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Tue Feb 28, 2017, 10:45 AM

How Did We The People Lose Control Over Corporations?

Corporations don't exist in nature. They have no natural rights. The Framers never trusted corporations and they are not mentioned the Constitution. They are creations of the state and deserve no rights other than what we give them. The Constitution states specific reasons for the state to give out freebies such as patents and copyrights... Congress had the power

"To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;"

Note... the protection exists ONLY for these reasons and it would seem Congress could reign in any patents designed to abuse the system... or violated the stated intent.

Yet the corporate form and especially since it's given free limited liability protection for corporate owners which protects their private wealth while often shafting creditors should ALSO exist only to serve stated reasons as do those patents and copyrights. But it doesn't. The nature of the corporate has largely been shaped by court decisions.

So how did the corporate form get out of control to be come our Frankenstein... trying to mold the public and the state to serve ITS needs instead of the other way around?

And how can we ever regain control of our Frankenstein when the Dems, the liberal party in our nation, doesn't even discuss it?

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Reply How Did We The People Lose Control Over Corporations? (Original post)
eniwetok Feb 2017 OP
AJT Feb 2017 #1
SticksnStones Feb 2017 #2
Glitterati Feb 2017 #3
Iggo Feb 2017 #4
mitch96 Feb 2017 #9
alarimer Feb 2017 #5
eniwetok Feb 2017 #8
Phoenix61 Feb 2017 #6
Orsino Feb 2017 #7
PoiBoy Feb 2017 #10
eniwetok Feb 2017 #11
PoiBoy Feb 2017 #14
eniwetok Feb 2017 #12
PoiBoy Feb 2017 #15
Blue_Tires Feb 2017 #13
salin Feb 2017 #17
mitch96 Feb 2017 #18
hunter Feb 2017 #16

Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 11:10 AM

1. The big shift happened in the "greed is good" 80s.

Shareholder value rather than customer service became the most important thing. The focus became short sighted since most compensation for higher ups came from bonuses paid in shares, which were taxed at 15%. The wealth of CEOs went up astronomically. Then, of course, there is the fact that capital became global while labor is not, so capital wins. There is always a place with cheaper labor to threaten workers with.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 11:14 AM

2. When they painted Unions as the enemy of the employee



And the people bought into it~

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 11:15 AM

3. One word: Unions

 

When the unions lost their strength, the corporate overlords took over.

In other words, when the Democrats threw the unions overboard.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 11:21 AM

4. $$$$$

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Response to Iggo (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:53 PM

9. $$$$$$

You nailed it.. They have bongo bucks to buy lawyers and politicians to pass laws that favor THEM.
The common man does not have that kind of capital to back our agenda...
m

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 11:33 AM

5. We never had it.

That is an illusion. We have always been at the mercy of corporations, at least since the rise of industrialism. Capitalism is the problem and the threat to us all and always has been.

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Response to alarimer (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:19 PM

8. once corporations were under tight civic control

The Constitution took no position on corporations and therefore the matter was left to the states.

In the early republic states tended to keep corporations on a tight leash... allowing them to perform tasks government was not able or permitted to do... such as build a canal or a turnpike. If a corporation failed... it would be dissolved and the task given to a new one. The corporate death penalty was used quite often.

Somewhere the corporate form became perpetual, and able to do anything that was legal. It was also because more liable to shareholders than the state.

I'm not a fan of federalism because they often create a race to the bottom. States will compete to have the lowest regulations hoping corporations will flock to their state. This is what would happen if health insurance is allowed to compete over state lines. These companies will flock to the state that offers consumers the least protections... a GOP wet dream.

The real question is why, on a strategic front, Dems are not making it a top priority to limit the corporate form when we know the GOP statistically is trying to expand the power of corporations? Granted Move To Amend is such an effort... but it's very limited... trying to reverse Citizens United. But it does nothing to reverse the corporate damage prior to that.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 11:58 AM

6. When "the bottom line" became all that mattered

When the managers and the workers no longer lived in the same neighborhoods. When they became so large that no employee felt a personal sense of responsibility for what the corporation did. When Citizens United won their supreme court case thus ensuring pro-corporation politicians get elected.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 12:03 PM

7. We let money vote.

And money only ever votes for itself.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 03:38 PM

10. I believe it started here...

... a brief explanation..

https://www.hightowerlowdown.org/node/664#.WLXNdl-HNTQ

But a court reporter, J.C. Bancroft Davis (a former railroad official), wrote the headnote to the decision—a headnote being a summary of the case, for which reporters like Davis received a commission from the publisher of these legal documents. Davis’s lead sentence declares: “The defendant Corporations are persons within the intent of the clause in section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which forbids a state to deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

That’s it. A clerk’s personal opinion, carrying no weight of law and misinterpreting what the court said—this is the pillar on which rests today’s practically limitless assertions of corporate “rights.” Davis later asked Chief Justice Waite whether he was correct in saying that the court had ruled on corporate personhood, and Waite responded that “we avoided meeting the Constitutional questions.”

Corporate attorneys seized on the headnote, quoting it as the law of the land, and it was not long before politicians and judges themselves joined in the farce, either because they were eager to support the corporate cause or were simply too lazy to read the actual case.


specifics here..

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Clara_County_v._Southern_Pacific_Railroad_Co.

Thus the Supreme Court's actual decision never hinged on the equal protection claims. Nevertheless, the case has been allowed to have clear constitutional consequences, as it has been subsequently taken to affirm the protection of corporations under the Fourteenth Amendment. At the very least, this is a wrinkle in the normal understanding of the workings of the Court's tradition of stare decisis – the reliance on precedence. It is an instance in which a statement which is neither part of the ruling of the Court, nor part of the opinion of a majority or dissenting minority of the Court has been taken as precedent for subsequent decisions of the Court.



An old proverb says: “A lie repeated 1,000 times becomes the truth.” This particular lie asserts that every corporate business structure is, in the eye of the U.S. Constitution, equal to real human beings, possessing all the rights of people. - Jim Hightower






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Response to PoiBoy (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 03:46 PM

11. that's where corporate personhood got it's legal start...

but the bigger problem is there doesn't seem to be any quid pro quo for the gift of free limited liability protection. Patents and copyrights have reasons stated in the Constitution. The corporate form does not... because they're not even mentioned. This was a matter left to the states. The most powerful force in the nation outside of government developed largely by accident... and we really need to make regaining control of the corporate form a high priority... because the GOP is certainly doing everything it can to use it to undermine government.

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 04:56 PM

14. I totally agree...

..however, if I understand correctly, it never was "legal".. correct..?

That’s it. A clerk’s personal opinion, carrying no weight of law and misinterpreting what the court said—this is the pillar on which rests today’s practically limitless assertions of corporate “rights".

What made it "legitimate" was the concept of precedence...

At the very least, this is a wrinkle in the normal understanding of the workings of the Court's tradition of stare decisis – the reliance on precedence. It is an instance in which a statement which is neither part of the ruling of the Court, nor part of the opinion of a majority or dissenting minority of the Court has been taken as precedent for subsequent decisions of the Court.

It seems to me that once the Corporate gained "personhood", there was no need for any quid pro quo on their behalf... in other words "Eff off America...we got ours so FU..."

Thank you for your posts... As the myth of personhood is a particular peeve of mine I'm trying to understand how to fight back and your posts are very informative...



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Response to PoiBoy (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 03:48 PM

12. I should note... I believe it was Thom Hartmann who discovered this...

Ever listen to Thom? Is he available in your area?

You can always listen here http://www.thomhartmann.com/radio/listen-live

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #12)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 05:14 PM

15. Yes... in the Hightower article that I linked to..

Hightower gives credit to Thom Hartmann and his book Unequal Protection for much of the background of his article... (at least I think he does..)

I've been a very devoted, long time follower of Hartmann and I'm still on his mailing list for his daily posts. I even won an autographed book from him in one of his radio contests. I never knew of Bernie Sanders until the Brunch with Bernie segments on Thom's show.

However, I became disappointed when he put his show behind the paywall and IMO went all out commercializing his brand. His choice of course, and I fully understand. However, I think we all could have benefited from his knowledge and sense of history this past election cycle by freely sharing his insight, cutting through the fake news and in Barack Obama's paraphrased words, "Putting eyeballs on the truth.."

BTW, I tried to get Thom's show aired here in our state... one station owner told me directly that the money he gets for airing Limbaugh was too good to ignore and that Hartmann's show was "scary...truthfully scary.." and that's why his stations (7 throughout our state) would never air his show.




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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 04:02 PM

13. 1. deregulation 2. corporate personhood

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 05:44 PM

17. another and a reorder: 1) corporate personhood, 2) greed, 3) deregulation

Just giving the sequence (historic/time) as I see it. The greed drove the deregulation, the deregulation then accelerated the greed.

Now we have president Mammon.

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 05:45 PM

18. And now the corporate backed wall streeters

want to take apart Dodd-Frank.. Screw the middle class, these swine can't make a lot of money now..
m

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 05:41 PM

16. Because people buy their crap?



I don't have a list of things I boycott, I have a list of things I don't boycott, mostly things I can eat or drink.

It's not that I believe my one voice will change anything, I just don't like participating in this world economy any more than I have to.

Society's current definition of "economic productivity" is a direct measure of the damage we are doing to the earth's natural environment and our own human spirit.

My computers (excepting the Raspberry Pi ) and my car are all salvage, diverted from the waste stream. The computers run Linux. My wife and I, by some planning and greater good fortune, haven't been commuters since the mid 'eighties, so we don't use a lot of gasoline.

Our internet, which my wife and I require for our work, is from a local ISP. We don't have cable, satellite, or broadcast television. Netflix is our only television indulgence since one of our kids is a huge fan of low- and medium budget film and television, likes to talk about stuff on Netflix, and is now living in Los Angeles looking for a career in that business. (The movie business is a family tradition that began with my grandma and her sister who were wild young things in Hollywood. My parents met working in Hollywood. My sister has screen credits for various small parts in television mostly, but she never made a living of it. My grandma tried to get me in the door as a child actor, but Hollywood had little use for a kid who stared at people like they were interesting insects and was always wandering off to poke around in the electrical equipment.)

I don't live as simply as I did when I was single (I haven't yet been able to convince my wife we don't need a refrigerator...), and being a U.S.A. citizen who is not living below the poverty line, I'm very solidly in the top 1% of world consumers, but I do what I can to avoid supporting the corporations I complain about.

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