View Poll Results: Should Corproations have "personhood" rights?

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  • Yes, corporations are just like a person

    18 18.18%
  • No, corporations are not just like a person

    81 81.82%
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Thread: Corporate Personhood

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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    But it is an argument of semantics... it is an argument to clear up said semantics so that it is clear. You said it was clear, it obviously is not.
    Obviously it is clear.

    Congress shall not pass laws abridging the freedom of speech.

    Can't get any clearer than that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    The entire BoR is about what the government cannot do to infringe on the people's rights...
    No.

    The entire Constitution is about what powers the government has, and what powers it does not have, and it specifically states the government does not the power to restrict speech.

    Says so.

    Right there in the First Amendment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    It's only irrelevant until people try to give the rights of a person to a non-person, then it is absolutely relevant.
    "Rights" are only laws defining areas in which the government is not allowed to interfere.

    For example, government can't interfere in anyone's free expression of ideas, and since that "anyone" can own a corporation and use that corporation to express those ideas, the government can't muzzle corporations.

    Not complicated at all.

    Any particular reason you don't want people to be free?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    A corporation does not have the ability to speak, the people within it do, that is the semantics that you don't want to address since it sinks your argument.
    Amazing! By George, you got it! You're saying a deaf-mute can't hire a man to read the speech he wrote! Or that when a group of people want to present a claim to their government, they have to chant it in unison, or it isn't allowed.

    Clearly, the discovery of this Barbershop Quartet Rule long hidden unsuspected in the First Amendment will make all political discussion much more harmonious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    So you think that we can do whatever we want as long as it is not forbidden or covered in the Constitution?
    I assume you want me to sign this blank suicide note in some fashion?

    Or are you expecting me to waste my time writing an essay on the states, the Fourteenth Amendment, theatre marshmallow roasts, and any other sort of thing that might make it seem as if your strawman argument has some validity that doesn't exist?

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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    Excellent point - and a great chance to demonstrate why the way it is really written matters. The Constitution doesn't read like "you and numbnuts can have ice cream." It says "Congress can't make any laws restricting access to ice cream." That clearly must be read as applying to everyone.
    according to your interpretation the creators of the ice cream amendment must have meant that trees should have access too. That would be absurd. Just like thinking that toasters and guns and trucks and the moon all have inalienable rights that are protected by the Constitution of the United States.

    That's one of them, yes.
    What's the other and where do you find that purpose listed or acknowledged?

    Ownership isn't what gives them rights, but we can play this absurdity game if you want. Sure, guns have a right to free speech. A law outlawing speech by guns would be disallowed too. Let me know when one is passed and I'll call the ACLU.
    Well who used ownership of a corporation as an argument? That was a nice spin where you turned the free speech of guns, which you can't defend, into "A law outlawing speech by guns would be disallowed too. Let me know when one is passed and I'll call the ACLU." Outlawing the free speech of a gun isn't the issue, it's a strawman you've created. The issue is you thinking the gun has those rights in the first place.

    Seriously, if you want to think of this decision as affirming that the people who own corporations having the right to use corporate funds to spend on speech, feel free.
    That's exactly the effect and I proved it. Naturally you decided not to acknowledge that.
    Last edited by NoJingoLingo; 02-05-10 at 12:22 PM.

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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    Now that you've established that you're not aware of the difference between physical objects that aren't humans and legal constructs that join humans, it's clear what the problem is.

    You want to pretend people are things. This certainly explains your socialism, but doesn't aid you in your quest to understand the First Amendment. Since the Constitution was written for people, your assumption that people are things does not apply.
    Strawman

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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    Let's look at the actual case a little closer.

    Citizens United is a political group - a group of people who got together to act because they believe in a political cause.

    Nobody here would deny that a group of people don't have rights, being people.

    Now, that group of people decided to form a corporation to make it easier for them to act in concert. Suddenly they lose their rights because of that? Why?

    Other groups - legal entities, not just multitudes of people united - clearly have rights. Political parties, for instance. Or is someone here going to say that political parties have no right to freedom of speech too?
    The "group" has no rights of it's own, the people have rights as individuals. Just like a corporation has no rights of it's own, however the people who work there or own the company retain their rights. Now you are saying that the Owner can do X as an individual AND then do X again as the owner. What is X? In this case it's spend money on political ads. The owner can buy 2 ads compared to the employee who can only buy 1.

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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by NoJingoLingo View Post
    according to your interpretation the creators of the ice cream amendment must have meant that trees should have access too. That would be absurd. Just like thinking that toasters and guns and trucks and the moon all have inalienable rights that are protected by the Constitution of the United States.
    It's only absurd because you are reading it granting a right. The First Amendment doesn't grant rights, it limits the power of the government. It says NO laws abridging free speech. Yes, that would include absurd laws, if any are ever passed. The fact that you can think of a few absurd laws doesn't change anything.

    It's much like saying that dead people have freedom of speech because they are still people, and people have rights. Just as absurd, but it doesn't change the fact that people have rights.

    What's the other and where do you find that purpose listed or acknowledged?
    It creates the federal government and grants powers to it, etc.

    Well who used ownership of a corporation as an argument? That was a nice spin where you turned the free speech of guns, which you can't defend, into "A law outlawing speech by guns would be disallowed too. Let me know when one is passed and I'll call the ACLU." Outlawing the free speech of a gun isn't the issue, it's a strawman you've created. The issue is you thinking the gun has those rights in the first place.
    See above about absurdities.

    That's exactly the effect and I proved it. Naturally you decided not to acknowledge that.
    Fine. So we agree.

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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by NoJingoLingo View Post
    Now you are saying that the Owner can do X as an individual AND then do X again as the owner. What is X? In this case it's spend money on political ads. The owner can buy 2 ads compared to the employee who can only buy 1.
    So?

    Rich people can buy more ads than poor people - should we limit the freedom of speech of rich people to equalize things?

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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by NoJingoLingo View Post
    You're quite wrong. I won't bother proving it since another poster already did in post 551 and 553.
    How?

    With this?
    Quote Originally Posted by Rassales View Post
    In what meaningful sense? That's like saying if you write me a check I have "access" to your bank account. Money flows into and out of every account in the country--do we all have "access" to everyone else's account?
    No.
    He only supports my argument with that statement. Everyone in the country (not to mention the world) does, indeed, have indirect access to everyone else’s account.
    Example: If I give you permission to give your bank permission to request that my bank transfer funds from my account to your account…As in, writing you a check.
    Indirect access.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoJingoLingo View Post
    Only if you believe in corporate personhood. Otherwise, the economy should serve the people. Businesses are the engine of the economy but the people should be the owners of the economy just like a business owner is the owner of said business and the employees are the engine of that business. In our corporatocracy the people are simply consumers. We have lost control of our economy and now everything we do is for the benefit of corporations with the failed Reaganomics mantra of -what's good for corporations is good for the people.- We've seen time and again that this is not true and the evidence today is more clear than it's been since the 1920s. The stock market is up, productivity is up, wages are down and unemployment is up. We bailed out Wall Street to stop the damage, all of which proves that Reaganomics doesn't actually work.
    No.
    I do not believe in corporate personhood, in the sense of a corporation being a “person”.

    If our current law says that corporations have certain rights, it is because a person or a group of people challenged the rights of the people who own, control, run, and manage said corporation…And the court denied the validity of the challenge.

    Corporations cause and have problems because they are controlled, managed, and operated by people. Corporations are not the issue, individual people are.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoJingoLingo View Post
    Nope. More often than not it's the policies of the corporation that allowed the individuals to do the actions and then the corporation promptly tries to cover it up. History provides us these facts.
    And who made those policies?
    Did they spring, in whole form, from the magical entity which is a corporation, upon its conception by a group of people?
    No, those policies were formed and written by individuals, and it is those individuals who should pay the price, through damage to their corporation.
    Thus the attempt/success at a cover-up.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoJingoLingo View Post
    So you DO see the problem and you agree that corps need regulation to keep them from doing harm to the economy.
    I see the need for corporations to be regulated/policed to prevent them from doing harm to the people and environment around them, within reason. I suppose a sufficiently large corporation could cause harm to the whole intricate, world-wide economy…

    Quote Originally Posted by NoJingoLingo View Post
    You say it's not a problem of corporations and then tell us that corporations do "influence" politicians. So the bribing or blackmailing isn't the problem it's the guys who accept the bribes or go along with the blackmail. I say it's a problem with BOTH.
    It is perfectly reasonable to expect someone (especially, a CEO or lobbyists working for a company, as it is their job to do so) representing a company to use means at their disposal to advance their interests. If violations of the law occur (as in, bribes/blackmail), they should be punished for it, but legally lobbying is, obviously, not illegal.
    Until it is, somehow, made so, it is all on the politicians to resist its power, and represent the people, not just those who donate the most/can hire lobbing firms
    Additionally obvious is that in a perfect world, corporations would not lobby for policies which cause harm to anyone.
    But as people live in this world, it is not perfect.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoJingoLingo View Post
    Seriously, you are really grasping at straws.
    How the hell is that grasping at straws? That is precisely what is happening.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoJingoLingo View Post
    Who's free speech? The owner of the corporation or the corporations themselves? We know the owner has free speech as a person/citizen. If that owner was unemployed and didn't own the corporation would he still have his free speech protected? According to what you just said, the owner would have no free speech if he didn't own a corporation.
    Gah!
    A corporation is an extension of the will of its owners, or if a publicly traded corporation, of those who directly control it.
    Thus, limiting the use of corporate funds when used for speech purposes, also limits the speech of those who control those funds.
    Obviously, they can still use their personal funds for speech purposes…

    Quote Originally Posted by NoJingoLingo View Post
    Why should it? Who says that we should try to interpret the constitution? I believe we have an amendment process if there needs changes but there is nothing in the Constitution or quotes from the FF on the need to interpret the Constitution.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoJingoLingo View Post
    Who says they lose their right? No one, that's another strawman. People retain their constitutional right when they go to work for a business. Therefore there is no need to give the corporation itself the right to free speech. That would be a right for the owner in addition to the right he already has. He has the right to free speech in or outside of the company. You're saying let him ALSO use company funds as well as his own.
    Yes.
    He is.

    But it’s not “in addition to”.
    It’s “in affirmation of”.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoJingoLingo View Post
    Specious argument. Who is having their rights cut off? Entities that are not people. The only free speech a corporation has is if the owner(s) speaks using his mouth or his own money, in that case he is not exercising his corporations speech he is exercising his own. The SCOTUS has decided that he may also use corporate funds.
    Yes.
    They did.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoJingoLingo View Post
    Corporate funds are NOT funds of the owner as this would violate the shield of liability. Therefore, to get around this, the SCOTUS decided that the corporation itself could use corporate funds. How will the corporation do this? It can't, a corporation has no hands to write a check... it has no corporeal existence and is therefore an entity and not a human nor animal nor any organic matter. In fact a corporation has no matter. It is words on a document.
    Now this argument makes a little sense.
    I can see the reason why corporate funds are not those of its owner. But corporate funds are still used at the will of those who control said corporation.
    As I said before: If they want to allocate funds to run a political ad supporting a candidate whose policies will improve the environment which their company operates in, why should they be disallowed from doing so?

    Quote Originally Posted by NoJingoLingo View Post
    This is a good point. However, do we not have regulations that corporations are subject to and not people? Can we not make corporate law to cover these things along with all the other corporate laws currently in effect? Obviously the answer is yes. So why do we need to grant corporations protections under the Constitution instead of just protecting those things under corporate law? Because corporate interests get little pieces of personhood here and there whenever the court has a conservative, corporatist majority.
    Those corporate regulations and such, and the protections they have under the law, are not to protect the corporations (Or not most of them, I don’t know what all they are), but to protect the people who make up those corporations.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoJingoLingo View Post
    Understanding this leads you to the conclusion that corporations were never intended to be considered anything more than a vehicle to conduct business separate from personal activities.
    Precisely.
    And freedom to speak on behalf of your business interests is what the SCOTUS upheld.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoJingoLingo View Post
    The "group" has no rights of its own; the people have rights as individuals. Just like a corporation has no rights of its own, however the people who work there or own the company retain their rights. Now you are saying that the Owner can do X as an individual AND then do X again as the owner. What is X? In this case it’s spending money on political ads. The owner can buy 2 ads compared to the employee who can only buy 1.
    Yes…And?
    Education.

    Sometimes I think we're alone. Sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the thought is staggering. ~ R. Buckminster Fuller

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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    Nope, states the absurdity of people claiming the Constitution gives Congress the power to curtail speech.
    Who here has been stating that? And if I was agreeing with you, why be a snotty little prick about it?
    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky View Post
    I have pooped in public, even in public neighborhoods.
    Quote Originally Posted by OldFatGuy View Post
    Usually a gag for wise mouthed insulting little girls. Then some good nylon rope so I can tie them up, toss them in the trunk of my car and forget about them.

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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    Obviously it is clear.

    Congress shall not pass laws abridging the freedom of speech.

    Can't get any clearer than that.
    I have never once in my life stating anything to the contrary...

    Originally Posted by Bodhisattva
    The entire BoR is about what the government cannot do to infringe on the people's rights...

    Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar
    No.

    The entire Constitution is about what powers the government has, and what powers it does not have, and it specifically states the government does not the power to restrict speech.

    Says so.

    Right there in the First Amendment.
    Why do you say "no" and then repeat exactly what I just said?

    Why do you say "no, the entire Constitution" when I said, "the enitre BoR (Bill of Rights) and then state that the BoR states EXACTLY what I just said?

    "Rights" are only laws defining areas in which the government is not allowed to interfere.

    For example, government can't interfere in anyone's free expression of ideas, and since that "anyone" can own a corporation and use that corporation to express those ideas, the government can't muzzle corporations.

    Not complicated at all.

    Any particular reason you don't want people to be free?
    Any reason that you are so completely obtuse as to think that I am suggesting that people should not be free?

    What I am stating is pretty damn simply... any reason that you are making it so complicated? If you don't understand, hell, that is fine, simply ask a question, but seriously, these assumptions are getting frickin' out there.

    Amazing! By George, you got it! You're saying a deaf-mute can't hire a man to read the speech he wrote! Or that when a group of people want to present a claim to their government, they have to chant it in unison, or it isn't allowed.
    Ummm... are you feeling ok? Perhaps you can show anywhere that I have stated anything to the contrary of this statment indicating that I did not get it, since I have been clearly showing that I have since I have not changed my position at all and then we can see if you can take that rather large foot out of your mouth. Good luck...

    I assume you want me to sign this blank suicide note in some fashion?

    Or are you expecting me to waste my time writing an essay on the states, the Fourteenth Amendment, theatre marshmallow roasts, and any other sort of thing that might make it seem as if your strawman argument has some validity that doesn't exist?
    I am doing what you seem unable to do... ask a question in order to clarify a statement by you that doesn't make sense, IMO. If am unclear, so I ask... you are unclear, so you make false assumptions. Really, I am an adult and find nothing scary about clarification... perhaps you might shed your fear of sounding confused about something that can be, at times, confusing. That is communicating with people on the internet where tone, or missed posts or statements, can confuse one of the others intent or position.

    It sounded like that was what you were saying, if not, just say so... any reason you simply can't clarify and be clear?
    Last edited by Bodhisattva; 02-07-10 at 04:09 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky View Post
    I have pooped in public, even in public neighborhoods.
    Quote Originally Posted by OldFatGuy View Post
    Usually a gag for wise mouthed insulting little girls. Then some good nylon rope so I can tie them up, toss them in the trunk of my car and forget about them.

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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by NoJingoLingo View Post
    according to your interpretation the creators of the ice cream amendment must have meant that trees should have access too. That would be absurd. Just like thinking that toasters and guns and trucks and the moon all have inalienable rights that are protected by the Constitution of the United States.
    That about sums it up...
    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky View Post
    I have pooped in public, even in public neighborhoods.
    Quote Originally Posted by OldFatGuy View Post
    Usually a gag for wise mouthed insulting little girls. Then some good nylon rope so I can tie them up, toss them in the trunk of my car and forget about them.

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