I recently wrote about some of this, and then just last night I read the following.
As actual legislation, it will go nowhere and it’s not intended to: it is more of a symbolic proposal to show people where she stands and the direction she wants to take the democrats:
Under the legislation, corporations with more than $1bn in annual revenue would be required to obtain a corporate charter from the federal government—and the document would mandate that companies not just consider the financial interests of shareholders. Instead, businesses would have to consider all major corporate stakeholders—which could include workers, customers, and the cities and towns where those corporations operate. Anyone who owns shares in the company could sue if they believed corporate directors were not meeting their obligations.
Employees at large corporations would be able to elect at least 40% of the board of directors. An estimated 3,500 public US companies and hundreds of other private companies would be covered by the mandates.
I’m writing about this now because it occurred to me that it’s a near-perfect example of how precisely backwards the Progressives understand the science of economics — and I’m not being snide here when I say that but literal and sincere — in this case specifically: how government intervention and meddling will create actual privilege:
You see, back in the days of feudalism, when property wasn’t recognized as a right but the crown held all property in “tenancy,” that same crown — i.e. the Monarch — granted “prerogatives and privileges in exchange for services rendered back to the king.”
This is in principle exactly — and I mean exactly — what Native American Senator Elizabeth Warren’s proposal would re-establish: by abolishing the right of free-and-clear property ownership, it would make ownership a privilege.
“In America, and to some extent in Britain and Europe, as the legal remnants of feudalism were being cleaned up, the basis for the law of corporations was changed from one of privileges to one of rights. A corporate charter wasn’t [any longer] a special favor the sovereign granted in exchange for special services. It was a recognition of free-and-clear ownership of the corporation by its shareholders.”
Quoting again from her proposal:
The proposal would create a new Office of United States Corporations within the Department of Commerce, which would be responsible for granting the charters—and which could revoke a charter if a state attorney general requests it, and the office finds the firm has a history of egregious and repeated illegal conduct and has failed take action to correct it.
This is another textbook example of the antiquated, regressive nature of modern-day Progressivism, which is so shockingly and dangerously closed-off and naive to economic history and fact.
The left has a long history of antipathizing free-and-clear ownership — most people know this, even leftwingers:
[The left has] always hated the concept of free-and-clear ownership, and they have been struggling all along to go back to a neo-feudal system in which all economic activity takes place only with the permission of the sovereign. They merely give it a gloss of democracy by claiming that the sovereign, this time, will be ‘the people’ [which is only composed of individuals, not all of whom agree].
You can get a sense of this neo-feudal approach in the way that corporations, in [Elizabeth Warren’s] proposal, would be attached to the land like medieval serfs, unable to move or change without the permission of the cities and towns where they operate. While in theory this is a way of making corporations answer to ‘the people’ in the same way that feudal barons answered to the king, notice that in practice this proposal gives power to bureaucrats and ambitious, self-promoting politicians.
In closely related news, your tax dollars at work for self-described Democratic-Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, friend of the working man, reminding us again how easy it is to spend other people’s money: