A few days ago I had a conversation with some friends about economics and trade. There was a lot of disagreement and naturally there are some things I wish I said but am not witty enough to think of it at the time. So here's a list of quick retorts if you ever find yourself on the other side of one of these claims as I did on Saturday.
Corporations only care about the immediate future. This is a rather strange argument in world where a firm is legally an immortal entity. Even stranger because all industries engage in investment (notably medicine, real estate, energy, computers). The only reason why we think all firms are so short-sighted is because most of their activity necessarily revolves around certain and immediate (thus urgent) changes in the world around them.
If a firm finds a loophole in the legal structure and uses it to their advantage, the firm should be blamed. So if I find a bag of money on the street with a sign that says "free money" I'm at fault if I pick it up? Paradoxically, the lawmakers who shamelessly created these flawed regulations are the same politicians who celebrate themselves for making laws that give people incentives to do good.
Only governments can reliably aid in a disaster because of their large size. Which is like saying ten people have an easier time agreeing on pizza toppings than two people. Human beings are not mindless ants; the capacity of our society does not increase as our bureaucracy inflates. Many specialized organizations do every day what governments can't.
People should give aid (such as water) away during disasters rather than sell them to ensure the most frail will get what they need. In reality, the strongest will be first in line for water they may or may not need while the weakest will definitely be least likely to lay their claim on the scarce and vital resource. Selling water forces people to prioritize and create the incentive for others to supply more. "Price gouging" merely advocates shaving isn't as important as living.
The only reason companies want to be located in the US is because the liability laws are slanted to their favor. Because the only thing Time Warner cares about is legal shelter in case someone claims TV really did rot their brain. There are hundreds of reasons for companies to leave the US; I find it hard to believe there is only one reason why those thousands (tens of thousands?) stay (to the point that I almost feel silly listing them: educated work force, high quality graduate schools, ease of immigration, favorable labor laws, proximity to financial institutions, stable government, etc etc).