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Libertarians & Limited Liability/Corporatism

bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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4/12/2013 7:46:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
So, one of my biggest problems with Libertarianism has always been that Free Markets will not remain Free; bullies will always exist. The government is, of course, the biggest bully, but one that ostensibly answers to the People, and wants to benefit the People (again, ostensibly). The next biggest bullies of all, presently, are "The Corporations", a by-no-means-unified group that are often all chucked together.

Percolating in my brain, I've been thinking of some things, and I'd like some Libertarian opinion on Limited Liability and Corporatism, and there are more than a few Libs on here.

So: thoughts?
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lewis20
Posts: 5,093
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4/12/2013 7:56:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
As in the fact that no one is held personally responsible under LLCs?
"If you are a racist I will attack you with the north"- Abraham Lincoln

"Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material" - Leviticus 19 19

"War is a racket" - Smedley Butler
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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4/12/2013 7:57:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/12/2013 7:56:36 PM, lewis20 wrote:
As in the fact that no one is held personally responsible under LLCs?

Correct.
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Lordknukle
Posts: 12,788
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4/12/2013 9:21:23 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Do you think that the state of corporations under the status quo is more or less acceptable?
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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4/12/2013 9:29:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/12/2013 9:21:23 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
Do you think that the state of corporations under the status quo is more or less acceptable?

No, I'm asking what the libertarian position IS, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it (yet)
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bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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4/12/2013 9:33:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
(Well, and possibly not at all, don't mean that "yet" to see ominous)
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Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
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4/12/2013 9:44:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
My thought is that anyone who permits the government to create a legal homunculus which bears the consequences of a flesh-and-blood person's actions is grossly and damningly violating all of the principles on which liberty is predicated.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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4/13/2013 12:02:56 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/12/2013 9:44:41 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
My thought is that anyone who permits the government to create a legal homunculus which bears the consequences of a flesh-and-blood person's actions is grossly and damningly violating all of the principles on which liberty is predicated.

Is that the general libertarian thought, though?

Also: I agree.
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Lordknukle
Posts: 12,788
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4/13/2013 12:17:29 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/12/2013 9:29:02 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 4/12/2013 9:21:23 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
Do you think that the state of corporations under the status quo is more or less acceptable?

No, I'm asking what the libertarian position IS, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it (yet)

Nuh-uh. This is building to my point. Answer the question.
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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4/13/2013 1:23:56 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/13/2013 12:17:29 AM, Lordknukle wrote:
At 4/12/2013 9:29:02 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 4/12/2013 9:21:23 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
Do you think that the state of corporations under the status quo is more or less acceptable?

No, I'm asking what the libertarian position IS, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it (yet)

Nuh-uh. This is building to my point. Answer the question.

Wha? Than what? Do you mean in general? In which case probably no...
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bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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4/13/2013 1:24:36 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/13/2013 12:17:29 AM, Lordknukle wrote:
At 4/12/2013 9:29:02 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 4/12/2013 9:21:23 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
Do you think that the state of corporations under the status quo is more or less acceptable?

No, I'm asking what the libertarian position IS, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it (yet)

Nuh-uh. This is building to my point. Answer the question.

Wha? Than what? Do you mean in general? In which case probably no....
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bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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4/13/2013 1:25:59 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Weird double post...sorry! It errored and said it "wasn't unique" before I thought I'd posted...
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Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
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4/13/2013 6:34:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I'm disappointed by the lack of response. This, in my mind, is one of the huge flaws of much of modern libertarian thought.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Lordknukle
Posts: 12,788
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4/13/2013 6:48:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/13/2013 1:23:56 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 4/13/2013 12:17:29 AM, Lordknukle wrote:
At 4/12/2013 9:29:02 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 4/12/2013 9:21:23 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
Do you think that the state of corporations under the status quo is more or less acceptable?

No, I'm asking what the libertarian position IS, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it (yet)

Nuh-uh. This is building to my point. Answer the question.

Wha? Than what? Do you mean in general? In which case probably no...

In hindsight, I could have just posted my point outright. lol

But basically, right now, competition is stiffled by government activity. Some select few huge corporations lobby the government for benefits and increases to barriers of entry for smaller firms. With a lack a government regulation, these large firms would no longer get subsidized by the government, and all artificial barriers to trade would be removed, which would let smaller businesses prosper. As a result, "bullies" as in monopolies, would not be able to exist.
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
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4/13/2013 8:01:14 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/13/2013 6:48:45 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
At 4/13/2013 1:23:56 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 4/13/2013 12:17:29 AM, Lordknukle wrote:
At 4/12/2013 9:29:02 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 4/12/2013 9:21:23 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
Do you think that the state of corporations under the status quo is more or less acceptable?

No, I'm asking what the libertarian position IS, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it (yet)

Nuh-uh. This is building to my point. Answer the question.

Wha? Than what? Do you mean in general? In which case probably no...

In hindsight, I could have just posted my point outright. lol

But basically, right now, competition is stiffled by government activity. Some select few huge corporations lobby the government for benefits and increases to barriers of entry for smaller firms. With a lack a government regulation, these large firms would no longer get subsidized by the government, and all artificial barriers to trade would be removed, which would let smaller businesses prosper. As a result, "bullies" as in monopolies, would not be able to exist.

I think that the question is more along the lines of 'should corporations be allowed to exist, and if so, why?'. What is the justification for the government creating such an entity, and does that jive with libertarian ideals?
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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4/13/2013 9:12:14 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/13/2013 8:01:14 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/13/2013 6:48:45 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
At 4/13/2013 1:23:56 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 4/13/2013 12:17:29 AM, Lordknukle wrote:
At 4/12/2013 9:29:02 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 4/12/2013 9:21:23 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
Do you think that the state of corporations under the status quo is more or less acceptable?

No, I'm asking what the libertarian position IS, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it (yet)

Nuh-uh. This is building to my point. Answer the question.

Wha? Than what? Do you mean in general? In which case probably no...

In hindsight, I could have just posted my point outright. lol

But basically, right now, competition is stiffled by government activity. Some select few huge corporations lobby the government for benefits and increases to barriers of entry for smaller firms. With a lack a government regulation, these large firms would no longer get subsidized by the government, and all artificial barriers to trade would be removed, which would let smaller businesses prosper. As a result, "bullies" as in monopolies, would not be able to exist.

I think that the question is more along the lines of 'should corporations be allowed to exist, and if so, why?'. What is the justification for the government creating such an entity, and does that jive with libertarian ideals?

Yup, that is my question.
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danmac
Posts: 1
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5/31/2013 10:43:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/12/2013 7:46:52 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
So, one of my biggest problems with Libertarianism has always been that Free Markets will not remain Free; bullies will always exist. The government is, of course, the biggest bully, but one that ostensibly answers to the People, and wants to benefit the People (again, ostensibly). The next biggest bullies of all, presently, are "The Corporations", a by-no-means-unified group that are often all chucked together.

Percolating in my brain, I've been thinking of some things, and I'd like some Libertarian opinion on Limited Liability and Corporatism, and there are more than a few Libs on here.

So: thoughts?

Answer: Libertarianism, at its core, is wholly and completely against the legalization of corporations. The government, in allowing, endorsing, and enforcing corporatism is working against individual rights in a violent fashion. This is unacceptable in a free society. There would not need to be any laws "regulating" corporations in a true free market economy because corporations would not exist.
kalidestroyer
Posts: 1
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9/4/2013 5:48:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
In the event that this debate is not timed out I'd like to add my voice as a libertarian. This is an issue that has not been debated or addressed much in the libertarian community. I think this is a lamentable omission for limited liability (and relatedly differential tax treatment for various business organizations - Inc., llc, llp, partnership, etc) stand at the heart of much of business life and decision in the modern economy. I think the government creation and protection of said business entities is indefensible and involves unequal treatment under law. For example, in all states in the US an individual may elect to start a business as a sole proprietorship in which case he must bear the potential risks associated with his conduct as a business owner. If he defrauds someone, engages in negligence, pollutes his neighbor's property, he can be sued by the injured party to be be made whole. If he borrows money, it is his personal credit that is at stake. This fosters personal responsibility and ensures that business is accountable for its actions. This notion is put on its head with the introduction of limited liability where owners are not personally liable for anything - torts, contract breaches, debt, ect. Becoming an LLC often involves the simple paying of a fee (in California its $850/year) which essentially allows the business owner to shield himself from negligent wrongdoing. I think this is anathema to libertarian principles. I also think much that is wrong with the corporate world flows from this seemingly innocuous legal innovation that began to take hold in the early 1800's and has continued at a rapid pace. This issue as well as the issue of intellectual property is largely ignored by so called libertarians. I do think most of the serious minded libertarians are open to the notion that liability should not be limited by government decree. I think a better system would be a robust and open legal system allowing suit for injury in tort and contract without any limit on liability for business owners. In return there should be limited if any "prior restraint" regulation on businesses who should be free to act and held accountable for wrongful action through the court system. As an example businesses should not be prohibited from polluting by government action in advance of any action but should be subject to lawsuit for any damage they cause to person or property without limitation on their liability following any wrongful action. This would be much more ethical, efficient, and rational. Big business supports regulation as they routinely write regulation which de facto leads to increased costs to compliance (lawyers, accountants, and other costs to comply) which limits competition from smaller business which lack economy of scale to compete with the large business. Limited liability also disproportionately protects larger businesses vs smaller businesses for obvious reasons. Thus without limited liability and "prior restraint" regulation we would have a much more robust small business sector (more small business owners) with far less large businesses. I think this is good for genuine human freedom where persons own themselves and their businesses and are largely not renting their labor for wages.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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9/4/2013 7:07:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/12/2013 7:46:52 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
So, one of my biggest problems with Libertarianism has always been that Free Markets will not remain Free; bullies will always exist. The government is, of course, the biggest bully, but one that ostensibly answers to the People, and wants to benefit the People (again, ostensibly). The next biggest bullies of all, presently, are "The Corporations", a by-no-means-unified group that are often all chucked together.

Percolating in my brain, I've been thinking of some things, and I'd like some Libertarian opinion on Limited Liability and Corporatism, and there are more than a few Libs on here.

So: thoughts?

Talk like this harkens to the glory days of bartering. It's a pipe dream.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?