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Old 07-27-2019, 05:05 AM
Wrenching Spanners is offline
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: London
Posts: 627
Originally Posted by Esprise Me View Post
WS, you keep arguing that shielding individuals from liability is a good and even necessary thing in some circumstances but you haven't explained why it isn't contrary to the idea of personal responsibility. Is your argument that personal responsibility is still a conservative value despite this exception that's made for good cause, or are you trying to say corporations are somehow still about personal responsibility?
With regards to ownership, corporations are not about personal responsibility. The owners are at risk of losing their investment, but unless they are involved in the decision making of the corporation, they aren't liable for the bad actions of the corporation. I think this is a necessary feature of capitalism. It's definitely a structure that protects the wealthy. But society as a whole benefits when investment is enabled. However, limiting the risk of owners is different from protecting decision makers within a corporation, which includes the board of directors. Those people should be personally responsible for their actions, and shouldn't be allowed to blame the corporation or society for their bad acts.

For a recent example, look at the Volkswagen emissions scandal. Volkswagen shareholders shouldn't be subject to lawsuit because Volkswagen engineers and leadership rigged their cars' exhaust systems. If shareholders were liable, you'd have fewer people investing in car companies. Maybe that's not so bad for diesel, electric cars aren't risk free either. I want there to be investment in the next generation of electrical cars. If a collection of executives knowingly release a battery with a hazardous flaw, then absolutely hold each of them responsible, both civilly and criminally. If the consequences cause the company to go bankrupt, then the investors lose the money they put into the corporation, which isn't a small thing.