News Biggest thing wrong with America: corporations being considered citizens

No, but it means you chose to transfer the decision-making power over that money to dolphin-killers. Some might say that's the same thing. But you can't voluntarily give someone else control over your money, then claim they have no right to control that money.

If you don't want your money spent a particular way, then don't give it to someone who may spend it that way. Duh!

As far as a corporate personhood, this has been discussed ad nauseum in other threads. There is a reason the ACLU advocated the position they did (pro-free speech). If you don't understand that position, I would recommend researching it until you do (understand it, not necessarily agree with it).
Ooooh, can you explain their stance on NAMBLA as well?

@WhoWee: Sure we can, just as we can the converse.

edit: You can quit a union, but you end poor. You can sell your shars, but you may end poor. More importantly, a union is meant to represent their workers, a corporation is meant to make a proft... period... end of story. The shareholders own a part of that profit, and the company itself.
 
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Ooooh, can you explain their stance on NAMBLA as well?

@WhoWee: Sure we can, just as we can the converse.

edit: You can quit a union, but you end poor. You can sell your shars, but you may end poor. More importantly, a union is meant to represent their workers, a corporation is meant to make a proft... period... end of story. The shareholders own a part of that profit, and the company itself.
Yes, a union is meant to represent their members - to increase wages and benefits - work conditions are typically Government reviewed at this point. What is the difference between workers wanting higher wages and greater benefits or shareholders wanting higher dividends or valuation? Both make an investment - workers invest time and shareholders invest capital.
 
Yes, a union is meant to represent their members - to increase wages and benefits - work conditions are typically Government reviewed at this point. What is the difference between workers wanting higher wages and greater benefits or shareholders wanting higher dividends or valuation? Both make an investment - workers invest time and shareholders invest capital.
What relation does this have to corporate personhood? Unions, however much you want them to be, will never match the scale or power of modern multinantional corporations.

I'm yet to see a union pull a GE and make 14 billion USD without paying a cent of federal taxes.

In addition, a union has a voting system for its every move, oversight, and government control and restrictions. A corporation you buy shares in is JUST a financial investment, not an endorsemnet of their politics or policies except as they relate to legal profit for shareholders.

You should't have to worry about the nutty religious predilictions of Domino's Pizza when you buy a pie (why I can't imagine), or a share of stock. You're buying into the success of a pizza operation, not fundamentalist Christianity. You can argue that lobbying by corporation is one thing, (and boy is it) while totally unrelated interests of a very few C-level exects are NOT.
 

Al68

Nope. Have no reason to find out, either. Not related to this thread.
I'd say that the ACLU's poisitions are often only tangentially related to the reality of protecting free speech to be honest, which is why I raise another unsavory entity they defend. So, you say they have a reason to defend corporate "free speech", but they're also in for protecting gatherings of pedophiles... so... maybe you do need to expand on one or another reason.
 
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What relation does this have to corporate personhood? Unions, however much you want them to be, will never match the scale or power of modern multinantional corporations.

I'm yet to see a union pull a GE and make 14 billion USD without paying a cent of federal taxes.
Have we forgotten about GM?
 
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How is that related to GE making billions without taxation?
I don't have time to pull the links right now - I believe the number is $46 Billion in tax relief for GM - basically the cost of the union bailout (and I'll avoid the whole bondholder treatment thing again).
 
I don't have time to pull the links right now - I believe the number is $46 Billion in tax relief for GM - basically the cost of the union bailout (and I'll avoid the whole bondholder treatment thing again).
And did they pay most of it back?

Again... how is this related to GM making a fortune in a year without paying? I must be missing some key link here...
 

Al68

I'd say that the ACLU's poisitions are often only tangentially related to the reality of protecting free speech to be honest, which is why I raise another unsavory entity they defend. So, you say they have a reason to defend corporate "free speech", but they're also in for protecting gatherings of pedophiles... so... maybe you do need to expand on one or another reason.
The reason the ACLU's position is relevant is because it is representative of the pro-free speech position in general. Obviously, an understanding of that position would be adequate whether or not one reads the ACLU position, I just used it as a representative example. This was recently discussed in https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=479041", among many others. There is no reason for me to repeat everything I said there.

And the ACLU's position on other issues has nothing to do with this one. I think the ACLU's position on many other issues is despicable.
 
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And did they pay most of it back?

Again... how is this related to GM making a fortune in a year without paying? I must be missing some key link here...
Here's a quickie - gotta run:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/11/03/us-gm-taxbreaks-idUSTRE6A161020101103
" (Reuters) - General Motors Co GM.UL can get a tax break of up to $45 billion as part of its U.S. government-financed restructuring, documents filed with federal regulators earlier this year showed."
 
Here's a quickie - gotta run:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/11/03/us-gm-taxbreaks-idUSTRE6A161020101103
" (Reuters) - General Motors Co GM.UL can get a tax break of up to $45 billion as part of its U.S. government-financed restructuring, documents filed with federal regulators earlier this year showed."
Hi, my name is nismaratwork and I'm talking about GE, not GM.

@Al: I don't agree, I think they're to free speech what PETA is to animal rights these days.
 

Al68

@Al: I don't agree, I think they're to free speech what PETA is to animal rights these days.
Why would you say you don't agree then follow with a statement I agree with, and doesn't contradict anything I said? Not making much sense here.
 
Why would you say you don't agree then follow with a statement I agree with, and doesn't contradict anything I said? Not making much sense here.
OK, what I mean is that I don't see the ACLU as being really driven by rational pro-speech agendas, much as Ingrid Newkirk turned PETA into a Vegan-Psycho-Centralia.

I'm trying to poke holes in your use of the ACLU as a means to reinforcing your view that corporations should have free speech, to be completely blunt. I admit, we do have a very odd relationship of massive disagreements in our conclusions, while tending to agree on the details. Believe me, I'm still reading the links you gave me and trying to understand.
 

Al68

I'm trying to poke holes in your use of the ACLU as a means to reinforcing your view that corporations should have free speech, to be completely blunt.
I never used the ACLU in such a way, so poke holes all you want. I'll even help by pointing out that that would be the classical "appeal to authority" logical fallacy. I agree with the ACLU's position on this issue because I believe it to be correct, not because it came from the ACLU.

I referenced their position because someone else did in that other thread, and it was handy, as a source for those who obviously are unaware of why people disagree with them.

And my view is that government should not restrict political speech, not that "corporations should have free speech". That's like claiming that a printing press should have free speech: it's non-sensical to attribute speech to the tool used for it, in this context.

The "speaker" is always a real flesh and blood person. The corporation is a tool (agent) of the speaker, not the speaker himself.
 
I never used the ACLU in such a way, so poke holes all you want. I agree with the ACLU's position on this issue because I believe it to be correct, not because it came from the ACLU.

I referenced their position because someone else did in that other thread, and it was handy.

And my view is that government should not restrict political speech, not that "corporations should have free speech". That's like claiming the first amendment protects the right of a printing press to free speech: it's non-sensical to attribute speech to the tool used for it.

The "speaker" is always a real flesh and blood person. The corporation is a tool (agent) of the speaker, not the speaker himself.
OK, I can accept that, but tell me how the agenda of (example again) Dominos Pizza's CEO around religion, abortion etc... in any way related to his company, shareholders, etc? If he wants to lobby about pizza and related issues, I could understand how that helps the shareholders.

On the other hand, he often acts in direct opposition to a majority of the country. One man controlling a large entity.
 

Al68

OK, I can accept that, but tell me how the agenda of (example again) Dominos Pizza's CEO around religion, abortion etc... in any way related to his company, shareholders, etc?
No, that's a private matter between the CEO and the shareholders, I'm not a party to such decisions. I'm not sure what you mean here, but shareholders chose to give him decision-making power over their money. They can't do so, then claim he shouldn't have control of their money. Plus they can limit his control any way they like in the charter.

Of course, Dominos is a poor example in this context, Citizens United would obviously be a better one, since they actually use shareholder money for political speech.
 
No, that's a private matter between the CEO and the shareholders, I'm not a party to such decisions. I'm not sure what you mean here, but shareholders chose to give him decision-making power over their money. They can't do so, then claim he shouldn't have control of their money. Plus they can limit his control any way they like in the charter.

Of course, Dominos is a poor example in this context, Citizens United would obviously be a better one, since they actually use shareholder money for political speech.
As does Dominos, it's just not the choice of an individual shareholder. In fact, I'd argue that corporate "speech" is actually a means of constraining and limiting individual expression by drowing it our, and co-opting it. I can think of few things more corrosive, and has been said, giving them money as financial investment is just that, unlike union or PAC which is a political action at least in part.
 

loyyer21

Only for lawsuits. But they cant vote!
 

Al68

As does Dominos, it's just not the choice of an individual shareholder.
No, it's the choice of the agent they gave their decision-making power to. That's the nature of transferring decision-making power to an agent: the agent now gets to make the decisions, subject to the agreement made, which in this case is a private matter and not subject to my personal opinion of it. It's between the parties making the agreement, ie Dominos CEO and the shareholders. If they think the CEO violated the corporate charter, they should sue him. They have standing, you and I don't, unless we are shareholders of Dominos.
In fact, I'd argue that corporate "speech" is actually a means of constraining and limiting individual expression by drowing it our, and co-opting it.
Even if "lotsa" speech is drowning out "itty bitty" speech, the first amendment prohibits government from restricting either.
 

talk2glenn

OK, I can accept that, but tell me how the agenda of (example again) Dominos Pizza's CEO around religion, abortion etc... in any way related to his company, shareholders, etc? If he wants to lobby about pizza and related issues, I could understand how that helps the shareholders.

On the other hand, he often acts in direct opposition to a majority of the country. One man controlling a large entity.
This is a red herring. Dominos Pizza has no financial interest in effecting abortion policy, whatever the personal feelings of its CEO. Unless this unrelated political activism was disclosed explicitly to shareholders, the company could never legally lobby in this manner - it would be a breach of fiduciary duty to investors.

The reason for-profit companies lobby is to protect their operations and market. Anyone who beleieves a modern companies bottom line is divorcable from their operating political environment is delusional. No company can expect to compete without an effective say in politics. Given that, corporations have a duty to influence public policy (to their shareholders), and a right to let the public know how policy choices effect them (given that they are publicly held). This is why for-profit companies engage in political speech.

I don't think Ivan or others actually believe it when they say a profit-seeking company has no political interests. There's no way. You'd have to be completely blind to reality. This would be like saying you, as a profit-maximizing, individual have no interest in politics - an obvious falsehood, given the extent of government involvement in your individual finances and financial decisions.

This is altogether different from, say, Citizens United, whose purpose is expressly political. Here, too, the rights of individuals are protected only when the rights of Citizens United are also protected. If, say, George Soros can personally finance a political ad about the myriad benefits of a 100% income tax, why can't Al and I pool resources (through an articles of incorporation) to finance an ad arguing the opposite point? Is George's individual right to political speech greater or more protectable than our aggregate political rights? Granted, we are certainly more dangerous as a group than we are individually, but why is this a bad thing? The only rational purpose to this kind of regulation that I can see, is to limit the political power of individuals (by restricting their ability to organize).
 
This is a red herring. Dominos Pizza has no financial interest in effecting abortion policy, whatever the personal feelings of its CEO. Unless this unrelated political activism was disclosed explicitly to shareholders, the company could never legally lobby in this manner - it would be a breach of fiduciary duty to investors.

The reason for-profit companies lobby is to protect their operations and market. Anyone who beleieves a modern companies bottom line is divorcable from their operating political environment is delusional. No company can expect to compete without an effective say in politics. Given that, corporations have a duty to influence public policy (to their shareholders), and a right to let the public know how policy choices effect them (given that they are publicly held). This is why for-profit companies engage in political speech.

I don't think Ivan or others actually believe it when they say a profit-seeking company has no political interests. There's no way. You'd have to be completely blind to reality. This would be like saying you, as a profit-maximizing, individual have no interest in politics - an obvious falsehood, given the extent of government involvement in your individual finances and financial decisions.

This is altogether different from, say, Citizens United, whose purpose is expressly political. Here, too, the rights of individuals are protected only when the rights of Citizens United are also protected. If, say, George Soros can personally finance a political ad about the myriad benefits of a 100% income tax, why can't Al and I pool resources (through an articles of incorporation) to finance an ad arguing the opposite point? Is George's individual right to political speech greater or more protectable than our aggregate political rights? Granted, we are certainly more dangerous as a group than we are individually, but why is this a bad thing? The only rational purpose to this kind of regulation that I can see, is to limit the political power of individuals (by restricting their ability to organize).
...And this unfortunate reality is a reason to formalize it through a legal fiction?

@Al68: They aren't giving deciision making power to them for anything other than the managemnent of the company itself.

As for "itty bity vs...", my response is: we're not the founders, we don't need to imitate them to the point of donning wigs; the constitution is a living document. It's a twisted series of rulings and interpretions that led to this final ruling, and it's about as relevant to free expression as a dog is to Canis Major.
 

BobG

Science Advisor
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This is a red herring. Dominos Pizza has no financial interest in effecting abortion policy, whatever the personal feelings of its CEO. Unless this unrelated political activism was disclosed explicitly to shareholders, the company could never legally lobby in this manner - it would be a breach of fiduciary duty to investors.

The reason for-profit companies lobby is to protect their operations and market. Anyone who beleieves a modern companies bottom line is divorcable from their operating political environment is delusional. No company can expect to compete without an effective say in politics. Given that, corporations have a duty to influence public policy (to their shareholders), and a right to let the public know how policy choices effect them (given that they are publicly held). This is why for-profit companies engage in political speech.

I don't think Ivan or others actually believe it when they say a profit-seeking company has no political interests. There's no way. You'd have to be completely blind to reality. This would be like saying you, as a profit-maximizing, individual have no interest in politics - an obvious falsehood, given the extent of government involvement in your individual finances and financial decisions.

This is altogether different from, say, Citizens United, whose purpose is expressly political. Here, too, the rights of individuals are protected only when the rights of Citizens United are also protected. If, say, George Soros can personally finance a political ad about the myriad benefits of a 100% income tax, why can't Al and I pool resources (through an articles of incorporation) to finance an ad arguing the opposite point? Is George's individual right to political speech greater or more protectable than our aggregate political rights? Granted, we are certainly more dangerous as a group than we are individually, but why is this a bad thing? The only rational purpose to this kind of regulation that I can see, is to limit the political power of individuals (by restricting their ability to organize).
The Supreme Court decision didn't limit itself just to 501(c)'s organized specifically for political action. I think you're correct that by time you reach the extreme of lobbying for abortion, it would be illegal for reasons unrelated to the Supreme Court decision. There's still a lot of other action that certainly could be legal - lobbying for changes to laws governing corporations that shareholders may or may not agree with, or attacking candidates that the CEO says will pass laws that would hurt the corporation (a person would never know whether those accusations were true or not if the attacks were successful).
 
Oh yeah... no dobut outright lobbying would be illegal, but how about donations to charities that do it for them? A lot of money gets moved around in a variety of fashions, more now (not limited to charity in any way) even to say... schools or textbooks or related lobbies.

This is not rocket science, the money finds a way, but now they don't even have to cover the agenda. The idea that shareholders should have to be engagedin political warfare with the single entity that is te corporation is INSANE.

The idea that modern multinationals with no national allegience should have so much lattitude under the US constitutionis likewise absurd. This is just a right-leaning 'nocturnal emission'.
 

Al68

@Al68: They aren't giving deciision making power to them for anything other than the managemnent of the company itself.
If there is an issue regarding the CEO acting in violation of the shareholder agreement, that is a different issue from the issue decided by the court.
As for "itty bity vs...", my response is: we're not the founders, we don't need to imitate them to the point of donning wigs; the constitution is a living document.
What are you talking about? The constitution is the supreme law of the U.S., it is living in the sense that it can be amended, not in the sense that government can act illegally in violation of it.
It's a twisted series of rulings and interpretions that led to this final ruling, and it's about as relevant to free expression as a dog is to Canis Major.
Whether or not the federal government can restrict political speech is irrelevant? Not making sense again.
 

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