I keep being amazed at how many people can't distinguish between the "take" and the "net". I used to know someone who scalped tickets and would say that he "made" whatever he sold something for, completely ignoring what he had paid for them.
So these publicani came into being for one specific government-issued contract, and was disbanded immediately after it's completion... yes that's *just* like a corporation... oh wait, no, it's NOTHING like a corporation
Wrong again. This is exactly how Donald Trump has made money while the projects with his name on them go bankrupt one after another. Same is done for other buildings, condo complexes, shopping malls, and other projects. Each is set up as its own corporation as if it has no connection to anything else that the developer, producer, and constructor has ever done or will ever do, and the project originators are now hired as subcontractors (instead of being the bosses). The project is done to some point of completion, at which the individual units (apartments, town houses, stores) are sold off to end-buyers. Now the originators leave to do other things. Point is, when a problem appears a year or two down the road, and the buyers want to complain to the construction company, THERE ISN'T ONE - the "building construction" corporation has become an empty shell or withered completely. I know you're thinking of the megacorps that persist and engulf and devour, but the use of incorporating to isolate is even more prevalent.
Jump to the left, then a step to the right is how it goes. Or should I say "went"?
No, it still goes.
It's a poor workman who blames his tools.