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Archive for April, 2015

“I believe strongly in the importance of being a role model…in society… At the end of the day corporations have an obligation to make a positive difference in our society, because corporations exist because society allows us to exist.”  Not the words of some wild-eyed bearded Marxist – that’s a quote attributed to Kenneth Chenault, CEO of American Express, with $5.4 billion in net income.

Chenault’s understGoldProp_176x111.gifanding of the role of the Corporation vis-à-vis the society in which it lives probably has contributed to Amex’s 164 year history of success. Private property and corporations are not God given or natural. They are legal fictions, created by societies, and this is the crucial point, created by societies to a purpose – for the benefit of that society.  Once created, corporations may naturally attempt to assert their primacy, their rights to exist as somehow parallel to the right to life and liberty, but this is false and must be rejected.  Corporations’ rights are valid only to the extent that endowing them with such rights serves the broader societal purpose.  There are no inherent property rights or corporate rights.

One does not measure the success of a society by how fiercely it protects private property and corporations, but by the reverse – how well its system of private property and corporations serve society as a whole.

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The so called Green Tea coalition of the Tea Party has it right – energy conservation is a conservative cause.

Free Markets – Government spends billions dollars of taxpayer money on direct subsidies to foreign oil, domestic coal, and nuclear power.  Ending those subsidies is a small government, conservative idea that also helps the environment.  Energy users should pay for what they use.  Conservatives should reject paying the bill (through taxes) for someone else’s energy use.

National Security – Centralized power plants and foreign oil fields are vulnerable to terrorists and foreign powers.  Rooftop solar is not.  Conservatives should embrace home energy production as a hedge against terrorists and big government.

Property Rights – Conservatives should reject dumping without paying.  Coal users belch and burn in the trash dump of the sky without paying a tipping fee.  Anyone who dumps on all of us should pay a fee.

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