Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The problem is not, in many cases, company law, the problem is company law enforcement. The US seems to need a revision to its legal system to properly codify legal personhood and limit it.

The failure of enforcement is a pressing issue.  However, the keys to solving that lie in an entirely different direction.  As you pointed out, the US has serious problems regarding the legal nature of the corporation and the laws regarding its governance, and the responsibilities involved in that governance.

Fixing the laws will, obviously, never have an effect if those laws are not enforced.  It's worth thinking about what the laws should be, though, and if they should be made easier to enforce.

by Zwackus on Mon Nov 14th, 2011 at 08:04:04 AM EST
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It is, but it's a secondary issue. As usual, the primary problem is political - corporations have vast political power, and so does the investor and CEO class.

Comparatively, everyone else has very little.

It's not all that difficult to imagine improved social enterprises, But they will never happen until power is distributed in a more balanced way.

The checks and balances model has potential, but it needs to include checks and balances against corporations, corporate lobbyists and investors.

Currently they have almost unlimited influence and negligible democratic accountability.

Internal democratic accountability is possibly the simplest and most effective way to change that. But you're still stuck with the problem that you can't enforce internal accountability from the outside when lawmakers will never vote against the interests of the corporations who own them.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Nov 14th, 2011 at 08:24:13 AM EST
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Yes, that's why I figure something along these lines is but one brick in a comprehensive wall of social and economic reform.

Getting active and effective legal enforcers on the beat is one task, and giving them laws with serious teeth to work with is another.  Lowering the bar for what counts as criminal misconduct makes it more likely that cases will be considered worth pursuing, and thus reduces the level of regulatory vigor necessary to pursue enforcement.  I think it's a good idea, but alone I acknowledge it to be insufficient.

And, in truth, I think that encouraging regulatory activism and lowering the bar for regulatory bite via new laws and criminal sanctions would be a much more approachable task than the creation of a democratic corporate form.  

by Zwackus on Mon Nov 14th, 2011 at 08:30:53 AM EST
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Until we have economic democracy, especially in the workplace, what democracy we have is always limited and at risk. Unfortunately, given the vulnerability of public opinion to manipulation, even the fact of economic democracy would be vulnerable to popular overthrow in favor of some smiling sociopath.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Nov 14th, 2011 at 09:29:01 AM EST
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