Radically Inept
Thursday, July 15, 2004
  Using the corporate model to beat corporations

Ah, where to start. Okay, about four or five years ago, I ran into a pdf on theGlobal Social Contract Theory. I put it to my desk top, but never read it. I decided that I wanted to start looking at the concept without I having my thinking w/in the frames of the existing arguements, both pro and con, see what I came up with. I didn't want to start thinking from the confines of pre-existing boxes. So, yes, I started down the course of intentional ignorance. Also, since reinstalling the operating system, I can't find the origninal pdf.

Now, I just finished looking over a few of the documents I linked to above, and I'm glad I did. The following will be sort of my starting point on developing this idea further. Also in the following, "I believe", "I think", "I feel", etc. should be considered place holders for terms like "premise", and a host of qualifiers. I think it will make it more readable, and I'm not truly locked into anything. In fact, consider this public musings on the subject, and criticism and debate is welcome, just don't think I'm locked into what I'm expressing.

I've wanted to post on this subject for a long time, but just never got around to starting. It was in the "United States of America, Inc.", that I set out part of my thinking:
I consider our public lands and natural resources as assets. And as assets, I want top return upon their sale. No one can convince me, that it is in my interest as a shareholder, to give away assets to other corporations. Let them instead pay market value. If private property owners are receiving X dollars/per acre for allowing their forests to be havested, or for energy extraction, than that's the return I want. You can argue that I will pay more for goods as a result, but I think the off set to my tax obligations, and potentially, actual real dividends in my account, will more than make up for it. Also, if the market is depressed, than I agrue for holding on to the assets until the market improves. Long term investment is what I'm after anyway, not quarterly profits. It maybe a corporation, but it still is a 'government' of the people, and I really would prefer to maintain, and possibly increase my share of the equity.[I'll have to return to this and present a clearer argument.]

I decided it deserved a more indepth post, but it may prove to be a good starting point. And the point here is that I do believe it might be good to start w/ an economic basis for the contract w/ the state, rather than a moral, ethical, humanist, evolutionary, etc. As an atheist, I find I can not argue convincingly from an objective basis for moral and ethical arguements. I have mine, but I have no basis other than a contract type theory. And one written from the view point that I live in America and subject myself to the laws of the government, by choice. Not everyone has this choice, granted, but just as I am not going to deal with morals and ethics, I am not yet ready to address wealth distribution.

So, anyway, if we start w/ the idea of 'government' being an economic enterprise, a corporation, with our elected officials acting in the roles of corporate officers and board members, and we the citizens are the shareholders, as such we have an initial relationship, on a 'contractual basis' with our government.

How many shares do I have? One. How many shares does anyone have? One. So, individuals have an interest in forming share voting collectives to attempt to influence any corporate vote for their own interests. Obvious groups that behave this way already is already a large and growing number, but would include MoveOn.org: Democracy in Action (maybe change their tag to 'Shareholders in Action'?), the NRA,etc. Single issue groups some may argue? But there is no limit to how many issues nor any restrictions on which 'single issue' issues the individual shareholder may back. The shareholder is able to decide.

The advantage that the US of A, Inc. has over other corporations, at least from the respect to possessing the mechanism to change corporate officers, is the pre-existing shareholder-corporation by laws, ie. the constitution and the The Bill of Rights. A fine set of documents laying out the roles and responsibilities of the various parties, including some well laid out default rules.

Now, a problem in any contractual agreements occurs when one of the parties refuses to adhere to the Complete contract, especially if the second parties affected by the first party, lack the ability to force the first party to comply with the existing specifications. However, in this case, we have a fairly reputable system of arbitration, and who's rulings have historically been enforced, for good or ill.

So, as I stated above, as a shareholder, I want a return on my investment. And I am a long term investor (hopefully, I won't have cause to sell short in a few months), and I want the assets of the corporation.

To Be Continued... And surely edited...

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