Re: [sixties-l] Re: Horowitz corporations

From: Richard Waddell (
Date: Sun Jul 16 2000 - 04:17:57 CUT

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    William Mandel wrote:

    >Certainly global mega-corporations not only reflect but
    >effectuate economies of scale. And certainly they do all the
    >terrible things you list. By every measure of human welfare --
    >life expectancy, health, education, whatever -- people are better
    >off in the "developed" capitalist countries than anywhere else.
    >It is also true that, in the United States, the living standard
    >of the majority has declined in the past thirty years, but it
    >remains one that Haitian peasants and Israeli Ph.D.s fight like
    >hell to come here to enjoy.
    >There are no easy answers and no formulaic solutions.

    There probably aren't any easy answers, but a good start might be to get
    some agreement about what is the question? In response to the initial
    statement from Horowitz, the list seems to have accepted the question as

    Conservatives have consistently forced discussion into this meaningless
    dichotomy. We don't have to accept it. If we criticize some aspect of
    capitalism, the reaction from the right has always been: It's better than
    communism (or socialism). If we are not 100% for unrestricted capitalism,
    does it mean we support socialism? If I had to answer this question, someone
    would have to define socialism for me, and I doubt I could maintain interest
    in such a discussion.

    I would prefer to formulate the question with out regard to 'isms'. For me,
    the question should be the degree of control to apply to corporations. This
    is at the heart of what a corporation is about.

    Corporations are different from other organizations because they are a
    shield against personal responsibility. The LTD in British corporations
    stands for LIMITED, which advertises to the world that the organization with
    such an appendix has LIMITED LIABILITY. These organizations have rights that
    individuals don't enjoy.

    Consider a loose analogy. If I had corresponding privileges while driving my
    car, my liability would be limited to the cost of my vehicle - even if I
    caused a death.

    We may soon see these limitations and distinctions in the coming tobacco
    legal battles. Even though their investments caused many deaths, those who
    invested in these tainted enterprises will not have any liability beyond
    their loss in stock value.

    The significant question is how do we control these organizations of limited
    responsibility. How do we apply controls to protect the larger society and
    Mother Earth from tobacco companies and the likes of Exxon?

    Richard Waddell

    Bartlesville, OK

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