View Poll Results: Do you believe in corporate personhood?

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Thread: Corporate Personhood

  1. #1
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    Corporate Personhood

    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.
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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.
    Corporate personhood and limited liability are problematic in my opinion as it seperates consequences from illegal activities. The owners and managers would be a lot more proactive and more likely to do the right thing if it was their ass on the line.

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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    Corporate personhood and limited liability are problematic in my opinion as it seperates consequences from illegal activities. The owners and managers would be a lot more proactive and more likely to do the right thing if it was their ass on the line.
    That's a very good point. I agree. I also think we're going to see some changes in government's rights to "pierce the corporate veil." And we should, in my opinion -- for exactly the reason you point out.

    As to the OP, corporate personhood has been around for 200 years in the US. Could a barstool enter into a contract with a bartender? No. Silly. But could the corporation that owns the barstool do so? Yes. So in that way, legally, a corporation is treated as an individual. It's not magic. It's a legal convenience.

    Where problems can and will come up as we go forward is when courts are asked to determine, for example, does a corporation (as a person) have the legal right to cite the 5th Amendment against self-incrimination? That would be devastating!

    I think SCOTUS will continue to be challenged in determining just how far this personhood extends as evidenced by the 2011 ruling that corporations do not have the same right to privacy as natural persons when it comes to the FOIA. (FCC v AT&T)

    Corporate personhood - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Corporate personhood is absolute BS. A corporation is not a person, it does not have rights; treating as such is just a way for the aristocracy to avoid consequence of their action. The Board of Directors and CEOs should always be on the line for the performance of the company.
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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    Corporate personhood is absolute BS. A corporation is not a person, it does not have rights; treating as such is just a way for the aristocracy to avoid consequence of their action. The Board of Directors and CEOs should always be on the line for the performance of the company.
    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.
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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    As to the OP, corporate personhood has been around for 200 years in the US. Could a barstool enter into a contract with a bartender? No. Silly. But could the corporation that owns the barstool do so? Yes. So in that way, legally, a corporation is treated as an individual. It's not magic. It's a legal convenience.
    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.
    Last edited by Guy Incognito; 03-29-11 at 02:04 PM.

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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    But most corporations are not owned in the same sense that a sole proprietorship is owned. If I own a few shares of stock in a company that goes bankrupt, should people have the right to sue me personally for their debts? Of course not. I should lose the value of my investment, and no more. Unless I am personally implicated in wrongdoing, it would be impractical to do otherwise. That would lead to a situation where people were afraid to invest in stocks and the American economy would grind to a halt.

    I reject some of the more ridiculous applications of corporate personhood, but limited liability definitely has its uses.
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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.
    I believe in limited corporate personhood.

    Large corporation and businesses get a lot of criticism for how they use corporate personhood to engage in corrupt practices. However, small and medium businesses relies on corporate personhood as a liability shield. Those small and medium businesses need that liability shield in order to operate. Without it, they wouldn't be able to operate in a way that competes with larger businesses.

    I'd have to think about which issues businesses should be considered a person and which they shouldn't.
    Also, we need to legalize recreational drugs and prostitution.

  9. #9
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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I reject some of the more ridiculous applications of corporate personhood, but limited liability definitely has its uses.
    The only use of limited liability is to interfere with personal responsibility.

  10. #10
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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    The only use of limited liability is to interfere with personal responsibility.
    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?
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