Dennis Hardin

Richism: The Self-Righteous Bigotry of the Wall Street Protestors

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So here's where we stand. I produced a real-world example of a moderate sized business that is absolutely stuck. It can't find a way around existing fascist legislation in order to implement its business plan, its idea of funding individual games by offering stock in them. It refuses to do an IPO because it (rightly) wants to retain control over its creative direction. I.e., their choice is: submit to the fascist SEC, or don't get "public" investment (or go to prison if they do proceed with their plan).

Merlin and Bob can't address this, so they pretend not to understand, or pretend that the facts are other than they are, yammering on while not answering HOW Valve can solve this very real-world business problem. (And Valve has millions of dollars and can afford full time lawyers, it's not a mom and pop who can't).

Shayne

- Such is the caliber and honesty of a good portion of OL posters.

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Valve wants to offer stock without yielding sovereignty. It wants to create a kind of share in their company that does not subject them to creative interference. THAT is illegal.

In other words -- according to you - they want their cake and eat it, too. They want potential shareholders' money with the shareholders having no voice in the company even if the current executives mismanage it. And you are wrong that it is illegal for a company to issue shares that does not subject the company to creative interference -- it's called preferred stock. A company can also acquire capital by issue bonds or taking out loans that give the lenders no say in running the company.

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Valve wants to offer stock without yielding sovereignty. It wants to create a kind of share in their company that does not subject them to creative interference. THAT is illegal.

In other words -- according to you - they want their cake and eat it, too. They want potential shareholders' money with the shareholders having no voice in the company even if the current executives mismanage it.

Typical fascist response, but it's not your decision, terms and conditions are properly between buyer and seller. It's really that simple. And yet you yammer, and yammer, and yammer.

What is your motive here? Are you really that dead set on defending fascism, or is it that you're a troll? Or maybe you're just suffering from Stockholm Syndrome and can't handle the reality here. Don't hold back now, tell us your motives here. I for one can only perceive your idiotic responses; I can't do much more but speculate on why you keep at it.

Shayne

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Merlin, you deny a key free market tenet: controls breed controls, with insidious untoward consequences. Your fascist system interposes itself between buyer and seller, prohibiting the free market from functioning naturally. You justify this with unprincipled presumptions about what creative people can come up with.

This is all clear to an actually principled supporter of the free market and shouldn't have to be explained in this forum. So it is not my motives that are in question here, it's yours.

Shayne

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Merlin, you deny a key free market tenet: controls breed controls, with insidious untoward consequences. Your fascist system interposes itself between buyer and seller, prohibiting the free market from functioning naturally. You justify this with unprincipled presumptions about what creative people can come up with.

This, of course, is nothing but a fabrication of your imagination for which you have zero evidence. All I have done is point out some facts that clearly prove your assertions - more fabrications of your imagination -- false or irrelevant. It's that simple

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And you are wrong that it is illegal for a company to issue shares that does not subject the company to creative interference -- it's called preferred stock. A company can also acquire capital by issue bonds or taking out loans that give the lenders no say in running the company.

Indeed, sounds like they don’t have a legal problem. They’re not willing to accept shareholder input, so they chose not to accept the capital they would get once they did. Shareholders elect the board of directors, that’s the way corporations work. If insiders hold a sufficient percentage they can still maintain control, at worst they’ll have to deal with a minority of pesky independent people on the board always asking questions and making resolutions that easily get voted down. Why not offer preferred stock or special non-voting common shares? Beats me, presumably their investment banker advised them that no one would buy such shares. It sounds like this company is something of a joke. Or their investment banker is part of the fascist conspiracy. I bet they went to the firm of Duce, Franco, and Schicklgruber for their underwriting.

But let's not forget, there's still Pink Sheets. Or a partnership/LLC structure.

Why is it that I’ve also pointed out Shayne’s errors and/or ignorance on this thread and not yet been insulted? I’m feeling left out. If Merlin’s a moron and defender of fascism, I should at least be a brain-dead apologist for terrorism. I mean fair’s fair.

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Why is it that I’ve also pointed out Shayne’s errors and/or ignorance on this thread and not yet been insulted? I’m feeling left out. If Merlin’s a moron and defender of fascism, I should at least be a brain-dead apologist for terrorism. I mean fair’s fair.

Because up until this last post you hadn't said anything idiotic, you'd just pointed out a few factual issues. Of course, you reversed course here, but even here you haven't been obnoxious.

It's clearly illegal for them to raise money in the manner fitting to their business values. To submit to an SEC-approved approach would clearly cause a substantive change to their business and violate their core values. So yes, this is having a severe effect on this particular plan of theirs, and if someone had a business idea where this kind of plan was integral to the business, then it would kill the business. I have no idea how to explain why this is so difficult for you people to comprehend other than something like mental retardation, bad motives, or a mind that is so corrupted by fascism that you honestly can't grasp what I'm saying.

It reminds me of when I went to the city to see about what kind of shed I was permitted to build on my property. They said it had to be 3' from my house. Given my yard layout, that was very inconvenient. I knew it wouldn't do any good, but I asked why. They said maybe my shed would burn down. But my garage stores precisely the same things I was going to put in the shed, and is constructed in the same way. So that answer was obviously asinine. I asked the guy "Forget about the rules for a second. Do you think this makes any sense? I know, I still have to obey the rules. But human being to human being -- do you think it's right?" He looked like a deer in headlights. All he could do is repeat the rules to me. He had absolutely no idea what I had just said or why I would say it. He was the perfect bureaucrat/slave.

That's what you people are. Something has been completely corrupted in your brains and you simply can't comprehend. It's rather amazing.

Shayne

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Quoting from my book:

Consider the following fascist tendencies in the United States:


  • Onerous tax codes heavily favor big business over small business, for it is very simple for a big business to hire a professional accountant, but a huge burden for a small business to do so.

  • Only big business can afford to pay for lobbyists in Washington. Therefore, the political tendency is to favor big business.

  • Only big business can afford to jump through all the legal hoops required in order to obtain investment capital from the general public.

  • Only big business can afford to devise and implement the complicated tax-shelter schemes the current legal environment encourages.

  • In spite of the propaganda about patents benefiting individual inventors, the facts demonstrate quite the opposite. Patents guarantee that big business can hold its monopoly position over small businesses. Indeed, even the allegation of infringement can cost a small business a million dollars to defend, something easy for the big business to handle, but impossible for the small business.

  • The Federal Reserve hands out money at low or no interest to big businesses, who then either use it to compete directly with small businesses who have no such access to cheap fiat money, or loan the money out at substantially marked up rates to the smaller businesses. Among many other victims of this process is the small farmer, who has systematically been driven out of business by the banking system.

  • There is a revolving door between many big businesses and big government positions. This biases laws and their application in favor of big business.

  • Government regulatory compliance is virtually impossible for small businesses in some fields. This leads not only to the stifling of small business, but the removal of life-saving products from the marketplace.

  • Government dominion over wild lands greatly favors rich and connected individuals when it comes to getting permission to extract natural resources.

  • The whole history of medical insurance is the history of individuals losing their ability to insure themselves in favor of big business's ability to shackle the individual to their job, all made possible by government regulations. This again favors the big business over the small one.

  • Only big businesses can be “too big to fail” and get bailed out of mistakes that would bury any small businessman.

So it's obviously a big racket. Big government likes big business. To borrow a phrase from Ayn Rand: it makes one neck ready for one leash. (Ironically, Ayn Rand's followers, the Objectivists, can be generally be relied on to come to the defense of big business while remaining almost totally silent on rights-violating actions of government that favor big business at the expense of small business. But this fascist shift is a reversion to a form of serfdom or slavery; it is a step backward for human society and is something that must be understood and fought and reversed.)

Well, shall we start over everybody? Is this a pile of poop or a pile of truth? My criticism is big usually has an advantage over small and wealth over poverty regardless. These things make any imbalances worse.

--Brant

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After going over the first 40 posts on this thread, I have to say the name calling is too much for my tender sensibilities.

--Brant

good nite

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Why is it that I’ve also pointed out Shayne’s errors and/or ignorance on this thread and not yet been insulted? I’m feeling left out. If Merlin’s a moron and defender of fascism, I should at least be a brain-dead apologist for terrorism. I mean fair’s fair.

Aw, poor ND, life is so unfair. :smile:

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It's clearly illegal for them to raise money in the manner fitting to their business values. To submit to an SEC-approved approach would clearly cause a substantive change to their business and violate their core values. So yes, this is having a severe effect on this particular plan of theirs, and if someone had a business idea where this kind of plan was integral to the business, then it would kill the business. I have no idea how to explain why this is so difficult for you people to comprehend other than something like mental retardation, bad motives, or a mind that is so corrupted by fascism that you honestly can't grasp what I'm saying.

Wrong again. While your phrase "SEC-approved approach" is ambiguous, apparently you believe the company should be able to issue publicly-traded common stock, which represents part ownership and control, without the buyers having the usual rights of owning common stock. (Such rights existed before the SEC did.) As I said before, that's like wanting to have one's cake and eat, too. (I assume the company could issue more private common stock and sell it to outsiders, but that too entails dilution of ownership and control.) Also, as I said earlier, they could raise money by issuing preferred stock or bonds (or get loans) which entails no ownership dilution. Why you apparently cannot grasp such a simple point is rather amazing.

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(I assume the company could issue more private common stock and sell it to outsiders, but that too entails dilution of ownership and control.) Also, as I said earlier, they could raise money by issuing preferred stock or bonds (or get loans) which entails no ownership dilution.

It bears repeating that they could do this, and without studying the data and sitting in their meetings with whichever investment banker they consulted, we can’t know why they don’t. A good guess is that they couldn’t get underwriting, and the SEC has nothing to do with that. That’s the market at work.

Aw, poor ND, life is so unfair. :smile:

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Class A and Class B common stock is a perfect example of this. The original owners can hold Class B shares and maintain voting majority rights whilst actually selling a majority of their equity in Class A shares to new investors (if that in and of itself isn't a oxymoron), but this is possible in an IPO. But yes, still you'd have other owners who may whine about the the direction of the company and "mess it up". Tough shit, they're owners now too.

To say that Valve cannot do an IPO, raise money, and keep creative control is simply false. If the owners don't want other investors legitimately raising their voices and causing a hassle for them, then fine, don't take their money. Or, like Merlin said, get a loan.

From http://www.investopedia.com/articles/fundamental/04/092204.asp#axzz1cYFLPzmd

" When the Internet company Google went public, a lot of investors were upset that it issued a second class of shares to ensure that the firm's founders and top executives maintained control."

"Ford's dual-class stock structure, for instance, allows the Ford family to control 40% of shareholder voting power with only about 4% of the total equity in the company. Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which has Warren Buffett as a majority shareholder, offers a B share with 1/30th the interest of its A-class shares, but 1/200th of the voting power. Echostar Communications demonstrates the extreme power that can be had through dual-class shares: founder and CEO Charlie Ergen has about 5% of the company's stock, but his super-voting class-A shares give him a whopping 90% of the vote."

It's such a fascist hardship not to have the "freedom" to invent any type of financial instrument one can dream up and sell it to the "free" people. We've never seen a problem with this, have we??

Bob

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Is this a pile of poop or a pile of truth?

It's something in between. Take the first point:

Onerous tax codes heavily favor big business over small business, for it is very simple for a big business to hire a professional accountant, but a huge burden for a small business to do so.

If we grant that "big business" equals C-corps, then they're subject to double taxation. Does that outweigh the case I could make for the other side? Depends on who's doing the weighing.

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On the first point above...

Small business can indeed hire a professional accountant. I'm doing so at this very moment, and a very, very good one I might add. However, I don't need, nor pay for his full time services.

The first point is clearly in the poop pile.

Bob

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It's such a fascist hardship not to have the "freedom" to invent any type of financial instrument one can dream up and sell it to the "free" people. We've never seen a problem with this, have we??

Yup, if anyone in this thread is advocating "fascism", it is Shayne. He proposes ownership with no control for outside shareholders. How ironic.

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Yes, but now that's leading into another discussion area - worthy and interesting as it may be.

My biggest problems are with Shayne's categorical 'principled' and wild proclamations that you/we/small business can't do this and that because of the illegal fascist oppressive government laws. The problem is that while indeed I agree to a large extent with many of the very real and troublesome government impediments to free(er) markets, Shayne's very specific assertions are just plain false.

The more fundamental question is if markets should be left completely free or not. What is optimum? Who decides? Difficult questions and simply not well addressed with a one-size-fits-all principle. Should markets have rules? Enforcement? How much? I think, as often is the case where you need to look at reality AND principles and not exclude one or the other. The answer then becomes "it depends".

I think some markets should be left essentially or even entirely free, whereas others should not. There are some very compelling arguments against free markets for some segments of the economy.

Bob

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Well, shall we start over everybody? Is this a pile of poop or a pile of truth? My criticism is big usually has an advantage over small and wealth over poverty regardless. These things make any imbalances worse.

What is economic regulation? It is central control of business property by a dictatorship. The owners of the business can't actually dictate what they do with their own property. They aren't permitted to trade value for value without meddling by the dictatorship. This is Ayn Rand's definition of fascism. The aspect I'm highlighting here is that it's also "one neck ready for one leash" corporatism. And of course we all know -- or should know -- that fascism and corporatism go hand in hand.

Regulatory burden on the market is a more severe hit on weak and small businesses than on big ones. This makes as such regulation a de facto prop to big business. Now, occasionally, they purposefully lighten the burden on small business in order to prevent killing them altogether (e.g., employment law is written in terms of businesses over so many employees vs. under so many), but that's a pragmatic affair and only blunts the pain to a limited degree. Without these pragmatic hacks we'd see an even worse tendency toward bigger and bigger business.

Shayne

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After going over the first 40 posts on this thread, I have to say the name calling is too much for my tender sensibilities.

--Brant

good nite

It's interesting that you're more upset by the insults than by the bizarre illogic of my "opponents."

And they're still at it. They continue to try to argue that the interposition between buyer and seller is either not really there (even though it's plainly obvious that it is), or that even if it is there, it is of no consequence (thereby rejecting a key free market tenet, and also, ignoring the real-life example I gave).

They are fascist trolls or patsies. A true free market defender would focus not on how one might be able to get around the regulations (and deluding themselves that one can when one can't), but on their injustice. Their machinations are aimed at only one thing: keeping the status quo in place.

Shayne

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I'll say this for you Shayne, you have a recognizable style.

"If you're not angry, then you're not paying attention."

Shayne

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It's such a fascist hardship not to have the "freedom" to invent any type of financial instrument one can dream up and sell it to the "free" people. We've never seen a problem with this, have we??

Yup, if anyone in this thread is advocating "fascism", it is Shayne. He proposes ownership with no control for outside shareholders. How ironic.

I don't get this. If there is no control for outside shareholders and that is a value to them who made them invest?

--Brant

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Yes, but now that's leading into another discussion area - worthy and interesting as it may be.

My biggest problems are with Shayne's categorical 'principled' and wild proclamations that you/we/small business can't do this and that because of the illegal fascist oppressive government laws. The problem is that while indeed I agree to a large extent with many of the very real and troublesome government impediments to free(er) markets, Shayne's very specific assertions are just plain false.

The more fundamental question is if markets should be left completely free or not. What is optimum? Who decides? Difficult questions and simply not well addressed with a one-size-fits-all principle. Should markets have rules? Enforcement? How much? I think, as often is the case where you need to look at reality AND principles and not exclude one or the other. The answer then becomes "it depends".

I think some markets should be left essentially or even entirely free, whereas others should not. There are some very compelling arguments against free markets for some segments of the economy.

Bob

You should man up to the fact that you are advocating a mixed economy which Rand stated was unstable likely degenerating into fascism. Or, that you are a conservative and I have to wonder why you think people such as Shayne and I would find that tolerable reference this subject? We don't have to deal with your "compelling arguments" for your ad hoc positions, only that they add up to a noxious intellectual stew. If society moves in principle toward more and more freedom those "compelling arguments" can be dealt with on a practical basis as they arise or simply bypassed to be dealt with later. In WWII this was called "island hopping." When the U.S. seized control of Tinian and Iwo Jima all hell descended on fascist Japan while the "compelling" argument for the existence of Japanese controlled Rabul meant shit.

--Brant

we are at war, you know?--you know?

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On the first point above...

Small business can indeed hire a professional accountant. I'm doing so at this very moment, and a very, very good one I might add. However, I don't need, nor pay for his full time services.

The first point is clearly in the poop pile.

Bob

And there is powerful accounting software. But I have to ask why should a small business need an accountant at all? Such a business could be one person doing the actual work--the real work. Such employees are needed to deal with all the bs fascism demands.

--Brant

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