Arnold Kling  

The Disputation

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Comparing Mortgages... Corporations...

You can watch here. Move the slider to around 35 to 40 minutes in. I call it a disputation because, given the differences in religious beliefs, Tim and I were not really going to change any minds.


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CATEGORIES: Political Economy



COMMENTS (5 to date)
John V writes:

Good discussion.

Couple of gripes:

1. I found it disheartening watching the somewhat smug and distrustful looks you and Tim were getting from some in the audience for some of your points about corp's and politics. What you and Tim said was totally true and should really make progressives take pause and be a little skeptical about their view on this issue. But it doesn't seem to. Tim was excellent in the detail of demonstrating cause and effect on the matter. The disconnect is baffling.

2. While the progressive points seemed well intended, Lisa Graves in particular said very little of any substance on this matter. Baker said much more on the Fed. But neither really addressed the anatomy of the problem.

John V writes:

I just watched parts of it to see if my previous comment was inaccurate or biased. And it wasn't.

As I thought about it more, I can say that I have never seen progressives...for all their passion... address the anatomy of corporate/government collusion or influence. I see a lot about of bemoaning results and a lot of ideas that nip at the edges of side-effects of this marriage...but never the actual genesis itself.

Otto Maddox writes:

"I can say that I have never seen progressives...for all their passion... address the anatomy of corporate/government collusion or influence."

I've been labelled "dangerous" for making this point in forums on my college campus.

MernaMoose writes:

Well, you really didn't have a chance in that one. As the say goes: To those who believe, no explanation is necessary. To those who don't, no explanation is possible.

Sometimes, I wonder what purpose these sorts of debates really serve. It seems that almost nobody is ever persuaded. Or rather, the "independent" middle that might be swayed, is not interested enough to pay any real attention most of the time.


On net balance I'm in favor of there being corporations. But I will make a point on something where, I'm unable to tell if you have an inconsistency you haven't though all the way through or not. You said,

Corporate power, in and of itself, just does not scare me.

I agree with your point, that corporate power is transient. However when corporations are on top of their game, the power they wield is tremendous. Due to sheer size, and the magnitude of the resources they command.

It's that corporate/government collusion that bothers me, perhaps more than anything else about corporations. It does scare me, despite it's transience.

I'm still not clear on why it doesn't scare you. I just think serious consideration should be given to driving the biggest, strongest, most impermeable legal wedge we can figure out how to drive, into the whole universe of government-corporate collusion.

Which I expect you won't disagree with but, the fact that walls can be gotten over, under, around, or through if you have enough money (and corporations typically do), is what scares me about corporations.

Not sure how to design an adequate pair of handcuffs, but this is yet another place where governments grow and overstep their intended bounds.

Seth writes:
It's that corporate/government collusion that bothers me, perhaps more than anything else about corporations. It does scare me, despite it's transience.

I'm still not clear on why it doesn't scare you.


Kling states at the 44:20 mark that it's the overlap of corporate and government power is what he really worries about.
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