Owning shares of a company is the same as hoarding money? If some guy owns a lot of shares in a company that he founded, and the value of those shares skyrockets, and the person becomes a billionaire, does that mean he's "hoarding money"? Maybe it means that he still wants to have control over his company. Should he be forced to sell some of them? Should they be confiscated? How does it benefit society to prevent people from owning shares of private companies?
Even more shareholders (ideally - the most widespread possible shareholding, which would also include the workers of the company) would certainly make the decision process more democratic and reduce the potential for abuses as well - since shareholders have a right to information disclosure, it would be harder to bury bad deeds in secrecy.
Instead of arguing that billionaires shouldn't be allowed (whatever that means), it would make more sense to argue for changes in the political system that prevents wealthy people from having so much political power. I think this can be almost entirely accomplished with campaign finance regulations. I've never heard of the rich buying politicians in Canada, and we have billionaires here, too.
Seriously, Magis, that's not the point you'd want to make. United States - 412
billionaires. Canada - 24
. Even in per capita terms the difference is 1:2, one billionaire per a million and a half in Canada and 1 per 700 000 in the US. And you haven't heard of lobbying problems in Canada - really
? Less severe issues do not mean "no issues".
I think this is rarely or even never the case, because large companies typically have millions of shareholders. But even if the scenario you present is realized, how is that inherently bad?
Ever heard of the robber barons? Or about giant corporations fucking over entire cities, and sometimes entire nations - literally, sometimes with the support of military forces of a (former) colonial or neocolonial imperialist? No?
I agree. So maybe the solution should involve the actual problem - the financing of the political process.
I would agree, but many nations fail to erect such a barrier. In others, this barrier is then slowly eroded by the wealthy since they see it as curtailing of their power. It has to be a pretty good piece of legislation without loopholes and it also has to actually work as intended, you know.
If someone owns a lot of shares and those shares become worth billions, that process doesn't harm anyone and doesn't even take money out of anyone else's hands. It's not a zero-sum game. Entirely "new" wealth can appear in this way and nobody else is any worse off.
Does it not? If in the prior exchange two people treated each other as equals since they were in fact equals, and later first person becomes a billionaire with enough money to buy the second person almost in a literal sense, this is not harming anybody only so as long as the first person does not actually do something bad. And of course we should inherently put our trust into billionaires, they never did bad things to get where they are?
They enter and straggle off,
Under heavy sacks they stoop,
And the yellow windows laugh -
Beggars are easy to dupe…