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KOL170 | Tom Woods Show: Are Corporations Unlibertarian?

Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 170.

Episode 325 of the Tom Woods Show: Are Corporations Un-Libertarian?

From Tom’s show notes (with a few additions from me):

Corporations aren’t people, say protestors. Corporations are creatures of the state, say some libertarians. Is there any merit to these complaints? Should libertarians support the corporate form or not? That’s the topic of discussion on today’s episode, with guest Stephan Kinsella.

Related Writing by the Guest

Corporate Personhood, Limited Liability, and Double Taxation
In Defense of the Corporation
Legitimizing the Corporation
Causation and Aggression” (with Patrick Tinsley)

[See also:

]

Book by the Guest

Against Intellectual Property

Book Mentioned

Robert Hessen, In Defense of the Corporation

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Lee Iglody January 24, 2015, 8:25 pm

    Thank you for hitting the causation issue and clarifying the proper use of the operative terms.

  • Patrick January 26, 2015, 3:01 am

    It is historically and juridically wrong to say that limited liability is a product of free market. Historically Limited Liability for company debts as always been created by the state. The private merchant juridical system always product unlimited liability for private personhood.

    What the non lawyers do not understand is that, the “Limited Liability” as nothing to see with a contract, there is no valid object for such contract, customers cannot give agreement to loose un-defined quantity of monney, to share an un-defined quantity of asset to an un-defined quantity of creditors in un-defined future circonstances and times, unilateral determined by the corporation board; it is pure moral hazard.

    In a contract you not agree in the vaccum, you concent TO SOMETHING (this is a necessary requirement to know who is wrong or not in a future judgment), and there is not that “SOMETHING” in limited liability, reason for what it is not a contract, not in the past, not in the present, not in the future. Every business lawyer know that.

    It is more like a “agreement to a risk” like to trade in a war zone, you know that you have big chances to be killed, but it is NOT a “contractual agreement to be killed”, the murderer have the full responsability of what he did.

    Limited liability, is state forced anomy like the politician unlimited unliability.
    No monetary system can survive with limited liability, “there is no alternative” like Maggy said.

    • Stephan Kinsella January 26, 2015, 4:26 pm

      “It is historically and juridically wrong to say that limited liability is a product of free market. Historically Limited Liability for company debts as always been created by the state. The private merchant juridical system always product unlimited liability for private personhood.”

      But do you have an argument for shareholder liability for torts of employees?

      “In a contract you not agree in the vaccum, you concent TO SOMETHING (this is a necessary requirement to know who is wrong or not in a future judgment), and there is not that “SOMETHING” in limited liability, reason for what it is not a contract, not in the past, not in the present, not in the future. Every business lawyer know that.”

      Business lawyers know nothing about normative concepts, nothing more than normal people.

  • Patrick January 27, 2015, 2:48 am

    (english is not my native language)

    “But do you have an argument for shareholder liability for torts of employees?”

    (english is not my native language, and it’s even more difficult for juridical concepts)
    “But do you have an argument for shareholder liability for torts of employees?”

    In my point of view, shareholders are not liable for tors caused by a person contracting with the corporation. They are (proportionally to their share) liable to ALL the remaining debt of the companie after her liquidation. A part to ALL that debt have also to be paid bye the management, according to the company contract they agreed (for exemple 10% for the managment and 90% for the shareholders).

    For exemple, someone is killed because a winch fell on him. After a investigation, the juge say thats it is because the winch’s of the driver was drunk AND the process to maintain the winch was faulty. The companie have to pay 5000 and the driver have to pay 2000 and go to jail for four years.

    This 5000 will reduce the asset and or increase the debt that the shareholders and the management have to share after the iquidation. But they dont have to go to jail for that, it’s not a criminal purpose organisation.

    “Business lawyers know nothing about normative concepts, nothing more than normal people.”

    A mecanical engineer know nothing about normative concept of mecanic arrangement more than other people ? I do not think so.

  • Tokyo Tom June 15, 2015, 9:34 pm

    You’re making progress in thinking through this, Stephan; I have faith that eventually our positions will be substantially the same.

    Meanwhile, let me point out gaps:

    Yes, Tom Woods; Corporations ARE Unlibertarian. And the Massive Regulatory State and Rampant Crony Capitalism Are the Result.
    http://tokyotom.freecapitalists.org/2015/06/12/1034/

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