Thursday, March 8, 2012

Does corporate personhood nix execs' voting rights?

Here's an argument that ought to end the fight over corporate personhood once and for all: If corporations are people, doesn't that mean people are corporations? And since corporations aren't supposed to be allowed to vote, shouldn't executives who hide behind corporate personhood agree to give up their voting rights?

Think about that for a minute.

And if a corporation gets free bailout money from the taxpayers, shouldn't there be restrictions on what they can buy with it? Here's an analogy: If you get food stamps, you can only use them to buy food, right? And most folks think that's pretty fair, am I correct? So why shouldn't bailout money for big banks also be limited to certain purchases?

Here's my idea: Corporations that get bailout dough should receive their handouts in the form of electronic transfer cards prominently bearing the word 'BAILOUT' in a 'M*A*S*H' typeface. It could be spent only on generic items and only at government-run commissaries. They want help from the government? Well, this is the help they're gonna get. Fair is fair.

And if corporations are people, members of the boards of directors of corporations that argue for corporate personhood ought to agree to surrender their right to vote. If they want to vote, they should ditch their ridiculous argument that corporations are people. I'm as much in favor of voting as the next person is, but those who equate corporations with people should at least opt to abstain from the polls. You can't have it both ways.

Corporate personhood pisses squarely in the face of everything a democratic republic is supposed to stand for.

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