Publicly traded governments

I was thinking that one way to possibly govern is by having entities such as the government or political parties be publicly tradable. Like you can buy shares and people who have more shares get more influence in making decisions. The idea being, if you explicitly own a portion of your nation, you would be more likely to invest in it than to dodge taxes (or whatever the funding mechanism is) and let it rot.

Obviously this is not democracy and nor do I claim it to be any better or worse, I was just curious if this idea has been explored elsewhere and what the pros/cons are.

Isn’t that sort of like a feudal system? I guess it differs in that you can opt in if you have the means.

I’m not sure why disenfranchising the poor will help their lot in life though. Rich owners would be motivated to help the poor… why?

Come to think of it, it’s probably more similar to the strongmen in Africa. That hasn’t been particularly beneficial for poor people.

Well, it’s like investing in your workforce, the more educated they are, the more productive they are.

What bothers me is how can an entire nation state be so backwards in their philosophy of labor? The American south with their slavery thing was kind of the exact opposite of investing in your workforce by preventing them from reading and all that. And then they got stomped by the north during the Civil War.

If slave labor was so inferior, why’d they do it that way? Maybe it was actually economically viable, until it wasn’t.

Keeping the workers as dumb and hungry as possible has been the norm for several thousand years.

But why

Ain’t nobody got time to micromanage an employee who can’t make decisions

I mean, imagine I had an illiterate employee who couldn’t even send emails. Good gravy man

Probably because everyone who has ever been in charge has been an idiot.

Or, maybe it turns out that it works out for those who are in charge.

It’s probably one of those.

1 Like

Because if you’re doing something that works it’s hard to imagine a better way. Slavery undoubtedly worked as there were many very wealthy slaveowners.

It seems like slavery worked until it didn’t. I suppose it still works in certain pockets in America in the form of unpaid internships and overtime, and in more seedier aspects of society such as the sex trafficking trade.

  1. Share based would lead to a one person authoritarian leader. First shares would concentrate in a small group that would insulate themselves with all the benefits and the onus on everyone else. Then one person would “buyout” the top small group.
  2. Slavery leverages the will of the individual to live against their best interest. It is easiest with physically demanding jobs such as mining or seafood production. Certain jobs are so risky demanding that the price of free people to do them is prohibitive

It was certainly economically viable until they required the use of large quantities of soldiers to keep it going.

Well with slavery there were slave foremen who supervised other slaves in exchange for better treatment / special privileges. Similarly in concentration camps some prisoners were given leadership roles in exchange for food, better chance of living another day.

I’m sure it makes more economical sense when the task you’re having the laborers do is pretty mindless, such as picking cotton or other crops or being human guinea pigs for medical experiments.

It’s pretty well documented that house slaves, who had more responsibilities / decision-making power were also typically treated much better than those who worked in the fields. They sometimes had the hope of being set free when their masters died.

So I’m sure it’s more economically sound for picking cotton than, say, calculating insurance premiums and reserves. The latter being a wee bit more complicated.

I’m still not sure why the owners of a nation would be motivated to help the poor.

Well, if all the poor people are stuck doing manual labor, there won’t be a workforce capable of producing the modern day luxuries that the owners would like to enjoy. Like healthcare.

So, a “guild” system develops.

None of this is new. Owners have wanted, and moslty gotten, nice things throughout history. And being poor has sucked throughout history. And the owners haven’t really cared all that much about it.

About the only time that it is actually in the owner’s best interest to help alleviate poverty is when the pitchforks start coming out.