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Lawyers Again…and Adam Smith

Lawyers are now ethically allowed to turn in clients that are stealing from the company or cooking the books. It’s funny to think of the health of a corporation as being tantamount to the health of another person who might fall victim to harm by misdeeds of a client.

I suppose this goes to show that the much hated “joint stock company” of Adam Smith is, in fact, as important as a human life in this hyper-capitalist society of ours.

I think I’m done writing about lawyers for the moment.

Much Hated:

Smith warned against the joint-stock company as it had the following properties that made it dangerous to the stability of the Wealth of Nations:

  • unlimited life

  • unlimited size

  • ill-restrained power

  • unlimited license

In short, these joint-stock companies, were they to become ubiquitous, represent a threat to the viability of the “invisible hand”. Need I say Enron, Worldcom, Tyco?

It’s instructive that most who praise laissez-faire capitalism see the corporation as their mascot, a more appropriate mascot would be the guy pushing the ice-cream cart with the little bells on it.