In the discussion thread: With all the corporate political contributions, why aren't stockholders hitting the ceiling? [View all]
Response to Frustratedlady (Original post)
Fri Jan 13, 2012, 02:17 PM
gratuitous (49,292 posts)
24. This is one of those differences between corporations and unions
There are folks who will try to sell you on the notion that "unions do it, too," but that isn't necessarily the case. Corporations can spend their money without restraint, pretty much. Unions, through the helpful offices of our faultless elected officials, have to segregate out every penny they spend to satisfy the folks who would like a free ride. Workers who belong to a union but hate paying union dues have successfully persuaded the courts and the legislatures that any expenditures not directly spent on collective bargaining is an unfair "taking" from them. While union-hating workers are largely constrained to pay their "fair share" for the benefits they receive through their contract (wages, pensions, time off, etc.), they don't have to pay for lobbying expenses whereby a union might secure for them a safer working environment or paid time off or job security in case of an extended absence.
Unions that make contributions to candidates and office-holders who look out for working people are also constrained from expending the precious money bestowed on them by the fair share free riders. They also have to account for every penny and are subject to independent audits, giving back any money they may have inadvertently expended on a non-allowed activity.
Corporations, however, have no such reporting or accounting obligations. If they decide to spend a million bucks on a lavish party for their board members and a bunch of corrupt public officials, and that reduces your dividend payment, well, that's just the way it is. But if a union sends a letter to a governor thanking that person for vetoing a "right to work for less" bill, that 44 cents by golly better not come out of the general fund or there will be hell to pay from the free riders.
There is no equivalency between corporation and union abilities to spend money to influence politics.
Nothing in this post is intended to annoy anyone.
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This is one of those differences between corporations and unions
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