Talk:The Anti-Corruption Pledge
Limited liability corporations are the taproot of both growing government and anonymous rent-seeking.
Larry, you aren't really attacking the chief problem, which is the role that STATE-Created limited liability corporations play in centralization and aggrandizement of power in Washington, which then further attracts rent-seeking by increasingly anonymous (who owns andruns these corporations, anyway?) organizations that wish to use a bloated government to receive favorable inside deals and to raise barriers to entry in their respective markets.
Corporations drive the growth of government because their LIMITED LIABILITY aspect means government protects shareholders from liability in the event of tort damage to workers/others/society. Citizens tired of holding the bag then must continually push legislatures and courts for "reform" that perversely helps to entrench the largest firms against newcomers.
Corporations are not simply the "Health of the State", but they're created in STATES, which accordingly MUST be a main venue to seek to rein them in. States can stop creating limited liability companies, can deregulate for non-limited liability firms (where owners retain a large tail of risk), etc.
Anonymity is not per se bad - the Federalist Papers and Anti-Federalist Papers were written anonymously - it's the anonymity afford to those whom have already received important government privileges (viz., limited liability) that renders them and their agents unaccountable that is the problem.
Thus I don't see that public funding or limiting and requiring transparency of your broadly worded "political expenditures" (contributions? campaign ads?) really address the root problem.
Fortunately, there are 50 states in which to start campaigning for responsibility owned businesses whose owners are NOT protected by governments from the communities in which they operate.
Large, entrenched public companies are already seeing across-the-board declines in profitability and market capitalization (ask Robert Monks); they can be brought down by Schumpeter's process of "Creative Destruction".
More here: http://mises.org/Community/blogs/tokyotom/archive/2012/03/04/note-to-larry-lessig-on-his-quot-anti-corruption-pledge-quot-limited-liability-corporations-are-the-taproot-of-both-growing-government-and-anonymous-rent-seeking.aspx TokyoTom 13:57, 4 March 2012 (EST)
- But even if Limited Liability is a more fundamental problem, which I'm not convinced it is, but if: You still need the means to address it, which you don't have till you address the money problem first. Lessig 10:44, 5 March 2012 (EST)
- Larry, thanks for your comment, but I'm not sure I follow you. I think it is a fundamental mistake to ignore that corporations are created in states, despite their tendency to accept if not push for the federalization of corporate law.
- Sure, we can try to address money in campaigns at a federal level, but that's no reason to turn our back on the leverage that we have in fighting for more responsible corporations - and corporate owners. It's alot easier to win at least one small victory when you're also fighting in 50 smaller fora rather than just one big one. TokyoTom 14:44, 17 March 2012 (EDT)
Larry: This will go nowhere unless there is strong support from the far right. Otherwise this will simply be pegged as a leftist tool to gain a liberal advantage (or to eliminate a conservative advantage). As a practical matter, there is no way that I could propose this to my conservative friends without first showing strong support from influential members of their "tribe". JohnDC 16:57, 23 March 2012 (EDT)