Category Archives: Book Column

Book Review: The Unincorporated Man

I read a lot of business books. It’s just something I enjoy… but not as much as a good sci-fi tale and The Unincorporated Man. book combines both. The book is loaded with lots of ideas early on. Such as, ownership, property, government, investing, money, etc. It’s a very ‘free markets can heal the world if we’d just stay out of the way’ will solve 99% of the world’s issues if we’d let them. But as the story unfolds, it’s individuals and people that have to take us the rest of the way.

The entire book is set in the future where everyone is self-incorporated. That is, as soon as you are born, the government gets a certain percentage stock in you, your parents and their friends probably take out some shares. As you grow older schools, classmates, the general public all invest in you, your life and your future, with the idea that if they help invest in your beginnings, once you become successful and rich you will buy them out to get majority ownership of yourself and they get rich. If you’re unable to increase your self-stock’s value, then they sell-off their stake in you. So a mining company could buy up all your stock and move you to the moon to mine ore or something like that.

But, introduced into this world is a savvy businessman unfrozen from the past… predating the incorporation period. So he is unincorporated, untaxed, not contributing to society as they see it. So what to do? Force him to incorporate and sell off parts of himself to business owners? Leave him alone and risk his “unalienable rights” thinking and talk to spark an uprising? Soon enough there is bloodshed, legal proceedings with businesses and governments aligning themselves against this man from the past.

It’s a great concept and idea. Certainly one that gets people talking. Especially in this day of micro-payments and  crowd-sourced funding many sites and non-profits are pursuing.

At a minimum, it’s a fun sci-fi  yarn. At the most, it will get you thinking, talking and looking at the good and bad of how things are run in America. I gave it a 4 out of 5.