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Priority for day 101: Corporate reform

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Pab Sungenis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:43 PM
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Priority for day 101: Corporate reform
We've seen Nancy Pelosi's alleged priorities for the first 100 hours, then the first 100 days, after the Democrats hopefully take control of the Congress next January.

As much as I disagree with a number of her priorities and decisions regarding the early days of a Democratic Congress, for the sake of argument, I'll take them as read. So, over the next few weeks, please allow me to offer my suggested agenda items for the days FOLLOWING the first 100. After all, if the Democratic leadership is going to drain the swamp during days 1-100, then the following days should be dedicated to building.

April 9, 2007: Day 101. Corporation reform.


The concept of corporations has grown, if not metastasized, over the past four decades. The concept of corporate "personhood" has been allowed to stand unchallenged for far too long, and unchecked consolidation has put vital services -- not to mention our media -- into the hands of relatively few people.

Our priority for day 101 should be the passage of a new, comprehensive, anti-trust act encompassing the following measures:

1. Reaffirm the Clayton and Hart-Scott-Rodino Anti-Trust acts.

We still have strong anti-trust legslation on the books, although you'd hardly know it from the way the Republicans (and conservative Democrats) have let the monopolies run wild. Our new act should emphasize the continuing status of the Clayton Act of 1914 and the Hart-Scott-Rodino act of 1976. They've never been repealed, and never been struck down. We need to reaffirm their principles before introducing our new reforms.

2. Define the limits of corporate "personhood."

While recent court rulings have relied on the concept of a corporation being a separate person under the law, that concept is shaky at best, and needs to be defined and limited. Our new act must clearly lay out the fact that corporate "personhood" under the law must only be interpreted as applying in the areas of finance and liability. Corporations do not have the right to political involvement (although their directors, obviously, still do have rights in the political arena as individual citizens) or other "individual" rights.

3. The right to bring anti-trust suits.

Our new act has to guarantee the rights of individual citizens, over and above the guarantees of Clayton and Hart-Scott-Rodino, the right to bring anti-trust suits when government entities will not. When the Executive branch refuses to enforce anti-trust legislation, the Judicial branch must be allowed, or even required, to intervene and act upon complaints and suits brought by individual citizens. Of course, some safeguards will be needed to stop frivolous suits, but the current criminal corporate culture needs to be answerable to someone.

4. The "Corporate Death Penalty."

The best argument against corporate personhood has, to me, been that it's not answerable to the ultimate sanction under the law. A treasonous corporation, for example, is not subject to the death penalty.

While it's impossible to put a corporation to literal death, and would be unjust to execute its directors, the concept of a death penalty needs to be available. Our act should provide a mechanism, after a felony conviction against a corporation, requiring the revocation of all corporate charter, the seizure of its assets, and the barring of its directors from ever sitting on the board of a future corporation. If a corporation takes to considering itself above the law, it needs to cease to exist under the law.

I'm sure there are many other measures that should be rolled into a comprehensive anti-trust bill, but these four are the big ones that we desperately need. I hope that they will receive serious consideration and debate.
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lcordero2 Donating Member (832 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. Heh
The "Corporate Death Penalty" should be extended to white collar criminals too.
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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 06:01 PM
Response to Original message
2. Glad to see "corporate death penalty" getting some air time.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Perhaps this is an idea whose time has come at last?
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Pab Sungenis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Its time HAS come.
It's well past due, if you ask me. We cannot allow corporations that flagrantly and repeatedly break the law to continue to exist.
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