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Question for the day - people do not live forever, why should corporations?


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Comments (22)

There can be only one.... (Below threshold)
Eric:

There can be only one.

...people do not l... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
...people do not live forever, why should corporations?

They don't. Most corporations cease to exist within a few years of being formed. As a legal entity, no corporation exits longer than the government under which it was organized. Unless someone wants to claim governments last forever, corporations all have a limited life; it might be hundreds of years, but it is limited.

Likely that's not your point, but I was bored. Sorry.

WHY?Because politi... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

WHY?

Because politicians and union bosses got involved. Both want to maintain their positions of power, ergo; fuck the taxpayer.

And why should inefficient ... (Below threshold)
GianiD:

And why should inefficient and corrupt unions?

I believe there's plenty of... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

I believe there's plenty of examples in Japan of family owned businesses that have existed for centuries - including one that lasted 1400 years.

Of course, building Buddhist temples tends to be a rather singular niche...

http://tinyurl.com/yv6gf7

Whether a particular corpor... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Whether a particular corporation lives or dies isn't the point. The only important thing is that very wealthy people aren't out any money, embarrassed, or inconvenienced in any way.

Good point. But to take th... (Below threshold)

Good point. But to take the analogy a step further, we keep people on life support much longer than we should (when there really is no chance of recovery), so it's not surprising that we might do the same for corporations.

Theoretically they can last... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Theoretically they can last forever. A corporation has a purpose distinct from that of an individual.

The reason we use corporations is to more efficiently raise, deploy, and account for capital, human and non-human.

They also protect society--one focal point for assigning liability for debts, taxes, litigation liabilities (torts).

How else would you organize capital--requiring 1,000 entrepeneurs working on a single project to each sign off on every chit, every tax event, etc. is impractical. And inefficient.

If the purpose of the corporation is not dead, why should the corp. die? That's pure inefficiency. It would be reconstituted how, and how would that aid the efficient use of capital in the economy?

Confusing lifespans of people and corporations is pointless.

It all depends on whose ox ... (Below threshold)

It all depends on whose ox is being gored. If the evil Walmart (Didn't Hillary sit on the board at some point?) somehow ceased to exist tomorrow, every socialist would rejoice, while paying a lot more for everyday items. If it were the American automakers, who employ many thousands of union workers, and therefore fill the pockets of do-nothing union bosses, who then fill the pockets of Democrat politicians, there would be panic in the streets.

In the mind of leftists, ce... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

In the mind of leftists, certain favored corporations provide jobs, jobs are equal to entitlements, and everyone knows that entitlements last forever.

Can you please provide the ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Can you please provide the name of one person of note who has argued that any corporation (particularly an automotive manufacturer, as you are implicitly speaking to that sort of corporation) should last "forever"?

I do not defend any corporation's right to exist, because such a right cannot coherently be attributed to collective entities such as corporations or nation-states. However, this throw-away remark does not have anything to do with the Big 2.5's current predicament. I agree with your position on the bailout, DJ, but you can do better than mis-characterizing the industry's position. They are arguing about a net loss to the economy and a spike in unemployment; these are the issues that need to be addressed, not whether some corporations have an intrinsic right to exist by virtue of property X (e.g. historic legacy).

Does anyone remember when D... (Below threshold)
kevino:

Does anyone remember when Democrats used to rail against what they called "corporate welfare"?

The issue isn't whether the... (Below threshold)
Brian:

The issue isn't whether these corporations should live "forever". If GM was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy a year ago, it would have been allowed to fall over. Fast forward to today, and now you're talking about three of the country's largest manufacturers going bankrupt at the same time, right in the middle of a global economic calamity. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and all that.

Exactly, Brian. But because... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Exactly, Brian. But because these companies depend on unionized labour, which by a huge margin supports Democratic politicians, the nuanced arguments as to why these companies need to be temporarily propped up are ignored in favour of a strawman about the nature of corporations and whether or not they have a right to exist.

Nobody. Has. Ever. Argued. That. Any. Corporation. Should. Not. Ever. Be. Allowed. To. Fail. Grasping that sentence--typed as slowly as I could--will help all of the anti-union ideologues opposed to automotive industry bailouts get past the strawman they have erected to get at the heart of the issue. Until then they are not worth listening to.

With Republicans brazenly a... (Below threshold)
Brian:

With Republicans brazenly admitting that killing the car companies is their "first shot against organized labor" regardless of what it does to the country, we shouldn't expect any leadership from them.

What a nonsequitur... (Below threshold)
meep:

What a nonsequitur

People do not live forever, why should universities?
People do not live forever, why should countries?
People do not live forever, why should religion/churches?
People do not live forever, why should books?

The mortality of humans does not tell us anything about the proper mortality for human institutions, all of which will die eventually, by the way, by the time humans die out en masse, if no other time. Most do fail well before then, of course.

RE: "The names of the sende... (Below threshold)
kevino:

RE: "The names of the sender(s) and recipient(s) have been redacted in the copy Countdown obtained."

So Brian sends an e-mail to Senate Republicans, copies that well-known pillar of journalism, the LA Times, and declares that "Republicans are brazenly admitting that killing the car companies ..."

Fraud.

If the GOP were brazen about it, then a group of Republicans with real authority would announce it in a press conference.

Oh, and, by the way, no political group is killing the car companies. The car companies are being hurt from within by management and the UAW. But the major force killing the car companies is the marketplace. The marketplace is killing the car companies because they build very bad products for a very long time.

Both the housing and auto m... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Both the housing and auto meltdowns are microcosms of the government. When people treat business like a cash cow they will ultimately kill the goose that laid the golden egg. If we do not change course the U.S. government will be in the same boat. Too many takers, not enough producers. I used to poo-poo the "coming economic disaster" newsletters I received. Not any more.

So Brian sends an e-mail... (Below threshold)
Brian:

So Brian sends an e-mail to Senate Republicans, copies that well-known pillar of journalism, the LA Times, and declares that "Republicans are brazenly admitting that killing the car companies ..."

Your tinfoil hat is too tight.

Point us to the official Republican statement that the memo is a fraud.

Brian:I don't need... (Below threshold)
kevino:

Brian:

I don't need an official GOP ruling. You are the one that is pointing to an unvetted, unsupported document and making a wild, unsubstantiated statement: "With Republicans brazenly admitting that killing the car companies is their ..."


The burden of proof is on you.

And I stand by my other statement: even if you could show that a majority of the GOP plans this or even high-ranking GOP officials are planning this, it isn't "brazen" if it's a secret plan.

Plastic, dung beetles, and ... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

Plastic, dung beetles, and corporations seem to have that in common. Makes one think, doesn't it?

You are the one that is ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

You are the one that is pointing to an unvetted, unsupported document and making a wild, unsubstantiated statement:

It's a public document that is being attributed to Republicans that that no Republican is repudiating. Try to be less of an idiot.

it isn't "brazen" if it's a secret plan.

I was referring to them putting it in writing. OK, call it "stupid" if you prefer.




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