Third Party & Independents Archives

The Pinnacle Of Our Problems is - - -

I do admit to being a unique blogger in that I preface most posts with the number one enemy of the people, Corpocracy. Reason is, when I think about a problem I come to the root cause as Corpocracy. True, even for some of our most intimate, social issues like unwed mothers, abortion and so on - - - One would think that, for some issues, I would ascribe causality to God, Reps, Dems, the President, etc. Not So.

Kathleen Parker wrote an informative article in today's WaPo which I found unusual in that it comes from a centrist position. Some gists from the article to get us started.

She writes about political language beginning with a quote by George Orwell; --"designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." Further, that "we've become so accustomed to political speak that we hardly notice." As to slogans of 'pro life' and 'pro choice' she writes, who is against either? "No one of course".

As for 'income inequality' she notes that no one would say they are for income inequality and suggest that is not what the term really implies. She writes that 99.9% of Americans actually do like the inequality as we value merit, talent, hard work and reward.

She relates that the poor are not poor because Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Oprah are wealthy and that the problem is far more complex than raising the flag of 'income inequality'.

Weighty factors cited are: loss of jobs for low skilled workers and the inability of the population to acquire more skills. A growing retired population in numbers and percent of population. A dearth of entry level jobs for college grads. An appalling rate of children born out of wedlock , now systemic, and relegating another generation to another cycle of poverty. Continuing decrease in low skilled wages due to a global economy that rewards professionals and talk show hosts. Thus, leading to a growing income inequality.

She notes that fairness isn't the issue, that it involves justifying policies; gov't intervention, higher taxes, spending and redistribution, not easily sold in a couple of words. She suggest a new catchphrase; the need for a higher skilled labor force that pits not American against another and qualifies people for jobs that are actually available, "learning for earning".

Very sensible and centrist to me. Another WaPo article today relates that cohabiting mothers are spurring increases in out-of-wedlock births, now at a high of 41%. The writer relates that cohabiting mothers exceeded the single mother living without a father in the household, 24% to 16%, during the 2000's. Sixty percent of births were to married mothers.

The writer sees the results as indicative that marriage, as a context for child bearing, is increasingly reserved for America's middle and upper class populations.

A likely consensus re these two articles would be that by creating more jobs and improving education we could reduce income inequality to a more acceptable level and thereby, help those at the lower wage scale improve their quality of life.

But, facts are that there are too few jobs and the better paying jobs lost to globalisation will not be returning. That rather than raising the minimum wage the gov't/corpocracy is about lowering wages in developed countries in 'harmonizing' all rules/laws to bring about the NWO. As to the benefactors of globalisation one only need consider income inequality. Corporate wealth is thru the roof while the middle class and below have declined in wealth and quality of life. This didn't happen in a vacuum and didn't happen overnight. Corporate influence on gov't has been in progress from the time of the founding of the country.

Income inequality will become an issue that will have to be addressed at some point. I believe much of the inequality issue could be addressed simply by following the law of the land as it exist. That is, invoke anti-trust law to break up the monopolies/conglomerates. This would create thousands of new companies that would need several millions of workers. In so doing, competition would be on the front burner, allowing innovation and technology to leap forward. Of course, we understand that our corpocratic gov't would never allow such a thing to happen.

While both articles are heartfelt and well intended, each misses the mark by a mile, IMO. First, it might be helpful to define 'Corpocracy', Oligarchy and Plutocracy as types or styles of gov't.

Oligarchy:a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few.

Plutocracy: government by the wealthy

Corpocracy: Rule by an oligarchy of corporate elites through the manipulation of a formal democracy.

http://wiki.mises.org/wiki/Corporatocracy

From above url:
""The most common contradiction of the term "corporatocracy" and its use in the lexicon is the theorem that corporations are primarily superficial entities possessing no real political power. Instead, it is the people behind those corporations that hold the power who act upon their own individual political ideologies. In this sense, a corporatocracy is nothing more than a market segmentation where the class which owns the means for producing wealth is fighting for their own individual-self interests. The direct challenge to this theorem is the fact that a corporation is by definition a 'collection' which is built of private (and more often public) wealth funneled into a vertical hierarchy without the requirement of any democratic controls and designed for the singular cause of maximizing roi (return on investment: i.e. the expansion of the control of capital). And this entity (or institution) has legally been ruled through almost all court systems to be considered a single 'person' and given the inalienable human rights thereto required by most constitutions for human beings. This means that corporations have the ability to use direct democratic channels reserved for citizens (and denied to some other institutions including: tax-exempt religious organizations, non-profits, and government-subsidized universities); and are also represented and protected as an individual within the courts when facing public scrutiny and regulation.""

Reviewing the history and current status of U.S. gov't I believe our so-called democracy has been usurped to become one of the three types of gov't mentioned. Of the three, I believe that Corpocracy more accurately defines our gov't. In an Oligarchy perhaps not 'ALL' power is vested in a 'FEW' people. And, in a Plutocracy the definition seems to narrow to have real meaning. Corpocracy seems a more fitting definition as most of the wealth and power brought to bear on manipulating our gov't stems from the corporation.

One valid reason for feeling thus is that corporate personhood, law that gives corporations some rights of 'persons', is not found in the Constitution and, additionally, that 'CP' was fraudulently put into a constitutional amendment in 1876.
Otherwise, I choose to diddle in the middle, recognize our gov't for what it is, Corpocratic, foment debate as to how to defeat Corpocratism thru a new 3rd party w/a/dif/pol/att and demand this Corpocratic gov't resign for failing to honor their sworn oath to office; 'uphold the Constitution', in that those elected officials continue to deny the citizens their Constitutional right to Article Five Convention, Part II as a pathway to reform. Friends of Article V Convention, www.foavc.org are working to keep AVC in the public square. Another group, Move To Amend, is at the forefront of working to abolish corporate personhood.

https://movetoamend.org/sites/default/files/ClimateOfCorpPersonhood_0.pdf

""Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific Today
And there it sits. It permeates the literature, waiting for rediscovery by
every fresh crop of Supreme Court clerks. We mean that counterfeit precedent of
corporate personhood, re-minted and passed off as genuine by generation upon
generation of constitutional law professors, even now. From a present day authority
on constitutional law: "In 1886, in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad
Company, the Supreme Court held that corporations fell within the protections of
the Fourteenth Amendment. The Chief Justice, Morrison Waite, waved off lawyers
who would have debated the issue, saying the Court was unanimously of the opinion
that 'the Fourteenth Amendment ... applies to these corporations'." (Friedman,
2009.)
In truth, corporations have no rights under the Constitution or its
amendments. However, their constitutional rights as granted by the Supreme Court
have multiplied like rabbits since the Santa Clara decision in 1886, and the end is not
in sight.
In theory, the Court could put things right by treating the precedential use of
Santa Clara as reversible error. As the Court made and compounded this mess, why
should it not clean it up? Nevertheless, such action by the present Court seems
most unlikely. Perhaps it could be prompted to act by a state legislature prepared to
pass an amendment to the state constitution that expressly denies to corporations
the constitutional protections of the Fourteenth Amendment. Vermont comes to
mind.
A citizen initiative, already under way, could move for such an amendment to
the U.S. Constitution (see www.movetoamend.org). The Constitution permits, but
cannot be said to encourage, this avenue of reform. Article 5 spells out two
alternative routes to a proposal. First, Congress shall propose such an amendment
when approved by 2/3 of both houses. Alternatively, if 2/3 of the state legislatures
apply, Congress shall call a convention to propose amendments. As Congressional
campaigns already live on corporate wealth, it will be hard to persuade 2/3 of
Congress to vote against a corporate interest so entwined with its own, namely
reelection. The second alternative seems no more promising, unless state
legislatures be less susceptible than Congress to the corrosive power of corporate
wealth. It could all come down to which looms larger in the candidate's imagination,
the voter who feels sold out, or the campaign chest.""

It remains that the solution to the far majority of our problems lies with abolishing Corporate Personhood, IMO.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by Roy Ellis at January 7, 2014 3:37 PM
Comments
Comment #375478

Roy, interesting article. But, before corporatocracy can be addressed in a democracy, a more basic problem has to be addressed. Education. Democracy is the means to change society’s direction. But, the means are not being utilized by an informed and educated voter base. There were 2 primary reasons the founders restricted voting to white, male, landowners and those reasons were literacy (education) and vested interest and motivation to oversee the actions of elected officials with the intent to hold them accountable. Universal suffrage without universal quality education is destined to suffer some of the worst possible outcomes of democratic elections, along with some of the best.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 8, 2014 6:41 PM
Comment #375486

Roy, let’s play along for a minute…

You say that ‘Corporate Personhood’ is the root of all of the evils and we should get rid of it. Do me a favor and tell me what would happen if we ‘ended Corporate Personhood’? How would we be better of? Not in big terms, tell me specifically what are some of the things that it would change and help with?

BTW, I’m still unsure why you have such a problem with corporations, like the NAACP, NY Times, Sierra Club, etc? In your world would you rather that the only people who can have their voice heard are the individual wealthy people?

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 8, 2014 7:22 PM
Comment #375493


Somewhat agree, David. Maybe I do have the cart before the horse. Some reasoning would be that it will take 20 years, starting today, to deliver well educated voters to the polls. I’m just hoping against hope that within 20 years we can stand up a 3rd party with the overarching goal of doing away with CP. As it relates to education, unions are not unlike corpocracy in that you have a group of people who will go to the wire to maintain the status quo. I would suggest it is far easier to stand up a 3rd party than garner real reform for education. The federal gov’t, unions and some commerce are up to their eyeballs in education. Represents real power and none will relinquish until some as yet unidentified powerful force can bring reform.

Prior to 20 years of educating those needing it we will need to change culture, traditions, family value system, get unemployment down to near 4%, etc. I’d rather try for a 3rd party, David.
Rhinehold, I have nothing new to bring to the table re CP. Folks have the same or more information than I do. It’s just what weight they place on issues related to CP. So, I can only bring more tautology to bear on the subject.

CP was fraudulently passed into US law in 1876. No case has ever been heard in a court of law as to whether corporations should be given some rights of persons. To me, that carries a lot of weight.

If campaign/ad contributions were limited to say, $1k/person, I would be more amenable to money equating to free speech. As it stands, unlimited in some cases, hidden from the public and so on - - - I stand against money is free speech and advocate for campaign finance reform. I want something more close to ‘one person – one vote’. ‘Citizens United’ has the same connotations as ‘income inequality’ IMO, and much more devastating.

Were CP to be abolished we would be at liberty to pass laws that would:

Allow communities to decide which corporations they want.
Corporate charters subject to revocation for operating outside the law, harming the community, etc.

Only persons could be taxed, exempting corporations of all forms of taxation. I would support a ‘no taxpayer subsidy’ policy. Small corps could band together to take on large/risky projects needing capitalization.

Corporate owners/employees could be held accountable under criminal and civil law.

Free to pass campaign finance laws that set strict limits on donations and restrict the pooling of funds through PACS and similar.

We could consider an election system funded by small donors. If that system is deemed inadequate then, we might try a system funded through state govt’s combining tax payer subsidies and private donations.

I would suggest that corporate and wealthy folks continue lobbying unabated but with strong transparency laws, record keeping and strict ethics laws.

Corps that you noted are not the problem, Rhinehold. It’s the huge monopolies/conglomerates that represent the head of corpocracy, IMO. If we can abolish CP, thereby removing large corporate influence over the Senate and Congress, then legislators will be more willing to support strong anti-trust law. By breaking up the monopolies/conglomerates we will be able to create thousands of small corporations and employee millions more workers. Additionally, this would generate competition and innovation. This would also prevent the Goldman Sacs and Archer Daniel Midlands from writing the bills for legislators.

By taking the steam out of corporate influence we can achieve a more perfect union, closer to the one person – one vote principle. Granted, it will be a hard sell to abolish CP. The officers of the courts are long afflicted with the influence of corporate power. I firmly believe the only way to abolish CP is thru a 3rd party w/a/dif that can eventually gain control of congress and/or support the Article V Convention giving the people the power to amend the constitution thru Article V Convention.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 8, 2014 10:16 PM
Comment #375495
Corps that you noted are not the problem, Rhinehold

I see, so it isn’t the idea of corporations that you don’t like, its just the ones who you disagree with that you want to punish…

I have nothing new to bring to the table re CP.

I wasn’t actually asking for ‘anything new’, just your opinion on what the actual issues are and how abolishing ‘CP’ would address it. I figure if you are writing this much about it you would have thought this through and have a pretty concise answer to that question. If I had developed a pretty strong opinion about something, I would make sure that I knew those answers and have questioned myself about their validity and taken the other point of view to see how it meshed with my ideals… But that’s just me.

CP was fraudulently passed into US law in 1876. No case has ever been heard in a court of law as to whether corporations should be given some rights of persons.

Fraudulently? That’s an interesting word…

Let’s look at the facts. It was found in 1876 by the Supreme Court (I don’t see how this is ‘fraudulent’, btw) that corporations have the same rights as natural persons to contract and to enforce contracts. What does that mean? It means that in an organization that has been codified by the state they reside in with an agreed upon set of rules to prevent fraud and lay a groundwork of how the organization operates, representatives of the organization can sign and enforce contracts without having to have every member of the organization do the signing or be part of the enforcement.

Let’s take the NY Times, for example. If they want to sign a contract to do business with an IT Services company to fix their computers, without ‘corporate personhood’, every shareholder/owner of the organization would have to sign that contract. Do you see how this would be mindbogglingly idiotic? So, to prevent this nonsense, the states that they operate in allow them to formalize their association and operate, in a legal sense, as if it were a single entity as long as they wrote down and agreed to abide by a clearly defined set of rules. The corporate charter.

Then, a few years after this ruling another court found that such corporations are merely associations of individuals united for a special purpose and permitted to do business under a particular name and have a succession of members without dissolution. That’s it. It found that because the organization is not a SEPARATE entity but rather a group of individuals, those individuals do not lose their rights simply because they operate within this defined organization, nor can they ignore the civil rights of others because of that. As a result, it was found that corporations are still subject to the 14th amendment.

The basis for allowing corporations to assert protection under the U.S. Constitution is that they are organizations of people, and the people should not be deprived of their constitutional rights when they act collectively. In this view, treating corporations as “persons” is a convenient legal fiction which allows corporations to sue and to be sued, provides a single entity for easier taxation and regulation, simplifies complex transactions which would otherwise involve, in the case of large corporations, thousands of people, and protects the individual rights of the shareholders as well as the right of association.

However, it is very clear that corporations do not enjoy all the rights of a citizen, specifically any right that needs to be addressed as an individual, not as a group of individuals. For example, corporations are not able to claim constitutional protections which would not otherwise be available to persons acting as a group. For example, the Supreme Court has not recognized a Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination for a corporation, since the right can be exercised only on an individual basis.

Another example is Citizens United which NEVER ONCE stated that the right to free speech is given to a corporation, but it is extended to the individuals of the corporation who still retain those rights even if they are associated with another. The term Corporate Personhood is never once mentioned in the majority decision and was not the basis of that decision. If you were to create an amendment ripping away ‘corporate personhood’, you can still not get rid of those rights of those individuals who belong to that organization. All you would accomplish is to make it harder to regulate, sue and enter into contracts with groups of people who associate freely as the constitution allows for.

If campaign/ad contributions were limited to say, $1k/person, I would be more amenable to money equating to free speech.

I see, so if a person spends his 1,000 telling America that he is against some new political initiative and why, he’s done. Another person spends HIS 1,000 responding and saying that they guy is wrong and gives a bunch of reasons (that may or may not be true). That first person would then be unable, BY LAW, to defend his political views against the second person’s claims, right or wrong…

I don’t know why you think this is a GOOD idea, I find it profoundly idiotic and harmful. We need MORE people talking about their political views, not less… It is by talking about such things that we develop our ideas, if we are limited in what we can hear and how we can saw what we believe, we are doomed.

But, I hear you say, what if that first person gets a third person to respond with his 1,000… Well, isn’t that then an association of two individuals acting together? Isn’t that no different than a corporation like the Sierra Club or BP or GM or any other corporation that wants to express their political views?

I mean, where in the world did we get the idea, anywhere, that limiting anyone’s right to express their political views is a good idea? How far off of the rails have we come to even give that thought any kind of merit?

Allow communities to decide which corporations they want.

Um, that already exists… The states have to approve ANY corporate charter. They have the right to say no. How is that prevented in any way by ‘corporate personhood’?

Corporate charters subject to revocation for operating outside the law, harming the community, etc.

Again, that already exists. Corporate charters have to be renewed, the state has the right to disallow those renewals if they do not want that corporation to exist.

Only persons could be taxed, exempting corporations of all forms of taxation.

Right, that was one of the reasons corporations were created, it made it easier to tax the corporations than it was to tax every single shareholder of a corporation for the taxes of the operation of the business. All of the people who have multiple company shares in their 401ks would then have to file with the IRS every year and pay taxes on the corporate profits, since they are owners of the company, instead of having that handled by a single entity within the corporation who is designated by the owners.

That would be DEVASTATINGLY crappy…

Corporate owners/employees could be held accountable under criminal and civil law.

They already are, only they are limited to operators of the corporation, not the owners. Do you really want to send a grandmother living off of Enron stock to jail because the CEO of that corporation did something illegal? Do you really think that is a fair and right thing to do?

Free to pass campaign finance laws that set strict limits on donations and restrict the pooling of funds through PACS and similar.

There are already limits on donations, corporations are not allowed, by law, to donate to a campaign. Citizens United did not change any of that. Not sure why you think they do or how this would change anything. All you would do is make it easier for wealthy individuals to get their views heard while less well off individuals would be prevented from pooling their funds together to put up any opposition to them.

We could consider an election system funded by small donors. If that system is deemed inadequate then, we might try a system funded through state govt’s combining tax payer subsidies and private donations.

And how does that change anything? Any smart politician would then just not spend any funds until the week before the election. Any actual discourse on the ideas would never take place. You would see what I mentioned above, they would wait for the other party(s) to exhaust their LIMITED funds and then say whatever they wanted without any way to counter anything that they said. Why on earth is this a good idea?

If we can abolish CP, thereby removing large corporate influence over the Senate and Congress, then legislators will be more willing to support strong anti-trust law.

I’m all for anti-trust laws, but we already have them in place. You do get at a problem that you seem to think exists, corporate influence over the Senate and Congress. There are two other ways, that are much more effective, to combat this. One, don’t vote for a candidate that gets cozy with the businesses and corporations you don’t like. I imagine that you already do that but you don’t like the fact that others have chosen to continue electing those candidates. So because you disagree with THEIR election decisions, you want to limit their choices and enact a whole bunch of laws to get your way?

The other way, and one that is actually the best response IMO, is to take away the power that has accumulated into the hands of the Senators and Congressmen so that there is no desire to ‘buy their votes’. Why would they bother if they had real limited power?

I’m sorry Roy, but you aren’t really selling me here on abolishing the fiction of corporate personhood. It’s like you’ve somehow seen it morph into something real, something that actually doesn’t exist like you think it does. I’m open to debating it and letting you convince me, but you are going to have to a better job of it than you have been with these articles but they are written from the point of view that your view is already accepted fact… All that does is write an article that gives something to the people that already agree with you to read, it doesn’t change anyone’s minds. Take a step back and think it through and then come back with something a little more compelling to change minds…

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 8, 2014 11:23 PM
Comment #375499

I think the basic problem is that the problem is being conceived as one that the given movements could solve, if only they got to indoctrinate everybody and make things run their way.

It’s not being conceived of as a problem of cooperative self-government. It’s not being conceive of as so complex an operation that you really can’t prepare a canned philosophy beforehand to make everything work.

The thing about government of, by, and for the people is that people HAVE to learn from their mistakes. This patronizing business of denying the democratic shaping of government by its people is not only counterproductive, it’s bound to eventually cause a backlash.

Yes, you might not like the direction, but we here at Watchblog can’t save the American people from themselves. They have to save themselves.

I don’t tend to encourage the word “corpocracy,” or “corporatocracy”, or anything like that, because I believe giving it any kind of formal credit as a system of government gives it too much credit, and discourages people from facing government as their responsibility. It’s a mere corruption of a system that still exists, and still can work when we want it to bad enough.

It belongs to us, by the Constitution this country is founded on. We should take that at face value, and any dilution of that as illegitimate.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 9, 2014 12:37 AM
Comment #375505

Agree Stephen. Which is why I stand for a 3rd party to bring reform thru our democratic system. This approach, I belive, will be quicker and bring more precise reform than will issue voting or Article V Convention. IMO, corpocracy is so entrenched that a 3rd party is the only way to reform sans a real shoot em up revolution.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 9, 2014 1:21 AM
Comment #375507


Rhinehold, a good response and I do better understand where you are coming from. Also, think you are somewhat dismissive of an alternate approach to chartering and managing corporations. That too, is understandable if one believes there is no better solution to be had.

If you can read the history I quoted in the article relating to how CP law came to be and just nitpick on my use of the word ‘fraudulently’ it’s clear you are totally invested in the righteousness of CP. At a minimum, the court should have to review the precedent for CP law. SC judges do not make up laws without a hearing on the issue and a petition to hear a case on CP has never happened. I’ll accede to changing fraudulently to wrongfully.

And, while I opine about changing the corporate charter to create corporate entities having way less power and influence on gov’t affairs I am not the one to write the book on such issues. While you suggest this is near an impossible thing to do or that it would create total chaos, I don’t agree. Corporations existed long before corporate personhood and somehow, they muddled thru.

You don’t leave much room to debate when you steadfastly believe that corporations don’t/can’t make campaign donations to those seeking elected office. Now, to me, laws are often wrote in legal speak to confuse even the best lawyers/aficionados. One need only witness the gutting of the Dodd-Frank financial reg which is about 40% complete at this time. Gutted by less than 100 words provided by Citibank. Or, consider how ACA law is being wrapped around a pole. Actually, to be fleshed out sometime in the future, after midterm and 2016 elections.

It’s hard to debate if one sees black as green, etc. Let’s take a poll here on WB. Let’s ask those that believe that corporations make campaign donations to influence gov’t to so state and, those that believe corporations do not make donations to those seeking elected office to so state here on WB. Here is a url that talks about corporate spending to influence politically.
http://www.demos.org/publication/citizens-actually-united-bi-partisan-opposition-corporate-political-spending-and-support

“”Americans of all political backgrounds agree: there is way too much corporate money in politics. Nine in 10 Americans (89%) agree with that statement, and 51 percent strongly agree. More than 80 percent of every ideological and partisan subgroup expressed agreement that there is way too much corporate money in politics.1
These are some of the findings of a new poll commissioned by the Corporate Reform Coalition, of which Demos is a part. The survey explored Americans’ attitudes toward corporate political spending and found that they believe that it drowns out the voices of average Americans and corrupts our democratic government. It also found overwhelming support for strong, common sense reforms to ensure transparency and accountability for corporate political spending, should it occur, and for systemic solutions to the problem of the role of money in politics. “”

Clearly suggest that we need some changes to corporate charters. Thing is, that corpocracy is so strong that things can’t be changed thru the normal vehicles of gov’t. Campaign finance law is virtually locked up by corpocracy.

http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2013/06/24/1pct_of_the_1pct/

“”In the 2012 election, 28 percent of all disclosed political contributions came from just 31,385 people. In a nation of 313.85 million, these donors represent the 1% of the 1%, an elite class that increasingly serves as the gatekeepers of public office in the United States.””

I believe this is an accurate assessment. I would like to change that scenario but, so long as corpocracy is driving us down the road any attempt at change will be shunted to the curb. It will take a 3rd part w/a/dif or access to AVC, IMO.

(Rhinehold): I see, so if a person spends his 1,000 telling America that he is against some new political initiative and why, he’s done. Another person spends HIS 1,000 responding and saying that they guy is wrong and gives a bunch of reasons (that may or may not be true). That first person would then be unable, BY LAW, to defend his political views against the second person’s claims, right or wrong…

That seems more rational to me than me spending my $1k and the opposition spends $1B to counter my free speech. In reality, it matters little what the small donor gives as the far majority of candidates are vetted by the corpocracy long before they get their name on a ballot. No matter who you vote for you are casting a vote for corpocracy, IMO. Save your money and vote for a 3rd party w/a/dif …

(Rhinehold): I mean, where in the world did we get the idea, anywhere, that limiting anyone’s right to express their political views is a good idea? How far off of the rails have we come to even give that thought any kind of merit?

It’s clear where you stand in income equality, Rhinehold. Should I not feel discriminated against if I can only spend $1k in free speech while my opposition spends $1B, etc. Why is it just fine for the corporate/wealthy to pool their monies and have more free speech than me? Why do you support such inequity?

As to corporate charters – the law may allow it but, I’ve never heard of a state revoking a corporate charter. Maybe Madoff lost his LLC but a major, too big to fail type, unheard of.


(Rhinehold): But, I hear you say, what if that first person gets a third person to respond with his 1,000… Well, isn’t that then an association of two individuals acting together? Isn’t that no different than a corporation like the Sierra Club or BP or GM or any other corporation that wants to express their political views?

Acknowledge the scale of the thing, Rhinehold. If we all gave $1k that would be sufficient for candidates to make their case and we could all live happily everafter. And, why should corporate/wealthy donors from outside my state be able to influence elections in my state. I can’t donate to influence elections outside my state.

Only persons could be taxed, exempting corporations of all forms of taxation.

(Rhinehold): Right, that was one of the reasons corporations were created, it made it easier to tax the corporations than it was to tax every single shareholder of a corporation for the taxes of the operation of the business. All of the people who have multiple company shares in their 401ks would then have to file with the IRS every year and pay taxes on the corporate profits, since they are owners of the company, instead of having that handled by a single entity within the corporation who is designated by the owners.

Not saying that some tax law might have to be reworked in order to exempt corps from taxation. Defeating corpocracy is not an exercise in doing things efficiently.

(Rhinehold): The other way, and one that is actually the best response IMO, is to take away the power that has accumulated into the hands of the Senators and Congressmen so that there is no desire to ‘buy their votes’. Why would they bother if they had real limited power?

Try telling that to the corpocracy.

The corporate charter, as it exists, has stacked the deck against the average voter/taxpayer. Corporations are able to act in unison to influence politics/gov’t in a way that seriously dilutes representation for the public at large.

If I had something more compelling to offer I would have already broached it. Seems to me there is way more than adequate information before the public re corporate personhood. Maybe CP abolishment will gain more traction as this income inequity thing becomes more pronounced over time. I’m hoping for great success by Move To Amend and Friends Of Article V Convention.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 9, 2014 2:36 AM
Comment #375514

Corporations seem to be moving away from the protection of corporate personhood law in favor of a ‘nexus of contracts’ theory. What might the SC court do with nexus contracts? No Idea.

http://newcapitalist.org/2011/10/abolishing-corporate-personhood/

“”Year after year, class after class, law students are being taught that a corporation is nothing more than a nexus of contracts. Those students go on to become lawyers, judges and sometimes legislators. In briefs, decisions and legislation, they adopt the theory they have been taught. Those same writings are recycled back into the classroom to teach another crop of law students. Gradually, corporate lawyers are replacing corporate personhood with the nexus of contracts theory. In doing so, they place the wealth of shareowners at the disposal of grasping board members and executives, without protection of shareowner rights or fiduciary duty.
It is said that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Formally abolishing corporate personhood will take us down that road. It would abolish a concept that, for over 2000 years, has stood the test of time. By default, it would replace corporate personhood with its only significant alternative: the morally bankrupt nexus of contracts theory.””

Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 9, 2014 11:30 AM
Comment #375516

The problem isn’t that the so-called wealthy buy government for their own benefit, it’s that the people have given government power it was not supposed to have, that allows and encourages such corruption.

Posted by: kctim at January 9, 2014 11:39 AM
Comment #375518

kctim-
If you look at history, you’ll find that corruption long pre-exists the expansion of the Federal Government. And, by the way, it’s not exclusive to the government domain, which is why there were progressive and populist movements in the first place.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 9, 2014 12:14 PM
Comment #375519
Also, think you are somewhat dismissive of an alternate approach to chartering and managing corporations.

I’m not being dismissive, but if you have such a suggestion you have to SELL it to me, not expect me to buy it from you without being told why.

You still haven’t actually explained what is wrong with corporations. I get that you don’t like ‘money in politics’, but do you really think the problem is ‘corporate personhood’, which has been in existence for thousands of years? It wasn’t ‘invented’ in the late 1700s, it has always existed… The SP didn’t create anything, it just ruled on what was already there. Sort of like when people say that the SP ‘invented a right to privacy’. They didn’t, they just acknowledged and ruled on what already existed…

Corporations existed long before corporate personhood and somehow, they muddled thru.

No, not really. The idea that a corporation is a single entity that can sign contracts and sue on behalf of the organization is the POINT of a corporation. ‘Corporate Personhood’ (a name given to a long existing condition) was not just invented or something new.

You don’t leave much room to debate when you steadfastly believe that corporations don’t/can’t make campaign donations to those seeking elected office.

You mean I believe in the law and what it says?

Corporations cannot make donations to candidates. They never have been able to and they are still not able to.

Do they get ‘around’? Yep. As they would get around any attempts that you are seeking to prevent it because that is the way of things. You are never going to stop it, nor should you, because to do so would mean an end to all political organizations, like the ones you say you have no problem with. No NAACP, no Sierra Club, no NRA, no ACLU, no EFF… all gone in your attempt to silence the corporations you don’t like. Is that worth it? To effectively end all political discourse?

In the 2012 election, 28 percent of all disclosed political contributions came from just 31,385 people

That is because smaller contributions don’t have to be disclosed. You act as if those 31,385 people are the only ones with a voice. Do you contribute to the ACLU or any other political organization (corporation)? If so, you are getting your voice heard by polling your donations with other’s donations. Something you want to end for some reason.

It’s clear where you stand in income equality, Rhinehold.

If you say so… It is also irrelevant.

Should I not feel discriminated against if I can only spend $1k in free speech while my opposition spends $1B, etc. Why is it just fine for the corporate/wealthy to pool their monies and have more free speech than me? Why do you support such inequity?

Because you can also pool your money and counter what they spend. Again, those organizations have been very effective in politics for decades, yet you dismiss them for some reason as if money is the only thing. IE, if I spend more money, I win. That is hardly the case at all. The point is getting your message heard, period. If the message can be countered, then it wasn’t a good message. If just money can defeat it, it wasn’t worth it, was it? Them spending money, even if it is more, doesn’t mean your views aren’t heard by the people, it just means that it wasn’t received well if it isn’t acted upon.

I can’t donate to influence elections outside my state.

Really? You can’t give to the ACLU, NAACP, Sierra Club, NRA, EFF, etc? Are you somehow prevented from giving to these organizations that lobby, constantly, on their contributor’s behalves in states all over the country?

As to corporate charters – the law may allow it but, I’ve never heard of a state revoking a corporate charter.

There have been several instances, but it most often doesn’t happen, mainly because most corporate charters are created in Delaware, which is reticent to revoke them, in order to keep the businesses.

The corporate charter, as it exists, has stacked the deck against the average voter/taxpayer. Corporations are able to act in unison to influence politics/gov’t in a way that seriously dilutes representation for the public at large.

Bullshit. People vote the way they want to vote. Organizations like the NAACP, SEIU, ACLU and NRA hold much more sway over our elections than ‘corporations’ that you don’t like do. When you argue such a flawed argument, it’s hard to get past it and debate the actual issues involved. You believe in a fairy tale that has been told to you, much like Christians or believers in Santa Clause… If you are going to convince me that Santa or Bigfoot exist, you are going to have to bring actual evidence, not easily poked rhetoric.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 9, 2014 12:39 PM
Comment #375520

A perfect example is the Citizens United case that most ‘anti-corporations’ people seem to have little understanding of and use as a bugaboo against monied interests…

Citizens United was a group of individuals who put together a documentary about Hillary Clinton. They pooled their funds and put the documentary together and intended to air the documentary but were blocked by the unconstitutional campaign laws that prevented them from exercising their free speech. They were a ‘corporation’ because of the pooling of money and desire to operate as an entity instead of having every decision require each member’s signatures/ok, etc. They were not a large corporation like GM or BP, rather a small number of individuals who wanted to have their political views heard.

Those are the types of people who are going to be harmed by this push. BP and the like aren’t going to see any real ill effects, they’ll just incorporate in other countries and continue to operate if we become draconian on them. Basically just push them out and we lose their tax revenue…

This is why Delaware is where most corporations set up. Originally New Jersey was seen as the state to incorporate in, but then they started putting a ton of restrictions and taxation on corporations. So they all moved to Delaware. New Jersey realized their mistake and rolled them all back, but it was too late, Delaware has been the place to incorporate ever since…

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 9, 2014 12:58 PM
Comment #375522

BTW, since you brought it up…

http://reason.com/archives/2014/01/08/equality-versus-liberty

It’s true that today, the richest one percent of Americans own a third of America’s wealth. One percent owns 35 percent!

But I say, so what? Progressives in the media claim that the rich get richer at the expense of the poor.

But that’s a lie.

This is how the left sees the market: a zero-sum game. If someone makes money, he took it from everyone else. The more the rich have, the less others have. It’s as if the economy is a pie that’s already on the table, waiting to be carved. The bigger the piece the rich take, the less that’s left for everyone else. The economy is just a fight over who gets how much.

But this is absurd. Bill Gates took a huge slice of pie, but he didn’t take it from me. By starting Microsoft, he baked millions of new pies. He made the rest of the world richer, too. Entrepreneurs create things.

Over the past few decades, the difference in wealth between the rich and poor has grown. This makes people uncomfortable. But why is it a problem if the poor didn’t get poorer?

Progressives claim they did. Some cite government data that show middle class incomes remaining relatively stagnant. But this data is misleading, too. It leaves out all government handouts, like rent subsidies and food stamps. It leaves out benefits like company-funded health insurance and pensions, which make up increasing portions of people’s pay.

And it leaves out the innovation that makes life better for both the rich and poor. Even poor people today have access to cars, food, health care, entertainment and technology that rich people lusted for a few decades ago. Ninety percent of Americans living “below the poverty line” have smart phones, cable TV and cars. Seventy percent own two cars.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 9, 2014 1:03 PM
Comment #375532

Stephen, of course corruption existed before the expansion of federal government and of course it’s not limited to only government, sheesh.

Roy wrote about corruption of government by corporations. When you give government control of you, you give whoever controls the government control of you.
You can fight a delusional never ending battle for 100% honest government, or you can not give government control in the first place.

Posted by: kctim at January 9, 2014 4:06 PM
Comment #375533

Rhinehold-
We’d like to pretend like we’re all simply individuals, immune to social impulses, but the truth is quite the opposite. Time and again, people prove vulnerable to social tactics.

The basic, naive assumption on the part of those who want the market to take care of everything is this: that at the end of the day, the impulse towards self preservation in that market will be attended to by those businesses by cooperative means, rather than by treating the customers, investors, or other external party’s interests as competing interests to be fought. It’s also assumed that if they didn’t do so, they’d be out of business.

They keep secrets from us. They keep their finances secret from their investors. They push for a more secretive market, which allows them to take the risks that originally got them in trouble in the first place. They fail to respond in what would be considered a normal, repentant way to the fact that they’re being bailed out, sending out bonuses to many of their executives and traders, presumably the same ones who just brought their firm to the edge of destruction.

CEOs get golden parachutes rather than an ass-kicking to the street.

We would assume that corporations would scramble over each other to provide the best customer service, but instead we get hung up on call-trees and end up going through bureaucracies and confusing websites that their friends criticizing Obamacare should have looked at first. In some cases, it’s difficult to even find a human to speak to, and that’s on purpose!

We would assume that the companies would rush to nail every defect. They don’t. Is it because they’re foolish? Arguably so, but perhaps they think they’re getting away with something, and if they win the gamble, they don’t have to pay for say… a drug they spent millions developing that turns out to vastly increase the risk of a heart attack, or a faulty axle or gas tank, or whatever that only breaks every so often.

Get the social disconnect profound enough and people can do some pretty sociopathic things. We’ve seen this demonstrated in one psychological experiment after another: social insularity plus experiential distance often equals the capability of doing great wrong, even when one is personally very moral.

So, why do we need government regulation and such? Because that is our constraint on such special-interest induced sociopathy. Of course, you’ve got to watch out that you don’t write the rules to benefit such sensibilities first, and we unfortunately have written rules with just such an idea of things.

I’m not a fan of having too much bureaucracy in the process, nor unaccountable government organizations. The first generally results in a passive-aggressive approach to enforcement, lax when nobody’s riding on them, draconian when the spotlight falls on them. It’s important that real people in the real world can follow the rules. I also acknowledge that government is vulnerable to the same sort of social insularity that can strike private organizations.

That’s why I think an interested, vigilant, and generally educated (Not merely indoctrinated) community is so important. Only when people make a point of treating both government and private industry as parts of their social realm, subject to both the censure of law and the imposition of social consequences, can we keep them from acting in a manner we wonder that decent people can act like.

kctim-
It’s not as if denying government that authority means somebody’s not in control. Instead, you have the corporation or whatever other private interest wielding that power. The main difference with the government is that you can hold politicians accountable, where the corporations are accountable to shareholders, if they’re accountable to anybody else but themselves. I think in general the accountability works better going in that direction.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 9, 2014 5:50 PM
Comment #375534

Rhinehold-
What do cell phones, cable, and cars have in common?

Monthly payments. Credit cards work that way, too, by the way. If you had to pay for any of these in full, you’d see a lot fewer poor people with all those consumer goods.

Additionally, consumer electronic goods of all types are cheaper, and offer more bang for the buck. The worst cell phone out there has better computing power than the Apollo Spacecraft. The microprocessors, displays, rendering chips, and other such things got cheaper. They found a smaller power source.

It used to be, though, that people could save, that they had more disposable income relative to their bills. And even allowing for what they can pay for now, the pronounced increase in executive salaries, even while they mourn the so-called necessity of laying thousands off, and they pay themselves and others more and more even if they screw things up, tells us that the greater prosperity brought on by new efficiencies and such are not being shared. Labor has become the number one place to squeeze when they’re looking for more money.

And where do the Republicans and conservatives squeeze when they want to free up some room in the federal, state, and local budgets?

Why are the lower economic classes the stone out of which the conservative and the libertarian movements want to squeeze the blood out?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 9, 2014 6:14 PM
Comment #375544

I’m sure many folks have bent their wick looking for ways to challenge the money influence in politics/gov’t. David suggests that an educated public is the better way to weaken corpocracy.

Weakness here is that we seem unable to sufficiently educate the students who so badly need it. And, education is a long and protracted process, maybe 16-17 years to achieve a useful product. By then we would be so far along with globalisation and the NWO, just seems so improbable.

Rhinehold and Stephen believe that we should just man/woman up and vote against suspect candidates and elected officials. Don’t we have enough historical information to write that one off? Incumbents have forever been re-elected at 80-90%. Supposedly, folks tend to think their man/woman is golden and the problem rests with the other candidates/incumbents. Near hopeless, IMO, unless the world pretty much comes apart at the seams, etc.

I like the idea of changing the US business model by abolishing CP and forcing a rewrite of the corporate charter. At times, even the threat of abolishing CP brings the system around to garner a fringe change here and there. Medicare and Medicaid were helped into law in that venue. I believe we have a sufficient number of votes in Independents to boot strap a 3rd party w/a/dif into being. But, again, the world is near going to have to come to an end to get them in the mood to vote for a 3rd party.

Another way of perceiving the money influence is that over some 200 years the wealthy, in conjunction with gov’t facilitators have amassed huge wealth. More wealth begets more favorable legislation and the cycle repeats. One way of dampening this cycle would be to exempt corporations from taxation. Most of the large corporations pay little or nothing in taxes.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/04/22/bp-cut-tax-13b-losses-spill/

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/04/26/1205000/-ExxonMobil-rakes-in-9-5-billion-profit-on-which-it-will-pay-a-13-percent-tax-rate-if-that

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/04/25/1917601/exxon-first-quarter-profit-2013/

http://blogs.ajc.com/jay-bookman-blog/2013/02/15/on-1-billion-profit-facebook-paid-much-less-than-nothing-in-taxes/

Often, the tax code is used by corpocracy much like a back channel for passing taxpayer dollars. When a corporation moves overseas their moving cost are tax deductible, their overseas advertising is tax deductible and so on - - -

If one could calculate the tax rebates, write offs, grants, loans, aid, and other numerous taxpayer ‘gifts’ to large corporations I believe it would be beneficial to the taxpayer to exempt corps from taxation. I’ve no doubt that if congress got serious about exempting corps from taxation the corpocracy would fight it as ‘unfair democracy’ or some such.

I advocate for no corporate taxation and a 17% flat tax for the folks. Tax form on a post card, etc. But, the corpocracy would never concede to such an arrangement. They would fight to the last corpocrat to defend their ability to manipulate the tax code, creating winners and losers, micromanaging the economy and so on - - -

Now that most corps are multinationals they can really begin to shuck and jive - - - going to be a real show in the coming years, IMO. One can only try to imagine what the Founders would think about the Republic today. Two party’s holding sway over gov’t, no bill moves unless it is checked off by one of something like 50 committee chairpersons. 1k page bills that serves to hide the loopholes and that nobody reads before passage. Passing bills that are essentially blank pages to be filled in ‘at a later date’, often by lobbyists and/or corporate reps, and so on - - -

Here is hoping for a 3rd party w/a/dif or access to AVC. We need some relief from somewhere.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 9, 2014 11:52 PM
Comment #375550

Stephen

“It’s not as if denying government that authority means somebody’s not in control.”

The corruption is more limited because it does not have the reach or backing of the federal government.
An insurance company can tell you to buy their product, but only government can force you to buy the product.

With corruption being an absolute in any form of government, it is dumb to voluntarily expand its impact.

And, before you go off on a tangent, this is not a call for no government regulation.

Posted by: kctim at January 10, 2014 9:40 AM
Comment #375554

Roy Ellis-
I believe that improvement will always be incremental, until it’s not. We have to set a tone, really, a standard below which the leaders in question fear for their ability to stay in office. Raise the bar with each vote, and we might see our options improve. If we wait for a third party… well, we might be waiting a long time.

kctim-
What is it a call for? Look, the whole point of a democratic system is for people to be able to put pressure on the officials who rule them. Corruption is not absolute in government, it’s relative to what people will tolerate. People have gotten much more tolerant of such corruption since the Republicans started insisting that everybody be “business-friendly”.

I have no use for your absolutes, because the real world doesn’t operate on them. The question is, do we get up off of our dead asses, and take a concerted, involved interest in politics, or do we just lie back and think of England?

America needs citizens who haven’t been convinced that they’re superfluous to the political process, and the Right’s done nothing but preach they are, with predictable results.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 10, 2014 11:24 AM
Comment #375569

Stephen and kctim, I have no confidence that your proposals would have any real effect. Our political history seems to bear witness to that.

Further reasoning is in this little analogy: a pipeline installer wants to install say, the Keystone Pipeline. So, his staff calls around to several US legislators advising them that the mfctr is willing to put up some serious campaign funds if they will present/support bills to getting the pipeline approved. The mfctr also calls a number of contractor corporations who might like to be involved. These folks conference call and then reach out to gas/oil corps, lobbying corps, financial corps, insurance corps, and the list is long. And, they all agree to call the capital and offer campaign funds, quid pro quo being pipeline support. Some offers will offer jobs to relatives, send legislators on vacations, some will fund their kids college, some will deposit some cash in foreign banks for use ten years down the road, etc, and the list is long.

On the other hand some farmers living near the proposed pipeline may reach out to a couple of their representatives in Washington. A few may even pool some cash to fund a campaign or two. Perhaps an environmental group of two, always in need of $ support, would join their cause.

Few, if any, East and West of the pipeline surely will have an opinion, maybe blog on the issue but, aren’t moved to offer campaign donations.

The corporation may be located anywhere around the world but the pipeline goes to the very essence of the corporation, making money. If A can help B and, as a group flood the capital with some serious cash/favors they will do so. The funds expended in donations, carrying out lobbying, free lunches, etc is a pittance to the corporation compared to the corporations wealth and profits expected from participating in the pipeline project.

The farmer? He might have to share a right-of-way with the pipeline. It’s a little unsightly. He might throw in a hundred dollars in campaign contributions in protest, etc.

In brief, people 3 - corps 316,923,028, give or take a few.

Corpocracy has, over some 200 years, stacked the deck, or am I blogging around blind? We need a new business model, starting with abolishing CP, IMO

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 10, 2014 1:06 PM
Comment #375581

No traction here, Stephen. ‘Improvement’ has been going on for years. Consider LBJ’s policy to do away with poverty. Some pro’s and con’s from a WaPo article today:

Increased SS benefits and reduced poverty for the elderly.
Nutrition programs have ‘fortified’ generations.
Expanded aid to families and dependent children became shorthand for unintended social and behavioral consequences.
For decades aid to improve education for low income children was a resounding, embarrassing, scandalous failure.
“Head Start still seems so promising that we keep trying to get them right, even when social science finds modest results.

Article relates that last year the US spent about than $1T on transfer programs while more than 40M remain below the poverty line.

” Advancing technology and globalization began draining the country of decent paying, lower-skill jobs.

Says LBJ could not have conceived of such problems further exacerbated by the single-parent household.

Writer relates that we need a renewed effort going toward improving the labor market, increasing worker skills and the rewards of work. Also need to encourage the ‘norm’ of marriage before childbirth.

IMO, corpocracy is great at handing out taxpayer dollars but way lacking in the follow thru with enforcement, oversight, metrics, and so on. Archer-Daniels-Midland will work their arse off to make sure we get a farm and a SNAP bill thru congress. That’s about where it ends, IMO.

One bright spot re Corpocracy - citizen vigilantes in Mexico have formed up and are taking it to the cartels/gov’t. The Mexican Fed is confused by such an uprising. The Federales/police/cartels have whizzed on the citizens for 50 or so years and now it seems the citizens are ready to stand up and fight. Alas, I look for the citizen vigilante to soon be disappeared by tanks/AK’s/RPG’s and so on - - - the money is just too too good, IMO. Maybe the US will help with some more ‘fast and furious’, etc.


Back to the thread. In today’s WaPo that Aloca is paying a $384M fine for bribery. Alcoa blames it on a lowly sub and associated company, Alcoa World Aluminum. Supposedly, the sub was shuffling $$ to Bahraini corpocrats in exchange to lock in lucrative contracts. Article relates that this is the 4th largest fine ever for foreign bribery. In the last 8 months deals have been struck with the French oil corp, Total, and the Swiss oil field services corp,Weatherford.

Writer says that a few years hence $1M was a big fine for multinational foreign bribery cases. In 08 the Siemens corp paid $1.6B. These globalised multinationals are having a field day with weak and/or undeveloped countries.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 10, 2014 4:36 PM
Comment #375587

Roy, if we can pursue a purposeless war in Afghanistan for 10 years, we can certainly devote as much effort for as long a period to a general improvement in education, a fact based education, for all. The dividend yield would be very high for several generations.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 10, 2014 5:52 PM
Comment #375596

Dunno, David? How can that be when this country spends far more than any other on education. It’s not the money causing our bad grades. It’s the culture, traditions, single mothers with kids and so on - - - now there’s a money sink fer ya.

Our higher education seems up to par else why would so many bright students beat feet to this country for their degrees?

As to the war, fought on the guise of keeping peace in the Middle East or, perhaps for access to oil contracts. Either way, a low point in US history, IMO. Nation building really sucks.

Now, I’d come right behind that and advocate for a force to go in near S. Africa and move North, taking out the Islamic influence in dark Africa all the way up to near Morocco, and the nothern tier countries. Dark Africa could’t fight their way out of a room filled with smoke, no matter how much money and aid we gave them. If we don’t go in and take out the extremist, dark Africans are going to disappear pretty tout suite, IMO.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 10, 2014 9:52 PM
Comment #375601

Every person who works for a corporation has the right to vote. Every person who works for a corporation, whether they are the CEO or the janitor, has the right to contribute money to the candidate of their choice. Each and every employee, stock holder, owner of a corporation has the right to speak. Whether they speak as a group or as an individual, the corporation is immaterial.

The corporation is not a person. It should not be treated as an person. It should not be considered an individual, or considered equal to an individual. It should not have the right to vote, the right to contribute money, or the right to speak or the right to represent itself in a court of law. These rights are already granted to each and every employee, stock holder, owner, of the corporation. Corporate “rights” are not needed.

Corporations are tools. They have the same rights and privileges a hammer has. No one would grant a hammer the right to contribute to a candidate’s campaign. No one would grant a hammer the right to decide which nail it would pound. No one would give a hammer the right to flip eggs, or grow crops, or manufacture medicine. Only a person of flesh and blood can grant those rights. If a local government wants to create a hammer to flip eggs, hey! More power to them. Good luck with that. But a hammer, on it’s own, cannot decide it wants to flip eggs when it’s purpose is to drive nails.

Corporations are not pure evil. They are tools used for a specific purpose with a finite life. Their charter is granted to achieve a specific goal. That goal is defined, it’s profits defined, and it’s methods to achieve those goals and profits defined by human beings with the authority to do so.

Corporations have gone from being created as a tool to achieve a specific purpose to a shield to protect individuals from an ever increasingly litigious environment. This shield grants unscrupulous or negligent individuals protection from being punished for wrongdoing.

Consider the aftermath of the Bhopal disaster in India. Fines levied against the people responsible amounted to a total of $2000 each. The “corporation” handled it’s own court proceedings and agreed to a relative pittance in damages and the Indian government is responsible for the health problems of the citizens effected.

Had this corporation been considered a defective hammer and discarded it would not have taken over 20 years to rectify this. But considering the fact that the corporation also owned banks and public holdings the government had to keep this corporation viable. Courts dragged it out and in the end the corporation was sold to another and the cycle kept going. The only “persons” hurt by this disaster were real, flesh and blood, persons!

Corporations should not be allowed to control their own destiny. They should be considered inanimate objects to be controlled and defined by living and breathing people who are held responsible for their decisions, ie. local and state governments. Our founding fathers despised corporations. They would be grabbing their guns again if they were alive today and they would have done it long ago, long before it ever got to this point. I think they would have done it in the late 1800’s when corporations were granted personhood by a court clerk’s scribbling.

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 11, 2014 12:32 PM
Comment #375608

WW, there is a lot of protection out their for corporations. Their supposedly strong point goes toward the idea that chaos would break out if CP were abolished. Like there is no other way to simplify the contract process between several people, groups, board members, etc, other than the current process approved thru the corporate charter.

Corporations are looking to move toward something called ‘nexus theory’ as an alternative way of corporate contracting. Seems board members are fearful that they would be less protected under Nexus contracting. I’ve read little and understand less.

Yes, the Bhopal thing was really bad. Corpocracy runs the gamut from A to Z. Consider the laws against false advertising. In today’s WaPo a writer relates that the Supreme Court will decide whether Pom Wonderful corp can sue Coca Cola for deceiving consumers over the amount of pomegranate juice in one of Coke’s popular juice beverages. The beverage label says “Pomegranate Blueberry Flavored Blend of 5 juices”, with the pom blueberry in larger letters. POM Wonderful says the beverage contains .3% pom juice and .2% blueberry. Apple and grape constitute 99% of the drink.

A federal appeals court in Frisco denied the suit by Pom Wonderful as the FDA had already authorized the Coca-Cola product’s name and “we must respect the FDA’s apparent decision not to impose the requirements urged by POM. Coke says the label tells consumers that the drink is a blend of fruits and tastes like pom and blueberry.

There you have it. Corpocracy or not?? I’m looking at a Welch juice labeled, “Orange Pineapple Apple juice cocktail” and “Delicious Real Fruit Flavor” and ‘Flavored Blend From Made From Orange Pineapple And Apple Juices From Concentrate” Doesn’t give any info on % this or that.

Why in the hell not? If the FDA is going to approve something that I’m going to ingest why shouldn’t I know the % this or that? I vote for Corpocracy, as usual.

Otherwise - - -


Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 11, 2014 7:46 PM
Comment #375629

Roy, I didn’t say money, I said effort, in regard to education, fact based education. We have enough money for quality education. We aren’t allocating it toward optimal return on our investment in it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 13, 2014 8:05 PM
Comment #375630

I agree with that, David. Our college’s and univ’s seem to be adequate to great. It doesn’t have to do with putting any more pressure on kids to learn. I has more to do with how they are taught and a whole lot to do with who is doing the teaching, IMO.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 13, 2014 10:08 PM
Comment #375631

Stephen

If there is power to be had and money to be gained, there is corruption. In the “real world,” corporations use the power of the government to their benefit. IF you wish to limit the corruption, common sense says to limit the ability.
How you can see that with corporations but ignore it with government is beyond me.

Oh, and yes, as usual, Republicans are the only ones responsible for the peoples lack of concern over corruption. Yawn.

Posted by: kctim at January 14, 2014 9:18 AM
Comment #375652

A salient point for those supporting income inequality is that with globalisation and corp’s going multinational it is only natural that corporate wealth would rise accordingly. I agree with that supposition. Also, believe that monopolies/conglomerates should be broken up using anti-trust law thru, creating more corporations, jobs, competition and innovation.

Sort of like not enforcing immigration law and going soft on drug use, we the people have gotten used to taking the law with a grain of salt. There are a myriad of corporate laws on the books but corporations don’t take them too serious, always pushing the envelope. Reason is that if a corp can do fraud for a few years, make some billions and, after being called on the carpet, pay a fine of a few million, etc. Why would corporations not conduct illegal business where profitable.

Today, Apple ‘lost a bid to block an anti-trust monitor after a judge’s finding that the company conspired to fix e-book prices’.

Also, in the news that three former traders at Dutchlender Rabobank were charged by the US for engaging in a 5 year scheme to manipulate a key interest rate for the Japanese currency beginning in 2006. In Oct. Rabobank agreed to a fine of $325M stemming from a benchmarks investigation including Libor rates. A few get fined while thousands go on to reap big profits.

Today we learn that Charter Communications is demanding Time Warner Cable accept their bid of $61B to merge the two. Charter says it wants to bulk up in order to be ‘more competitive. The WaPo article relates that there is a “scramble by the industry’s biggest companies to gain stronger footholds in a dramatically transforming television business.” Further, that “Comcast and Time Warner have virtual monopolies on the last mile pipes that feed Internet service into American homes.”


I don’t believe that the ‘man on the street’ gives a whit one way or the other about Apple’s or Rabobank’s novelty financing. The folks just accept that big corps are going to cheat, sometimes it cost them a few bucks and that is just the ‘way it works’.

Recall that globalisation was supposed to lower prices in return for giving up manufacturing jobs to foreign/multinational entities. Do you think you are saving a lot of money due to globalisation? Then there is the ‘snakehead’ fish, these zillions of ‘stink bugs’ hanging out in your closets, and the little bug that has infested the orange tree causing ‘greening’ of the fruit and ruining orange groves. Try to consider the $$ and jobs lost to those and similar foreign infestations.

Now, we are being told that we have a heroin near epidemic across the country. Heroin use up 102% over a decade. One hundred people a day being lost to heroin overdose. You would think that while we were in Afghan in a big way we would have been able to squelch the poppy market.

Also, hearing that the DEA gave carte blanche to the Sinaloa drug cartel during the period of time some 30-40k Mexican citizens were murdered. Head of the cartel is worth more than a $B. Corpocracy is a good business when you can get it. The drug business is just too good to shut it down or even trim it back too hard.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at January 14, 2014 8:47 PM
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