Philadelphia Reflections

The musings of a physician who has served the community for over six decades

0 Volumes

No volumes are associated with this topic

New topic 601: TITLE 601:Benjamin Franklin's Genealogy: Volume:

DESCRIPTION: 4316,4317, 1244,5371

New Topic CONTENTS:

4315: 4317,4315,1244

4317, 1244,4371,601:,

New blog 4317: TITLE Grand Master Franklin: 4317: 601:

When Benjamin Franklin died at age 84, he was considered an old man.

Your author had lived to be 94, knowing only that Franklin's portrait was hanging on a first-floor wall in the Masonic building across from City Hall. I supposed he had been a member, had become famous and his picture found, so the Masons wanted to get some free advertising. George Washington's portrait next to it, probably made the same point. My father and I were Masons, but what do we know, applying 21st Century attitudes to the 18th Century?

Well, old men can indeed sometimes learn something new. Franklin had been a very influential Grand Master around 1735. He was sworn to secrecy, but seeing him as a secret leader of the Masons would cast certain matters into whole new light.

NEW TITLE 4315: Ben Franklin's Genealogy: Topic 601:

In Yale University's first Volume of an 80-Volume set of Franklin's collected works is found a 24-page summary of his known genealogy, with the editor's comment that it is limited to certain branches in certain ways. His father had two wives, and Benjamin was the thirteenth of fourteen children of Josiah Franklin. No attempt is made to equal that here, except for two comments.

The first comment is that Josiah's generation, or the one before that, changed its name from Franklyn to Franklin. Before that, Franklyne, and before that further, Francklyne. Aside from generalities of shortening, we have little idea of why or by which generation a change was made. It has been said that the greatest influence on Ben came from his uncle of exactly the same name, often referred to as Benjmin Franklin the Elder.

The second comment is that just to list all of the legitimate relatives would consume a full page of last names. Adding the descendants of Ben's four illegitimate children would simply overwhelm all interest. If you think you may possibly be related to Ben Franklin, you probably are.

C16.......Marshall

CONTENTS: this is the main body of text

another paragraph

New blog TITLE Freemasonry, Franklin's Model?: Matthew J McGovern: Franklin Inn: Blog 4313: Topic 670:

CONTENTS:

The Franklin Inn recently heard a most interesting talk by one of its members, Matthew J. McGovern, about the Masons. The Inn nowadays doesn't have much to do with either Franklin or the Masons. But it helps to know that Benjamin Franklin was made Grand Master of English Americans around 1735, and that he had a lot to do with its later fight for achieving Independence against English Royals. Royals were naturally aristocrats, succeeding to world dominance of Freemasonry in England. This happened in 1390 or so, thus having a lot to do with Protestantism. Franklin seems to have had a lot to do with dominance. Especially American dominance of Philadelphia Lodge Number One as the Grand Mastery of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware--that is, the Quaker colonies. This happened while Franklin was Grand Master, so he must at least have consented to it.

Since Franklin was only 25 or 30 years old at the time, and the lodges are famous for their secrecy, one supposes that much of his advancement was a result of the favor of William Allen and Andrew Hamilton, who were among the richest and most influential men of the time. That is, to suspect Franklin was the gofer at first, but may have developed ideas of his own later on. It's also legitament to say that much is conjectural about the inner workings of a secret society, both true and wildly untrue. Speaking of secrecy, it seems worth mentioning that the official reason for the existence of Masonry is Charity. This amounts to a million dollars a day, or a billion dollars per year, including benign oversight of the finances of widows of members, and the invention of retirement homes. That's a little self-serving, but Orthopedic and Eye hospitals for children, or similar chaities are beyond challenge.

As for CRM, The Cloud, Google and Microsoft, things are moving so quickly and the election is so near that I have no comment. I find that Yale has produced an 80-volume book of Franklin's correspondence without mention of Masons, so you won't get much help from Ben Franklin, himself. I see that in 1775 Franklin was appointed (by whom?) Postmaster General for all of America. Does that mean something?

New blog 4312: Franklin: TITLE 4312

New Title 4312: CONTENTS: this is the main body of text

1=Front Stuff: 2=Forefathers And Relatives: 3= Growing Up In Boston: 1=FRONT STUFF: : 4213:

another 4312

Ben Franklin Notes: Blog 4277 : Poor Richard Almanac : Volume 234 : Blog 4227:

B

The Prosperous Franklins move from England to Boston: Blog 4227 : Frankin's Childhood in Boston: Franklin's Flight From Boston to Philadelphia: Franklin's Career as a Printer: Retirement As A Printer: Franklin's Short Career As A Prosperous Politician: Eighteen Years in London As A Tourist-Politician: Years as a Parisian Diplomat: Back To Philly as A Sage Politician: Funeral As A Rich Old Man

Protege of Andrew Hamilton: He never was a farmer, but he did a lot of things and a lot of travelling: Religion: Relationship to John Penn: Relationship to Women: Quest For Riches: Enemies--Thomas Penn, John Penn, Quakers, U. of Penn, King George III:Slavery: Germans:

Franklin was an apprentice to his brother James and had a falling out. He was looking for a job as a printer, far enough away so James couldn't come to get him, so he picked Philadelphia.

l

Franklin: New blog 2020-08-05 20:54:24 TITLE

CONTENTS: this is the main body of text

another paragraph

Ben Franklin: Author (4280): Stages () : Chapters () :

CONTENTS: this is the main body of text

4280

DESCRIPTION: a summary blurb in the black box.Run-1: Backrun=1: Bacrun=1: BaRun=1: BRun=2: Brun=1: Volume 234: Run=4088

4280

4288 DESCRIPTION: a summary blurb in the black box.Run-1: Backrun=1: Bacrun=1: BaRun=1: BRun=2: Brun=1: Volume 234: Run=4088

4296

Benjamin Franklin: Chronology

{Ben Franklin on the cover of Time magazine}
Ben Franklin on the cover of Time magazine

January 17, 1706 Born in Boston, the thirteenth child of a candle maker; only went through 2nd Grade, Apprenticed to his brother as a printer, ran away to Philadelphia age 17.
1723 Arrived in Philadelphia penniless, readily found work as a printer.

1725-26 First trip to England. Researched printing equipment, but probably lived a riotous life.

1726-1748 Returned to Philadelphia to found his own print shop and bookstore. Wrote and printed Poor Richard's Almanack organized local tradesmen into the Junto, formed partnerships with sixty printers throughout the colonies, obtained the print business of local governments, became postmaster. Able to retire at the age of 42 by selling his business for 18 annual payments, which offered him comfort and ease for considerably longer than his life expectancy.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1751 Helped found Pennsylvania Hospital. Entered the legislature.

1751-1757 Active in legislature, rising to leadership during the French and Indian War, Pontiac's Rebellion and the uprising of the Paxtang Boys.

1754Took a noteworthy carriage trip to the Albany Conference, accompanied by fellow delegates Proprietor Penn and Isaac Norris at which he proposed unification of the thirteen colonies to fight against the French. Composed the first political cartoon "Join or Die" for that purpose. Notes for the trip on the blank pages of "Poor Richard's Almanac", now at Rosenbach Museum. The other delegates rejected the plan.

1757-1762 Second time in England. Acted as representative of both Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. After his electoral defeat, he returned to England for a total of eighteen years, suggesting hidden British sympathies may have been present.

1764-1775 Third British visit. Although unsuccessful in his lobbying, his fame as a scientist made him welcome among the famous members of the Enlightenment, like Hume, Adam Smith, Mozart. Meanwhile, the colonies became considerably more rebellious than he was. His blunder with the publication of some letters gave the British Ministry an opportunity to humiliate and disgrace him in public, probably as a warning to the mutinous New England leaders. It irreconcilably alienated Franklin, who sulked, the en packed up and joined the Continental Congress the day he arrived back home. The Masonic connection (Franklin was the Philadelphia Grand Master) is just now coming to light.

1775

Brief but fateful return to America. Battle of Lexington and Concord Aril 19, 1775. Franklin returned to Pennsylvania Assembly on May 6,1775 after a 6-week voyage from England. His unpopular agitation for replacing the Penn Proprietors with direct Royal government had once led to his electoral defeat and the seeming end of his elective career. The defeated but determined Quaker party sent him to England to lobby against the Penn family and for the rule of Pennsylvania by the King. The Masonic connection under all this is their secret.

March, 1775-October, 1776 Decisions were made in London to put down the colonists by as much force as necessary. Meanwhile, Franklin persuaded the Continental Congress they must declare independence from England if they expected help from the French.

July 4, 1776, Independence is declared within days after the arrival of a massive British fleet in New York harbor. Franklin dispatched to France to secure the assistance he was confident he could get.

1777-1785 France. Franklin served admirably as American ambassador, his wit and charm persuading the French to overextend themselves with ships, supplies, and money, and very likely contributing to the French Revolution by popularizing the American one.

1785-1790 Returning as a national hero for his final five years of life, Franklin loaned his personal influence to the constitutional convention, became President of Pennsylvania, worked for the abolition of slavery.

April 17, 1790 Died, probably of complications associated with kidney stones.

Benjamin Franklin and The Facts of His Early Formative Years:

Ben Franklin's early life is full of gaps. Consequently, the man whose writings later filled eighty (80) volumes doesn't explain why he made some important decisions. As one of his other biographers once said, "Franklin doesn't tell us everything, but what he does tell us, is straight".

The implication was that he was devious, but I am more Freudian. The implication was that he was following the example of his brother James, instead of becoming a farmer, like most other men his age. And he hated James, so the question moves to -- Why did he hate James? The ultimate answer is lost but is probably childish, as I am ashamed to admit I went to Yale because that was the advice of a taxi-dancer; I went to Lawrenceville because the Mercersburg representative who was interviewing me said it was better than Mercersburg. I later protected the Mercersburg man by denying he said it, for childish reasons I don't even understand myself.

The point I am making, in case you missed it, was even a rich and famous old man sometimes prefers to be called devious, to being charged with the shameful fact of being childish. And even he has maybe forgotten which it really was.

And another comment, he had a funny relationship with women. Even for the time of the Enlightenment, he had a more peculiar conflict with the need to wear fur hats and called "Poor Richard", when he had worked very hard to be the richest man around. He retired at the age of 42 and was later given a portrait with 250 diamonds in its frame, by the King of France, no less.

We may never know the answer to questions like these, which may trace back to a childhood teaching or experience, or else have a more complicated explanation hidden in someone's closet as a letter. One may turn up, the other will not.

The Heirs of William Penn:John Penn:Thomas Penn:

William Penn

Freedom of religion includes the right to join some other religion than the one your father founded; William Penn's descendants had every right to become members of the Anglican church. It may even have been a wise move for them, in view of their need to maintain good relations with the British Monarch. But religious conversion cost the Penn family the automatic political allegiance of the Quakers dominating their colony. Not much has come down to us showing the Pennsylvania Quakers bitterly resenting their desertion, but it would be remarkable if at least some ardent Quakers did not feel that way. It certainly confuses history students, when they read that the Quakers of Pennsylvania were often rebellious about the rule of the Penn family.

Delaware

Such resentments probably accelerated but do not completely explain the growing restlessness between the tenants and the landlords. The terms of the Charter gave the Penns ownership of the land from the Delaware River to five degrees west of the river -- providing they could maintain order there. King Charles was happy to be freed of the expense of policing this wilderness, and to be paid for it, to be freed of obligation to Admiral Penn who greatly assisted his return to the throne, and to have a place to be rid of a large number of English Dissenters. The Penns were, in effect, vassal kings of a subkingdom larger than England itself. However, they behaved in what would now be considered an entirely businesslike arrangement. They bought their land, fair and square, purchased it a second or even third time from the local Indians, and refused to permit settlement until the Indians were satisfied. They skillfully negotiated border disputes with their neighbors without resorting to armed force, while employing great skill in the English Court on behalf of the settlers on their land. They provided benign oversight of the influx of huge numbers of settlers from various regions and nations, wisely and shrewdly managing a host of petty problems with the demonstration that peace led to prosperity, and that reasonableness could cope with ignorance and violence. When revolution changed the government and all the rules, they coped with the difficulties as well as anyone in history had done, and better than most. In retrospect, most of the violent criticism they engendered at the time, seems pretty unfair.

John Penn

They wanted to sell off their land as fast as they could at a fair price. They did not seek power, and in fact surrendered the right to govern the colony to the purchasers of the first five million acres, in return for being allowed to become private citizens selling off the remaining twenty-five million. Ultimately in 1789, they were forced to accept the sacrifice price of fifteen cents an acre. Aside from a few serious mistakes at the Council of Albany by a rather young John Penn, they treated the settlers honorably and did not deserve the treatment or the epithets they received in return. The main accusation made against them was that they were only interested in selling their land. Their main defense was they were only interested in selling their land.

As time has passed, their reputation has repaired itself, and they bask in the universal gratitude which is directed to their grandfather and father, William Penn. Statues and nameplates abound. Nobody who attacked them at the time appears to have been really serious about it, except one. Except for Benjamin Franklin, who turned from being their close friend to being their bitter enemy. Franklin tried to destroy the Penns, traveled to England to do it, and after twenty years seemed just as bitter as ever. Something really bad happened between them in 1754, and neither the Penns nor Franklin has been open about what it was.

Investment Strategies

The Latin phrase Quis custodies custodies warns that it's pretty hard to find anyone you can completely trust. Investing for your retirement, you must be careful to avoid transaction fees to pay your agents, and taxes to pay your government to watch your agents, who in turn watch the companies they invest in.

The Pitcairn Financial Group

Gradually, the world is coming to accept John Bogle's idea of a market index fund as the best most people can do. Investing in the whole market, it doesn't do much trading, whether buying or selling. Therefore, it has minimum costs, minimum taxes. As a by-product, it has maximum diversification, hence maximum safety. Low costs and high safety don't automatically give the best performance, except that somehow they do. The Index Fund idea just relentlessly outperforms the vast majority of investment advisers, in both up-markets and down-markets. Investment advisers just hate index funds, bad-mouthing them constantly. But if you buy anything else, you had better have a very good reason to do so.

Well, it's just possible that a second Philadelphia-born idea can do it. The Pitcairn Foundation was created for his family by John Pitcairn, one of the world's all-time champion investors. About fifteen years ago, the Johnny Appleseed spirit caused the Foundation to open up its investment approach to non-family members; they created a public mutual fund company based on the collective ideas and experiences of the Foundation. John Pitcairn bought the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company, nurtured it to success as PPG Industries, and then eventually sold it, based on the observation that almost no firms, family owned or otherwise, survive more than seventy-five years. Companies should be bought with the intention to sell them, even though they are managed expertly throughout their existence.

The Pitcairn Foundation observed that (although the managers wouldn't always admit it) continuing dominance by the founding family almost always proved beneficial for the running of the company by hired expert managers. Nepotism was often a bad thing in the managers, but a very useful thing in governance. But if you go too far with this idea, you may get into the stifling arrogance of family control in European and Oriental firms. Founding family control keeps the managers from over-paying themselves or worse still, under-working themselves. But if you allow the inevitable minority of worthless family members to pilfer the company, you get the same thing at a different level of control, where it is just harder to fire them.

After a great deal of intense scholarly work, it was observed that there are about six hundred major American corporations where the founding family maintains control. About a quarter of them have no outside directors other than the family, and the performance of these companies is about 15% worse than the market (i.e. the index). In the remaining group, family members only constituted about half of the outside directors.

Now, that group of companies regularly perform 15% better than the index. Guess which one you ought to buy as an investor.

So, now we have the Constellation Pitcairn Family Heritage Fund, open to the public as a no-load mutual fund. Its portfolio consists of fifty-five of those six hundred families dominated companies (with a market capitalization of at least $200 million each), selected by the Pitcairn Financial Company, entirely owned by the Pitcairn family. As long as it continues to outperform the index by 150 basis points, you can be fairly confident that the principle of family domination will endure, up and down the line. But not exclusively; it must be mixed with professional management. The family owns the fund manager, which is run by professionals, who watch the governance of the portfolio components, which are run by professional managers, overseen by founding family members on the corporate board -- themselves overseen by an equal number of non-family independent board members. It's like a Calder mobile, which by the way, is still another Philadelphia idea.

If you are looking to get rich fast, this isn't much of an idea. But since the Family Heritage Fund has consistently outperformed the index by 1.5%, it looks as though the advantage of selecting better corporate governance in the portfolio distinctly outweighs the disadvantage of reduced diversification.

The Franklin Inn

{top quote}
Founded by S. Weir Mitchell as a literary society, this little club hidden on Camac Street has been the center of Philadelphia's literary life. {bottom quote}

Camac Street is a little alley running parallel to 12th and 13th Streets, and in their day the little houses there have had some pretty colorful occupants. The three blocks between Walnut and Pine Streets became known as the street of clubs, although during Prohibition they had related activities, and before that housed other adventuresome occupations. In a sense, this section of Camac Street is in the heart of the theater district, with the Forrest and Walnut Theaters around the corner on Walnut Street, and several other theaters plus the Academy of Music nearby on Broad Street. On the corner of Camac and Locust was once the Princeton Club, once an elegant French Restaurant, and just across Locust Street from it was once the Celebrity Club. The Celebrity club was once owned by the famous dancer Lillian Reis, about whom much has been written in a circumspect tone, because she successfully sued the Saturday Evening Post for a million dollars for defaming her good name.

{The Franklin Inn}
The Franklin Inn

Camac between Locust and Walnut is paved with wooden blocks instead of cobblestones because horses' hooves make less noise that way. The unpleasant fact of this usage is that horses tend to wet down the street, and in hot weather you know they have been there. Along this section of such a narrow street, where you can hardly notice it until you are right in front, is the Franklin Inn. The famous architect William Washburn has inspected the basement and bearing walls, and reports that the present Inn building is really a collection of several -- no more than six -- buildings. Inside, it looks like an 18th Century coffee house; most members would be pleased to hear the remark that it looks like Dr. Samuel Johnson's famous conversational club in London. The walls are covered with pictures of famous former members, a great many of the cartoon caricatures by other members. There are also hundreds or even thousands of books in glass bookcases. This is a literary society, over a century old, and its membership committee used to require a prospective member to offer one of his books for inspection, and now merely urges donations of books by the author-members. Since almost any Philadelphia writer of any stature was a member of this club, its library represents a collection of just about everything Philadelphia produced during the 20th Century. Ross & Perry, Publishers has brought out a book containing the entire catalog produced by David Holmes, bound. So there.

The club has daily lunch, with argument, at long tables, and two weekly round table discussions with an invited speaker. Once a month there is an evening speaker at a club dinner, with the rule that the speaker must be a member of the club. Once a year, on Benjamin Franklin's birthday, the club holds an annual meeting and formal dinner. At that dinner, the custom has been for members to give toasts to three people, all doctors if you include Dr. Franklin, Dr.S.Weir Mitchell the founder, and Dr. J. William White who dedicated a champaign dinner in his will -- at least until the money ran out.

Some sample toasts follow, and then some allusions which apply to the club or its members. There are several major turning-points in our history a newcomer might not expect. For example, the admission of women to what had formerly been an all-male assembly. The movement of the College of Physicians from next door, when Andrew Carnegie (S.Weir Mitchell's patient) made the College a gift for new quarters. When the Progressive Movement made an appearance. And other matters of importance to the members, like the composition of the Philadelphia Story by member Luther Long on our premises, and the story of what became Pucchini's opera, Madam Butterfly. Newcomers will have to know these stories, in case they run into some old-timers.

Show Biz Image: Hepburn, Rogers, Kelly

A fair lady's image depends, Bernard Shaw told us, not on how she acts, but on how she is treated. The case in point is a beautiful Main Line heiress in The Philadelphia Story, who can choose any man she wants. What she cannot do, is escape grief for a wrong choice.

When Broadway and Hollywood paint your image, not believing your own press releases takes strength. Toward the end of the Great Depression around 1938, show business turned full and nasty attention to Philadelphia high society. Earlier, while author Christopher Morley was at Haverford College, Katharine Hepburn at Bryn Mawr College, and Grace Kelly at school on Schoolhouse Lane, Hollywood had picked up just enough authentic detail to be dangerous. Kitty Foyle and The Philadelphia Story are two fairly accurate snapshots of a complex society, but one cannot be fully understood without the other. Indeed, the real-life trivialities of Howard Hughes, Katharine Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Ginger Rogers sharpen the outlines of the graceful gentlefolk they attempted to portray.

In 1938, Hepburn was a smash hit on Broadway with Philip Barry's Philadelphia Story, which essentially tells of the agonized turmoil of a Main Line princess, facing a three-way choice between a charming but worthless blue-blood, a self-made dullard, and a poor but noble New York magazine writer. (Just guess who the author was rooting for.) In real life, of course, Ms. Hepburn chose to spend four years with movie producer Howard Hughes the dare-devil Texan with a hundred starlets in his bedroom. Most of her competitors wanted a movie contract and/or a diamond bracelet, but Katy wanted the movie rights for Philadelphia Story, which Howard readily bought for her. Although other actresses played the role, she made herself into the image of a Philadelphia heiress, thereby nudging that Main Line image toward her own. At the time the image did not include much mention of Howard Hughes or actor Spencer Tracy, another long-time companion.

{Ginger Rogers}
Ginger Rogers

Meanwhile, Ginger Rogers, who was also engaged to Howard Hughes at one point, was making a great name for herself as the star of Christopher Morley's Kitty Foyle. Morley's Haverford experience taught him somewhat more respect for the Philadelphia Gentleman than Barry ever had, while his experience at the Curtis Publishing Company also made him appreciate the smart and plain-spoken Philadelphia girls from working-class districts. Highborn Philadelphia women are only sketchily imagined by Morley, except they somehow fail to appeal to his manly fictional cricket-player from the Main Line.

As matters turned out, Katy lost to Kitty. Although Hepburn was surely the more talented actress, eventually winning five Academy Awards, Ginger Rogers walked away with the 1940 Oscar for her interpretation of a working-class Philadelphia lady. Either way it turned out, of course, Howard Hughes was bound to be a happy fellow.

{Grace Kelly}
Grace Kelly

And yes, in 1956 Grace Kelly was the star of High Society, a renamed version of the Philadelphia Story for which, remember, Katherine Hepburn still controlled the rights. The film was a mediocre performance, just a little short of embarrassing. But however inexact all three of these portrayals may have been, there is little doubt that Philadelphia society moved a bit in their direction, involuntarily living up to an image created by three observers who seemed to their own observers to retain hostility traceable to their own undefined turmoils.

Philip Barry stacks the deck somewhat, portraying the leading lady as movie audiences during the Depression were likely to fantasize, indulging a luxury only a rich girl would supposedly be careless about. She rejects the colorless rich suitor out of hand. But while her remaining choice between a charming magazine writer and a charming playboy is made to seem a closer call, it really never makes our Philadelphia Cleopatra hesitate very long. In the single editorial comment, the play's author permits himself, is tucked the snarl, "She's a lifelong spinster, no matter how many times married." That's New York talking. Bitter, bitter.


REFERENCES


Philadelphia Gentlemen: The Making of a National Upper Class: E. Digby Baltzell ISBN-13: 978-0887387890 Amazon

Parliamentary procedure(2)

Cartoon Fight

Although Parliamentary procedure started out as a way of reducing the number of cracked skulls in an angry group of arguing ruffians, it mainly did so by demonstrating how much more you get done, when you argue courteously. It really does work better if you have more logic on your side. Orderly, a courteous procedure is best. Furthermore, one topic at a time is also best, achieved only if the guys with other topics are confident the group will eventually get to their topic in its turn. And if you know the referee is neutral, will not allow a vote to be taken as long as someone still wants to speak. Or when the group is tired of the argument, it still can't quit until both sides have been heard, and the negative votes have been called for and counted. What emerges from these simple rules is an amazing discovery of the collective will of the whole group. If a large group of strangers convenes to discuss a topic, following these rules it is seldom that any doubt emerges of the collective opinion of the group. Right or wrong, the opinion of the group.

{Privateers}
Shareholders

So if you want to determine what the medical profession thinks about abortion, or what the legal profession thinks about trial by jury, or what a whole nation thinks about going to war -- just choose representatives fairly, and let them conduct discussions according to Parliamentary Procedure. That's a democracy; that's a republic. That's a system many people have died to preserve.

However, during the 19th Century a different type of organization, the corporation, appeared. It gets things done, it makes prosperity, it is successful. But it has never adequately achieved a credible system for determining its own wishes. If every shareholder held one share and elected representatives democratically, the meetings of shareholders and directors might become little republics. But shareholders negotiate the price of their shares by bidding, and some people acquire many shares. If one person collects 51%of the shares, there is no further room for parliamentary dispute; the opinion of a majority of the shareholders is the opinion of one person. Because a corporation is a creation of government, it mirrors the process of government within what is called "corporate governance". We tend to follow the outward forms of parliamentary process even when in fact there is no substance to them. We thus can observe the amusing farce of the well dressed, well-mannered majority owner of a corporation -- smilingly and courteously listening to an angry shareholder with only one share, sometimes rising from the audience with a bull horn. Shout all you please, the man with the three-piece suit is going to have his way.

{Privateers}
Runnymede,King John,

But corporations have become so large and successful, that to raise adequate capital they sell thousands or even billions of ownership shares. In those situations, which very nearly run all that matters in the country, a shareholder of a fraction of one percent of the outstanding shares may be able to control the corporation. A dozen of such people can band together and act as though they own the company completely. Ownership through mutual funds or index funds makes shareholder control even more remote. Quite commonly the shareholders lose control entirely, and the hired managers exercise effective control. A system designed to determine the collective will of the shareholders thus eventually reaches the point where the will of the shareholders can be ignored by the people they hired. In effect, the number of voters and the number of shares has outgrown parliamentary rules and procedures, and in fact, continuing to use that format leads to mischief. The hired employees occasionally arrange for salaries for themselves of hundreds of millions, or they can turn the corporation into a private charity, or even ruin it as an economic entity by careless slothful management. The legal term for this process is "imperfect agency", and the country seems to be getting annoyed enough to want to make some changes. But if it is intended to determine the will of the owners, someone will have to devise an agreed way of finding out what the will of the owners really amounts to. If we don't, we are going to have to reconsider clubs, spears, and swords. Welcome to Runnymede, King John, we have a matter we wish to discuss with you.

 

Please Let Us Know What You Think

 
 

(HTML tags provide better formatting)
 

15 Blogs

New blog 4317: TITLE Grand Master Franklin: 4317: 601:
Franklin went to his grave concealing some important facts about his long and well-researched life.

NEW TITLE 4315: Ben Franklin's Genealogy: Topic 601:
The Franklin family was huge.: New Blog 601: Topic 601: Volume 601: Collection 601:

C16.......Marshall
DESCRIPTION: this is where you put a small summary blurb which appears in the little boxes.

New blog TITLE Freemasonry, Franklin's Model?: Matthew J McGovern: Franklin Inn: Blog 4313: Topic 670:
I DESCRIPTION: A small summary blurb.: Matthew J. McGovern: Freemasonry, Franklin's Model?: Blog 4313: Topic 670:

New blog 4312: Franklin: TITLE 4312
4312: Franklin:1= Front Stuff: 2= Friends And Relatives: 3=Childhood In Boston: 4=Philadelphia Print Newcomer,To London Waif: 5=Scientific Deist, Proper Philly Gentleman Off to London: 6=American Revolutionary: 7=Parisian Diplomat: 8=American Constitutional Designer: 9=Retired Celebrity: 10=In Retotrospect: 11=Conclusion: 12=Back Stuff: 13=New blog: Franklin: TITLE 4286

Ben Franklin Notes: Blog 4277 : Poor Richard Almanac : Volume 234 : Blog 4227:
DESCRIPTION: Early to bed and early to rise -- Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.: Blog 4227: Volume 234 :

Franklin: New blog 2020-08-05 20:54:24 TITLE
DESCRIPTION: this is where you put a small summary blurb which appears in the little boxes.

Ben Franklin: Author (4280): Stages () : Chapters () :
DESCRIPTION: a summary in the black box. Run-1: Backrun=1 (4280): Bacrun=1: BaRun=1: BRun=2: Brun=1: Volume 234: Run=4088 DESCRIPTION: a summary blurb in the black box.Run-1: Backrun=1: Bacrun=1: BaRun=1: BRun=2: Brun=1: Volume 234: Run=4088

Benjamin Franklin: Chronology
Franklin retired at age 42, and spent the other half of his life in public service. Only 33 scattered years of that 82-year life were spent in Philadelphia, but he was here for the French and Indian War, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitutional Convention. He was a scalawag kid in Boston, a wealthy scientist in London, and a diplomat in Paris.

Benjamin Franklin and The Facts of His Early Formative Years:
Children often conceal the origins of their most important life decisions, because they are ashamed of the reasons.

The Heirs of William Penn:John Penn:Thomas Penn:
The death of William Penn left his heirs the largest land holdings in America. Although they managed it fairly well, it proved to be more than a single family could cope with.

Investment Strategies
An insight into the success of a little-known fund run by a virtually anonymous family.

The Franklin Inn
Founded by S. Weir Mitchell as a literary society, this club hidden on Camac Street has been the center of Philadelphia's literary life for more than a century.

Show Biz Image: Hepburn, Rogers, Kelly
Hollywood presented a cartoon of the upper class during the Depression. World War II was soon to sober us up.

Parliamentary procedure(2)
Parliament once was the model for civil discourse, but the corporate model supplanted it. Now, it's all the lengthened shadow of one man, the CEO. King George III learned what happens when you annoy Americans with that style.