View Poll Results: Do you believe in corporate personhood?

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  • Yes

    3 8.82%
  • No

    26 76.47%
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Thread: Corporate Personhood

  1. #11
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    MaggieD's Avatar
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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    I disagree. Look at what is happening when a "corporation" enters into a contract. Duties and obligations arise in any contract formation.

    The corporation is a group of people. Normally when a group of people in a business partnership form a contract with Person A, all those people in the group are held liable. If there is a breach of contract then anybody in the business group can be sued for the damages incurred Person A because of a breach by the group. Person A can sue anybody in the group jointly and severally, meaning he can sue one member of the group for 100% of his loses and the court will uphold the judgment. This means Person A can sue any group member for their personal assets to satisfy damages incurred from that breached contract with the business group. Person A is not limited to the group's business assets, but can actually reach into the individual group members' pockets to get what he is owed.

    This is where corporate liability shields enter the picture. A corpration is just a business group like the one we just described, bu with special government-granted protections. When a corporation breaches the contract it made with Person A, Person A is limited by government fiat to only the business assets of the corporation. This means Person A no longer has the option of reaching into the individual corporation member's pockets to satisfy their debts. There is a "shield" blocking Person A from what would otherwise be a legal means of compensation. This is true even when the corporation goes bankrupt, in which case Person A has no means to get what he is owed, even though the individual people who breached his contract might have plenty of money.

    That's why corporation liability shield are illegitimate from a libertarian perspective.
    The corporate liability shield is invaluable. Business would grind to a halt without it. Imagine that a corporation goes bankrupt. Do you honestly believe that every single stockholder should be held jointly and severally liable for its debts?? Boy! I hope Warren Buffet owns a few shares. Ha!

    I believe that the corporate veil should be easily pierced in cases of illegal activities, bad faith decisions, etc., but, beyond that, the corporate veil should be sacrosanct.
    The devil whispered in my ear, "You cannot withstand the storm." I whispered back, "I am ​the storm."

  2. #12
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    jamesrage's Avatar
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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Invisible View Post
    I just want to know, how many of you think corporations are people and if so, please, tell me exactly what makes up a corporation and why it is deserving of personhood.

    Personally, I think that coporations should not be considered people. A corporation is nothing but a thing. It has no soul, cannot breath, and in general portrays little to no qualities that a person has.
    Corporations are not people, just the people who make up that corporation are people. And as such they are still entitled to constitutional rights just like any other group of people or individuals.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

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  3. #13
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    Harry Guerrilla's Avatar
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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    Then you favor dissolving every contract any corporation has entered into. Nope. It is not just a way to avoid consequences. It is a way for a corporation to own property, enter into union contracts, purchase machinery, hire/fire, etc., etc., etc., etc..

    What you are objecting to is the corporate veil. That should be tested-tested-tested because I suspect more of us than ever find it wrong that individuals can limit their peresonal liability by hiding behind it.
    Corporations don't need personhood to retain property.
    The ownership is divided among the partners of the business, with the large to smallest going by a prearrangement contract.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
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  4. #14
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    Guy Incognito's Avatar
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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    So you believe that individual investors should be held accountable for the actions of the corporations in which they hold stock, even if they had nothing to do with the actions?
    That's an incoherent statement. Investors by definition have something to do with the actions of their business. Namely they have joint and several liability.

    All I'm saying is we should hold investors to the same standard as any other group of people.

  5. #15
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    Guy Incognito's Avatar
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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    Business would grind to a halt without it.
    I highly doubt that. In fact, it would probably cause businesspeople to be more cautious in their transactions. Personal accountability in business cannot be a bad thing.

  6. #16
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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    Corporations are not people, just the people who make up that corporation are people. And as such they are still entitled to constitutional rights just like any other group of people or individuals.
    This is true, but you are drawing a non sequitur conclusion from it. Corporations are not treated like any other group of people, they are given special government protections that unincorporated groups of people are not given.

  7. #17
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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    Do you honestly believe that every single stockholder should be held jointly and severally liable for its debts??
    Why not? Every partner in a partnership is jointly and severally liable. Why do shareholders in a corporation get special treatment? This only simply wordplay, not a meaningful distinction.

  8. #18
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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    Corporations don't need personhood to retain property.
    The ownership is divided among the partners of the business, with the large to smallest going by a prearrangement contract.
    Okay. On your theory, how would General Motors vast amount of property be held? Who would own it? How would the deeds read?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    That's an incoherent statement. Investors by definition have something to do with the actions of their business. Namely they have joint and several liability.

    All I'm saying is we should hold investors to the same standard as any other group of people.
    No, that's not quite true. There are "investors" and there are "passive investors." Stockholders in a corporation are the perfect examples of passive investors. Just because I own 100 shares of GM does not mean that I have any active role in the business, nor does it mean that I should have any liability for any of GMs actions. As it should be.

    Why not? Every partner in a partnership is jointly and severally liable. Why do shareholders in a corporation get special treatment? This only simply wordplay, not a meaningful distinction.
    A partnership is one form of ownership that has benefits and liabilities. People who choose that form of ownership are free to do so. One assumes that the benefits in their particular situation outweigh the disadvantages.

    It's not wordplay. It's the law. And it most certainly is a meaningful distinction....unless, of course, you plan to unravel several hundred years of practiced law.
    Last edited by MaggieD; 03-29-11 at 03:57 PM.
    The devil whispered in my ear, "You cannot withstand the storm." I whispered back, "I am ​the storm."

  9. #19
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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    Okay. On your theory, how would General Motors vast amount of property be held? Who would own it? How would the deeds read?
    Held in commons by the investors.

    Deeds can't read they're just pieces of paper.
    But seriously the deed could say, held in commons detailed by the investment agreement.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
    —Adam Shepard

  10. #20
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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    No, that's not quite true. There are "investors" and there are "passive investors." Stockholders in a corporation are the perfect examples of passive investors. Just because I own 100 shares of GM does not mean that I have any active role in the business, nor does it mean that I should have any liability for any of GMs actions. As it should be.
    If you purchased 100 shares of an unincorporated business, on same facts as your describe, you would be legally liable. Your distinction between "investors" and "passive investors" does not exist under the law, nor should it. If you engage in an activity you ought to be personally accountable for the consequences of the activity, just as the law is applied to everyone else.

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