Comment: Yes, they are good for liberty

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Yes, they are good for liberty

The problems you see (crony capitalism) has to do with favors the government dishes out, not corporations, per se.

About 100 years ago, progressives were harping on about the trusts, because back then business trusts were a popular way of doing business rather than corporations (some states made it illegal for corporations to own real estate, but trusts could). The Standard Oil Trust was Rockefeller's baby, and "trust busting" was all about breaking up the perceived monopoly. This is when "anti-trust" legislation came around. Today, corporations are the preferred limited liability entity and business trusts are mostly just used for mining and real estate deals.

Artifical entities with limited liability to the owners are necessary for free market capitalism because wealthy people do not want to take unlimited risks on businesses that might not pan out.

This is different from corporate executives (or owners) getting bailed out by government tax money when their business fails, or when torts occur.

If not for limited liability to owners, how would capital be raised for risky projects?

Yes, business is necessary to a free society, and at least some of that business should be done is such a way that investors can limit their risk. Imagine if all the stockholders of Apple Computer could be held personally liable if Apple infringed on someone else's patents. Would YOU invest in such a scenario? Would your pension fund invest in such a thing? Nope.

As a case in point: There were actually THREE original creators of Apple Computer, not two. There was Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. Most people don't know about Wayne because he was the only guy who had any money outside of the company and he got scared about what would happen if something went wrong. He figured any liabilities would come back on him. So, he sold his 10% stake for $800 and nobody ever heard from him again. Today, that 10% stake would be worth over $50 billion, making him around the richest man in the world (assuming he held 10% the whole time).

People with money are needed to take risks to make businesses go, and if they cannot limit their liability, they won't take the risks.