The East India Company and the 2012 Elections

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  • Wally West SLC, UT
    Sept. 9, 2012 8:18 p.m.

    re: Pippin

    I see I have touched a nerve. Mr Terry did nothing for except give me hope that others see the real dangers of mass consumerism & casino capitalism.

    TJ was right when he said, "...banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

    I am for moderation & common sense in all things. Color me naive for expecting that 21st century America.

    You are partially right about 1 thing. I'm a Marxist... Groucho not Karl.

  • Pippin Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 9, 2012 4:53 p.m.

    @ Wally West

    In the case of this corporate apologist, you may remove your parenthetical question mark and replace it with an exclamation point.

    Yes, corporations are worried only about the bottom line and that is all that they SHOULD be worried about.

    Mr. Terry has argued the following:

    Properly, only the voice of the people can...

    1. Allow for the formation of a corporation
    2. Formulate the purpose of the corporation... and that the purpose must explicitly be for some good of society.
    3. Determine the longevity of the corporation.

    In other words, Mr. Terry has convinced you that Jefferson was all for an individual's right to his life, liberty and to pursue his happiness, but if an individual tries to do it by doing commerce via a corporation, only his neighbors can authorize that pursuit, and dictate the form of that business, and just how successful he could become, and for how long.

    Yeah, Jefferson, the man who risked life and limb to do away with the incursion of the government into every branch of commerce with copious regulation and coercion wanted to institutionalize the same in America.

    I think not.

    Actually, your man was Marx.

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    Sept. 9, 2012 3:12 p.m.

    Here is what some of you apologists for corporations are (purposefully?) forgetting.

    A public company only has a fiduciary responsibility i.e. worry about the bottom line and maximize profits for the shareholders. Though, Screwdriver and Roger T tapped this concept in previous posts.

    p.s. I, too, side with Jefferson.

  • Pippin Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 8, 2012 10:09 p.m.

    With a single short article, the author has burned the Declaration and he anoints his pyre by citing the Declaration's very author. And the reaction from the readers? Confusion? Protest? No. Applause!


    I understand the ire of the author. You don't like the government to sell favors. I don't like it either. But this is not the fault of the corporations, but of the system. You can't fight it by demonizing corporations. You must crush the cause: that the system allows for the granting of government favors.

    How do you change it? You legislate that no law can be passed that does not apply equally to ALL citizens. i.e. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..."

    It was dishonest to cite Jefferson in this context. Jefferson knew no large corporation started by free men striving and producing without government favoritism. All he knew was the East India Company, founded by a government, for the government.

    The government exists for ONE proper purpose: to protect INDIVIDUALS' rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness... even if they pursue it in partnership with a large corporation.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Sept. 6, 2012 8:47 p.m.

    Re: "The growing wealth acquired by [corporations] never fails to be a source of abuses."

    Hmmmm. I wonder why liberals see this issue with such clarity, as applied to corporations, but insist on willful blindness regarding the same issue, as applied to Big Government?

    Inexplicable liberal willingness to ascribe kinder, purer, higher motive to politicians and bureaucrats than to corporate officers is simply insupportable in human history.

    It's truly mind-bending that liberals seem so incapable of learning a lesson that has been ruthlessly taught over and over and over again -- the greatest excesses of greed, selfishness, and callous disregard for the welfare of others have been demonstrated by governments, not corporations.

    Liberals' misplaced trust in government is historically more dangerous than hang gliding or dirt-bike riding. But, hey, maybe their courting a rakish, devil-may-care personna, hoping to replace the near-universal perception -- outside the liberal echo chamber, anyway -- of leftists as overly-sensitive, overly-serious, overly-gullible rubes.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 6, 2012 8:28 p.m.

    Roger Terry,

    "We, the People" do not have any authority to tell any business what it can or cannot do. We do not have that right. No person has deeded over to "the people" the right to decided what a business can or cannot do. No government has been authorized by the people through the Constitution to tell a business what it can or cannot do.

    If we had that right, Michelle Obama's garden would end up in the garbage, because, she, just like Roscoe Filburn, according to the Supreme Court decision, Wickard v. Filburn, does NOT have the right to eat her own vegetables or to give those vegetables to her neighbors, because doing that deprives some other "farmer" the right to sell his produce to her and to her neighbors. That is the law of the land. As far as I know, Wickard v. Filburn has not been overturned.

    We, the People have NO right to tell any other American what he or she can or cannot do. God gave us rights. Those rights did not originate with the Government. A corporation is owned by the people who have invested in it, not by the government.

  • Roger Terry Happy Valley, UT
    Sept. 6, 2012 3:43 p.m.

    @ What in Tucket?

    You misunderstand the concept. This is not about government running businesses. It is about what sorts of businesses we the people should allow and what we should allow them to do, which is certainly our right.

    James Madison considered himself a friend of commerce, but he had reservations. In 1817 he wrote, “There is an evil which ought to be guarded against in the indefinite accumulation of property from the capacity of holding it in perpetuity by... corporations. The power of all corporations ought to be limited in this respect. The growing wealth acquired by them never fails to be a source of abuses.”

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Sept. 6, 2012 3:14 p.m.

    This is a truly stupid concept. Corporations and businesses of all sizes cannot have government officials or legislators who know nothing about a business running them. That is what got the Soviet Union into trouble, central planning. We see the same thing for Iprovo, Utopia in Orem k etc. Even Front Runner and the light rail nice as it sounds and looks is paid for by tax payers not the rider. The less freedom a business has to run itself the less well it will do.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Sept. 6, 2012 1:44 p.m.

    Bottom line to me is that the profit motive when put above all else makes everything a racket including democracy.

    Profit notive is a means to end not the end.

    You can be a widget maker that dreams of making the best widget in the world, or you can be a widget maker that dreams of building a yacht 10 feet longer than your frenemy by squeezing the life and benefits your employees used to have for a hard day's work.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Sept. 6, 2012 1:23 p.m.


    People who buy corporate stock are buying part of that company. You may want to call it speculation, but the fact is, once they have purchased stock, they OWN part of the company.

    Saying that the money from that stock purchase does not go to the company is nor germane. The fact that is germane is that one owner of that company sold his ownership to someone else. The purchaser becomes the new part owner and he hopes that the company will do well.

    Few people can afford to own an entire business. Even fewer people want to own an entire business. They want to own part of a company that they trust. They want to propser when the company that they partly own is prosperous.

    Obama wants the government to own the "company". The Constitution does not allow the government to own the company. That duty is left to the States and to the people.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Sept. 6, 2012 11:06 a.m.

    People who purchase corporate stock on the exchange are not really investors. They are speculators. Unless, of course, they are purchasing part of an IPO. Buying stock on the exchange is more like buying a used car than investing in a corporation, since the money goes not to the corporation but to the previous purchaser of the stock. If I buy GM stock, for instance, none of that money goes to GM. I'm just speculating, hoping the stock increases in value. In that way, though, buying stock is not like buying a used car, because I know a used car is not going to increase in value. Of course, the same could be said for some stocks, and they will give you far less mileage than a good used Toyota.

  • Roger Terry Happy Valley, UT
    Sept. 6, 2012 10:59 a.m.

    From author Thom Hartmann:

    “To do business in America or most of the world does not require a corporate structure—people can run partnerships, individual proprietorships, or simply manufacture and sell products or offer services without any business structure whatsoever other than keeping track of the money for the Internal Revenue Service.

    “It’s only when a group of people get together and put capital (cash) at risk and want to seek from the government legal limits on their liability, and to legally limit their possible losses, that a corporate form becomes necessary. In exchange for these limitations on liability, governments demand certain responsibilities from corporations. The oldest historic one was that corporations ‘operate in the public interest’ or ‘to the public benefit.’ After all, if the people, through their elected representatives, are going to authorize a legal limitation of liability for a group of people engaged in the game of business, it’s quite reasonable to ask that the game be played in a way that throws off some benefit to the government’s citizens or at least doesn’t operate counter to the public welfare.”

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 6, 2012 10:19 a.m.

    Mike Richards.

    The real truth is that most stockholders are simply debt holders having no possibility of effecting the policies and actions of a corporation. Mostly corporations are run by a small group of individuals who own a lot of stock or have the ability to garner proxies from the general stockholder population. I’ve seldom heard about proxy wars and think they are a rare occurrence.

    All the evil that might be associated with government by a religion in a theocracy would be the same and maybe worse in the government by a corporation.

    The competition between corporations is fierce and sometime very bloody. Usually the blood comes from innocent people. The more like business corporations our government becomes, the more blood will be spelt.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Sept. 6, 2012 10:14 a.m.

    Outstanding letter. I appreciate the use of history to make a valid and valuable point about today's economic problem. And I agree: I side with President Jefferson on this one.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 6, 2012 9:53 a.m.

    Amen and Godspeed.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 6, 2012 9:14 a.m.

    Who owns corporations? Stockholders!

    Who owned G.M. before Obama "socialized" it? The American public including police retirement funds and school teacher retirement funds.

    Who owns G.M. now? The Government and unions and the government of Canada.

    Who lost everything when Obama "socialized" G.M.? The police retirees. The school teachers and everyone else who owned stock in G.M.

    The structure of a corporation allows you and me to own part of a business. If we buy the right kind of stock, we can vote on the operation of that "business". If we choose the right "business", our money makes us more money. Those "evil" profits go into OUR bank accounts and we PROSPER even though Democrats consider "prosper" to be another evil word.

    Why is it fair to PROSPER by buying stock in a corporation? It's fair because we RISKED something in order to gain something in return.

    Given the choice between a powerful government and powerful corporations, I choose corporations. If I don't like those corporations, I don't invest in them and I don't buy their products. A powerful government gives us no choice, i.e. Obamacare.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Sept. 6, 2012 9:13 a.m.

    Excellent article.

    procuradorfiscal said:
    In the case of the writer, he appears to advocate wresting control from corporate aristocrats, handing it over to liberal political and bureaucratic aristocrats.

    You almost got it right, he advocates wresting control from corporate aristocrats, handing it BACK to the American people, instead of handing more power and control to corporate America, as in the republicans plan to privatize the government for profit.

  • Roger Terry Happy Valley, UT
    Sept. 6, 2012 8:59 a.m.

    A little more EIC history from Venkatesh Rao:

    "The EIC managed to balance an unbalanced trade equation between Europe and Asia whose solution had eluded even the Roman empire. Massive flows of gold and silver from Europe to Asia via the Silk and Spice routes had been a given in world trade for several thousand years. Asia simply had far more to sell than it wanted to buy. Until the EIC came along. . . .

    "The EIC started out by buying textiles from Bengal and tea from China in exchange for gold and silver. Then it realized it was playing the same sucker game that had trapped and helped bankrupt Rome.

    "Next, it figured out that it could take control of the opium industry in Bengal, trade opium for tea in China with a significant surplus, and use the money to buy the textiles it needed in Bengal. Guns would be needed.

    "As a bonus, along with its partners, it participated in yet another clever trade: textiles for slaves along the coast of Africa, who could be sold in America for gold and silver."

    Quite a racket. All in the name of corporate profiteering and "God save the Queen."

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Sept. 6, 2012 8:52 a.m.

    @ procurador

    Hmm. I think I'll side with Thomas Jefferson on this one.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Sept. 6, 2012 8:27 a.m.

    Re: "Corporations and the aristocratic class that owns and manages them are in control."

    And, as usual, liberals invoke their one-size-fits-all "solution" to every problem -- more and bigger Big Government.

    In the case of the writer, he appears to advocate wresting control from corporate aristocrats, handing it over to liberal political and bureaucratic aristocrats.

    Doesn't seem like much of a solution.