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Thread: Corporations Aren't People

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    Re: Corporations Aren't People

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher View Post
    Let me guess, it is okay for a union to speak for all their members as a collective in endorsing a Progressive candidate? But, but....
    As long as they all agreed on the issue or candidate and the matter stayed within the collective and did not affect or try to alter the decision process of others outside the collective than yes. But I would recognize them as being a collective than as one human being.
    "The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations." `Thomas Jefferson

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    Re: Corporations Aren't People

    Quote Originally Posted by ocean515 View Post
    So you believe Trusts, Foundations, and Associations should not have a 1st Amendment right to support an agenda, or push for a political result?
    As long as it stayed inside the collective and didn't try to alter other people's beliefs by stating that they're talking for them -- and they all agreed 100%. Still I look at them as a collective.
    "The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations." `Thomas Jefferson

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    Re: Corporations Aren't People

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob N View Post
    The owner(s) pay the income taxes not the business and those are human beings.
    Technically, no. You'd have had to have a business or law degree to have been taught this.

    If the business is incorporated, the corporation person is responsible for the income tax. The owner(s) have no liabilities. The owners(s) pay no income tax. The corporate person does.

    HOWEVER, if the corporation becomes insolvent, THEN the corporation "dies" and the owner(s) assume the income tax and other financial liabilities to the degree of their investment. That's to say, the stock holders ("owners") lose all of their invested money, because it goes towards paying back the dead corporation's debt.

    If the business is NOT incorporated, let's say it's a sole proprietorship or a partnership, no corporate person exist. The business and its owners are the same entity. The owner(s) pay the income taxes on their own individual income taxes. And if the company become insolvent, the IRS or the bank can go after the owner in his entirty. The owner(s) lose not only their invested money, but their houses and retirement savings too.
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    Re: Corporations Aren't People

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    Business owners and their accountants all over the country will be surprised to hear this.
    Oops! Maybe I left out stockholders and what they receive once everything is paid.
    "The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations." `Thomas Jefferson

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    Re: Corporations Aren't People

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob N View Post
    As long as they all agreed on the issue or candidate and the matter stayed within the collective and did not affect or try to alter the decision process of others outside the collective than yes. But I would recognize them as being a collective than as one human being.
    That's a ridiculous standard. If you get more than 3 people in a room odds are they aren't all going to agree on what to have for lunch much less any political agenda.

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    Re: Corporations Aren't People

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob N View Post
    As long as they all agreed on the issue or candidate and the matter stayed within the collective and did not affect or try to alter the decision process of others outside the collective than yes. But I would recognize them as being a collective than as one human being.
    So when a union endorses a candidate, they are not trying to influence the decision process for non-members

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    Re: Corporations Aren't People

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob N View Post
    As long as it stayed inside the collective and didn't try to alter other people's beliefs by stating that they're talking for them -- and they all agreed 100%. Still I look at them as a collective.
    So you would support restrictions on groups like American Progress, or Open Society Institute, as well as the Tides Foundation, or Annenberg Foundation. No political posturing, no political agenda support allowed.

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    Re: Corporations Aren't People

    Quote Originally Posted by brothern View Post

    If the business is incorporated, the corporation person is responsible for the income tax. The owner(s) have no liabilities. The owners(s) pay no income tax. The corporate person does.

    HOWEVER, if the corporation becomes insolvent, THEN the corporation "dies" and the owner(s) assume the income tax and other financial liabilities to the degree of their investment. That's to say, the stock holders ("owners") lose all of their invested money, because it goes towards paying back the dead corporation's debt.

    If the business is NOT incorporated, let's say it's a sole proprietorship or a partnership, no corporate person exist. The business and its owners are the same entity. The owner(s) pay the income taxes on their own individual income taxes. And if the company become insolvent, the IRS or the bank can go after the owner in his entirty. The owner(s) lose not only their invested money, but their houses and retirement savings too.
    Wow! I'm legally a person. And if owners are people -- which I presume them to be -- than why can't I too slide out of not paying taxes? Does not one person have the same rights as others?
    "The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations." `Thomas Jefferson

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    Re: Corporations Aren't People

    There are some issues with treating or expecting corporations to behave like people.
    Question: You recently said that someone's referring to big banks as 'sociopathic' was perhaps 'over the top'. But have you seen the excellent 2004 Canadian documentary, The Corporation? If not, you should.

    Doesn't it make a convincing case that corporate "persons" are precisely that -- they exhibit the key features of sociopaths? ("No soul to save, no body to incarcerate"; "Like a shark is a killing machine, a corporation is an externalizing machine", indifferent to criminal law, beyond the control of nation-states, etc.) If this is true, are we doomed?

    Paul Solman: I HAVE seen "The Corporation," which I found -- how do I put this? -- a bit "over the top." That said, there are fascinating issues with regard to the legal birth of a business as a "person" with equal rights protection under the Fourteenth Amendment: It may have been something of a mistake. You can read more online by Googling the key case: Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company (1886). As to "sociopath," well, here's the Dictionary.com definition: "a person...whose behavior is antisocial and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience." Is that true of all corporations, do you think?
    Is It Fair to Describe Corporations as Sociopaths? | The Business Desk with Paul Solman | PBS NewsHour | PBS

    This is a really interesting and thought provoking documentary surrounding this issue of corporation's person-hood legal status.

    Is a corporation a person? Obviously No.
    Is it easier to cast a corporation as a person for the sake of legal obligations and actions? Yes.

    If you don't do this, you'd have to re-write nearly duplicate statues specific for the non-person status of corporations. That's just way too much overhead. Better to apply the simplification, even though it's at odds with reality in some instances.

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    Re: Corporations Aren't People

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob N View Post
    The owner(s) pay the income taxes not the business and those are human beings.
    That's not quite right.

    A C corporation pays taxes at the corporate level while subchapter S corporations pay taxes at the shareholder level. If a corporation offers shares of stock to be traded publicly then it must be a C corp.

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