ACTION ALERTI: Repeal the Farce of 'Corporate Personhood'
January 20, 2012
Jim Hightower / Jim Hightower's Blog & Don Cavallaro / SeaCoast Online
Commentary: The idea that corporations are "persons' with the Constitutional right to buy elections with bottomless troves of corporate cash is an absurd perversion. A person, after all, has a navel. Where's the corporate navel -- or its heart, brain, or soul? If corporations are the same gender and they want to merge, would that be prohibited in states that don't recognize civil unions? If you sue a corporation into bankruptcy, should that now be considered murder?
Repeal the Farce of 'Corporate Personhood'
Jim Hightower / Jim Hightower's Blog
(January 19, 2012) -- The Powers That Be constantly try to pull the wool over people's eyes, but sometimes the wool blinders are so itchy that people rip them off and clearly see the scam.
One of the itchiest ever is the Kafkaesque fiction, put forth by America's right-wing power establishment, that corporations are "persons' with the Constitutional right to control our elections with their bottomless troves of corporate cash. This is an absurd perversion of nature itself. A person, after all, has a navel. Where's the corporate navel -- or its heart, brain, or soul?
Also, if a corporation is a person, shouldn't it be subject to front-line military duty, to jail for its criminal violations, and even to the death penalty? As a reader pointed out to me in a recent email, many states do not allow persons under 18 years of age to marry (or, in corporate terminology, to merge). Plus, such young persons are subject to curfews and cannot legally be served alcohol. If you see a young corporation violating any of these teen laws -- call the cops on them!
When a corporate and governmental cabal makes such a power play that the very idea of it becomes a national joke, both the idea and the cabal are in trouble. That's the case with the comical claim of "personhood" for corporations.
All across the country, beneath the radar of American's clueless elites, a savvy and scrappy grassroots coalition is mobilizing to overturn the anti-democratic effort by the Supreme Court, corporate front groups, and political sell-outs to enthrone corporate money over the people. On January 20th and 21st there will be two national days of action to rally public support for a Constitutional amendment to reject the farce of corporate personhood.
To join the rebellion, connect with www.United4ThePeople.org.
If Corporations Are People, Then ...
/ SeaCoast Online
(January 10, 2012) -- Pondering corporate personhood can make your head swim. Based on the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, corporations now have unlimited free speech rights, the same as human beings do. What has been bothering me is that in certain areas, humans have a few more rules to follow than corporations. If you are a man, you have more rules still.
Take the Selective Service, for example. If you are a guy, you have to register by age 18 or you are not eligible to receive government training, a government job or eligibility for a student loan. Perhaps all male corporations should sign up with the Selective Service to be eligible for government contracts, research grants or guaranteed loans.
This brings me to the gender issue.
If corporations are the same gender and they want to merge, would that be prohibited in states that don't recognize civil unions? Recently, one presidential candidate even seems to be worried about three or more corporations merging. Would mergers between a male and female corporation be considered marriage?
If you sue a corporation into bankruptcy, should that now be considered murder? If you sign paperwork to form your corporation and the financing falls through, is that a miscarriage? When humans get sick, they see a doctor or go to the hospital. When corporations get sick, they see a lawyer or go off shore.
Whereas cloning humans is illegal, cloning corporations can just be considered franchising. Corporations can also split like amoebas or merge like pieces of clay, which are abilities that humans do not possess.
The tax code gets confusing also. If corporations are "people," then why don't they use our human tax tables? Unless they are married (merged) or head of household, I'd think that they should pay at the single rate. There should be no "corporate" tax rate, since they are just like the rest of us.
I don't dare to think of the tax write-offs, but perhaps the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) rule that some have to follow would be appropriate. When corporations can't exempt themselves from the AMT, they pay at a rate lower than many humans do, and that is after they file for the foreign tax credit, if they can. It does seem a bit unpatriotic to be willing to pay other countries' taxes and then complain about ones in the country that you call home. We human beings are paying for the roads that the company trucks are driving on, among other perks that some corporations get for free.
Another great thing about being a corporate person is that, in some cases, you don't even have to be "born" here to be considered a domestic corporation. As long as you set up shop in Delaware or Nevada, you can be recognized as domestic versus being considered foreign in any other state. It begs the question: If illegal immigrants got together and incorporated themselves, would they be allowed to stay? If they were corporate people, it seems like the answer would be yes.
What makes me a bit nervous is that the corporate people may now start demanding unlimited Second Amendment rights. Some of those people can easily afford their own fighter jets, tanks, ships, cruise missiles and a well-armed militia to protect themselves with.
I suppose the increased firepower would provide great incentive for paying our bills on time. One of their unmanned drones could even follow you to the bank, perhaps.
We'll have to wait and see what the future brings. As long as Amendments 15, 19 and 26 are still in effect, there still may be hope for our democracy. Maybe someday, a corporation will even be elected president; as long as "it" can show a valid birth certificate and that it is at least 35 years old. The presidential seal could even be customized with the "person's" logo.
Don Cavallaro is a resident of Rye.