Wednesday, May 23, 2012

And Unicorns will shit Gold Coins

Rampant optimism is a great thing.  In the young.
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In later years, it is a little delusional.
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I understand the desire for a Corporate Arab Spring.  Just like I understand the desire for rainbows and butterflies.  Okay, not butterflies, Ed hates butterflies.  Let's say rainbows and unicorns.
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But the odds of an Arab Spring for Corporations are slightly less probable than the odds of a Unicorn coming over the horizon, with a butterfly impaled in it's horn - shitting or not shitting Euros.  Which is to say, not so probable.
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In the olden days, a corporation was tied to a unique geography or country.  Hence we had "good corporate citizens".  Companies that worked not just for profit, but for the good of the country they did business in.  Now companies can do business anywhere in the world, and "good corporate citizenship" doesn't mean the same thing.  And we all need to get used to it.
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We actually have a case study of this in the United States.  Many of our domestic only companies are technically headquartered in Delaware or Nevada, because the liability laws and corporate secrecy laws are more Corporate friendly there.  So, once the playing ground is level, why would we expect these same corporations not to headquarter in the Cayman Islands or Panama?  There is no benefit for them to be "good corporate citizens" in the United States.
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And they can buy Congress to get laws favorable to them.  They are, indeed, good lobbyists.  Other countries (I'm looking at you China) lock their markets unless the corporations do as they are told.  They enforce a national good in return for market access.
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So, by all means, wish for a Corporate Arab Spring.  And, when it comes, send the gold shitting unicorn to my house.

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