I applaud Marotta's approach in post #24. He is replying with arguments worth addressing (even though they fail to make his case).
Many problems worry at Steve's overarching theory of "national ownership." Steve likens the United States of America to a corporation. I point out that the shareholders of a corporation or their elected board of directors are prohited from illegal or unlawful actions, such as declaring war on Spain, or buying and selling human beings. In fact, while many corporate charters include the phrase "... or any other activity lawful within this state" that is nonetheless a limitation in action and in place. A corporation cannot just vote to open a branch office in a place that does not allow it.
I likened the shared ownership of corporations and the shared ownership of aspects of our nation. Clearly they are not alike in all respects. As to the shareholders of a corporation or their elected board of directors being prohibited from illegal activities... I don't see the point in mentioning that. After all, elected members of the federal government, and the taxpayers who elected them are also prohibited from illegal activities. The government itself is limited by the constitution. I don't believe that this in anyway diminishes my arguement for the citizens of a nation being the owners of what the federal government manages for them.
Moreover, Adam Smith and Ludwig von Mises both were suspicious of joint stock corporations. I do not find their arguments compelling, but they must be addressed. For one thing, while our political institutions are firmly based on "one person one vote" corporations grant votes based on shares owned. That, to me is reasonable, but would change how we vote in the USA and how our representatives vote in Congress.
Here he goes off on a tangent NOT indicated by anything I wrote. I compared ownership and voting as having similarities between the nation and a corporation - not that they are, or should be, identical.
NOWHERE did I suggest that we change the nature of the votes to elect people to national office. You could have 10 people get together and sign a contract that in fact made them a kind of partnership, and they put money into a common bank account, and they write in their agreement that each person will have an equal vote in decisions they make as an organization... Or, they write in their agreement that each person will have a vote equal to the their portion of the common bank account. I don't care what these 10 people do. I think that equity arrangement with shareholders (where you can have many different classes of stock) is fine for them. And I think that one man, one vote is the best arrangement for electing people to office.
With all due respect to Smith and Mises, the modern corporation is the finest engine ever created for organizing the productive efforts of humans.
From The Hurricane Years, by Cameron Hawley:
"The modern corporation is so much more than just a commercial enterprise. Its the primary instrumentality of an entirely new civilization. Other societies have been built with other instrumentalities - the city-state, the feudal demesne, the temple, the church - there has to be some way to organize and control man's pluralistic effort.
... The corporation is the most efficient and effective instrumentality we've devised to organize human effort. Take this terrific forward thrust we've had in the physical sciences, this enormous expansion of technology - is it because of a simple accumulation of knowledge? No, it is because the corporation is using scientific research and development to promote the growth of a whole new civilization.
There's been scientific discovery for hundreds of years, but so little was ever done about it. Science was no more than an exercise in intellect. Its the corporation that's given it a point and purpose. We call this the scientific age, but its not just science and technology that's changing the world - its planning, its organization, its management, its direction."
A productive theme is chosen, a corporation formed, people invest, people are hired, competition rules, success evolves, and with the shareholder-investor side handled by the equity markets very little of the corporations efforts are tied up in fund raising - instead they are left to pursue the theme (which could be anything from the production and sale of kitchen utensils, to a non-profit pursuing a cure for cancer). We should revere the corporation as one of the truly great inventions.
...this speaks to a deeper problem: Wolfer's lack of "boots on the ground" experience with the problems of immigration... (Where upon Marotta informs us that he is such a member)
It is true that I am not, nor ever have been a member of the Texas Military Department. But honestly, does anyone think that disqualifies me from speaking intelligently about issues of political philosophy, law, or moral issues that revolve around immigration? Seriously?
The US Constitution, Art I Sec. 8 gives Congress the power to establish uniform rules of Naturalization. Beyond that, it falls to the States themselves to regulate immigration into their own jurisdictions.
My argument is that the federal government has the duty to protect the property rights of the owners of the common property under the care of the federal government, just as it has the right to protect against unlawful trespass into a military base.
Steve Wolfer apparently takes the position that the USA is a unified, centralized nation-state in which the voters in Florida have as much say in Alaska as the voters in Hawaii do about what is proper in Maine, which ultimately denies the very concept of a federal republic of 50 states.
No, that misstates my position. When we vote for a president, the voters of Florida may very will have had more of say as to who will be president than will the voters of Maine. Because the president is the president of all the nation, the majority of electoral votes rule. The voters of Maine will select their own senators. The borders we are talking about are the borders of the nation because it is entry into the nation. It makes no sense to have Texas voting to have immigration control over the border with Mexico and Arizona voting to have the border with Mexico wide open. Context.
Steve keeps drawing analogies between my home and the USA but those analogies fail on the very point he insists: ownership. If I have as much ownership right in the USA as Steve then I have as much right to allow in any visitors I choose -- and even choose to make them "family" members with full voting rights, if that is how I choose to run my home.
Again, Marotta is ignoring the heart of the argument I made: shared ownership. Like a corporation, or even a house where there are more than one person's name on the deed. If someone has their wife on the deed to their house, the wife will need to sign papers to sell the house. Marotta (and perhaps his wife, however they choose to share their home) can choose who comes into their home. But not into my home. And I can't make rules about his home. That is simple property rights. Control goes with ownership. With shared ownership the actions you can take are limited. You can sell your shares in a corporation but not someone elses. Marotta can vote for a candidate who believes that immigration should be increased above current levels and I can vote for a candidate who believes differently.