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The Carbon Flame War
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Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Government on 11/18/2010 20:30:24 MST Print View

I have always been under the impression democracy referred to means by which a people chooses its leaders, with each qualified citizen casting a vote. Within this general category, the voting can be direct or indirect. It seems you are referring to pure democracy, which basically amount to mob rule. Most functioning democratic political systems today are a bit more sophisticated than that.
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Correct. Democracy is rule by the majority. We do not have a democracy, it is a republic. The purpose was to protect individual rights by a separation of power (checks and balances). However, we are losing our individual rights year-by-year.

BTW, the following won the majority of votes, but lost the presidential election:
Andrew Jackson (1824)
Sam Tilden (1876)
Grover Cleveland (1888)
Al Gore (2000)

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: no light either. on 11/18/2010 22:14:01 MST Print View

A corporation, treated as a person for 1st Amendment purposes, can use the enormous amount of money it has at its disposal as a result of the collective efforts of thousands of workers, to drown out their voices with huge campaign contributions they could never hope to match on their own, thereby nullifying THEIR 1st Amendment rights.

Perhaps you can help me here, Nick?

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Tom of course I can help you,

Federal Election Laws:

Individual Contribution Limits:
- $2,400 per election to a Federal candidate or the candidate's campaign committee.

- $5,000 per calendar year to a PAC.

- $10,000 per calendar year to a State or local party committee.

- $30,400 per calendar year to a national party committee.

- $115,500 total biennial limit.

CORPORATIONS AND UNIONS: THE LAW PROHIBITS DONATIONS FROM CORPORATIONS AND UNIONS.

Corporations and Unions can form Political Action Committees and raise money, but individual contributions are limited as stated above.

As of Jan 2010, corporations can run ads.

At the Federal level, the main source of campaign money is from individuals, PACs are much smaller piece of the pie.

So instead of asking what CEO was fired, the question is what corporation contributed? They are not allowed to do so!!

Now for my BIG rant. Federal subsidies are available to presidential candidates, subject to restrictions. Basically only Democrats or Republican candidates can qualify. In 2008 Tom Tancredo, Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, and John Edwards accepted government financing. I did not support ANY of them, however they got some of my tax money!! Can you explain why I should financially support candidates I do not like?

Regarding corporations...

Remember I am against government intervention in the economy or our personal lives. If we can get back there, then there is no incentive for corporations or anyone to donate money. The root cause is the government re-distributing our money and corporations trying to get their piece of the action. I am not justifying corporate political activities, I do not believe in them. But if a corporation wants to spend its profits on campaign ads, it is their business. Remember that most companies need to generate $10 in revenue for every $1 of profit it gives away.

So lets get down to root causes...

If we as individuals have all our basic rights protected, then a group or corporation should not be treated separately or even given specific rights, because each individual is protected. So as a group or corporation, we would not need any rights.

The purpose of government where you and I live is to protect our basic rights. Not to regulate, rule, or re-distribute wealth. If the government cannot do that, then no one needs to contribute.

Suppose that you, I, Rog T, Roger C, Miguel, and Craig decided we wanted to start a company that manufactures specialized backpacking gear. Roger C has super knowledge, Rog T has special engineering know-how, Miguel has insight on how we can appeal to customers around the world, Craig understands the needs of many users, you are the voice of reason, and I can run the business aspects. We decide that we are a great team and can work together. One problem... Rog and Roger tell us that we need $100 million to start it right. None of us has that kind of money. But we think we can raise the money by forming a corporation. The five of us will own the majority of the company and will be the officers, and we will take on partners who supply the capital. So we form a corporation. We incorporate in California, because Craig and I live here, and the 5 of us agree it is most convenient. We sell shares for 40% ownership of our business venture. The stockholders are mostly BPL members, because they think our products will be great, and they stand to make a lot of money if we are successful. Good so far. Then the State of California passes a law that requires all officers of any California corporate to live in California, so they are socially responsible to the citizens of California. And then they pass a law that any California corporation must provide any of its products to the State for $5, no quantity limitations. The state wants to give them to anyone who cannot afford them. This means that you, Rog, Roger, and Miguel are no longer free to live where you want. Also, we can no longer freely trade with who we want, we have to sell to the government even if don't want to. Individually all of us are harmed. Of course these laws only apply to corporations because the are evil; sole proprietors are exempt because they are moral and ethical. This is why corporations seek status as a legal individual... and it should not be required.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Government on 11/18/2010 22:21:58 MST Print View

Nick, just saw your latest comment. Wow, we actually very much agree on something! Cool! :-)


Miguel,

Much more than you suspect!

BTW, I am really enjoying this thread, and I did not join it until later in the fray. My enjoyment is to challenge people to think. Present concepts that at first seem extreme, but maybe with some thought make sense.

It is not my desire to change anyone's beliefs at all. Their philosophical system is their own responsibility.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Corporate Personhood on 11/18/2010 22:44:23 MST Print View

NM.

Edited by xnomanx on 11/18/2010 22:53:03 MST.

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
The Carbon Flame War on 11/18/2010 22:52:48 MST Print View

Nick should the government let international trade fall victim to pirates, or should the governments use their military to secure trade routes ?

If the government secures trade routes, the military and diplomatic policy is now directly linked to helping companies benefit from trade, and indeed, their budgets will be linked to how well that trade does. Is there some definition of free market that allows this level of government involvement ?

Craig Savage
(tremelo) - F

Locale: San Jacinto Mountains
Re: Corporate Personhood on 11/18/2010 23:12:26 MST Print View

Some excellent points.

During the first quarter of 2010, the Energy Lobby spent 3.2 million dollars each day Congress was in session.

John McCain takes the individual record at 2.68 million dollars from oil/gas special-interests. The dollars don't stop at Republicans, profit has no allegiance to any one Party... just power

Reminds me of the Nobel Prize winner James Buchanan's work with Public Choice Theory (earned him the award in Economic Sciences).

"Public choice theory is often used to explain how political decision-making results in outcomes that conflict with the preferences of the general public. For example, many advocacy group and pork barrel projects are not the desire of the overall democracy. However, it makes sense for politicians to support these projects. It may make them feel powerful and important. It can also benefit them financially by opening the door to future wealth as lobbyists. The project may be of interest to the politician's local constituency, increasing district votes or campaign contributions. The politician pays little or no cost to gain these benefits, as he is spending public money. Special-interest lobbyists are also behaving rationally. They can gain government favors worth millions or billions for relatively small investments."

And as far as campaign financing, it is mind boggling watching how many new groups/titles are created to legally bypass FEC spending limits.

Argh, the comments I was responding to were removed.

Edited by tremelo on 11/18/2010 23:22:07 MST.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: no light either. on 11/18/2010 23:19:48 MST Print View

This is why corporations seek status as a legal individual... and it should not be required.

Hmm. I admit that I had never considered, or even had enough knowledge of the process, to think of it in this way. You make a very good point.

PS: I think now I also understand why so many companies like Patagonia, Arcteryx, and Apple have so many localized sub-divisions, with each acting according to local laws and pricing. Frustrating and inconvenient as anything for customers, but much safer for the corporations.

Edited by butuki on 11/19/2010 01:39:33 MST.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
twinkly lights on the tube on 11/19/2010 01:18:14 MST Print View

Nick sqys:
As of Jan 2010, corporations can run ads.


One more reason to pitch the TV into the dumpster.

Zappa had it right:

I am gross and perverted
Im obsessed n deranged
I have existed for years
But very little had changed
I am the tool of the government
And industry too
For I am destined to rule
And regulate you

I may be vile and pernicious
But you can't look away
I make you think Im delicious
With the stuff that I say
I am the best you can get
Have you guessed me yet?
I am the slime oozin out
From your tv set

You will obey me while I lead you
And eat the garbage that I feed you
Until the day that we don't need you
Don't got for help...no one will heed you
Your mind is totally controlled
It has been stuffed into my mold
And you will do as you are told
Until the rights to you are sold

That's right, folks..
Don't touch that dial

Well, I am the slime from your video
Oozin along on your livinroom floor

I am the slime from your video
Cant stop the slime, people, lookit me go

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: no light either. on 11/19/2010 01:26:29 MST Print View

"Suppose that you, I, Rog T, Roger C, Miguel, and Craig decided we wanted to start a company that manufactures specialized backpacking gear. Roger C has super knowledge, Rog T has special engineering know-how, Miguel has insight on how we can appeal to customers around the world, Craig understands the needs of many users, you are the voice of reason, and I can run the business aspects. We decide that we are a great team and can work together."

It's the US - you'll need a lawyer.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: The Carbon Flame War on 11/19/2010 01:39:36 MST Print View

Nick should the government let international trade fall victim to pirates, or should the governments use their military to secure trade routes ?

----------------------------------------------------------

A legitimate government has 3 functions:

1. Police to protect its citizens from criminals.

2. Military to protect its citizens from foreign invaders.

3. Courts to settle disputes among its citizens according to objective laws.

There are unique situations where it is morally right for a government to intervene in world crisis's. WWII in Europe was one. In addition to the moral right, ultimately our national security would have been in jeopardy had we not.

Should we take action if one ship is hijacked, and the threat was not known? One could agree either way. I think we would be justified.

But it is not the government's role to secure trade routes. If the routes are too dangerous then shipping should re-route, which some shipping companies are now doing. Somalia's coastline is 2,000 miles long, and the Gulf of Aden consists of over 1 million square miles, so no naval force is going to be able to patrol it and protect all ocean traffic.

The pirates are not targeting American ships exclusively, they are going after anyone they think will pay a large ransom.

Somali pirates are not a national security risk. Statistically, it is not that dangerous to travel the trade route. Approximately 20,000 ships travel off the coast of Somalia each year. In 2009 around 75 were hijacked (0.38%).

The problem is very complex. Charges of toxic dumping and illegal fishing in Somali waters by foreign ships may be true. But the Somali government/anarchy can do nothing about it. In fact the Somalia government is probably the most corrupt in the world. It is reported that the fear of hijacking has kept the illegal fishing boats out of Somali's waters and local fishermen are now obtaining record catches. It will be up to the people of Somalia to put a government in place that will eradicate hijacking, not to mention the plethora of other monumental problems facing them.

And what is Egypt doing about it? They earn about $5 billion a year in tolls from the Suez Canal... not to mention the $2 Billion a year in foreign aid we have been giving them for 30 years!

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: no light either. on 11/19/2010 01:41:16 MST Print View

There's been a few comments about the legal personality of companies. Legal personality is not a scam to make companies unaccountable, it actually has the opposite effect.

Let's say a company pollutes a water table: if the company does not have legal personality then the victims/regulators will have to go against the shareholders/real people who are the company. Sure, if it's a criminal offence you can jail them all, if you can prove culpability. But if they have no personal assets, then even if you sue them and win your case you won't get any cash out of it, no matter what the assets of the company may be. But you can sue an incorporated company as if it's a real person, and often the directors too, and also go after the company's assets. It is of course possible for a company to put its assets at arms length but there are often clawback provisions to deal with that.

There are also a range of other good philosophical reasons for incorporation/legal personality.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: no light either. on 11/19/2010 01:47:23 MST Print View

There's been a few comments about the legal personality of companies. Legal personality is not a scam to make companies unaccountable, it actually has the opposite effect

This (for me) new insight in the last few posts into the workings of corporations is very educational for me. Never saw it this way, and it certainly makes it all a lot more "human".

Thanks Nick and D.W.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
putative World Government sets out it's stall on 11/19/2010 01:56:20 MST Print View

Interesting.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/18/ipcc-official-%E2%80%9Cclimate-policy-is-redistributing-the-worlds-wealth%E2%80%9D/

IPCC official says:

"Because we have 11,000 gigatons of carbon in the coal reserves in the soil under our feet – and we must emit only 400 gigatons in the atmosphere if we want to keep the 2-degree target. 11 000 to 400 – there is no getting around the fact that most of the fossil reserves must remain in the soil.

De facto, this means an expropriation of the countries with natural resources. This leads to a very different development from that which has been triggered by development policy.

First of all, developed countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community. But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole."

Gloves off, cards on table? Or is he looking for an exit strategy and big book sales? Or what?

And where's his evidence that the world will warm two degrees if we emit 400GT of co2/year?

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: no light either. on 11/19/2010 01:58:35 MST Print View

Legal personality is not a scam to make companies unaccountable, it actually has the opposite effect.
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And many governments/politicians love corporations.

First they tax the profits.

What is left in profits are distributed to the shareholders, and the government then taxes the shareholders on the profits they already collected taxes on.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: no light either. on 11/19/2010 02:01:22 MST Print View

Arapiles says:
There are also a range of other good philosophical reasons for incorporation/legal personality.


So if a corporation is ever found guilty of corporate manslaughter, who goes to jail?

How many times has it actually happened in legal history?

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Corporate Personhood on 11/19/2010 02:05:03 MST Print View

Regarding Corporate Personhood...

On a philosophical level no group or corporation really has rights. The individual cannot gain or lose rights he already has by joining a group. If we have individual rights, then collective rights are impossible to have. Corporations fight for the same rights as individuals, because government diminishes the individual rights of the members of the group.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: putative World Government sets out it's stall on 11/19/2010 02:07:54 MST Print View

Rog,

I mentioned pages ago that Al Gore would become the first Global Warming Billionaire :)

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: putative World Government sets out it's stall on 11/19/2010 05:09:06 MST Print View

Nick, The Chicago Carbon Exchange flatlined months ago.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: no light either. on 11/19/2010 05:16:36 MST Print View

"And many governments/politicians love corporations.
First they tax the profits.
What is left in profits are distributed to the shareholders, and the government then taxes the shareholders on the profits they already collected taxes on."

Actually, if you have dividend imputation (as we do in Australia) you are only taxed once.

Edited by Arapiles on 11/19/2010 05:33:09 MST.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: no light either. on 11/19/2010 05:32:07 MST Print View

"So if a corporation is ever found guilty of corporate manslaughter, who goes to jail?
How many times has it actually happened in legal history?"

Logically you can't jail an intangible entity - corporate manslaughter (where it exists) means that the corporation is fined.

The good reasons for incorporation include limiting liability and so fostering investment - to take an example, the "Names" of Lloyds have unlimited personal liability. Have a think about that - unlimited and personal liability. So a Names personal exposure could be for billions if there's a major storm or earthquake or terrorist attack. Taking the example of your company doing UL gear, say it turned out that the nano-coating on the silnylon you were using caused mesothelioma in anyone who came in contact with it (and that's a real concern by the way): would you be happy to be personally liable for ALL the damages that might be caused - or would you prefer your liability to be limited to the amount you paid for the shares in an incorporated company?