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Reasons why Corporations aren't People


Off-Topic Discussions

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10 people marked this as a favorite.

(with respect to Michael Hayne for the first ten)

1. People generally pay their annual income taxes.

2. People generally don’t have spreadsheets in place of a soul.

3. People generally have to make their own breakfast, wipe their own asses, and drive themselves to work in a vehicle that’s cheaper than the mini bar on a corporate jet.

4. People can show their faces in public without the fear of being bludgeoned by custard pies.

5. People don’t usually consider themselves a native of the Dutch Antilles for tax purposes.

6. People don’t generally dump chemicals into their drinking water and sell their coworkers to Vietnam.

7. People generally don’t eat caviar out the anus of a Michelangelo statue for breakfast during an economic recession.

8. People generally don’t forget how many pieces of real estate they own.

9. People generally don’t purchase golden commodes in which to crap on their lunch breaks during an economic recession (see Meryl Lynch CEO).

10. People generally don’t refer to multinational, lifeless, amorphous engines of soul-sucking greed whose sole purpose is to downsize and shed hard-earned American jobs in order to tear apart the earth in the Third World and enslave its local populations as, well, people.

11. People can show you their birth certificates

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

In 1886 the US Supreme Court unanimously held that corporations are included amongst the 'persons' who receive equal protection under the law via the 14th amendment.

In 2010 a 5 to 4 conservative majority of the Supreme Court held that corporations are also afforded the freedom of speech rights given to individuals under the 1st amendment. This overturned a 6 to 3 ruling in 1990 saying the opposite.

The long standing 14th amendment ruling is unlikely to be changed as it is the only 'constitutional basis' for requiring equal treatment between corporations. Granted, that's mostly a legal fiction, but without it corruption would increase tenfold.

The recent 1st amendment ruling is, of course, pure idiocy... and as such will be overturned immediately once the court is not composed of a majority of pure idiots. Sadly that may be decades away.

Star Voter 2013

The relevant part of the First Amendment: Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. . . .

Seems pretty simple to me. But please continue on with the argument.

Shadow Lodge Dedicated Voter 2014

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Doug's Workshop wrote:

The relevant part of the First Amendment: Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. . . .

Seems pretty simple to me. But please continue on with the argument.

Corporations only exist at the suffrage of the state: it is a state allowed entity, not a person. They can be terminated and regulated at the whim of the government.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Quote:
I'll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one.

The Exchange Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Doug's Workshop wrote:

The relevant part of the First Amendment: Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. . . .

Seems pretty simple to me. But please continue on with the argument.

Allowing corporations the right of free speech as "people" inevitably leads to the equation that "money = speech." The republic transforms into an oligarchy, as those with the loudest voice (read: the most money) have the most influence over public policy.


Corporations are dopplegangers they can change there name and big ones own so many brands it is like having many different forms.


the whole "abuse of freedom of speach" thing is not something I've ever found convincing.

Let's say that a corporation doesn't have freedom of speach. What's to prevent a CEO, speaking as a person, from sending the same message?


Shadowborn wrote:
Doug's Workshop wrote:

The relevant part of the First Amendment: Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. . . .

Seems pretty simple to me. But please continue on with the argument.

Allowing corporations the right of free speech as "people" inevitably leads to the equation that "money = speech." The republic transforms into an oligarchy, as those with the loudest voice (read: the most money) have the most influence over public policy.

Yeah, but this has always been true. One person stands on a corner shouting out their manifesto. On the next corner over another person who could afford to have handouts made shouts out their own manifesto and hands it out to people passing by. Of the two, the second one is going to have a greater long term impact.

This is actually why you want collections of people to be able to be treated with the same rights as the individuals have. Thus a collective of people might be able to challenge one single wealthy person, where if they were forced to act individually, might not be able to influence policy enough.

Sovereign Court

pres man wrote:
Shadowborn wrote:
Doug's Workshop wrote:

The relevant part of the First Amendment: Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. . . .

Seems pretty simple to me. But please continue on with the argument.

Allowing corporations the right of free speech as "people" inevitably leads to the equation that "money = speech." The republic transforms into an oligarchy, as those with the loudest voice (read: the most money) have the most influence over public policy.

Yeah, but this has always been true. One person stands on a corner shouting out their manifesto. On the next corner over another person who could afford to have handouts made shouts out their own manifesto and hands it out to people passing by. Of the two, the second one is going to have a greater long term impact.

This is actually why you want collections of people to be able to be treated with the same rights as the individuals have. Thus a collective of people might be able to challenge one single wealthy person, where if they were forced to act individually, might not be able to influence policy enough.

That sounds like a union.

Star Voter 2013

So if corporations no longer have freedom of speech . . . then the New York Times editorial board could be arrested for saying something the government disagrees with.

Every media organization is the country would be silenced. Reuters. The Associated Press. The Small Town Crier. Every one exists as a corporation.

You'll need to engage in some pretty incredible philosophical acrobats to prove that idea compliments the idea that government cannot silence voices of which it doesn't approve.

The Exchange Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Editorials are written by individuals, not by the newspapers themselves. The main impact of the Citizens United action was not to allow newspapers to have editorial pages. They've always had that right. It was about how much money a corporation can dump into an election campaign. Again, it comes down to "money = speech" and not about personal freedoms. In an arena where campaign finance reform was already a need, it just exacerbates the situation.

Star Voter 2013

Corporations are composed of individuals, too. If you outlaw free speech for corporations, you affect newspapers, media, and even Paizo. Where does one draw the line between speaking as an agent of a corporation and speaking as an individual?

The push for corporate regulation seems to be more about "regulate corporations I don't like."


Who wants to take away the corporations' freedom of speech?

I'd rather take all their property!

Vive le Galt!


Down with the Unions !!!!


Darkwing Duck wrote:

the whole "abuse of freedom of speach" thing is not something I've ever found convincing.

Let's say that a corporation doesn't have freedom of speach. What's to prevent a CEO, speaking as a person, from sending the same message?

Since when can't Citizen Duck spell?!?


Please note that Anklebiter Humperdink is not only not a real Anklebiter, and not even a real goblin, he is also a scab.

Shadow Lodge

We are not talking about one individual within a corporation exercising their freedom of speech, we are talking about a corporation disguising a well funded marketing campaign to push their profit oriented interests. The CEO of coca-cola still has the right to say whatever he wants, however, the company that is coca-cola should not have the right to use its resources to influence government policy at the expense of the general public. A corporation is made up of individuals, each individual within the corporation has freedom of speech, but they should not collectively form an all mighty super funded non-living entity that also is protected by free speech - besides if each individual within the corporation is already considered an individual by the state, why should they be able to get an extra imaginary individual just because they are a corporation.


Doug's Workshop wrote:

Corporations are composed of individuals, too. If you outlaw free speech for corporations, you affect newspapers, media, and even Paizo. Where does one draw the line between speaking as an agent of a corporation and speaking as an individual?

The push for corporate regulation seems to be more about "regulate corporations I don't like."

This is a slippery slope argument. Freedom of the press is well established in this country and there are laws besides just the first amendment protecting them. For example, several states of journalist shield laws.

Do you think corporations should have the right to vote?

Star Voter 2013

Because there's a legal entity called a "corporation." That entity exists outside of its principals.

Corporations also exist as an extention of the right of the people to peaceably assemble. In the case of Coca-Cola, they are assembling for a business venture.

If you want to be honest, then announce an end to the right of people to peaceably assemble. Do away with corporations and unions. But don't pretend to hold the moral high ground and decry "corporations" whose existence you dislike while cheering for "coorporations" whose existence you approve.


Who is "you"?


Liar I am too an Anklebiter, goblin and a scab.


I think corporations should have rights. Freedom of the Press is an obvious example. Due process would be another.
I don't think those rights should be the same as those of actual persons. What does freedom of religion mean to a corporation?

Deciding that corporations should be treated like people because that is the only way that they can be assumed to have rights under our Constitution is a bad approach. If you want corporations to have rights under the Constitution, amend the Constitution to specify the rights you want them to have.


Doug's Workshop wrote:

So if corporations no longer have freedom of speech . . . then the New York Times editorial board could be arrested for saying something the government disagrees with.

Every media organization is the country would be silenced. Reuters. The Associated Press. The Small Town Crier. Every one exists as a corporation.

You'll need to engage in some pretty incredible philosophical acrobats to prove that idea compliments the idea that government cannot silence voices of which it doesn't approve.

Some old dead genius wrote:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;

The press is explicitly and separately protected within the first amendment.

So the example you give couldn't occur legally.

Shadow Lodge Dedicated Voter 2014

A suitcase of money thrown at a politician isn't speech.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Sure it is the politician doesn't have to take the money if they wanted tthye could take the money and then decide to do what they wanted anyways. There are always options. Just seems that honest people with morals dont want to take the job in politics. I certainly prefer not to involve myself with such things.


So if you have a corporate newsletter, doesn't that make you part of the "press"? ;)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Doug's Workshop wrote:

Because there's a legal entity called a "corporation." That entity exists outside of its principals.

Corporations also exist as an extention of the right of the people to peaceably assemble. In the case of Coca-Cola, they are assembling for a business venture.

If you want to be honest, then announce an end to the right of people to peaceably assemble. Do away with corporations and unions. But don't pretend to hold the moral high ground and decry "corporations" whose existence you dislike while cheering for "coorporations" whose existence you approve.

The problem is not the "right to speech". The problem is not the corporation as "legal entity". The problem is the corporation as a person who has assets to throw financal weight around the way you and I can never hope to equal. Effectively corporations are Super Persons, Supermen in the way they can wield and manipulate legal rights.

Here's an example. I as a private citizen can wage one vote in a general elction. I can perhaps organise a protest, speak at a public meeting, and do other things... Within the limits of my means.

What I can't do is .....

Own entire networks who can slant the coverage of news coverage to favor my point of view.

Spend anywhere from millions to billions of dollars to create PACS, hire lobbbyists, and pretty much buy the ears of key legislature to influence the law making process in this country.

The Corporate Super Person has the game effectively rigged compared to even people who are considerably more well off than I am. Not even Bill Gates has the impact and influence of Corporate Super Persons such as AIG, EXXON, Shearson-Lehman, and the other big figures of Wall Street.

I'm not advocating curtailing the free speech or assembly rights of individual corporate employees or even CEO's. But it's this Superman that needs the healty dose of kryptonite applied to it.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
A suitcase of money thrown at a politician isn't speech.

I love it when people try to equate money with speech.

"But officer, attempts are bribery are protected under the first amendment, why are you arresting me?"


I think that the idea that these politicians would all of a sudden start voting in the people's interests if it weren't for all of the money the corporations were throwing at them a little, I don't know, naive. American (and British) politics have been dominated by the class interests of the wealthy elite long before the invention of Super PACs.

Although it does make one long for the good ol' days of Tammany Hall when, at least, you didn't need to be a tycoon to participate in the corruption.


LazarX wrote:
Doug's Workshop wrote:

Because there's a legal entity called a "corporation." That entity exists outside of its principals.

Corporations also exist as an extention of the right of the people to peaceably assemble. In the case of Coca-Cola, they are assembling for a business venture.

If you want to be honest, then announce an end to the right of people to peaceably assemble. Do away with corporations and unions. But don't pretend to hold the moral high ground and decry "corporations" whose existence you dislike while cheering for "coorporations" whose existence you approve.

The problem is not the "right to speech". The problem is not the corporation as "legal entity". The problem is the corporation as a person who has assets to throw financal weight around the way you and I can never hope to equal. Effectively corporations are Super Persons, Supermen in the way they can wield and manipulate legal rights.

Here's an example. I as a private citizen can wage one vote in a general elction. I can perhaps organise a protest, speak at a public meeting, and do other things... Within the limits of my means.

What I can't do is .....

Own entire networks who can slant the coverage of news coverage to favor my point of view.

Spend anywhere from millions to billions of dollars to create PACS, hire lobbbyists, and pretty much buy the ears of key legislature to influence the law making process in this country.

The Corporate Super Person has the game effectively rigged compared to even people who are considerably more well off than I am. Not even Bill Gates has the impact and influence of Corporate Super Persons such as AIG, EXXON, Shearson-Lehman, and the other big figures of Wall Street.

I'm not advocating curtailing the free speech or assembly rights of individual corporate employees or even CEO's. But it's this Superman that needs the healty dose of kryptonite applied to it.

So if Coke bought a news channel, let's say CNN (it becomes the Coke News Network). They then produce all the same news stories they currently do (except Anderson Cooper's black t-shirt has the Coke Zero design on it). Except when something comes out about putting taxes on soft drinks or other policy that effects Coke directly. They then have their news network do story after story about how this is oppressing america and is socialist puts out personal attack stories on the people pushing it.

Now all that would be totally fine, because after all it is a news network and thus protected by the freedom of the press. But if instead of going that route (buying an entire news network) they put out a 30 second commercial (public awareness ad), suddenly that is wrong. And that truly benefits the little guy? So the big corporations that can be news networks can get their messages out, but the little corporations that can't buy an entire network (because they can't be viable spending all of the available capital on such a purchase) shouldn't be allowed to.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Darkwing Duck wrote:

the whole "abuse of freedom of speach" thing is not something I've ever found convincing.

Let's say that a corporation doesn't have freedom of speach. What's to prevent a CEO, speaking as a person, from sending the same message?

Weren't you the one with the list of 'reasons corporations are not people'? Bit of a turnaround.

Nothing prevents the "CEO, speaking as a person, from sending the same message"... he is just limited to doing so with his own resources rather than with the full financial might of the corporation behind him.

Granted, the problem could be fixed by tossing the (equally ridiculous) 'money = speech' doctrine... at which point I'd care what Citicorp says about as much as I care what Bob Smith says. However, that isn't likely to happen so I'll stick with pointing out how ludicrous it is to treat a corporation as a single entity despite the fact that the corporation will say things which not all of its members / sources of funds agree with. In short, it is stealing 'speech' (that is, money) from its members to advance its own agenda. The five supreme idiots claimed that this was unlikely ever to happen / be a concern because surely the benevolent corporations would ALWAYS act in the best interests of all their members.


CBDunkerson wrote:
Darkwing Duck wrote:

the whole "abuse of freedom of speach" thing is not something I've ever found convincing.

Let's say that a corporation doesn't have freedom of speach. What's to prevent a CEO, speaking as a person, from sending the same message?

Weren't you the one with the list of 'reasons corporations are not people'? Bit of a turnaround.

The fact that one argument (the 'abuse of freedom of speech' argument) doesn't make sense doesn't mean that there aren't a lot of other arguments that do.

Star Voter 2013

The press is a corporate entity. They are in the business of selling news. Their brand is the name at the top of the paper. The AP, or the NY Times, or Drudge, or Fox News. They are no different than WalMart or Coca-Cola in that regard. Coke spends money on shiny red cans, the Times on columnsists. Both are targeted at a consumer.

So if WalMart sends money to a 501c3 group (also a corporation, by the way), which promotes Candidate X because he favors normalized trade relations with China, that's bad. But if the Sierra Club Foundation (also a corporation) sets up an ad promoting Candidate Y because he promises to enact tougher regulations against WalMart, that's good?
And the AFL-CIO sets up an ad that states Candidate X is promoting jobs being shipped overseas is just dandy?

Why should a specific group of individuals be disallowed from pooling their resources to promote their political cause while other groups get a pass? Just come out and say that you are really for criminalizing speech that you disagree with.

Besides, if y'all really think that our government won't use politics when deciding which corporations are "news organizations" or not, I'm at a loss. Your naivety has successfully overpowered the fundamental truth that "power corrupts."


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

For a perfect example of why Corporations should never be treated as people, look at Shadowrun. That is all.


Gruumash . wrote:
Sure it is the politician doesn't have to take the money if they wanted tthye could take the money and then decide to do what they wanted anyways. There are always options. Just seems that honest people with morals dont want to take the job in politics. I certainly prefer not to involve myself with such things.

No, it is rather that honest people with morals generally don't make it very far in politics because that money that was thrown at them? They needed that to finance a campaign that would actually get them noticed by anything even remotely resembling a "public audience".


I'm opposed to most campaign finance to begin with. I think it should be a simple rule:

If you are not eligible to vote for a candidate, you can't give them money.

Shadow Lodge

Doug's Workshop wrote:
The press is a corporate entity. They are in the business of selling news. Their brand is the name at the top of the paper. The AP, or the NY Times, or Drudge, or Fox News. They are no different than WalMart or Coca-Cola in that regard. Coke spends money on shiny red cans, the Times on columnsists. Both are targeted at a consumer.

Unfortunately this is true. The press hasn't always been so corporate. In fact, what is scarier about the "press" is that the major news networks all belong to conglomerates.

Quote:
So if WalMart sends money to a 501c3 group (also a corporation, by the way), which promotes Candidate X because he favors normalized trade relations with China, that's bad. But if the Sierra Club Foundation (also a corporation) sets up an ad promoting Candidate Y because he promises to enact tougher regulations against WalMart, that's good?

I am not sure those two organizations are exactly the same. One is a for profit private corporation and one is a non-profit public benefit corporation organzied for charitable purposes and is not supposed to financially benefit any one person. That said, I am opposed to lobbying of any kind.

Quote:
Why should a specific group of individuals be disallowed from pooling their resources to promote their political cause while other groups get a pass?

Why should 15 individuals who form a corporation count as 16 individuals?

Quote:
Besides, if y'all really think that our government won't use politics when deciding which corporations are "news organizations" or not, I'm at a loss. Your naivety has successfully overpowered the fundamental truth that "power corrupts."

Well that shouldn't be possible if the business has classified themselves as news legally.

Scarab Sages

A corporation is a person when "it" serves in the military.

The Exchange Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Sanakht Inaros wrote:
A corporation is a person when "it" serves in the military.

Or when the state of Texas executes one.

Star Voter 2013

Now in regards to the other points. Warning, long and filled with snark. If your sensibilities are easily hurt, don't click the spoiler button.

Spoiler:

People generally pay their annual income taxes.
As do corporations. Though in truth, those costs are passed on to the consumer. If you have evidence that a corporation isn't paying it's income taxes, you should inform the IRS. Warren Buffet's corporation is in line ahead of you, though.

People generally don’t have spreadsheets in place of a soul.
Having met a good number of people who have the personality of a cardboard box, I'd say this one is a draw.

People generally have to make their own breakfast, etc.
Vulgarity isn't necessary. Corporations require nutrients to survive, namely income (food) and talent (nutrients). Humans can't survive without plants to produce oxygen, and anyone on antibiotics can tell you the effect on the GI tract without e. coli. Corporations require customers, and usually an HR department. My apologies to e.coli for comparing you to an HR department.

People can show their faces in public without the fear of being bludgeoned by custard pies.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_who_have_been_pied
Corporations win this one.

People don’t usually consider themselves a native of the Dutch Antilles for tax purposes.
The Dutch Antilles dissolved in 2010. So there are no corporations based in the Dutch Antilles. If you're gonna make a strawman argument, make sure the straw hasn't already burned.

People don’t generally dump chemicals into their drinking water and sell their coworkers to Vietnam.
Chlorine in drinking water helps prevent bacterial growth. Fluoride promotes tooth health. And slavery is illegal in most parts of the world (minus Sudan, which doesn't have any international corporations headquartered in it).

People generally don’t eat caviar blah blah blah.
Vulgarity again? I point you to President Obama's Waygu beef dinner, his other beef dinner, oh heck here's a bunch, President Obama's wife's vacation to Spain . . . well, you get the picture. Meanwhile corporations actually have to meet a budget, something the United States government hasn't done for decades. And the Senate has just passed three years without voting on a budget.

People generally don’t forget how many pieces of real estate they own.
Unless they happen to be afflicted with Alzheimer's disease. Which corporations are trying to find a cure for. Pesky pharmaceutical companies.

People generally don’t purchase golden commodes in which to crap on their lunch breaks during an economic recession (see Meryl Lynch CEO).
That would be John Thain, who resigned in disgrace and reimbursed the corporation for his malfeasance.

People generally don’t refer to multinational, lifeless, amorphous engines of soul-sucking greed whose sole purpose is to downsize and shed hard-earned American jobs in order to tear apart the earth in the Third World and enslave its local populations as, well, people.
No, corporations look for the best workers they can get for the lowest cost. So whining Americans don't get to stitch clothes for other Americans who only want to pay $2 for a t-shirt. Corporations also don't enslave people. They offer a wage for work. Unlike governments, they cannot force people to do work for no wage.

People can show you their birth certificates.
As can corporations. They are legal documents that show where and when the corporation was formed. And some people can't show you their birth certificates either. Those people apparently rely on Hawaii's department of records.

Next up, why corporations are better than people:
1) Corporations cannot force you to do anything. Nothing. Nada. People, however, are constantly trying to force other people.


Doug's Workshop wrote:

Now in regards to the other points. Warning, long and filled with snark. If your sensibilities are easily hurt, don't click the spoiler button.

** spoiler omitted **...

People aren't bothered by anything good that has come from corporations. That's not the point. Most of us actually like the good things corporations have given us to improve our lives, so pointing that out is preaching to the choir.

I have a potential TL;DR post, so I'll put it in a spoiler.

Spoiler:

What people are most concerned with are powerful entities without much accountability, as would anyone less powerful than said entities (read: mostly everybody). Mini-rant: it's actually the same concern that many conservatives have that gov't is too big and powerful; both sides are rightfully worried that either establishments have too much power, while the reality is that they are both the establishment in practice.

Everyone in the US knows that the federal government relies on big checks from powerful people and corporations because getting elected requires such money. This means, on its own, that Congress is bought and paid for, regardless of who we end up voting for. Whether what we want and what the very rich want are the same thing is irrelevant to the notion that the very rich are the ones that convinced them.

If simple majority worked very well, then how does Congress end up with such crazy low approval ratings? Wouldn't Congress, wanting to remain in office, do everything they can to keep their ratings high? I think what we would see, all people as equal, is that rating hovering above 50 as frequently as possible, instead of teasing single-digit results.

Star Voter 2013

Swivl wrote:
If simple majority worked very well, then how does Congress end up with such crazy low approval ratings?

Because most people have bought into the idea that "Congress sucks, by MY congressman is an okay person." Ducking responsibility for their vote to keep entrenched politicians in office. Incumbency is the disease. And trusting incumbents to write laws that would put them out of a job? You'll have to forgive my incredulity. No, making fundraising harder for the average citizen-candidate isn't the answer. Remove the barriers, get rid of asinine regulations (I can contribute unlimited funds to my own campaign, but I can't give over a specified amount to my favorite candidate), and reclaim the responsibility of vetting candidates yourself.

Sovereign Court

Doug's Workshop wrote:


People don’t usually consider themselves a native of the Dutch Antilles for tax purposes.
The Dutch Antilles dissolved in 2010. So there are no corporations based in the Dutch Antilles. If you're gonna make a strawman argument, make sure the straw hasn't already burned.

I believe the transitional plan has Curacao retaining the exact same corporate and tax laws that the N.A. had prior to dissolution. All legal entities are being continued on, with "Netherland Antilles" in corporate and trust documents (etc) being read as "Curacao".

Continuity of governance is being stressed. The Double Irish Dutch Sandwich is safe for the time being.

Not this really matters...


Doug's Workshop wrote:
Because most people have bought into the idea that "Congress sucks, by MY congressman is an okay person." Ducking responsibility for their vote to keep entrenched politicians in office. Incumbency is the disease. And trusting incumbents to write laws that would put them out of a job? You'll have to forgive my incredulity. No, making fundraising harder for the average citizen-candidate isn't the answer. Remove the barriers, get rid of asinine regulations (I can contribute unlimited funds to my own campaign, but I can't give over a specified amount to my favorite candidate), and reclaim the responsibility of vetting candidates yourself.

If money into campaigns becomes unlimited, how does that remove barriers for the poor, who already don't have enough money to meet the contribution limit?


Doug's Workshop wrote:
Swivl wrote:
If simple majority worked very well, then how does Congress end up with such crazy low approval ratings?
Because most people have bought into the idea that "Congress sucks, by MY congressman is an okay person." Ducking responsibility for their vote to keep entrenched politicians in office. Incumbency is the disease. And trusting incumbents to write laws that would put them out of a job? You'll have to forgive my incredulity. No, making fundraising harder for the average citizen-candidate isn't the answer. Remove the barriers, get rid of asinine regulations (I can contribute unlimited funds to my own campaign, but I can't give over a specified amount to my favorite candidate), and reclaim the responsibility of vetting candidates yourself.

I find much actually agreeable here, except the whole unlimited funds free-for-all solution you propose (super PACs pretty much do this). At the very least, we agree that reform is necessary, and that the lawmakers won't do it themselves. State-born amendment would have to be the starting point for the US.


Doug's Workshop wrote:


"Congress sucks, by MY congressman is an okay person."

Do you believe that? That Congress sucks, but your congressman is an okay person?

If not, then what basis do you have for believing that other people do?

Star Voter 2013

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Swivl wrote:


I find much actually agreeable here, except the whole unlimited funds free-for-all solution you propose (super PACs pretty much do this).

Super PACs do this because of the campaign finance laws that exist, and were written by the incumbents. Which is why our last several presidential elections have featured multi-millionaires. They're the only ones who can afford to get in the game.

Wanna know a dirty little secret? Big business loves big government. Why did Wal-Mart support Obamacare? Because it would create a huge burden for any other retailer to enter anything other than a mom-and-pop operation. And WalMart crushes them on price.

An amendment to further limit the freedom of the individual would only empower . . . those who can game the system already. The responsibility for a government that doesn't overpower the individual lies with the individual, and if you continue to vote for the person with a D or an R after their name for no other reason than "we can't let the other guys win" you're part of the problem.

A senator in my state is up for election, and is finally facing a primary challenger. This guy's been our senator for 36 years. He doesn't even hold residency in our state anymore. I don't care what the letter is after his name, it's time for him to go. He's part of the problem.

Star Voter 2013

Darkwing Duck wrote:


Do you believe that? That Congress sucks, but your congressman is an okay person?

If not, then what basis do you have for believing that other people do?

I base that on the fact that Congress had an 11% approval rating prior to the 2010 elections, and returned 85% of incumbents to office. That's roughly equivalent to 85% of the people saying "my congressman is okay, but all the other ones stink."

It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure it out.


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The only campaign finance reform that would ever matter:

A FLAT TAX RATE OF 20% on everything and everyone. No loopholes, no differentiation between income and capital gains or farm revenue and interest earned.

A FLAT RATE. No offshore dodges.

Followed with an amendment to the Constitution that dictates the government may not spend more than 18% of GDP in a fiscal year. (Balanced Budget Ammendment)

Once this is done election expenses are born equally by mandating equal FREE ads for all candidates of all parties to be carried via any FCC regulated medium.

Remove the need, for corporate money from politics. Remove the ability of politicians to manipulate the tax code for fundraising and/or vote pandering.

No one will ever back it, we'd all pay more. But it would be fair and maybe even honest. In my experience fair and honest aren't really very popular.

And a question;
If a corporation is a person, can the Corp. Plead the 5th?

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