Rant about unfettered growth. I think part of the problem with corporations is in the fundamental way that they are constructed. They are designed such that people who are not involved in them can invest, and have that investment grow as the corporation grows, they don’t even have to do anything. It is now expected that shareholders constantly see growth in the value of their shares / porfolios. But we all know that not everything can constantly grow – like said in that article there is no Planet B.
The housing / mortgage bust is a prime example of this; people thought that realestate prices could never go down – I can’t tell you how many ‘professional’ investors have quoted this exact fallacy to me. How short our memories really are.
I’m thinking that a revamp of the corporation is in order. It needs to be constructed such that employees benefit along with shareholders for a few reasons. We need to protect local economies, huge multinational corporations are far too good at pumping money out of small towns like Winnipeg, choking it’s growth, and cutting down the local competition by shear economies of scale. In addition to this, I think that corporations should be restricted in the size that they can grow, and the length of time in which they can operate before they either ‘die’ or ‘split’ and ‘have children’.
When companies were originally created, the idea was that they were an in-corporation, or a pseudo-person. With many of the same rights and restrictions of a normal person. However, we have now seen what happens when a corporation outlives it’s creators, and gets taken over by business sharks from Harvard. We also see what happens when the corporation gets to big to fail. Government’s job is to protect the rights of REAL people, not (in)corporated people. If ceo’s have to answer to employees as much as shareholders, and have to create value for both parties (as well as customers) while living within a certain ‘growth restriction’ then I think we will take some of that Harvard genius and turn it towards good rather than evil. The company needs to create value without promising unfettered growth towards the sky.
Of course this would in all intents and purposes destroy the entire concept of a stock market, at least as we know it today. I am really tired of people arguing to protect industries that are incumbent, I mean really, if things change, and you don’t adapt, what use are you to us anyways.