We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Hands up everyone who thinks that Liz Warren wants that shareholder interest to be even more powerful in American firms? Quite, then she’s not proposing the Nordic model of corporate governance, is she?

But then, you know, since when did Matt Yglesias allow reality, or even knowledge of it, to ruin a good Democratic Party talking point?

Tim Worstall.

Face it, Matt Yglesias has been a fountain of ignorant fluorescent idiocy since the early days of blogging.

6 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Snorri Godhi

    It might be worth pointing out that Yglesias is a Philosophy graduate from Harvard.
    That says more about Harvard than about Yglesias. (Or philosophy.)

    Sorry, i just feel the need to be snarky once a week or so.

  • RRS

    While her assessment of how far the current public (U.S.) concern with the big data companies (being fanned by media, congressional hearings, “pundits,” et al.)can be enticed may be seriously off the mark, the chief aim of her proposal is NOT for “codetermination” (that doll of the chattering academics); nor is it for the “step toward equality” she refers to.
    The proposal is for further constraints on Open Access to the formation of associations, the nature of the relationships therein, and resultant operational structures.

    An understanding of the vital role of “Open Access” in social development can be had from the work of North, Wallis & Weingast; two of which are: NBER Working Paper #12795 (December 2006)and Violence and Social Orders (Cambridge 2013 Reprint).

    This is symptomatic of the “Managerial Society;” and in particular of a political impetus to extend the reach of managers of the Federal Administrative State (U.S.) and of the “Establishment” (U.K.) or of the EU Politburo; intruding into the functions of commercial (business) managers of their same class.

    Shall we see more???

  • Paul Marks.

    Exactly Perry (and others – including RRS) – the source of the decline in shareholder power in the United States (and Britain) is the state – taxes that undermined individual share ownership and encourage institutional share ownership, and regulations that “protect” Corporate Managers from the shareholders (the actual owners of the company).

    The proposals of Senator Warren would make everything even WORSE – by brining in the unions and the government, to decide such things a “fair” prices and wages.

    Mrs Warren pretends that the “conservative economist Milton Friedman” (actually he was a Classical Liberal – but there we go) invented a “new theory” that prices and wages should be decided by supply and demand and that the job of managers was to maximise the long term profits of the owners of the enterprise.

    Actually all this was well known long before Milton Friedman was born – it is the basis of economics, which tinpot FASCISTS such as Elizabeth Warren would stupidly deny. And the word FASCIST is justified – as Senator Warren is advocating the “stakeholder” and “fairness” polices of Mussolini, Senator Warren is advocating FASCISM.

  • Paul Marks

    As Perry, Snorri and RSS know – the decline of shareholder authority has been caused by the state, by taxes that discourage individual (as opposed to institutional) share ownership, and regulations that “protect” Corporate Mangers from the actual owners of the enterprise – the share holders.

    Senator Warren falsely claims that “conservative” economist Milton Friedman (he was actually a Classical Liberal), “invented a new theory” that prices and wages should be decided by supply and demand not “fairness” and that managers have a duty to maximise the long term profits of the owners of enterprises. Actually none of this was invented by Milton Friedman – it has been known for centuries. Much though tinpot FASCISTS such as Senator Elizabeth Warren deny it – and the word FASCIST is justified, for in her demands that prices and wages (and so on) be set according to “fairness” (rather than supply and demand) and in her demands that “stakeholders” decide things (not owners) Senator Warren is echoing Mussolini, the lady is advocating FASCISM. Much like the “National Recovery Agency” (the Blue Eagle thugs) that the Supreme Court stuck down (nine votes to zero) in 1935.

  • RRS


    My views are not congruent with an observation of “shareholder authority,” rather than the changes in rights of beneficial interest; assuming of course we are observing “publicly held” entities.

    Berle & Means (1932) delineated the issues arising from separation of ownership and control (authority)which issues have been further expanded by such things as investment trusts, mutual funds, REITs, ETFs, etc.

    It has been noted that about every 20 years or so the phrase “Corporate Democracy” comes back into legal, economic and social vogue (varying in degrees of emphasis). This usually involves how or on what matters, and in what manner, the aggregation of the voting rights attributable to “shares” should be exercised.

    Corporations are not “democracies;” but the temptations to analogize the aggregations of dispersed interests, similar to those of civil politics seems irresistible (especially to those of political bent or ambition). Hence we can see the politician’s “rationale” for expanding the eligible “voters.”

  • Laird

    Worstall is correct: Warren simply isn’t very bright. But she is a canny politician. This isn’t a serious proposal; it’s a gambit aimed at gaining her the 2020 presidential nomination. And it might work (or at least, assist in achieving that goal).

    And Paul is correct: this is Fascism in its purest sense, nominal private ownership of the means of production with de facto government control. By and large the term “fascism” has lost all meaning today. People need to be educated as to what it actually is: a variant on communism. Mussolini was a communist before he invented the fascist variant, but it’s still fundamentally communism.