View Poll Results: Do You Personally Believe Spending Money is Speech?

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    29 38.16%
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    43 56.58%
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Thread: Do You Personally Believe Spending Money is Speech?

  1. #41
    Advisor csense's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Personally Believe Spending Money is Speech?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    Creating the sculpture is speech (or rather, expression). Buying it isn't. Buying it is commerce. Commerce and speech are different things.
    [sigh]

    You're playing a game of semantics because you know your argument is untenable. You once said that buying something is simply an economic transaction. Given that logic I could say that speaking is merely a neuro-muscular transaction. Both are accurate descriptions, yet both miss the point entirely.


    I can tell that you're heels are dug in and you're not going to budge from your position. With that in mind, I bid you farewell.

  2. #42
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    Re: Do You Personally Believe Spending Money is Speech?

    Quote Originally Posted by csense View Post
    [sigh]

    You're playing a game of semantics because you know your argument is untenable. You once said that buying something is simply an economic transaction. Given that logic I could say that speaking is merely a neuro-muscular transaction. Both are accurate descriptions, yet both miss the point entirely.

    I can tell that you're heels are dug in and you're not going to budge from your position. With that in mind, I bid you farewell.
    No, I'm playing the game of actually knowing what the laws that govern speech are, and how they determine what is and is not speech. The Citizens United decision and previous ones (notably Buckley v Valeo) that equated the spending of money with speech are a direct contradiction of those laws. Our laws should not have competing definitions of what is or is not speech.

    Quote Originally Posted by newpublius View Post
    But you're trying to stop the person from buying the bronze to prevent the sculptor from making it with a clear censorial motive. When you say that money isn't speech and refer to Citizens United which spent money to make a movie, its clear what the substantive difference is, you want to make it such that they can't spend the money to make the movie. You're trying to make an end run and the bottom line is that they can make the movie and it costs money to make the movie.

    All speakers, including individuals and the media, use money amassed from the economic marketplace to fund their speech, and the First Amendment protects the resulting speech. Just like it protects your right to expend funds to purchase the devices and connections to this very forum.
    You do understand that there is a very wide middle ground between "the first amendment doesn't protect that" and "it should be banned", right? And as I keep trying to explain, the first amendment doesn't protect the spending of money. Other things do, but economic transactions have their own rules. And their own elements of constitutional scrutiny. Buying a computer is not protected speech under the first amendment. That is literally an insane thing to say.
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  3. #43
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    Re: Do You Personally Believe Spending Money is Speech?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    No, I'm playing the game of actually knowing what the laws that govern speech are, and how they determine what is and is not speech.
    Well, nobody was arguing that the resulting movie from Citizens United wasn't speech, the argument is that it was an 'electioneering communication' which obviously took money to make and was therefore capable of being banned by the government. The Supreme Court rightly said, "You're allowed to make the movie"

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    The Citizens United decision and previous ones (notably Buckley v Valeo) that equated the spending of money with speech are a direct contradiction of those laws. Our laws should not have competing definitions of what is or is not speech.
    No, they're not. They didn't make this up one day. There were previous attempt to do similar things and Citizens United is well founded on First National Bank v Belotti (except there instead of the FEC it was the State of Massachussets): "wanted to spend money to publicize their views opposing a referendum proposal to amend the Massachusetts Constitution to authorize the legislature to enact a graduated personal income tax." -- of course that action was contrary to a Massachussets state law (an amendment to the Mass Constitution no less), that prevented the EXPENDITURE itself. And that was found to violate the I Amendment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    You do understand that there is a very wide middle ground between "the first amendment doesn't protect that" and "it should be banned", right?
    No, there isn't, either the government is constitutionally restricted from banning it or its up to the government's prerogative to ban it. In other words either your freedom of speech is a fundamental right or it is a statutory right. Its is obviously the former, and if it were the latter, then your right to speech is simply subject to congressional will. CAN'T be banned and CAN BAN BUT WON'T is a MAJOR difference in particular when we're discussing criticism of the government itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    And as I keep trying to explain, the first amendment doesn't protect the spending of money.
    Yes, it does, because when you attack the expenditure with a less than content neutral statute (electioneering communications) you are then expressing an unconstitutional censorial motive, it is unconstitutional and unquestionably so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    Buying a computer is not protected speech under the first amendment. That is literally an insane thing to say.
    General vs differential treatment. Short and sweet, if the government imposes a 7% sales tax on everything, including the computer, you're fine, but if the government imposes a $3,000 tax on computer, specifically, with the intent to stifle the internet access of poor people, that would be 'differential treatment' violating the I Amendment.

    That concept is illuminated in the Minnesota Star Tribune case, I can't look it up right now, bottom line the state imposed a DISTINCT tax that wasn't one of general applicability and the fact that they FOCUSED in on Minnesota's Star Tribune's use of newspaper and ink was enough to trigger scrutiny under the I Amendment.

    What's even very illuminating in that case is that there wasn't any facial evidence of a censorial motive; whereas in the case of Citizens United, there is a specific censorial motive.
    Last edited by newpublius; 09-15-14 at 12:45 AM.

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    Re: Do You Personally Believe Spending Money is Speech?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    No, I'm playing the game of actually knowing what the laws that govern speech are, and how they determine what is and is not speech. The Citizens United decision and previous ones (notably Buckley v Valeo) that equated the spending of money with speech are a direct contradiction of those laws. Our laws should not have competing definitions of what is or is not speech.
    When some unknown internet jockey implies that he knows the law better than the Justices on the United States Supreme Court, I'm a little skeptical. But hey, that's just me...

  5. #45
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    Re: Do You Personally Believe Spending Money is Speech?

    What WERE you thinking?

    Tsk, tsk !

  6. #46
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    Re: Do You Personally Believe Spending Money is Speech?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    No, I'm playing the game of actually knowing what the laws that govern speech are, and how they determine what is and is not speech. The Citizens United decision and previous ones (notably Buckley v Valeo) that equated the spending of money with speech are a direct contradiction of those laws. Our laws should not have competing definitions of what is or is not speech.

    You do understand that there is a very wide middle ground between "the first amendment doesn't protect that" and "it should be banned", right? And as I keep trying to explain, the first amendment doesn't protect the spending of money. Other things do, but economic transactions have their own rules. And their own elements of constitutional scrutiny. Buying a computer is not protected speech under the first amendment. That is literally an insane thing to say.
    Even if spending money is not speech, what basis do you have for opposing the spending of one's own money?

  7. #47
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    Re: Do You Personally Believe Spending Money is Speech?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    Even if spending money is not speech, what basis do you have for opposing the spending of one's own money?
    Because preventing bribery is a pretty important thing to do. Especially bribery of elected officials. And this whole debate rests on pretending that some forms of bribery aren't real.
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  8. #48
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    Re: Do You Personally Believe Spending Money is Speech?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    We know what the USSC says. But do you believe spending money is speech?
    Yes, I do. Financial contributions is a form of speech. Just as burning a flag, or wearing a sign with pictures but no words, or sitting in front of a door in protest is speech. None of those involve verbal or written words, but all are a form of speech. Free speech is any action that conveys your opinion or gives "voice" to your beliefs. Money can do that just like any of a hundred plus examples.

    The question should be whether a corporation is a person, or does the First Amendment only apply to living breathing human beings?
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    Re: Do You Personally Believe Spending Money is Speech?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    Because preventing bribery is a pretty important thing to do. Especially bribery of elected officials. And this whole debate rests on pretending that some forms of bribery aren't real.
    Such as giving people government subsidies or government grants or tax payer funded social programs? At what point does bribery become wrong? Only when the money is directed toward the government official? Or would it also be considered bribery, and wrong, when a government official gives money away, or grants citizenship to millions of people, in return for votes?

    I'm not being flipped, I seriously want to know what you think. Is it bribery in both directions? Because they both fit the definition of bribery.
    Everything in your life is a reflection of a choice you have made. If you want a different result, don't blame someone else, or expect others to make a change, you should stop complaining and make a different choice. Remember, the circumstances of your birth don't determine the outcome of your life.

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    Re: Do You Personally Believe Spending Money is Speech?

    It's not even a close call. Donating to political campaigns is just another form of political expression. And political speech is as fundamental a right as Americans have. That's reason enough for leftists to loathe it--most of them, being the very opposite of true liberals, disdain the First and Second Amendments.

    I'd bet not one in a thousand of the leftist dim bulbs who are forever shrieking about the evils of Citizens United has ever even turned a page of the decision. Maybe they're all too aware they couldn't understand it anyway. Mother Jones, Michael Moore films, and the throwaway "urban" paper on the rack by the bong shop door are much more their speed.

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