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  •  There's an important tension of interests (5+ / 0-)

    in the discussion of multi-generational family ranches.

    On the one hand, Jefferson et al. were rightly concerned about the concentration of land-ownership in the hands of a few and the idea of a large parcel of land being forever under the control of a line of heirs would be exactly what they were trying to prevent.

    On the other hand, these days, the loss of family-owned farms and ranches leads to two undesirable outcomes: the rise of agri-business ranches and/or the conversion of food producing land into housing and industrial use.

    Jefferson et al weren't contending with the reality of corporate entities that were afforded the rights of individuals without the limitations. So, now that concentration of land ownership is shifting to corporations, be they developers or agri-business. It continues to be an accumulation of wealth for the few, behind the veils of corporations.

    So, either we need to do away with the corporation having status as a legal entity (an entity which perpetuates beyond the lifetimes of individuals)  in and of itself, or we need to apply the concepts of wealth distribution to them. This would mean limiting how long they can hold assets before they are taxed heavily. And those taxes, rather than being simpy asset-based, would have to be based on the value of the asset along with the continued accumulation of wealth being earned by owning said asset.

    These days, we're trying preserve family-owned farms, as we recognize they are operated more sustainably and with  more contribution to the social good than the agri-business operations. So, we need to balance our concerns for entailment with our concerns for sustainable food production.

    Our perspective is different now, as wealth is accumulated in a different manner now. So, we need to look at the spirit of what the founding generation was getting at and find a way to achieve that spirit, though not necessarily with the exact same tools.

    •  Give corporations a maximum lifetime (0+ / 0-)

      Make it equivalent to the average life expectancy of a human.  When the corporation "dies", it can leave its assets to whomever it wants, but we the people take our cut of the proceeds.  Lifetime of combined entities is determined by the minimum remaining lifetime of the individual entities.

      Consumption is not the answer.

      by Lexpression on Sun Apr 05, 2009 at 03:10:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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