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08 August 2011


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Will Reks

ALEC seems to be a vehicle for corporate tryanny disguised as a populist movement.


If we have constitutional change by junta, why not write legislation by crib notes?


Since ALEC focuses on lobbying on a state level it makes sense for them to push 'states rights' as a remedy to unwanted federal oversight through obviously tyrannical bodies like the FDA, EPA and so forth. What a sham.

Now Mr. Lang will obviously tell me that the states are a safeguard against federal tyranny, and that the various state legislatures are a way to govern for the locals as they wish, and that is all true. They are also a way to expedite the regulatory race to the bottom.

In America states underbid each other to attract business, and that attracting is being done usually by gutting regulation, oversight and taxation. Other successful countries prove that that is not the only way.

You can get fifty corporate charters in America; in France, Japan, Germany, UK - one. Why? Because it is understood that setting standards creates a level playing field beneficial to all. In sharp contrast, Texas touts its model of non-taxation, non-regulation and non-oversight as a glorious achievement, over the competing states.

I say, wait until the predictable and inevitable next big f-up comes, and you then can probably watch Mr. Perry tell his electorate that it probably was an act of God that couldn't have been prevented anyway, and instead of focusing on petty and vengeful bickering about culpabilities and negligence Texans should unite in prayer for the unfortunate victims of this tragedy - to then go sign the bills that cut off legal remedies and compensations these victims, necessary 'tort reform' as a bulwark against all these frivolous lawsuits allegedly flooding the courts (naturally, only in case he hasn't already done so). It can hardly get any more cynical.

IMO the US would benefit greatly following Germany's idea from the 1870s that introduced a standardised penal and civil code and unified trade law and standard corporate charters.

While obviously taken from our poverty stricken, tyrannical, socialist dystopia here, there might be a point in it enduring even after a 100 years, changed many times to meed changed circumstances, and it being copied by other countries (to wit - the US model isn't, and that is a conscious decision). Germany's legal standardisation was an effective remedy to the multitude of state law that were come to be seen as an obstacle to trade and legal standards around the nation. It established a nationwide standard and, indeed, a level playing field, while still allowing for state unique solutions where they were wanted (notaries in Baden-Württemberg come to mind).

Yes, the US political system is broken yada yada yada and it would require a constitutional convention etc pp but tat this point that would probably a good idea. What the US has right now doesn't work well. That's not good. Anyone interested in the idea of good governance should give that a deep thought or two.

PS: As an afterthought that came while editing, I greatly recommend this smart little book: "The concept of capitalism", by Bruce Scott, Springer, 2009 - ISBN-13: 978-3642031090.


Only liberal leftist socialists want standardised legislation and the destruction of states rights! Oh, wait.

William R. Cumming

Model legislation is usually NOT!


walrus, WRC,
the idea presented by me is that the standardised legislation presents a reasonable standard and thus precludes this destructive underbidding at the state level.

No subversion of these standards without a national debate, as opposed to the current discrete and steady drip of stuff like these ALEC written follies in places like Walker's Wisconsin or Perry's Texas, or Brewer's Arizona for that matter.

Prison industry interests within ALEC are reported to have co-written Arizona's SB 1070. Rain-making under the guise of 'law and order'.


Arkansas is just like Wisconsin, or at least the it is according to this type of thinking.

ALEC is actually just a facilitator, one should look at the corporate sponsors and lawyers who actually finance ALEC's activities and write the 'models'.

Don't the citizens of each sovereign state elect representatives - legislators - to debate in that 'level playing field' of ideas just what legislation should be in effect; and then to to write these laws? I still can't find "Coroparations" anywhere in the Constitution.


"You can get fifty corporate charters in America; in France, Japan, Germany, UK - one. "

cp, you mean corporate laws in the diverse US states? I think there is much competition over here too to attract business to the diverse cities and states too. Every system has his loopholes; just as public or state funding/EU funding may make one town, region, state more advantageous to the business founder than another. No? Why not take that into account?

Besides, if you can invest enough money, I don't think it's a problem to find loopholes whatever the system.

Concerning no corporate taxes, if I take a pick (Delaware corporate law). Ireland has attracted much business with that tool. Maybe they thought, if all their people have work, they will still get income tax regularly and all the diverse indirect taxes. But look at their problems now?

Besides Germany from 1970 on isn't a good standard for comparison given the state of affairs before, it feels.

Somehow you are looking at matters through the lens of "19th century liberals" who were enamored with Prussian military power, considered Prussian power essential for unification. Mainly due to the stubborn Southerners with their very different ideas at the time. Aren't the Prussians the role model the Nazi's based their very own developments and distortions on?

William R. Cumming

The most recent example of a model law written by a federal contractor--a Professor at De Paul Law School after the anthrax attacks and theoretically buttressing quarantine by the STATES and their local governments was heavily denounced in various legal forums and literature but was spread by the FEDS for a long time and as a long term fix. You might ask can the feds quarantine? Not according to DOJ under current federal law. During the SARS epidemic with its source in ASIA over 800 illegal Asians were arriving daily by plane in Toronto and according to Canadian sources with 36-48 hours none could be located in the Toronto metro area. You can guess where they went to?

Oddly both TSA and BCE and other DHS orgs have yet to agree on what happens to sick persons arriving in USA at various airports and control points! Nor are passengers tested for illness.



And SARS has killed how many people? We'd be better off with actual food inspections at meat packing plants and busting up the oligarchy in that industry.


1870s. The BGB is from August 18, 1896 but the negotiations started a quarter of a century earlier. I'm talking of the StGB of May 15, 1871 too.


And, oh please, I am certainly not looking at it through the Prussian lens.

What I do see is that our federal-state relations can serve as an inspiration for other federal systems. With it's laws Germany found some practical solutions to some real life problems. There is no shame in copying what works even when it is 'not invented in CONUS'.

And in the US I see a lot of things that don't work. In the Staatsvertrag model we found a way short of constitutional amendment to address cooperation issues between states and the federal level. Why can't the US try something like that as well? There certainly is nothing in the law that prohibits that.

The numerous corporate charters in the US they are also part of the underbidding. Iirc Teddy Roosevelt tried to create a national US charter as an American standard. He was unable to get it through congress. Every state has its own charters. Say, one state has a Limited with 20k guaranteed amount, then the next underbids it by mandating just 15k guaranteed amount - to attract business, while compromising legal certainty. Witness the regulatory race to the bottom. The only thing 50 different American brands of Limited are good for is to keep lawyers employed and the courts busy.

I see the underbidding on a national scale as a serious problem (it also is a serious problem for Europe at the EU level - the Irish were essentially free loading on EU subsidies, when they were attracting all that business). When tax rates were fixed, or where at least a reasonable mandatory minimum tax is agreed on, in a market the companies engaging in that market have to compete with innovation instead of relocation. That's producing something of value, not just maximising profits.

That applies equally to the EU and the US.

The day one other state in the US introduces zero taxes for corporations, Texas Republicans will probably subsidise corporations, naturally because it creates a business friendly climate, and the Chamber of Commerce will probably praise the great wisdom of doing so, while maintaining that it still doesn't go far enough.

I recall reading the argument that having tax inspectors enforcing the tax code, enforcing the law, is a 'commercial disadvantage' for states, which must be eliminated. Some 'law and order' Republicans they are. Imo it can hardly get any more harebrained than that.

The point I am making is that this is obviously a sell out and a sell off that is happening, and that is nobody's interest but the few who profit from it. It is neither in the public interest.


don't you know, regulations and the FDA are inherently evil. So you want BIG GOVERNMENT to tell you what to eat and not to eat? What kind of American are you?

Say you have chicken meat with salmonella, or say, pork with trichina. Sure, a few people will get ill, perhaps die. But then the market will decide on whether consumers want to eat salmonella or trichina infested meat. Naturally the consumers don't, and the producer will get sued into bankruptcy and thus disappear from the market. Problem fixed, totally efficiently.

Faaaaar cheaper than having un-American BIG GOVERNMENT so-called health-inspectors keeping in bondage the spirit of free enterprise with their red tape, and bossing around consumers with their dictates.

And Rick Perry will then probably say the salmonella and the trichina infestation were signs of God that could not have been prevented by oversight anyway, and invite everybody to join him in prayer for the diseased and deceased.


William R. Cumming

Further information: Progress of the SARS outbreak
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
Classification and external resources

SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) is causative of the syndrome.
ICD-10 U04.
ICD-9 079.82
DiseasesDB 32835
eMedicine med/3662
MeSH D045169

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS, play /ˈsɑrz/ sarz) is a respiratory disease in humans which is caused by the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV).[1] There was one near pandemic, between the months of November 2002 and July 2003, with 8,422 known infected cases and 916 confirmed human deaths[2] (a case-fatality rate of 10.9%) worldwide being listed in the World Health Organization's (WHO) 21 April 2004 concluding report.[3] Within a matter of weeks in early 2003, SARS spread from Hong Kong to rapidly infect individuals in some 37 countries around the world.[4]

As of today, the spread of SARS has been fully contained, with the last infected human case seen in June 2003 (disregarding a laboratory induced infection case in 2004). However, SARS is not claimed to have been eradicated (unlike smallpox), as it may still be present in its natural host reservoirs (animal populations) and may potentially return into the human population in the future.

Mortality by age group as of 8 May 2003 is below 1% for people aged 24 or younger, 6% for those 25 to 44, 15% in those 45 to 64 and more than 50% for those over 65.[5] For comparison, the case fatality rate for influenza is usually around 0.6% (primarily among the elderly) but can rise as high as 33% in locally severe epidemics of new strains. The mortality rate of the primary viral pneumonia form is about 70%.

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