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The answer seems like a no-brainer to me, but I'm having trouble wordifying it...

Okay, short version: because for-profit investors are the entities with the lion's share of resources in our society, as it now stands.

(originally posted here)

Woozle (talk)00:45, 5 June 2017

"Shareholders have resources" punts on the question why do shareholders have value?

I've been digging into dynamics of joint-stock ownership, limited liability, various mint and money acts, financial conferences, etc., over the past couple of years, with a few interesting hits in the past few days. I apply the principle of William R. Cattton, Jr.: focusing on the /personalities/ involved -- or even some given identifiable social group, strikes me as grossly miscast.

The problem transcends this. It's based on some set of dynamics.

What is it about the overall structure, the feedbacks, the dynamics? How can this possibly be addressed?

For example: what are the types of goods, services, or other phenomena which are priced within an economic system, and what is the behaviour of those prices?

Crack open Smith and you'll find commodities, labour, skilled labour, rent, stock, capital, and money discussed. It's a good start.

And in the case of rents, the salient behaviour is that a rentier is one who is able to extract the surplus value out of a system.

I've been flipping this around for a while, and trying to sort out why, and what it is that rent-producing entities are. What I'm leaning toward is that they are network control nodes. That is, if you own a rent-producing entity, you control a gateway through a network.

Woozle (talk)00:47, 5 June 2017

(new response, not from Mastodon threads)

Well, I did say it was the short version ;-)

Yes, it's a dynamic, and there's a dynamic behind the dynamic:

  • Our laws are designed to encourage concentrations of power.
  • Why? Partly because the early framers didn't trust regular folks to make decisions, but also partly because somewhere along the line the concentrations got large enough to overpower the governmental mechanisms designed to keep them in check.
  • How did this happen?
  • I don't know for sure, but I feel very inclined to point a finger at technology.
    • Tech creates power. If you don't regulate it somehow, you get a power vacuum that is filled by selfish interests. We didn't regulate fast enough, and selfish interests are now overwhelming and destroying our regulatory ability.
      • This is probably a tale as old as civilization, but at least now we have the tools to study it in real-time and perhaps work out some countermeasures.
Woozle (talk)01:04, 5 June 2017