View Poll Results: Do you believe in corporate personhood?

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  • Yes

    3 8.82%
  • No

    26 76.47%
  • Other (Please explain)

    5 14.71%
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Thread: Corporate Personhood

  1. #21
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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Absolutely not. In a truly free market, there is no place for corporations to have the same rights as individuals, especially if they are protected by a government.
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  2. #22
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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    unless, of course, you plan to unravel several hundred years of practiced law.
    Essentially, yes, the just course of action is to unravel hundreds of years worth of corporation law. I'm not sure why you think this constitutes an argument in your favor. Similarly, when slavery was abolished, hundreds of years worth of slave law was "unraveled." It was a good thing.
    Last edited by Guy Incognito; 03-29-11 at 04:06 PM.

  3. #23
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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    But seriously the deed could say, held in commons detailed by the investment agreement.
    That is exactly correct. The legal fiction of corporate personhood is not necessary for businesses concerns to hold property. This is covered by the common law of property and contracts.

  4. #24
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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    Essentially, yes, the just course of action is to unravel hundreds of years worth of corporation law. I'm not sure why you think this constitutes an argument in your favor. Similarly, when slavery was abolished, hundred of years worth of slave law were "unraveled." It was a good thing.
    Only 1 thing here, I'd like to quibble over.

    It really wasn't hundred of years of corporate law, this is a fairly new concept.
    Before hand, most if not all businesses were held as sole proprietorship or partnerships.

    They existed but not that widely (as they are now), if I remember correctly.
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  5. #25
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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    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.
    That isn't very practical. That would result in amateur stockpickers, who own a few shares of stock in companies that they like, facing huge legal bills when they were personally sued for the actions of the business. Most smalltime stockholders have little knowledge of the inner workings of the company. Hell, some people don't even know that they own stock in certain companies, especially if they just own an index fund.

    They should be liable for the amount of their investment, and no more. Very few people would be willing to invest in stocks if they were risking their entire life savings every time they plunked down $100 to buy a few shares of some corporate stock.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 03-29-11 at 04:17 PM.
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  6. #26
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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    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.
    From irs.gov:
    There Are Two Kinds of Passive Activities:

    Rentals, including both equipment and rental real estate, regardless of the level of participation
    Businesses in which the taxpayer does not materially participate on a regular, continuous, and substantial basis
    Passive Activity Losses - Real Estate Tax Tips
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  7. #27
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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    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.
    The distinction is that when 2 or 3 people jointly own a small business, it is a reasonable assumption that they're all involved. (And if they aren't, there are limited liability partnership agreements available, where some of the partners can be shielded if they're playing a passive role.) When 100,000 people jointly own a large corporation, it is NOT a reasonable assumption that each of them carefully researched their decision and endorses all of the corporation's actions.
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  8. #28
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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    The distinction is that when 2 or 3 people jointly own a small business, it is a reasonable assumption that they're all involved.
    It's also a reasonable assumption that a shareholder is involved. The act of purchasing a share involves one in the business.

  9. #29
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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    This is entirely irrelevant to what we are discussing, which is not taxes but liability. The fact that the IRS considers a type of income "passive" does not in any way impact the liability to which the income earner is exposed.

    This citation actually goes to prove my point. A "passive" investor in an unincoporated business is going to be liable while a "passive" investor in a corporation is not.

  10. #30
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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    It's also a reasonable assumption that a shareholder is involved. The act of purchasing a share involves one in the business.
    That is certainly not a reasonable assumption. Some people don't even know that they HAVE shares in specific stocks. A 65-year-old who saved for her retirement by investing in an index fund probably doesn't even know what the component stocks of that fund are. Nor should she be expected to. Even among people who actively invest in certain stocks, there is a certain information asymmetry. A small-time investor is not going to have access to corporate secrets or the decisions that go on in the boardroom or the day-to-day happenings of the company.

    It makes no sense to hold people like this personally liable for the actions of the corporation. They have nothing to do with those decisions, and have no easy way of even KNOWING about those decisions. If people face the prospect of losing everything they own because they bought a share of stock, then people simply will stop buying shares of stock. And then business funding will dry up and the economy will grind to a halt.
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