Corporations are not a feature of a truly free society. Corporations provide limited liabilities to the individuals who run them. Limited liabilities are rights granted by government, it is not inherent in free-market capitalism. It is in fact opposed to it. So please stop referring to the evils corporations commit due to limited liability and calling it the results of the free market. Libertarians HATE the idea that a corporation can be let off the hook by a government judge or legislation for damage to the property, lives and health of others.
Please compare these scenarios:
(A) Alice and Bob are partners in a cattle business. They round up the cattle themselves, and slaughter the cattle themselves, and they split the profits. One day, their cattle get into the road and there is a car accident. Who is negligent? The answer: Alice and Bob.
(B) Alice and Bob decide to invest some money in a cattle business, which they do, and they hire a cattle-man up in Montana to take care of their ranch, and to handle all the work and responsibilities related to their cattle. One day, their cattle get into the road and there is a car accident. Who is negligent?
THE ANSWER IS: The cattle-man is primarily responsible, NOT Alice and Bob. (And the MORE involved they get in their own business, versus hiring someone to do it on their behalf, the more directly responsible they would become for its actions, and thus the more liable they could be found in court.)
If Pepsi Corporation is found committing some crime, it would be a miscarriage of justice to hold the stockholders liable instead of the management. The liability properly
falls to management; in fact, that is what they're being paid for! (To take on the responsibility and liability for the organization.)
If shareholders were not able to safely invest their money without being exposed to great liabilities, then certainly the level of investment overall in our economy would drop! No one wants to expose himself to liabilities for acts he hasn't even committed. Instead he'll choose not to invest in that business.
I think you'll find that the general differences between the various corporate structures, in terms of how they place liability, etc is a result of these very real pressures in our society, that are a natural result of the right to free association.
Where Corporations become abusive, is not because courts allow investors to have separation from personal liability. Rather, the abuse comes into play as the entire tax-and-incentive system becomes skewed, pebble-by-pebble, in favor of those who lobby Congress to structure a system that infringes upon our liberties. (Including our right to free association.) Over time that system is what results in a fascist marriage between the government and the corporations that grow up around it. It is not property rights that does this, but the lack of them.
— The real cost we pay is in terms of our rights and freedoms, as the income tax is then used to shape our behavior by way of the penalties, incentives, and deductions that are built into the system. Designed, of course, by lawyers and lobbyists for powerful corporations, passed by Congress, and imposed upon you, and your parents, and your children — all in order to shape your behavior, and to structure the system so that working for one of those corporations is the only way you can afford to pay your bills.
— The hidden tax of inflation, especially on our poor and elderly.
— The high personal cost of the federal income tax, which just barely covers the amount of our interest payments on the national debt. (No, it doesn’t pay for any of our government services...)
— The national debt itself, which presumably must be defaulted on at some point, or inflated away, in either case devastating the savings of our elderly and forcing them to rely more on taxpayers for their medical and other care. This will unfortunately drive a cultural attitude of resentment towards the elderly, when previously they were the ones with the most resources (and wisdom) in any family.
— While women are a great benefit and value to the workforce, the fact remains that many of them only work because they have to, not because they desire to. This is because the cost of living is so high, due to the income tax and its secondary effects on the rest of the economy. Many do not realize that the high personal cost they pay every day, as their children are raised in government farms, is directly and solely in order to service the national debt.
— The cost we pay in terms of the wars that are financed by our national debt — wars that otherwise the powers that be would be unable to afford through direct taxation, yet now have foisted upon us to pay through the blood of our children, and the mortgaging of their future to the banks.
— The cost we pay in terms of having a monopoly banking system, which has control over our money supply, the life’s blood of our economy! We all know that banks are bureaucratic and slow, and frustrating — it’s because they have a monopoly! And our economy pays the price of having a monopoly banking system, just as the Soviet Union paid the price for central planning, and just as ordinary, hard-working German citizens paid the price during the Weimar Inflation, when all of their savings was stolen from them by an elite — eventually leading to the rise of the Nazi party.
— The cost we pay in terms of the Great Depressions that are cyclically brought upon our nation through the misallocations that are consequential to the mistake of allowing a central committee of corrupt bankers to have direct spending access to everyone’s savings and retirement.
— The cost we pay in our general standard-of-living, while our children are raised in government schools and by MTV: because we are all too busy working (with no vacation), as the infrastructure of our once-great nation crumbles all around us, along with her culture. Anyone can see the roads have potholes after a rain. Will today’s Western Man, having grown dull and fat amidst all his luxury, awake to find the Empire of the West has crumbled around him along with its morals? Do not the other nations have the same access to western economic knowledge and theories of government to become as powerful as we? Do we think that we are so much better than other people, such that living in less luxurious circumstances than we are currently accustomed is somehow outside of the bounds of our potential future?
— The cost we pay in terms of our personal security, and that of our women and children, as our economy declines and our military might necessarily declines with it. (And as the decline in culture and economy leads to higher costs of blood and treasure due to increases in crime, as happened to Argentina in 2001 when she ceased to be the tenth richest nation in the world, and instead became a place where families had to eat out of garbage cans.)
— The cost we pay as we age, and are forced into government-hospital-projects, and government-elderly-care-and-quality-of-life-facilities, and as our children are funneled into government “employment opportunities” building dams, nation-building, UN patrolling, ditch digging, driving trucks and burying bodies for Uncle Sam, because the economy sucks so bad that no one can get a normal job or start a company anymore–because the institutions that once acted as our agents protecting our freedoms, with one-representative-per-every-30,000 people–with every neighborhood having a voice–have instead become tentacled abusive nightmares, answering only to bankers, large corporations, government employees unions, and sporadic voter anger.
— The cost we paid in terms of our skill-sets, competitiveness, education, and off-shored industry, as a result of being allowed to grow dull and fat through several decades of economic misallocation by way of the world’s use of dollars as a reserve currency. They sent us their microwaves, their automobiles, their minerals, and their agriculture, while they starved and worked in slave mills, in return for worthless paper dollars, while we sat around playing video games and flipping real-estate, jumping from bubble to bubble like drunken fools, laughing at the worry of our grandparents towards our generation.
Well, they say that in a downturn, money returns to its rightful owner — a lesson we are likely to learn at the hands of China.
The-powers-that-be want half of us to blame the "welfare recipients" while the other half blame the "corporations" meanwhile we are voting for the same two parties, and carrying the same tainted money around in our pockets.
Is it already too late for the West?