New York Stock Exchange Chairman Richard Grasso vs. Karl Marx

by | Sep 12, 2003

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is a private business, even if heavily regulated; and what the owners pay their chairman, Richard Grasso, is no one’s business but theirs. Motivating the complaints about Grasso’s compensation is the Marxist notion that all property is collectively owned–as if those who own not a red cent of NYSE stock […]

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is a private business, even if heavily regulated; and what the owners pay their chairman, Richard Grasso, is no one’s business but theirs.

Motivating the complaints about Grasso’s compensation is the Marxist notion that all property is collectively owned–as if those who own not a red cent of NYSE stock somehow have a right to tell the owners what to do with their private property.

“Private” means: 1. “of, belonging to, or concerning a particular person or group; 2. not open to, intended for, or controlled by the public.”

Another mistaken Marxist notion is that property is a zero-sum commodity, i.e., if Grasso gets $188 million it comes out of everybody’s pocket. But those millions come out of the private pockets of the NYSE owners, not anybody else’s.

The most disturbing aspect of this public lynching of private property is that Grasso, like Jack Welch a year ago, has now caved in to the mob and agreed to forgo millions “to quell the controversy.”

The reprehensible thing about this whole issue is not the amount of money Grasso will get, but the lack of moral courage exhibited by people like Grasso and Welch. Such cowardice hastens the day when we will all be forced to live by the Marxist mantra: “all property is theft.”

Larry Benson is a senior writer at the Ayn Rand Institute.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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