Thursday, December 08, 2011

A guideline for when to nationalize or heavily regulate corporations

Drawing on the thought they use in Europe and light weight economic thought.

Individually, small businesses don't exercise an excess of power over society. Your local restaurant, bar, or craft manufacturer doesn't have the power to determine where society is going and what it looks like as a whole. But as you go up the chain to bigger and bigger businesses, and to businesses that provide services that are more and more essential and that can't easily be duplicated, like phone service, energy, and water, their power to control society increases substantially. When a business comes into the position of being a king maker in society, it starts to infringe on the rights of society and of the public as a whole, and should be taken over by society. This applies even when the company is not a pure monopoly situation but part of an oligopoly.

We have several different phone companies for land lines, for instance, but we don't have hundreds or thousands of them spaced out across the country. Even though they have token competition, they exert a huge influence over our lives, and shouldn't be privately controlled.

If a business becomes a public concern, the public should control it.

*on edit: but that doesn't mean there should be top down central planning like the Gosplan in the Soviet Union.

No comments: