I’ve seen a fair amount of commentary about common ground between the Occupy Wall Street movement and the Tea Party. I don’t think it exists, because I find the Tea Party’s grievances largely pretextual. Debt and government spending was only a problem when a Democrat took office. Much like infidelity and lying about infidelity was an impeachable offense only when a Democrat was in the White House. For a certain group of hard core partisans, a Democratic Presidency is more or less by definition, illegitimate. That has seemed to be the beating heart of the Tea Party. The rest is mostly just dressing.
But, with that theme of common ground on my mind, I read Tipsy’s remarks on Mark Cuban’s advice to OWS. Says Tipsy:
A lot of reckless crap went on at least because the risk of loss was so minimal compared to the chance of gain. This is the whole point of Corporations and LLC’s: to limit risk of loss to one’s investment – and not one cent more than one’s investment.
It’s always seemed to me that the corporate form should be anathema to Libertarians. It’s a government construct that exists for the purpose of evading personal responsibility. And, as Tipsy points out, a lot of our recent economic problems were helped along by the actions of people who stood to lose no more than their investment, even if the damage caused by their actions or those of their agents was far greater.
For this reason, it seems like the Occupy Wall Street crowd and the Libertarians should be able to find some common ground in tinkering with the corporate form. (Particularly in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision which expanded the rights of corporate personhood in the world of political campaign finance.)
I don’t know what that corporate tinkering would look like, necessarily. Cuban suggests turning “too big to fail” banks into partnerships:
We should make all investment banks become reporting partnerships (meaning they still have the same reporting requirements they have today ). I would have no problem with our government loaning money to the partners of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley and other Too Big To Fail Institutions so that they can buy back all public shares of their stock. Of course all those partners would become personally liable for repaying that money back to the government. It would probably be about 120B dollars in total to take these 2 companies private. That is far, far less than a possible bailout would cost.
Those personal guarantees would change EVERYTHING in the banking industry. It would change the decision making process across the board. There would be a moral hazard to every decision. Today , a wrong decision and they vacation on their yacht. As a partner, the wrong decision and they are protesting right next to the OWS crowd as a 99pct er. It would be the definition of having “skin in the game”