Comment: Corporation: liberty's limit

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Corporation: liberty's limit

I read your comment half expecting that perhaps your pro-Corporation headline might not match the body, and that the body of text might actually claim Corporations to be neutral toward liberty, neither bad nor good. My half expectation was obviously unsupported. Your claim is bold, simple, and well written. As such, it is easy for me to point out where I disagree.

"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?"

YES, I would.

"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."

If I wish to limit my liability I will make a low risk investment. In a free world risk and liability remain proportional. The attempt to separate risk from liability, liability from risk, is the financial alchemy that throws the initial wrench in any economic mechanism. There simply is no free lunch. A limit on liability is a limit on accountability.

Liability and risk are simply two different words that point to the same thing. The limit in limited liability simply refers to a slight transfer of liability from one individual or group to another, in the case of the Corporation - to the public at large. That's fine if everyone is aware of this, but people don't know or have forgotten. We have States and a central government that hand out corporate charters like dinner mints and fortune cookies at a Chinese restaurant. However small, those fortune cookies cost money and add to the expense of my chow mein. I don't like fortune cookies. I'd say that I'm free to eat at a Chinese restaurant that offers no 'free' cookies but for the lack of finding one.

Risk is inversely proportional to monoculture, and its lack of concentration stifles innovation, diversity, and progress. As an individual I ultimately must trust other individuals. When I shift my trust to a system, accountability is lost. Liberty without accountability is mere chaos.