares I own?  Or are you planning confiscation without compensation?

    Secondly, there are millions of companies just in the US.  How do you plan to have everyone elect all of their directors?  Perhaps most of us have other things to do besides voting for corporate boards?

    Thirdly, if no one can own a company on their own or with just a few other people then who is going to start new businesses ranging from the pizzeria on the corner to Google?

    •  it already works (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thanatokephaloides

      Corproations are ALREADY run by a management elected by the stockholders.  All I'm doing is expanding the number of stockholders to include . . . well . .  everybody.

      First, how do you plan to pay me for the shares I own?  Or are you planning confiscation without compensation?
      Yes, I am planning confiscation without compensation.
      Secondly, there are millions of companies just in the US.  How do you plan to have everyone elect all of their directors?  Perhaps most of us have other things to do besides voting for corporate boards?
      We already elected millions of political officials in the US, everyone from president of the United States, to dogcatcher. That does not appear to present any problems.  Or is it your opinion that "elections" are just a waste of time because people have better things to do . . . .
      Thirdly, if no one can own a company on their own or with just a few other people then who is going to start new businesses ranging from the pizzeria on the corner to Google?
      People started new things long before there were companies, or stockholders. People make things because we NEED them. The people who invented pottery, mud bricks, irrigation, concrete, indoor plumbing, wheels, domesticated crops, plows, and metal smelting, were never paid a dime. They invented those things because people NEEDED them. And they still will. Indeed, if you talk to creative people who invent things, you will find that they do it because it's an internal motivation, and most say outright that they'd do it for free if they could.

      PS--the pizzerias on the corner that you worship, are already dead--they've been replaced by the big national corporate chains who either buy them out or drive them under (take a look around and you will see that in virtually every area of business). Small businesses don't matter anymore. They are like krill--they die almost immediately (almost all small businesses fail within five years) and are only there to feed the bigger fish. I don't care about the minnows--I want the sharks.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 05:42:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I can't decide if this is a joke or really really (0+ / 0-)

        dumb.

        First, how do you plan to pay me for the shares I own?  Or are you planning confiscation without compensation?
        Yes, I am planning confiscation without compensation.
        Good luck on that.

        How do you plan to deal with the howling mobs of everyone with a 401k or IRA?

        Also, what about foreign investors?  Their governments may have something to say about this expropriation.

        Finally, has it occurred to you that if it ever looks like something like this could remotely happen everyone with money will just move their money offshore, move themselves offshore, and expatriate?

        Secondly, there are millions of companies just in the US.  How do you plan to have everyone elect all of their directors?  Perhaps most of us have other things to do besides voting for corporate boards?
        We already elected millions of political officials in the US, everyone from president of the United States, to dogcatcher. That does not appear to present any problems.
        Most of those people are local officials - they are not on everyone's ballot.

        How many people are on your ballot each election?  Then how many do you add when you are voting for the boards of just the Fortune 500, never mind businesses like every neighborhood pizzeria?  How many telephone books worth of ballots do you want to fill out?

        Thirdly, if no one can own a company on their own or with just a few other people then who is going to start new businesses ranging from the pizzeria on the corner to Google?
        People started new things long before there were companies, or stockholders. People make things because we NEED them. The people who invented pottery, mud bricks, irrigation, concrete, indoor plumbing, wheels, domesticated crops, plows, and metal smelting, were never paid a dime. They invented those things because people NEEDED them.
        So how do you expect the people making the next Google to afford the computers, salaries, etc. that they need to build their concept without investors?

        Or are we going to have a government VC fund?  And if so, how will you prevent it from refusing to fund startups whose models threaten established companies owned by the American people?  (The current fight in Shanghai over taxi hailing apps is instructive.  The government is trying to ban them because they are taking revenue from government owned taxi companies.)

        PS--the pizzerias on the corner that you worship, are already dead--they've been replaced by the big national corporate chains who either buy them out or drive them under (take a look around and you will see that in virtually every area of business). Small businesses don't matter anymore.
        Google, Facebook, Dell, and Apple were all small businesses in my lifetime.  Today small businesses make up about half of GDP (http://www.sbecouncil.org/....  In short, you have your head up your butt.
        •  thanks for the luck (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NoMoreLies
          How do you plan to deal with the howling mobs of everyone with a 401k or IRA?
          The same way that democratic governments dealt with the howling feudal aristocracies who lost their positions when the monarchy was overtrhown and replaced with a republic.

          By ignoring them.

          You seem to have this idea that we need their permission to overthrow their social system.  We don't. Nor will we ask it.

          Incidentally, I find it funny beyond measure that all of your arguments justifying corporatocracy (how will you run elections? what about my rights as owner?) are precisely the same ones made by the French aristocracy when the monarchy was overthrown and replaced with democracy.

          History may not repeat, but it usually rhymes.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 07:04:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  ps---------> (0+ / 0-)
      if no one can own a company on their own or with just a few other people
      Perhaps you are unaware of how many people own shares of companies like GM or BP . . . . . .

      But in a way you are correct--since in the corporation it is one SHARE one vote, not one share-HOLDER one vote, the electoral process is deliberately lopsided in favor of the small minority of wealthy few. Such a system is fundamentally undemocratic. I look forward to your defense of this lack of basic democracy, through rule of the minority. And please TRY not to use the same arguments that the King of France used when his sole-proprietor government was replaced by the French Republic (oddly enough, King Louis was also full of explanations about why democracy can never work).

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 05:50:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  When GM started it only had a few shareholders. (0+ / 0-)

        BP was a government company that got privatized, so totally different.

        But startups are almost all closely held.

        But in a way you are correct--since in the corporation it is one SHARE one vote, not one share-HOLDER one vote, the electoral process is deliberately lopsided in favor of the small minority of wealthy few. Such a system is fundamentally undemocratic. I look forward to your defense of this lack of basic democracy, through rule of the minority.
        Well, as far as I know, nothing stops you from starting a company that has one vote per shareholder.  You might have some trouble raising investment, but that's true of many companies.  A bigger issue is dealing with sock puppet owners.  In other words, I can try to get a large number of people to buy one share each in order to take over a company without having to buy 50% or 80% of the shares.  That seems likely to cause problems.
        •  well, nothing stops me from (0+ / 0-)
          Well, as far as I know, nothing stops you from starting a company that has one vote per shareholder.  You might have some trouble raising investment, but that's true of many companies. A bigger issue is dealing with sock puppet owners.  In other words, I can try to get a large number of people to buy one share each in order to take over a company without having to buy 50% or 80% of the shares.  That seems likely to cause problems.
          When everyone has only one vote, then what you describe above is called "a political party". I have no problem with "one person, one vote", and I have no problem with people joining their one vote together with others to form political parties.

          What I do have a problem with is "this person gets more votes than that person"--which is precisely what occurs now in corporations. But then, unlike corporate shareholders, I don't hate "democracy".

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 07:00:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Does every voluntary association of people (0+ / 0-)

            need to be one man one vote?

            Does your family vote on everything?  Did you have roommates in college?  Did you vote on everything?  When one of your buddies offered to drive you and other friends somewhere did you all vote on everything, despite the fact that one person was contributing more than all the others - his car?

            As long as the shareholders are coming together voluntarily rather than being somehow forced to buy shares in the company it seems totally fair to me that they agree among them how to make decisions.  

            •  THAT . . . (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cville townie
              Does every voluntary association of people need to be one man one vote?
              . . .may be the dumbest thing I ever heard anyone say.

              Why do you hate democracy so much?

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 04:47:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I guess that means you think it has to be (0+ / 0-)

                So when you are invited to someone's house for a dinner party you think all the guests should vote on what to eat and how to run the party instead of the host leading?

                I bet you are a popular guest!

                Or do you let the host run things?  In which case, why do you hate democracy so much?

    •  There will be one pizza - Big Government Pizza (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RichM, Beelzebubs Brass Bs

      and you will like it and shut up about it.

      Lenny doesn't seem to realize this approach has already been tried in socialist countries that have failed.

      They are trying it again down in Venezuela, where people are standing in very long lines for the government approved shipment of toilet paper.  History is littered with failed countries trying to do exactly what Lenny wishes for..

      •  there already is one pizza (0+ / 0-)

        Corporate MegaChain Inc Pizza.

        You will not only like it and shut up about it, but you will pay a fortune for it so the CEO can get a new Learjet.

        History is littered with failed countries trying to do exactly what Lenny wishes for..
        Not what I wish for. I see no reason whatever to have only one kind of toilet paper.  But then, I'm not a corporate monopolist who thinks everyone should buy Microsoft, every year, and like it.  (shrug)

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:01:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Are you seriously claiming... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lady blair, Beelzebubs Brass Bs

          That the US economy is complete Fascism?  Of course you are.

          “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck (Disputed)

          by RichM on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 12:15:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't recall using such a word (0+ / 0-)

            So don't go all Godwin on me. (shrug)

            Are YOU seriously claiming that the entire global economy is not dominated by a small handful of very large and powerful corporations who dominate the entire political process through their economic power (and which are themselves run by a handful of very wealthy unelected people in what is the very opposite of democracy). . . ?

            Or do you think "Megaglobal Behemoth Inc" is no different than the corner pizza shop . . .  .?

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 12:41:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Godwin? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Beelzebubs Brass Bs

              You do understand what fascism is, right?  I can, and still, order pizza from a locally owned pizza shop.  You seem to think that I do not have that choice, that the government dictates or allows only a single corporation to give me anything.  That is not true.

              “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck (Disputed)

              by RichM on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 12:46:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I have no idea what you are babbling about (0+ / 0-)

                I said no such thing. I am not a corporate monopolist, and I don't believe that one product should rule the world like they do.

                And the ONLY reason you can buy a local pizza is because one of the corporate megachains hasn't bothered yet to buy it out or drive it out of business. Once they do, you'll eat MegaChain Pizza, and you'll like it.  And you'll pay twice as much for it.

                In the end, reality always wins.

                by Lenny Flank on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 12:50:59 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  ps--I thought we were no longer speaking (0+ / 0-)

                Have you changed your mind now?

                In the end, reality always wins.

                by Lenny Flank on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 12:51:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You are right... (0+ / 0-)

                  My bad.  

                  “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck (Disputed)

                  by RichM on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 12:58:44 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  pps--I notice you've not answered a single one of (0+ / 0-)

                my questions . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . .

                But that's OK--my questions make their point whether you answer them or not.  (shrug)

                So, in your view, how MANY different products must exist in order for you to be happy?  Two?  Five?  Ten?

                Let's compare to the number of megacorporations who dominate each of the world's industries, and see what happens . . . . . . . . . . .

                In the end, reality always wins.

                by Lenny Flank on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 12:54:43 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  PS--speaking of "failed", you may want to have a (0+ / 0-)

        look around.  

        The economic system we have now can't even FEED people. If the purpose of an economic system is to provide all its members with the things they need to live (and I sure can't think of any OTHER reasonable purpose for an economic system--can you?) then the one we have now has failed by definition. And will not work, ever--because that is not its purpose.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:05:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  People look pretty well fed to me... (0+ / 0-)

          But that is beside the point.

          An economic system is not designed to feed anyone.. or provide anything to anyone.

          At its simplest, it is a system for trading your labor for someone's goods.  We could all become subsistence farmers and not even need a "system", or an economy for that matter.  Got your plow all sharpened up, Lenny?

    •  Corporation, not company (0+ / 0-)

      Interesting how you so vastly broadened his scope by moving the goalposts from 'corporation' to 'company', though.

      The concept and execution of the 'corporation' as we know and understand the legal fiction has become powerful enough that I think we should look into more direct control over them as a society, yes.

      Here's my own rebuttal, point by point :

      First, how do you plan to pay me for the shares I own?
      For my own part, I would not. The return on your investment  hasprobably already outpaced what your employees would have made had their base pay kept pace with inflation. You've fed at the trough enough, I think. You do not deserve pay for work you did not do. Be glad we don't call it a form of unlawful gambling, and make you pay back the difference as unpaid back pay to your employees.

      In any case, that outcome is a risk you accepted when you bought the stock, and I have exactly zero pity or sympathy. Them's the breaks. You lose, too bad, so sad, buh-bye. I quite simply do not give a good goddamn.

      Secondly, there are millions of companies just in the US.  How do you plan to have everyone elect all of their directors?  Perhaps most of us have other things to do besides voting for corporate boards?
      Eliminating their positions eliminates the problem there very neatly, and with zero loss in productivity, expertise, competence, and managerial effectiveness. They would not be positions that are there to be filled. This is known as separating the wheat from the chaff.
      Thirdly, if no one can own a company on their own or with just a few other people then who is going to start new businesses ranging from the pizzeria on the corner to Google?
      Companies can be owned by an individual or a group. The "corporation", being as it is operated under a charter granted or at the least allowed by the public, should be under the tightest of public controls.

      Two different legal concepts, one of which has become, in the aggregate, a pack ravening monsters which may pose an existential economic threat to our democracy.

      The corporation may in the end need to either die or be killed. Until then, we really ought to try to constrain it as ruthlessly as possible.

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