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Response to CBGLuthier (Reply #15)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 09:41 AM

19. Reading Is Fundamental, my friend


Last edited Mon Aug 6, 2012, 11:49 AM - Edit history (1)

Nice straw man you are attacking there, about consequence-free speech, but no one brought that up before you did. In fact, the article linked in the OP already distinguished how the government is more constrained from retaliatory action than is private business:

Bosses and those who work under them are not equal when it comes to free-speech legal claims. Employers have the right to take action against any employee who engages in political speech that company leaders find offensive. With a few narrow exceptions the Constitution and the federal laws derived from it only protect a personís right to expression from government interference, not from the restrictions a private employer may impose, lawyers say.

However, my own response #8 and subsequent discussion both attempt to illuminate the role that government plays in chartering and sustaining corporations. With that government support comes a corporate obligation to balance the free speech rights of employees with the desires of owners and capital. You need some more examples? OK, since 2008, most large banks only continue to exist thanks to the US taxpayer. All our defense corporations, from McDonnell Douglas to Lockheed Martin, etc. all feed from the 57% of Federal revenue presently devoted to the military.

I am not calling for 'consequence-free speech.' As far as I am concerned, a sole-proprietor business owner who does not take public funds in any form can be as dictatorial as he likes about speech in his workplace. But most businesses these days are corporate, thanks to the very real benefits granted by government to corporations. And all my life corporations, those artificial constructs with state charters granting them limited-liability, have been socializing risks and privatizing ever more of the public sphere and their own profits.

I am saying that with a state charter, with public funds, and other social support that corporations receive, comes some responsibility to honor the spirit of the 1st Amendment. A more proper balance needs to be achieved, one that acknowledges that corporations receive considerable support from the state, as they hire citizens. The idea that owners and investors can buy media and make donations as 1st-Amendment protected free speech, while workers can be fired at will for any controversial views is a recipe for 1%-er totalitarianism. You may be comfortable in such a world, but this Democrat is not.


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Arrow 29 replies Author Time Post
xchrom Aug 2012 OP
90-percent Aug 2012 #1
Gidney N Cloyd Aug 2012 #2
twizzler Aug 2012 #4
slampoet Aug 2012 #12
dflprincess Aug 2012 #26
slampoet Aug 2012 #28
loli phabay Aug 2012 #3
twizzler Aug 2012 #5
leftyohiolib Aug 2012 #6
MattSh Aug 2012 #14
leftyohiolib Aug 2012 #21
annabanana Aug 2012 #7
appal_jack Aug 2012 #8
tritsofme Aug 2012 #9
Zalatix Aug 2012 #10
Robb Aug 2012 #11
appal_jack Aug 2012 #13
tritsofme Aug 2012 #23
appal_jack Aug 2012 #25
CBGLuthier Aug 2012 #15
LineLineReply Reading Is Fundamental, my friend
appal_jack Aug 2012 #19
Odin2005 Aug 2012 #16
appal_jack Aug 2012 #22
cbdo2007 Aug 2012 #17
joeglow3 Aug 2012 #18
LanternWaste Aug 2012 #20
Octafish Aug 2012 #24
mindwalker_i Aug 2012 #27
Trillo Aug 2012 #29
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