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Socialism and Public Stock Exchanges

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ViennaSausage Posted: Thu, Jan 24 2008 4:39 PM

"Socialism means the public ownership of the means of production and distribution; that is Socialism and nothing else is Socialism," said Arthur Balfour.  Are stock exchanges and public traded stocks a form of socialism because it transfers ownership from private individuals to the public?  When a company has an IPO, initial public offering, does that mean it is seeking to become socialist in seeking public ownership of the means of production and distribution?  Would this world be better off without public ownership via stocks and stock exchanges, and hold everything private?

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ayrnieu replied on Thu, Jan 24 2008 7:56 PM

because it transfers ownership from private individuals to the public?

This 'public' is not in the collectivist sense: the post-IPO company is still owned by private individuals. 'Owned' with the exceptions of a regulatory state, but it is not also suggested that a bar is public property because its owner is forbidden from allowing its patrons to smoke.

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Bogart replied on Thu, Jan 24 2008 8:00 PM

The Public Stock Exchanges in the US at least are the product of a HEAVILY REGULATED business and not a socialist one.  The transactions on the exchange are typically between private parties for mutual benefit.  The government is not major buyer or seller in the securities traded on the exchanges.  Ergo the stock exchanges are not entirely socialist.

You have the wrong definition of "Go Public".  Go Public means that the company decides to sell an ownership stake on one of the "Public Stock Exchanges".  In the vast majority of cases the company seeking to sell ownership and the entity buying it are not the government.

 Does the government overregulate the exchanges.  I would say YES but that does not fit your definition of socialism.

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