terry_freeman on February 16, 2011, 08:08:44 am
Is sale of Bonds objectionable?

Quote
On July 1, 1862, President Lincoln signed the Railroad Act of 1862, which authorized the Union Pacific to build a railroad from the Missouri River to California, or until it met the Central Pacific. Major General John A. Dix was elected president of the Union Pacific, but he never took office. So Vice President Thomas C. Durant called the shots. The government also authorized the Central Pacific to push beyond the borders of California to meet the Union Pacific. Congress fixed the longitude, and Lincoln picked Omaha as the eastern terminus. Bonds were sold to finance the railroad. Tragically, Judah, who started it all, died in 1863, without seeing his dream come true.
http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/old_west/27482

If the sale of the bonds is guaranteed by the Tax payers, ie whether the train exist or not, make a profit or go on empty, the tax payers will foot the bill to pay ''investors''.

This is why the sale of bonds is objectionable and I nothing more than making it easy for politicians to raise money without the trouble of raising tax now.

Private companies and individuals could sell bonds on their ventures, but any one putting their money into it would do it willingly knowing the risk

Yes, Sam is correct; these were tax-funded bonds. In addition, the railroads were given huge land grants. Furthermore, railroads were paid by the mile to construct the road, so they had an incentive to make it longer than it needed to be. There is a long history of corruption on government-sponsored projects.


Brugle on February 16, 2011, 09:10:45 am
Quote
On July 1, 1862, President Lincoln signed the Railroad Act of 1862, which authorized the Union Pacific to build a railroad from the Missouri River to California, or until it met the Central Pacific. Major General John A. Dix was elected president of the Union Pacific, but he never took office. So Vice President Thomas C. Durant called the shots. The government also authorized the Central Pacific to push beyond the borders of California to meet the Union Pacific. Congress fixed the longitude, and Lincoln picked Omaha as the eastern terminus. Bonds were sold to finance the railroad. Tragically, Judah, who started it all, died in 1863, without seeing his dream come true.
http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/old_west/27482

Actually, Lincoln picked Council Bluffs, Iowa (across the river from Omaha) to be the eastern terminus.
http://cprr.org/Museum/Lincoln_1864.html
Does it surprise anyone that before doing that, Lincoln bought land in Council Bluffs, Iowa?

J Thomas on February 16, 2011, 11:33:15 am

Private companies and individuals could sell bonds on their ventures, but any one putting their money into it would do it willingly knowing the risk

I had supposed that was what Plane was talking about. Buy a bond and you get a cap on your possible income, but surely nobody would hold you responsible for what somebody else does with your money, right? You assumed they would only do good things with it, based on what they said they would do when they sold you the bond.

I could imagine that there might still be a degree of judgement involved.

Like, say somebody wants to start a mercenary company, and you think they'll  make money so you buy their bonds. Then after they're all equipped they go out and rob a bank, and then start a series of hit-and-run strikes against various entities who have gold etc. It wasn't your fault! You couldn't have known they'd do that. And if somebody anonymously gives you more than enough gold to pay off the bonds, that's your money and nobody else has any say in it, right?

spudit on February 16, 2011, 11:41:02 am
Railroad, quality of,

Being paid by the mile laid, they ran the track in long lazy curves along the flat eastern end then cut corners on bridges in the bumpy western end. Not nice.

I ride Hill's free market rail line every year or 2 between Seattle and Chicago and think of him as I do. Just to pick a feature, he used treated high quality wood for his ties, the government sponsored people used green cottonwood if they could get it cheap. It rotted, spikes fell out, rails moved and the trains got broken. Not nice either.

But don't worry, the feds NEVER subsidizes business these days. :)
Vote Early and Vote Often
for EFT
have you voted today?

sams on February 16, 2011, 12:36:56 pm
You assumed they would only do good things with it, based on what they said they would do when they sold you the bond.

I could imagine that there might still be a degree of judgement involved.

Nope there isn't any, the bond/Stock holder have a contract with the bond issuer, unless the contract include killing kittens or robbing banks, the holder is not accountable.

After all he gave ressource under contract to the issuer and not for them ''make good things for you'', but give you a return.

If the issuer goes on a Dr Evil rampage, he alone is responsible for it and will pay for it. If the rampage was done with your assets, then they might be used to cover damage.

I don't see why the bond holders should be held accountable unless the contract is explicit about robery and rampage at which point you are guilty

J Thomas on February 16, 2011, 02:29:19 pm
You assumed they would only do good things with it, based on what they said they would do when they sold you the bond.

I could imagine that there might still be a degree of judgement involved.

Nope there isn't any, the bond/Stock holder have a contract with the bond issuer, unless the contract include killing kittens or robbing banks, the holder is not accountable.

That's how it is. How should it be in an AnCap society with arbitration?

If there's strong reason to suspect that the bond holder is actually complicit, then is it worth investigating that?

Say for example that the bondholder is actually the one who planned things and he got some poor guy to officially take responsibility, isn't it better to actually catch the perp if somehow it's provable?

sams on February 16, 2011, 02:46:55 pm
That's how it is. How should it be in an AnCap society with arbitration?

I suspect it would heavily rely on contract terms and personal responsibility.

If there's strong reason to suspect that the bond holder is actually complicit, then is it worth investigating that?

I believe there is nothing holding back investigation during an arbitration.

Say for example that the bondholder is actually the one who planned things and he got some poor guy to officially take responsibility, isn't it better to actually catch the perp if somehow it's provable?

You mean the poor guy is paid to held any civil responsibility and damage of the enterprise ?

I wouldn't cry if such a person get creamed on arbitration, he knew what he was expected.

The question of whether you go against bond holder who is ''Dr Evil'' behind the scenes depends exactly on making the connection between the two.

But random person who buy bond under contract to have a return on perfectly legal operation is not accountable, especially if is contract is limited and the company advertise it.

J Thomas on February 16, 2011, 03:37:53 pm

Say for example that the bondholder is actually the one who planned things and he got some poor guy to officially take responsibility, isn't it better to actually catch the perp if somehow it's provable?

You mean the poor guy is paid to held any civil responsibility and damage of the enterprise ?

I wouldn't cry if such a person get creamed on arbitration, he knew what he was expected.

Sure. But is it right for him to be the ablation shield for the real perp?

Quote
The question of whether you go against bond holder who is ''Dr Evil'' behind the scenes depends exactly on making the connection between the two.

But random person who buy bond under contract to have a return on perfectly legal operation is not accountable, especially if is contract is limited and the company advertise it.

Sounds good to me. If you're one of hundreds or thousands of people who put some money into "corporate" bonds, and you had no particular reason to think the company was going to do anything awful, you might not be at the top of the list to get your money back from them but why should you be liable for any more than that?

sams on February 16, 2011, 03:53:23 pm
Sure. But is it right for him to be the ablation shield for the real perp?

I think there is a difference between willing accomplice and innocent human-shield, being paid to serve has someone else legal liability insurance doesn't diminish one participation into a criminal schemes.

Sure you might ask how an AnCap society will protect some one who betray the ''insurance'' agreement ... well if the dude accepted to be with criminals he knew what was coming.

Secondly I don't see a corporate entity being used for criminal endeavour with a lot of small investors ... I mean why not just run away with the money to begin with ?

I can accept a Dr Evil financing a bunch of criminals and holding them accountable because he have more power over them. Having stocks in Crime Inc has you have in Coca-Cola inc is unlikely, because wolf and sheep can't vote on what to have for dinner
« Last Edit: February 16, 2011, 03:57:04 pm by sams »

Holt on February 17, 2011, 12:01:16 pm
As I recall from a 20 year old ecconomics class, incorporation is one of 3 ways to organize a business, along with partnership and sole propriatorship. It has the advantages of many owners with limited liability and less risk to each and a potentially huge financial resource base. This can let it get huge though most corporations are mom and pop scale tax dodges.

Where did it go wrong, become so malignant?

Confused here because I am naturally well disposed towards business in general and have a hard time with the stated evil of the DuPont end of the scale.  Is it the ability to apply so much political/ecconomic power? 

Confused.

Generally? It's greed and removing the ability of others to stick their nose in peoples business.
Corporations don't have to say much about what they plan to do or what their high level meetings discuss. Many can get away with nobody even asking who their leaders are with them instead trumpeting a puppet CEO. Investors can dictate the actions of a company without being revealed.

The reason smaller businesses tended to not be as dickish was because other people kept looking in. Meddlers meddled.
If they did get caught doing something then the consequences were immediate and personal.
A big company however can get away with anything and all it has to do is throw some poor puppet to the wolves and appoint a new one. You'll never have a shortage of people who will be happy to take a few million each year in exchange for being the fall guy if something bad happens.

Look at my country. The UK. Our government is built on the premise of getting too many people who all hate each other involved. We formed parliament to get in the monarchs business and butt heads with him, we formed the lords to get in parliaments business and piss them off, we brought back the monarch to get in both parliament and the lords business. We built our system in a way that kept corruption to a manageable level by simply making it too expensive and dangerous to do. Are there drawbacks? You bet. But it works well enough for us.

The USA has a system of centralising power. They put too much in the hands of too few or they put it in the hands of a majority who agree with each other whereas we put it in the hands of a majority who are at each others throats.

macsnafu on February 17, 2011, 02:13:50 pm

The USA has a system of centralising power. They put too much in the hands of too few or they put it in the hands of a majority who agree with each other whereas we put it in the hands of a majority who are at each others throats.

I'm not going to try to argue how well the British system works, but a quick study of how the U.S. government is organized into three branches and a quick look at "separation of powers", plus the concept of federalism should be enough to show that it is clearly not designed or intended to be a system of centralizing power.    I'd certainly agree that it's messed up and out of balance, but that's really a different kind of point.
I love mankind.  It's PEOPLE I can't stand!  - Linus Van Pelt.

Holt on February 17, 2011, 02:27:32 pm

The USA has a system of centralising power. They put too much in the hands of too few or they put it in the hands of a majority who agree with each other whereas we put it in the hands of a majority who are at each others throats.

I'm not going to try to argue how well the British system works, but a quick study of how the U.S. government is organized into three branches and a quick look at "separation of powers", plus the concept of federalism should be enough to show that it is clearly not designed or intended to be a system of centralizing power.    I'd certainly agree that it's messed up and out of balance, but that's really a different kind of point.


Well yes and no.
You have some division but it's not great.
You focus a lot into the office of President. More than we do in any one place. He also isn't beholden to his party in the same way our leaders our. The best way I've ever seen is put is: The USA elects the individual, Britain elects the party.

Your political theatre is also more of a farce. A lot of your politicians actually hold the same overall beliefs just with a few meaningless differences. Oh sure they'll say anything to get elected (a lot like the Lib Dems, dohohoho) but once they're in office? They tend to follow the same patterns. Here on the other hand for better or worse our parties tend to stick to their message. As was the case with Labour where it was a definite worse.

Finally the Lords and Senate can be compared but the key difference here is that both parliament and the monarch try to come to an agreement on new members of the Lords who then hold the position for life (or in the case of the lords spiritual as long as they hold their position within the church). They effectively exist beyond the scope of individual governments meaning you get a mix of viewpoints some of which very old while others are newer. In the case of the Senate what is it that is the maximum? Six years as I recall?

quadibloc on February 17, 2011, 04:45:34 pm
Finally the Lords and Senate can be compared but the key difference here is that both parliament and the monarch try to come to an agreement on new members of the Lords who then hold the position for life (or in the case of the lords spiritual as long as they hold their position within the church). They effectively exist beyond the scope of individual governments meaning you get a mix of viewpoints some of which very old while others are newer. In the case of the Senate what is it that is the maximum? Six years as I recall?
The House of Lords is like Canada's Senate - it has no legitimacy, and thus for it to overrule the Commons is normally seen as undemocratic. So it very seldom happens.

The U.S. Senate is elected, so it is a full participant in whether or not any bill is passed.

As well, although each Senate member goes up for re-election in six years, this does not mean that there is no "mix of views" - that one party would sweep in along with a new President with perhaps a delay of a few years. This is because of the American committee system.

Government spending is largely controlled by committees, and appointment to them is done by seniority. As a result, districts (as well as states - so this applies even to the House of Representatives) will tend to keep re-electing their incumbent representatives, regardless of their politics... so as to keep defense plants and the like located in their area.

Thus, if anything, the weakness of the U.S. political system is the opposite of the one you advance. Instead of one party sweeping into power with a new election, individual representatives will hold on to power regardless of their merits or the merits of their policies for an inordinate time.

spudit on February 17, 2011, 05:47:44 pm
I like it,
a Canadian moderating a political dispute between a brit and the yanks.

One big happy family. :D :D :D
Vote Early and Vote Often
for EFT
have you voted today?

Holt on February 17, 2011, 06:01:32 pm
Finally the Lords and Senate can be compared but the key difference here is that both parliament and the monarch try to come to an agreement on new members of the Lords who then hold the position for life (or in the case of the lords spiritual as long as they hold their position within the church). They effectively exist beyond the scope of individual governments meaning you get a mix of viewpoints some of which very old while others are newer. In the case of the Senate what is it that is the maximum? Six years as I recall?
The House of Lords is like Canada's Senate - it has no legitimacy, and thus for it to overrule the Commons is normally seen as undemocratic. So it very seldom happens.

The U.S. Senate is elected, so it is a full participant in whether or not any bill is passed.

As well, although each Senate member goes up for re-election in six years, this does not mean that there is no "mix of views" - that one party would sweep in along with a new President with perhaps a delay of a few years. This is because of the American committee system.

Government spending is largely controlled by committees, and appointment to them is done by seniority. As a result, districts (as well as states - so this applies even to the House of Representatives) will tend to keep re-electing their incumbent representatives, regardless of their politics... so as to keep defense plants and the like located in their area.

Thus, if anything, the weakness of the U.S. political system is the opposite of the one you advance. Instead of one party sweeping into power with a new election, individual representatives will hold on to power regardless of their merits or the merits of their policies for an inordinate time.

That's a very good counter point. I guess the bigger difference is what they traditionally do. The Lords mostly debate legislation and propose changes which still have to be signed off by parliament. They're an extra sounding board for ideas. They have powers to debate and amend legislation but generally are very tightly restricted in what they can do if something is passed by the House of Commons. They are also almost completely banned from anything to do with taxation.

It is worth noting however that we don't see the rampant corruption the USA does. When it does occur it is the source of much scandal and in recent times (the expenses scandal) almost resulted in the dissolution of parliament. The only corruption case where the guilty party has got away with it in recent years was the recent fiasco involving those two aircraft carriers. Instead of paying for the carriers themselves the yard time was paid for meaning that even if they were not built or cancelled we would still be paying for the shipyards production time. This was done by the former PM to ensure the job security of the shipyard workers. Something that normally you would never see in the UK but is common in the USA.