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News Is a corporation a person?

  1. Sep 3, 2011 #1
    Bible quote: "a rich man will have as much chance getting into heaven as a camel will getting through the eye of a needle".

    Jesus believed in taking care of the poor and if you look at the way Jesus lived his life - most people would say he was a socialist.

    Now the Religious right wingers will argue that Jesus didn't mean the government, that Jesus meant the "people" should take care of the people.

    Ok, so isn't government made up of people?

    Isn't that a core Republican argument that corporations are "people"?

    Mitt Romney seems to think so.

    Right wing talk show hosts seem to think so.

    Republicans trying to subvert the democratic process seem to think so.

    My question to these same people is if corporations are "people" because corporations are made up of people - then wouldn't governments be "people" to, for the same reasoning?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2011 #2


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    How does it follow that taking care of poor people make you a socialist?

    Being a socialist means the willingness to use force against a second party so that this second party is compelled to give of his fortune to the benefit of some third party which the first party insists is more deserving of the second party's money than the second party himself.
    And of course, the first party will congratulate himself with keeping a small commission from the second party's money for having redistributed some of it to the third party.
  4. Sep 3, 2011 #3


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    "people", in the sense you seem to be asking about at one level, is a term that describes (1) what we would all agree are people; you and me for example, and (2) WHATEVER the law SAYS is an entity that has the same rights as the entities in (1). If a government wants to write laws saying corporations are people, then LEGALLY, they are. If the government wants to write laws saying the government is a person, then it is. BUT ... all this is a legalistic argument that has nothing to do with right and wrong. You can decide in your heart what the think is right or wrong (and of course, whatever you decide, lots of people will disagree with you), but if you want to argue with the law, you have to go to a lot of work and get it changed.

    I believe in this case the folks you are talking about are making a legalistic argument because it fits with their moral argument but you want to engage them in the moral argument directly because you think your view is right.

    Good luck with that.
  5. Sep 3, 2011 #4
    Is this a real thread or a strawman? Why don't you establish a basis for your given statements/assumptions and support as per guidelines?
  6. Sep 3, 2011 #5


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    I have to agree, this post feels a lot like someone just throwing a bunch of stuff up against a wall just to see what will stick.
  7. Sep 3, 2011 #6
    I incorporated myself a few years ago. I was chairman of the board, I made my father the president, my mother the vice president, brother treasurer, and sister executive director. At the last meeting they voted together to squeeze me out.
  8. Sep 3, 2011 #7
    Jesus didn't mean the government should take care of the poor.

    Jesus didn't mean that the people should take care of the poor.

    Jesus meant that YOU should take care of the poor and not by stealing other peoples stuff at gunpoint.


    PS I am not a Christian. I have no religious axe to grind.
  9. Sep 3, 2011 #8

    Char. Limit

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    You know, I've noticed something about the Conservatives and Libertarians around me lately. The majority of them talk about taxes as being a gun to your face. Could one of you explain why that is? Are you that eager to feel threatened or do you really think that if you don't pay your taxes you'll get shot?
  10. Sep 3, 2011 #9
    Taxes on an activity (such as earning a living) are enforced by the state. Refusal to pay can eventually lead to criminal sanctions. Resistance will be met by force. Is this crystal clear?
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2011
  11. Sep 3, 2011 #10

    Char. Limit

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    I still don't see how taxes = "GUN TO THE HEAD!" Maybe it's just the hyperbolic rhetoric. So answer me this:

    Would you prefer the government was entirely supported by voluntary donations? How much money do you think the government would have in this situation?
  12. Sep 3, 2011 #11
    The government survived for over a century without taxing the earning of a livelihood.

    As to the "Gun to the head" it really depends on how far you are willing to resist.

  13. Sep 3, 2011 #12
    I mean, come on. Let's just stick to the definitions here. This is a 'not even wrong' message.
    At least we could stick to the definition of socialism, and -even that- on the english Wikipedia page, has little bearing to the wide range of main stream socialist parties in western democracies.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism" [Broken]

    (Not that I am a socialist. I am certainly no capitalist either. Actually, I wouldn't even know what I'ld be in US terms.)
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  14. Sep 3, 2011 #13
    Regardless of the abstractions and cute phrases used in your definition of socialism, arildno's message catches the essence of socialism. You cam put lipstick on a pig but you still have a pig.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  15. Sep 3, 2011 #14


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    I smell troll, this guy has almost never contributed to a thread he has started.
  16. Sep 3, 2011 #15


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    I agree. I vote this thread dies until we hear from the OP ? Any seconds ?

    Rhody... :grumpy:
  17. Sep 3, 2011 #16

    Ivan Seeking

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    What else is there? All solutions to real-world problems call upon either socialist or capitalist principles, and in fact, usually both.
  18. Sep 3, 2011 #17
    Some of us are business owners or perhaps paid on a performance basis - either way - earnings are difficult to generate and not always predictable. There are no guarantees of success Char, and when you take a risk (sometimes everything) to achieve a goal - you want certainty regarding how much you'll have to pay in taxes now and in the future. Tax strategies are a very large part of business planning. For the persons who don't own a business - recall how disappointed you were the last time a bonus was eaten up by taxes - it can be quite frustrating.

    Personally, I don't mind paying my share of taxes - just don't waste my money.
  19. Sep 3, 2011 #18
  20. Sep 4, 2011 #19
    @ RudedawgCDN

    I think I understand your train of thought:

    1) Jesus said that people should help people who need help.
    2) The government is made up of people.
    3) Therefore "religious right wingers" should be in favor of government welfare to the poor.

    Unfortunately, it's much more complicated than that.

    I don't think your 'corporations as people' argument clarifies or resolves anything. Obviously, corporations are collectives, but they can be considered as individual persons for legal reasons.

    Anyway, apparently "religious right wingers" (taken to be, in political terms, primarily a subset of the republican party) value personal, individual freedom above egalitarian concerns (equality of opportunity, equality of justice, etc.)

    The difficulty for the US republic is that it values both of these, necessarily conflicting, ideologies. And some people value one more than the other. So we have competing major political parties. One which emphasizes the ideal of liberty, and one which emphasizes the ideal of equality.

    But we live in the real physical world which doesn't really care about either one of those ideologies -- and we've come to realize that, in many cases, if government doesn't help the 'have nots', then it's unlikely that anybody will, and wrt a massive complex society that can lead to all sorts of problems for the 'haves' as well, because we also realize that much of that welfare money gets eventually funneled upstairs, via the general economy, to the 'haves' anyway.

    So what's up with the religious right? Are they just ignorant idealogues, or would the country really be better off without governmental welfare for the poor?
  21. Sep 4, 2011 #20
    I just don't believe in capitalism. It's a manner of organizing an economy, but -again- it is amoral. To me, you might as well believe in a cash-register.

    I think where people mean capitalism, they mostly mean something else. But because they mean something else, there is a stand-still in development of ideologies which may serve the public interest better.

    EDIT: I read the Green Book of Gaddafi after I posted on it, or what is probably the first booklet of it. It is a terribly naive vision, but there were some interesting ideas in it. Like, if I got it right, a right for 'free' housing.
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