Death of a "hope"ful publication–and new hope… or new questions

Was surprised and saddened to see the end of publishing for a very fine magazine called Hope–a publication that focused on printing on writing about what its title suggested. Now, knowing they could no longer support publishing their magazine, they kindly searched for and found a similar publication that originates in Holland and is called Ode. They arranged that subscribers to Hope will be able to finish out their Hope subscriptions with Ode, which also writes stories full of positive energy.

The lead story in this first issue I received headlines this: “A single thought that can transform the world.” Whew, I wonder, what is this story going to be about? But I open the magazine and I get so caught up in reading one story after another that I don’t even get to that big headline story til a couple of hours later.

Turns out the thought reflects a lot of what I saw in a low-budget, limited release film recently called “The Corporation.” The article talks a lot about what the movie focused on–that corporations are legal fictions that have all the rights of an individual person…with none of the obligations, moral, legal or otherwise. Scary, eh?

Anyway, the dramatic single alteration they say will change the world is this: eliminating the idea of “limited Liability” for shareholders of corporations. In other words, whoever profits from a company must be equally responsible for what it does to make those profits. Dow Chemcial bought the company that killed 22,000 people with a poisonous gas explosion in Bohpal, India and paid people off at $500 a head. Never mind the folks who died; the countryside is still littered with those who survived but can no longer hold jobs because they are mentally damaged.

Guess what? It’s not an original idea that limiting liability is destructive–Abraham Lincoln predicted the ruination of democratic society when he saw the introduction of the concept of limiting liability for the individuals who operated businesses.

Hmmm. This really makes me take pause. I just registered my company as an LLC. Not nearly the escape system that incorporation provides, but still, there’s that phrase “limited liability.” Gotta take some stock. Your thoughts are welcome.

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