Friday, January 22, 2010

Do Corporation's Have Rights

Corporations do not vote, get married, have children, but they do pay taxes. Does this mean corporations should also have the same protected freedoms that citizens have. such as the freedom of speech?

While corporations are established by people, and in some instances, they represent a certain set of ideals, I question the Supreme Court's recent ruling striking down provisions in the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, commonly known as the McCain-Feingold Act.

I find myself in between on this matter. While I understand the necessity of such rules limiting free speech for corporations, because corporate money can have a tremendous influence on an election, I also find it to be a form of collective bargaining, where the corporation supposedly represents the interests of numerous people, as well as other organizations in the industry. I also see that the use of corporate money to promote political ideas during campaigns can be very damaging, as well as providing dual voices for prominent people. Imagine if Bill Gates was publicly against an issue, using his own personal resources to combat the issue, but decided to use the seemingly limitless resources of Microsoft as well. The corporation acts as a separate identity while also playing a role as a veil for company leadership. Compared to the average American, these corporations, with limitless campaign spending, potentially hold more power then many Americans can dream of.

I am curious as to how this will effect the midterm elections. While organizations such as Fox News and the tea party people have made it their career in attacking the left, this also frees labor groups to spend their money to advance their causes. In many ways, I see this situation playing out pitting various corporate and union interests against each other, which will inevitably leave the little guy in the dust...

1 comment:

  1. Corporations are economic entities, formed to allow investors' liability to be limited to the amount of their investment. The first modern corporation in the US was not formed until the middle if the 19th century, so the founding fathers could not have intended corporations to share the same rights as people, since they did not yet exist.

    The court decided that, since a corporation is an grouping of people, that gives them the free speech rights of people, and money is speech. I disagree. The individuals who form corporations already have free speech rights as individuals. When members of a group, such as corporations, receive preferential treatment based on that membership, that is fascism (classical fascism, not the Nazi variety).


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