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Reasons why Corporations aren't People


Off-Topic Discussions

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Doug's Workshop wrote:
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.

I don't know if this is intended to be a rebuttal or not... I said just as much earlier, but less specifically.

I don't believe any proposal I make would limit any individuals. In fact, if you believe that only multimillionaires can run for POTUS, why not reform the law of the land in the form of an amendment that renders money irrelevant to the election process?


zagnabbit wrote:

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?

It is also a deeply regressive tax plan, unless coupled with a real time tax credits system.

20% of tax for the poorest people in a society is crippling, while 20% tax for the richest 1% in a society, has little practical impact on their lives or happiness.

And please don't bring out 'those rich people worked for what they got, and should be rewarded' first of all, the evidence is clear, the biggest single factor in how wealthy you will be as an american, is how wealthy your parent are, you have very low levels of social mobility, the very richest in society could pay many times what they currently do, and still rewarded with a level of wealth most people cannot dream to achieve, thank you very much.


Fun article.


If anyone wants to ban the unions from making campaign contributions, I might support them.

Also, everyone loves al-Jazeera, right?


Nice thread. Though, I didn't know we needed reasons why obvious things are obvious. I guess when Law supercedes reason...

+1


I don't get why companies should be considered people. At all. They are collections of people. Any rights those component people have are still fully usable. Why their specific mode of cooperation should be more protected is... unclear.

But, I say: If they want to be people, let them. Of particular interest, then, would be the parts about going to jail. I imagine if the entirety of a single corporation was thrown in jail for a year or so, the level of morals and ethics shown by the corporation leadership would be of prime relevance when people consider whether they want to start or keep working for a particular corporation.

The Exchange

Zombieneighbours wrote:
zagnabbit wrote:

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?

It is also a deeply regressive tax plan, unless coupled with a real time tax credits system.

20% of tax for the poorest people in a society is crippling, while 20% tax for the richest 1% in a society, has little practical impact on their lives or happiness.

How is 20% tax for the poorest in society any different than what they are already being taxed? And even if it is more, by having a balanced approach to government GDP and taxations there should be a better system in place to assist those who need it.

Also Doug, I would read up on flouride and chlorine more....I don't feel like detracting from this conversation so I say no more. and I don't have time to find and post links today.


We should have an exponential tax rate with no loopholes or exceptions that is capped at 50%.

That way everyone pays proportionally the same tax without discouraging people from trying to get super rich.


The rich shouldn't pay 20%, that is a drop in the bucket for them. Instead, we should make them keeping paying 15% because that is morrrr ... oh. oh.

Sovereign Court

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

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

I want to be a rocket surgeon when I grow up!

Zombieneighbors wrote:

It is also a deeply regressive tax plan, unless coupled with a real time tax credits system.

Ummm...no. It's not a regressive tax plan; it's simply not a progressive plan. It is more regressive than the system we have now, but as it's a flat rate, it's neither progressive or regressive in and of itself.

</pedantry>


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I don't care what kind of tax it is, I don't see why I have to pay anything to a government that's going to bomb children in foreign countries and give bailouts to financiers and auto manufacturers.


Jess Door wrote:
Doug's Workshop wrote:

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

I want to be a rocket surgeon when I grow up!

Zombieneighbors wrote:

It is also a deeply regressive tax plan, unless coupled with a real time tax credits system.

Ummm...no. It's not a regressive tax plan; it's simply not a progressive plan. It is more regressive than the system we have now, but as it's a flat rate, it's neither progressive or regressive in and of itself.

</pedantry>

The problem with a flat tax rate is that the real income of the poor is taxed higher that way. Let me illustrate.

Proportionally, the other common taxes beyond income (payroll, sales, etc.) account for more of the income of the poor, as much more of their living expenses do the same. All the same to people not in this situation (hey more money means more freedom, right?), but it means that the poorest of people are worse off for being poor than simply by being poor, which is bad enough.

When Fox News says the bottom 45% don't pay income tax, it's because they couldn't afford it in the first place. They already pay other taxes, and proportionally, the total tax rate is much more even than it's portrayed.

It's the exceptions to the rule that bother poor people the most, the ones that get away with paying less than their share: most investors (taxed at 15%), many very wealthy through loopholes, and some of the world's largest corporations through more loopholes.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Swivl wrote:
Zombieneighbors wrote:

It is also a deeply regressive tax plan, unless coupled with a real time tax credits system.

Ummm...no. It's not a regressive tax plan; it's simply not a progressive plan. It is more regressive than the system we have now, but as it's a flat rate, it's neither progressive or regressive in and of itself.

</pedantry>

The problem with a flat tax rate is that the real income of the poor is taxed higher that way. Let me illustrate.

Proportionally, the other common taxes beyond income (payroll, sales, etc.) account for more of the income of the poor, as much more of their living expenses do the same. All the same to people not in this situation (hey more money means more freedom, right?), but it means that the poorest of people are worse off for being poor than simply by being poor, which is bad enough.

Not saying anything about the philosophy that the same tax rate is more crippling for those with less money. But calling a flat tax "deeply regressive" is completely inaccurate, and I couldn't let it stand. An example of a deeply regressive tax would be to tax 50% income for those earning less than $20,000 / yr, 20% for those earning between $20K - $200k, and no taxes on those earning more than $200k/yr.

A flat tax rate, while you may feel it's unfair for the poorer among us, is not regressive, let alone deeply regressive. It's FLAT.

Our current rates are progressive. The more you earn, the higher percentage you pay.

You could accurately state, since our current tax system is progressive, that a flat tax is more regressive than our current system. it is NOT, however, regressive in and of itself.

That's all I'm saying.

sorry, I can't figure out what's wrong with my quotes. :/


Jess Door wrote:
Swivl wrote:
Jess Door wrote:
Zombieneighbors wrote:

It is also a deeply regressive tax plan, unless coupled with a real time tax credits system.

Ummm...no. It's not a regressive tax plan; it's simply not a progressive plan. It is more regressive than the system we have now, but as it's a flat rate, it's neither progressive or regressive in and of itself.

</pedantry>

The problem with a flat tax rate is that the real income of the poor is taxed higher that way. Let me illustrate.

Proportionally, the other common taxes beyond income (payroll, sales, etc.) account for more of the income of the poor, as much more of their living expenses do the same. All the same to people not in this situation (hey more money means more freedom, right?), but it means that the poorest of people are worse off for being poor than simply by being poor, which is bad enough.

Not saying anything about the philosophy that the same tax rate is more crippling for those with less money. But calling a flat tax "deeply regressive" is completely inaccurate, and I couldn't let it stand. An example of a deeply regressive tax would be to tax 50% income for those earning less than $20,000 / yr, 20% for those earning between $20K - $200k, and no taxes on those earning more than $200k/yr.

A flat tax rate, while you may feel it's unfair for the poorer among us, is not regressive, let alone deeply regressive. It's FLAT.

Our current rates are progressive. The more you earn, the higher percentage you pay.

You could accurately state, since our current tax system is progressive, that a flat tax is more regressive than our current system. it is NOT, however, regressive in and of itself.

That's all I'm saying.

sorry, I can't figure out what's wrong with my quotes. :/

Our current income tax system is progressive. Most of the rest of the taxes we pay are flat or regressive.

A flat income tax would make our system deeply regressive.


In fairness to myself, when I posted, it was 05:58 AM, and I had just been woken up by my cat. Mistakes where made.

But I am a good sport so here I shall say it to myself.

However, the point remains, such a system of tax is deeply unfair, it disproportionately effect the poor and its generally a "Bad Thing."


Somewhere the quotes have been mixed up a bit, but thejeff has it exactly right.

If all we had was an income tax, then the story changes significantly, but we have to take the other taxes into account when figuring out what people really pay. Taking all taxes, most people pay a similar total tax rate, with a progressive trend ever so slight (with exceptions, of course).

Making the claim that "flat tax is flat" is unfortunately too simple compared to what we really have. There's nothing exactly wrong with making such a claim, but it needs to be understood that enforcing such a thing makes the total tax rate deeply regressive. That's the reality.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

The original quote was an overhauled tax system that charged a flat 20% on everything. ::shrug:: The original conversation was not about anything but a completely new tax system, completely flat. Which is not going to happen, but that was the original conversation.

I'm not talking about the philosophical side, or replacing only the income tax portion of our system. I'm talking about the original context of the quotes, and correcting a simple factual error.

As zombieneighbors has acknowledged the error as such, that is all I have to say on the subject.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Oh, except I still want to be a rocket surgeon when I grow up.

That would be an awesome job.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
I don't care what kind of tax it is, I don't see why I have to pay anything to a government that's going to bomb children in foreign countries and give bailouts to financiers and auto manufacturers.

Here ya go Comrade

Q:And Children/A:And Children

.

Anyway - We should have a flat tax for corps (no dodging) and as far as citizens are concerned a scaling but guaranteed tax (no tax credits).

So poor people will have to pay something, maybe not a fixed 20% or 15% but they have to put something into the system.
Republicans won’t do it because the corps would get pissed and many hard-liners would frame this as a tax increase (since it would force lower income earners to pay something). Democrats would also say it’s a tax increase on the poor.

Democrats would never do it because they want an entrenched majority vote by giving handouts in exchange for votes from the poor. Raising taxes on the poor (and it would be a tax increase) would just mean that the poor are now having to pay for services rendered and would reduce the amount of guaranteed votes which go to the Commu…er, Democrats.

TL;DR version - It will never happen


Jess Door wrote:

The original quote was an overhauled tax system that charged a flat 20% on everything. ::shrug:: The original conversation was not about anything but a completely new tax system, completely flat. Which is not going to happen, but that was the original conversation.

I'm not talking about the philosophical side, or replacing only the income tax portion of our system. I'm talking about the original context of the quotes, and correcting a simple factual error.

As zombieneighbors has acknowledged the error as such, that is all I have to say on the subject.

It's not clear what the original referred to. Only forms of income were mentioned, which leads me to suspect it wouldn't also replace all other forms of taxation with a 20% rate. I'm not even sure what that would mean. 20% sales tax and property tax? FICA?

Just dropping all other taxes and going to a 20% rate with no deductions would bring in much less revenue than the current system.


Auxmaulous wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
I don't care what kind of tax it is, I don't see why I have to pay anything to a government that's going to bomb children in foreign countries and give bailouts to financiers and auto manufacturers.

Here ya go Comrade

Q:And Children/A:And Children

.

Anyway - We should have a flat tax for corps (no dodging) and as far as citizens are concerned a scaling but guaranteed tax (no tax credits).

So poor people will have to pay something, maybe not a fixed 20% or 15% but they have to put something into the system.
Republicans won’t do it because the corps would get pissed and many hard-liners would frame this as a tax increase (since it would force lower income earners to pay something). Democrats would also say it’s a tax increase on the poor.

Democrats would never do it because they want an entrenched majority vote by giving handouts in exchange for votes from the poor. Raising taxes on the poor (and it would be a tax increase) would just mean that the poor are now having to pay for services rendered and would reduce the amount of guaranteed votes which go to the Commu…er, Democrats.

The EITC, which is the bulk of the "tax credits for poor people" you decry, was greatly expanded by Reagan and later by Bush. It largely replaced traditional welfare payments. It was long considered in conservative circles a more efficient and effective way of handling welfare.

Would you bring back traditional welfare so that the poor could pay taxes and have "some skin in the game"? Or would you just take away the tax credits and not really care what happens to those depending on them to feed their families? Maybe charities will take up the slack.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
Would you bring back traditional welfare so that the poor could pay taxes and have "some skin in the game"? Or would you just take away the tax credits and not really care what happens to those depending on them to feed their families? Maybe charities will take up the slack.

The gov't - at least the Federal Gov't, isn't empowered to "feed their families" directly or by proxy. I would rather have them pay a share of taxes and not give it back to them via another handout. If that is the only choice then I would rather they just keep more of their own money instead of a paying into a system only to have it repackaged and returned back to them. One system (pay less/tax credits) is better than the other (welfare), but the reality is that both concepts have failed to create an engaged populace and voter. What it does create is a detached class of people. Bottom line: they should pay something.

-

With a few exceptional cases everyone does need to have some "skin in the game" or we end up with what we have now - an indifferent populace. Invested people will care more about the public schools they are paying for, public transportation, general projects, corperate tax breaks, and public union pay, etc, without the attitude of "well, I'm not paying for it". Because right now that is exactly what we have, people who don't care. If you make them pay, they will care and by all rights the system should function and give them something back in services. What we have right now is a 100% disfunctional and unsustainable model.


Auxmaulous wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Would you bring back traditional welfare so that the poor could pay taxes and have "some skin in the game"? Or would you just take away the tax credits and not really care what happens to those depending on them to feed their families? Maybe charities will take up the slack.

The gov't - at least the Federal Gov't, isn't empowered to "feed their families" directly or by proxy. I would rather have them pay a share of taxes and not give it back to them via another handout. If that is the only choice then I would rather they just keep more of their own money instead of a paying into a system only to have it repackaged and returned back to them. One system (pay less/tax credits) is better than the other (welfare), but the reality is that both concepts have failed to create an engaged populace and voter. What it does create is a detached class of people. Bottom line: they should pay something.

-

With a few exceptional cases everyone does need to have some "skin in the game" or we end up with what we have now - an indifferent populace. Invested people will care more about the public schools they are paying for, public transportation, general projects, corperate tax breaks, and public union pay, etc, without the attitude of "well, I'm not paying for it". Because right now that is exactly what we have, people who don't care. If you make them pay, they will care and by all rights the system should function and give them something back in services. What we have right now is a 100% disfunctional and unsustainable model.

First of all, they are paying for it. Unless they are utterly destitute. Most states run largely on sales taxes. Everyone who buys things pays those. Local towns and districts usually run mostly on property taxes. If you rent (and don't own car, in some cases) you don't pay those directly, but you can be damn sure your landlord passes them on to you. He's usually not shy about mentioning it when your rent goes up too.

Everyone does pay into the system. They just don't pay federal income taxes.

Second the purpose of taxes and/or welfare is not "to create an engaged populace and voter." It's to fund the government and to create a safety net.

Finally, it's good to know your answer is "just let them starve". That simplifies things.


Auxmaulous wrote:

With a few exceptional cases everyone does need to have some "skin in the game" or we end up with what we have now - an indifferent populace. Invested people will care more about the public schools they are paying for, public transportation, general projects, corperate tax breaks, and public union pay, etc, without the attitude of "well, I'm not paying for it". Because right now that is exactly what we have, people who don't care. If you make them pay, they will care and by all rights the system should function and give them something back in services. What we have right now is a 100% disfunctional and unsustainable model.

How much "skin in the game" should a family of 4 with a total income of $22,000 provide?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
I don't care what kind of tax it is, I don't see why I have to pay anything to a government that's going to bomb children in foreign countries and give bailouts to financiers and auto manufacturers.

It's also government that fights crime, builds your schools, maintains your roads, and defends your borders. It's a system that still needs work though.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
thejeff wrote:

First of all, they are paying for it. Unless they are utterly destitute. Most states run largely on sales taxes. Everyone who buys things pays those. Local towns and districts usually run mostly on property taxes. If you rent (and don't own car, in some cases) you don't pay those directly, but you can be damn sure your landlord passes them on to you. He's usually not shy about mentioning it when your rent goes up too.

Everyone does pay into the system. They just don't pay federal income taxes.

Around half of the money the Federal gov't recieves is from income taxes, and around half of population (45%) doesn't pay it. All I'm saying is they should pay more.

Quote:
Second the purpose of taxes and/or welfare is not "to create an engaged populace and voter." It's to fund the government and to create a safety net.

No one was arguing that. I was stating a cause-effect paradigm. Those that don't pay are not as invested as those who do. Instead of working on the definition of taxes and welfare let's stick to the how's and why's of the current dysfuntional system.

Quote:
Finally, it's good to know your answer is "just let them starve". That simplifies things.

Let me know when your heart stops bleeding and then we can carry on the conversation. The appeal to "oh no, what about the children?" doesn't wash with me when I am thinking "what about the whole damn country".

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Irontruth wrote:
How much "skin in the game" should a family of 4 with a total income of $22,000 provide?

A scaling but fixed percentage of their income.

If they are going to live in this society, reap the benefits of this society and if they can be employed and are employed they should pay something.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
CBDunkerson wrote:

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.

The problem with that ruling is that it never made any sense.

I will let Justice Hugo Black explain why

------------------
This Court has also frequently sustained the right of a state to impose conditions on foreign corporations in order to favor its own corporations. 6 If a state did not have this privilege it could not protect the domestic business of its own corporations from undesirable competiton by foreign corporations. The state of California has the constitutional right to limit the privileges of its own corporations and to reserve the right to control their privileges and to define and limit their activities. 7 If California has the lawful constitutional right (as this Court has many times said it has) to impose conditions upon foreign corporations so as to protect domestic corporations, its own elected legislative representatives should be the judges of what is reasonable and proper in a democracy.

With reference to a corporate tax imposed by the state of Louisiana, this Court has said: 'The appellants, by incorporating in some other state, or by spreading their business and activities over other states, cannot set at naught the public policy of Louisiana (California?). ... The policy Louisiana (California?) is free to adopt with [303 U.S. 77, 85] respect to the business activities of her own citizens she may apply to the citizens of other states who conduct the same business within her borders, and this irrespective of whether the evils requiring regulation arise solely from operations in Louisiana (California?) or are in part the result of extrastate transactions.' 8

But it is contended that the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits California from determining what terms and conditions should be imposed upon this Connecticut corporation to promote the welfare of the people of California.

I do not believe the word 'person' in the Fourteenth Amendment includes corporations. 'The doctrine of stare decisis, however appropriate and even necessary at times, has only a limited application in the field of constitutional law.' 9 This Court has many times changed its interpretations of the Constitution when the conclusion was reached that an improper construction had been adopted. 10 Only recently the case of West Coast Hotel Company v. Parrish, 300 U.S. 379 , 57 S.Ct. 578, 108 A.L.R. 1330, expressly overruled a previous interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment which had long blocked state minimum wage legislation. When a statute is declared by this Court to be unconstitutional, the decision until reversed stands as a barrier against the adoption of similar legislation. A constitutional interpretation that is wrong should not stand. I believe this Court should now overrule previous decisions which interpreted the Fourteenth Amendment to include corporations.

Neither the history nor the language of the Fourteenth Amendment justifies the belief that corporations are in- [303 U.S. 77, 86] cluded within its protection. The historical purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment was clearly set forth when first considered by this Court in the Slaughter House Cases, 16 Wall. 36, decided April, 1873-less than five years after the proclamation of its adoption. Mr. Justice Miller, speaking for the Court, said:

'Among the first acts of legislation adopted by several of the States in the legislative bodies which claimed to be in their normal relaions with the Federal government, were laws which imposed upon the colored race onerous disabilities and burdens, and curtailed their rights in the pursuit of life, liberty, and property to such an extent that their freedom was of little value, while they had lost the protection which they had received from their former owners from motives both of interest and humanity. ...

'These circumstances, whatever of falsehood or misconception may have been mingled with their presentation, forced ... the conviction that something more was necessary in the way of constitutional protection to the unfortunate race who had suffered so much. (Congressional leaders) accordingly passed through Congress the proposition for the fourteenth amendment, and ... declined to treat as restored to their full participation in the government of the Union the States which had been in insurrection, until they ratified that article by a formal vote of their legislative bodies.' 16 Wall. 36, at page 70.

Certainly, when the Fourteenth Amendment was submitted for approval, the people were not told that the states of the South were to be denied their normal relationship with the Federal Government unless they ratified an amendment granting new and revolutionary rights to corporations. This Court, when the Slaughter House Cases were decided in 1873, had apparnetly discovered no such purpose. The records of the time can be searched in vain for evidence that this amendment was adopted for the benefit of corporations. It is true [303 U.S. 77, 87] that in 1882, twelve years after its adoption, and ten years after the Slaughter House Cases, supra, an argument was made in this Court that a journal of the joint Congressional Committee which framed the amendment, secret and undisclosed up to that date, indicated the committee's desire to protect corporations by the use of the word 'person.' 11 Four years later, in 1886, this Court in the case of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, 118 U.S. 394 , 6 S.Ct. 1132, decided for the first time that the word 'person' in the amendment did in some instances include corporations. A secret purpose on the part of the members of the committee, even if such be the fact, however, would not be sufficient to justify any such construction. The history of the amendment proves that the people were told that its purpose was to protect weak and helpless human beings and were not told that it was intended to remove corporations in any fashion from the control of state governments. The Fourteenth Amendment followed the freedom of a race from slavery. Jusice Swayne said in the Slaughter Houses Cases, supra, that: 'By 'any person' was meant all persons within the jurisdiction of the State. No distinction is intimated on account of race or color.' Corporations have neither race nor color. He knew the amendment was intended to protect the life, liberty, and property of human beings.

The language of the amendment itself does not support the theory that it was passed for the benefit of corporations.

The first clause of section 1 of the amendment reads: 'All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and sub- [303 U.S. 77, 88] ject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.' Certainly a corporation cannot be naturalized and 'persons' here is not broad enough to include 'corporations.'

The first clause of the second sentence of section 1 reads: 'No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.' While efforts have been made to persuade this Court to allow corporations to claim the protection of his clause, these efforts have not been successful. 12

The next clause of the second sentence reads: 'Nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.' It has not been decided that this clause prohibits a state from depriving a corporation of 'life.' This Court has expressly held that 'the liberty guaranteed by the 14th Amendment against deprivation without due process of law is the liberty of natural, not artificial persons.' 13 Thus, the words 'life' and 'liberty' do not apply to corporations, and of course they could not have been so intended to apply. However, the decisions of this Court which the majority follow hold that corporations are included in this clause in so far as the word 'property' is concerned. In other words, this clause is construed to mean as follows:

'Nor shall any State deprive any human being of life, liberty or property without due process of law; nor shall any State deprive any corporation of property without due process of law.'

The last clause of this second sentence of section 1 reads: 'Nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal prtoection of the laws.' As used here, 'person' has been construed to include corporations. 14 [303 U.S. 77, 89] Both Congress and the people were familiar with the meaning of the word 'corporation' at the time the Fourteenth Amendment was submitted and adopted. The judicial inclusion of the word 'corporation' in the Fourteenth Amendment has had a revolutionary effect on our form of government. The states did not adopt the amendment with knowledge of its sweeping meaning under its present construction. No section of the amendment gave notice to the people that, if adopted, it would subject every state law and municipal ordinance, affecting corporations, (and all administrative actions under them) to censorship of the United States courts. No word in all this amendment gave any hint that its adoption would deprive the states of their long-recognized power to regulate corporations.

The second section of the amendment informed the people that representatives would be apportioned among the several states 'according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed.' No citizen could gather the impression here that while the word 'persons' in the second section applied to human beings, the word 'persons' in the first section in some instances applied to corporations. Section 3 of the amendment said that 'no person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress,' (who 'engaged in insurrection'). There was no intimation here that the word 'person' in the first section in some instances included corporations.

This amendment sought to prevent discrimination by the states against classes or races. We are aware of this from words spoken in this Court within five years after its adoption, when the people and the courts were personally familiar with the historical background of the amendment. 'We doubt very much whether any action of a State not directed by way of discrimination against [303 U.S. 77, 90] the negroes as a class, or on account of their race, will ever be held to come within the purview of this provision.' 15 Yet, of the cases in this Court in which the Fourteenth Amendment was applied during the first fifty years after its adoption, less than one-half of 1 per cent. invoked it in protection of the negro race, and more than 50 per cent. asked that its benefits be extended to corporations. 16

If the people of this nation wish to deprive the states of their sovereign rights to determine what is a fair and just tax upon corporations doing a purely local business within their own state boundaries, there is a way provided by the Constitution to accomplish this purpose. That way does not lie along the course of judicial amendment to that fundamental charter. An amendment having that purpose could be submitted by Congress as provided by the Constitution. I do not believe that the Fourteenth Amendment had that purpose, nor that the people believed it had that purpose, nor that it should be construed as having that purpose.


Auxmaulous wrote:
thejeff wrote:

First of all, they are paying for it. Unless they are utterly destitute. Most states run largely on sales taxes. Everyone who buys things pays those. Local towns and districts usually run mostly on property taxes. If you rent (and don't own car, in some cases) you don't pay those directly, but you can be damn sure your landlord passes them on to you. He's usually not shy about mentioning it when your rent goes up too.

Everyone does pay into the system. They just don't pay federal income taxes.

Around half of the money the Federal gov't recieves is from income taxes, and around half of population (45%) doesn't pay it. All I'm saying is they should pay more.

Frankly so do I. The way to do that is to pay them more. Get them job. Good jobs that pay enough that they'll owe taxes. Shift the income downward and you'll see the tax burden shift downward as well.

Just trying to take more blood from a stone doesn't work.

Quote:
Second the purpose of taxes and/or welfare is not "to create an engaged populace and voter." It's to fund the government and to create a safety net.
No one was arguing that. I was stating a cause-effect paradigm. Those that don't pay are not as invested as those who do. Instead of working on the definition of taxes and welfare let's stick to the how's and why's of the current dysfuntional system.

Any actual evidence that being taxed causes engagement? Correlation is not causation and there are many reasons the poor could be less engaged.

Quote:
Finally, it's good to know your answer is "just let them starve". That simplifies things.

Let me know when your heart stops bleeding and then we can carry on the conversation. The appeal to "oh no, what about the children?" doesn't wash with me when I am thinking "what about the whole damn country".

You're thinking about sticking it to the poor who are worse off than they've been in decades. The rich have recovered from the recession. The poor are still in the midst of it. But hey why not kick them while they're down.


Auxmaulous wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
How much "skin in the game" should a family of 4 with a total income of $22,000 provide?

A scaling but fixed percentage of their income.

If they are going to live in this society, reap the benefits of this society and if they can be employed and are employed they should pay something.

So you think that a family of 4 with an income of $22,000, should receive zero benefits and pay into the system?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
thejeff wrote:

Frankly so do I. The way to do that is to pay them more. Get them job. Good jobs that pay enough that they'll owe taxes. Shift the income downward and you'll see the tax burden shift downward as well.

Just trying to take more blood from a stone doesn't work.

I don't buy it. Granted I want everyone to make more money, the part I don't buy is the "blood from a stone" bit. Again, what I am advocating is a progressive but guaranteed tax payment system. I do understand that 10% to the ultra wealthy and 10% to the working poor are two huge gaps and that those numbers would not work. But people need to be invested. They need to see some ownership in the system. That way they could have a sense of pride and more importantly a sense of stewardship when it comes to interacting with public services.

This also goes to understanding human behavior, something that both parties exploit the worst aspects of. The Demes in particular like to play the entitlement game. When you get something for free a few times you may value it, but not as much as if you paid for it. When you get something for free over long periods of time then you start to expect it. By paying into the system they have full authority to direct that system.

As another example - Do you think parents would be more engaged in the affairs of public schools if they see a direct correlation with their tax dollars and their children’s education? I think they would. As it stands right now public education is basically a poorly run, free k-12 babysitting service. Make them pay, and then they will get involved in the selection and quality of the product.

Quote:
Any actual evidence that being taxed causes engagement? Correlation is not causation and there are many reasons the poor could be less engaged.

I agree with on this to a degree. I think the poor have plenty of distractions to prevent them from getting engaged in democracy. What better incentive than to make them pay? Many will still not get involved, but I think that many will also be more critical every time a politician wants to: glad hand a company with a contract, have an adventure in spending or social engineering, or starting an unnecessary war.

If you want to people to not be sheep they need to pay. When you have to pay for something you generally start to pay attention to the details, especially if you think you're getting ripped off.

Quote:
You're thinking about sticking it to the poor who are worse off than they've been in decades. The rich have recovered from the recession. The poor are still in the midst of it. But hey why not kick them while they're down.

I'm not saying that this has to happen tomorrow, but eventually it does have to happen. Otherwise we go 100% in the opposite direction - where only those with money, power or slickest political propaganda are calling all the shots all the time. I know most cynics think that's already the case but I don't. I still hold out hope that the American poor and middle class will wake up.

-

Irontruth wrote:
So you think that a family of 4 with an income of $22,000, should receive zero benefits and pay into the system?

Where did I say they should receive zero benefits?


Auxmaulous wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
How much "skin in the game" should a family of 4 with a total income of $22,000 provide?

A scaling but fixed percentage of their income.

If they are going to live in this society, reap the benefits of this society and if they can be employed and are employed they should pay something.

It's really more a matter if they can pay at all, not whether they should (and I think most believe they should).

I once had a bill go to collections. I had people pestering me over the phone for payment every month. Finally, they had enough of me, despite my regular payments, and demanded I pay the whole sum.

Naturally, I didn't have the money, and I told them that I make payments every month with them because it was all I could afford. The guy on the line said, "Come on, stop messing around, what really takes up so much of your money you can't pay a $6,000 bill on time?"

My reply, "Well, since you asked, my car broke down a few months ago, so I had to buy a new one, which tripled my insurance plus car payments, my Mom stopped helping me with rent, that's another couple hundred bucks I don't have each month, I just overdraft my checking account paying for the down payment on the car, stacking fees on that, my electric bill just came in and it's $400 and I don't know how, my credit card decided to up the interest rate on me again, I mean, what do you want from me?"

His only response was the click of him hanging up the phone.

The big reason I do buy the blood from a stone argument is because I've been there, I have family there, and there's just stuff that really sucks when you're poor. (link NSFW)

Liberty's Edge

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

Or when the state of Texas executes one.

The Federal government executing one doesn't count?

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
houstonderek wrote:
Shadowborn wrote:
Sanakht Inaros wrote:
A corporation is a person when "it" serves in the military.

Or when the state of Texas executes one.

The Federal government executing one doesn't count?

You know the only real measure of reality is when Texans say it's so, Derek! :D

Liberty's Edge

Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

If anyone wants to ban the unions from making campaign contributions, I might support them.

Also, everyone loves al-Jazeera, right?

Funny, I actually prefer Al Jazeera to most domestic news sources these days.


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

Or when the state of Texas executes one.

The Federal government executing one doesn't count?

It might. Did you have an example in mind?


Auxmaulous wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Frankly so do I. The way to do that is to pay them more. Get them job. Good jobs that pay enough that they'll owe taxes. Shift the income downward and you'll see the tax burden shift downward as well.

Just trying to take more blood from a stone doesn't work.

I don't buy it. Granted I want everyone to make more money, the part I don't buy is the "blood from a stone" bit. Again, what I am advocating is a progressive but guaranteed tax payment system. I do understand that 10% to the ultra wealthy and 10% to the working poor are two huge gaps and that those numbers would not work. But people need to be invested. They need to see some ownership in the system. That way they could have a sense of pride and more importantly a sense of stewardship when it comes to interacting with public services.

This also goes to understanding human behavior, something that both parties exploit the worst aspects of. The Demes in particular like to play the entitlement game. When you get something for free a few times you may value it, but not as much as if you paid for it. When you get something for free over long periods of time then you start to expect it. By paying into the system they have full authority to direct that system.

Again everyone pays into the system. What's magic about doing it with income taxes?

Blood from a stone: People already making little enough that they need help to get by. Making them pay income tax does nothing but increase the amount of help they need, or if there isn't more help push them over the edge.

Auxmaulous wrote:
As another example - Do you think parents would be more engaged in the affairs of public schools if they see a direct correlation with their tax dollars and their children’s education? I think they would. As it stands right now public education is basically a poorly run, free k-12 babysitting service. Make them pay, and then they will get involved in the selection and quality of the product.

Public schools are largely paid for on a local level with property taxes. There is state and federal funding in addition to help alleviate the inequity between rich and poor districts. If you want to go to an entirely local direct tax funding, poor districts will be even more drastically underfunded than they are now.

No amount of magic "selection of the product" will fix that. You can't buy the good stuff if you can't afford it.

Quote:
Quote:
Any actual evidence that being taxed causes engagement? Correlation is not causation and there are many reasons the poor could be less engaged.

I agree with on this to a degree. I think the poor have plenty of distractions to prevent them from getting engaged in democracy. What better incentive than to make them pay? Many will still not get involved, but I think that many will also be more critical every time a politician wants to: glad hand a company with a contract, have an adventure in spending or social engineering, or starting an unnecessary war.

If you want to people to not be sheep they need to pay. When you have to pay for something you generally start to pay attention to the details, especially if you think you're getting ripped off.

Essentially, you don't have evidence that taxation will cause political engagement. You just think that's how people work. Paying money is all that matters.

Quote:
Quote:
You're thinking about sticking it to the poor who are worse off than they've been in decades. The rich have recovered from the recession. The poor are still in the midst of it. But hey why not kick them while they're down.
I'm not saying that this has to happen tomorrow, but eventually it does have to happen. Otherwise we go 100% in the opposite direction - where only those with money, power or slickest political propaganda are calling all the shots all the time. I know most cynics think that's already the case but I don't. I still hold out hope that the American poor and middle class will wake up.

Wake up and realize they need to tax themselves more?

Irontruth wrote:

wrote:

So you think that a family of 4 with an income of $22,000, should receive zero benefits and pay into the system?

Where did I say they should receive zero benefits?

You want every one to pay some net tax. You're talking about the EITC, since that's about the only way most Americans get actual refundable tax credits. That is intended as a welfare program and you've already said you didn't want it replaced with actual welfare payments.

Liberty's Edge

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

Or when the state of Texas executes one.

The Federal government executing one doesn't count?
It might. Did you have an example in mind?

Enron. They were in the black (they had billions in cash reserves), but got caught artificially pumping up their stock price by hiding losses. A few people should have gone to prison, but the Feds basically executed the corporation.

Basically, their stock prices would have been maybe ten dollars a share lower had they accurately claimed the losses from Brazil and Africa, but the stock price would have still been respectable. The company was far from being in dire straits.

The whole shebang basically came about because the Clinton Justice Department started digging after Enron, El Paso, and Reliant took huge advantage of California's idiotic decision to deregulate their energy sector. They couldn't find corporate dirt on El Paso or Reliant (although a few individuals were convicted of unrelated insider trading charges), but they hit the goldmine with Enron and their stupidly greedy accounting practices.

I don't really blame the government at all, i think they did what should be done when corporations get out of hand, but I kind of wish they did the same thing in '07-'09 with all of the Wall Street firms, all of whom were much worse than Enron could ever have hoped to be.

Sources: a ton of reading and being this guy's cellie for a year and a half. Minor quibble with the article. He was released from FCI Bastrop, not Beaumont.


Well my Flat tax argument was misconstrued a bit.

I was argueing that a flat 20% across the board is the way to fix unfair influence peddling at the federal level of government. I was not arguing that it is the best way to actually tax the population.

Taxes are how congress repay their donors and supporters.
They massage the tax code to benefit the people who get them (re)elected. This is not new, it's how taxes work in virtually every form of government, not just a representative democracy, our Republic.
Congress needs vast money to stay in power, that requires donors almost more than voters.
Corporations benefit from the most "deep tissue" form of tax massage. They get to differ offshore earnings, they deduct capital gains, in some cases they've even managed to get a one time tax break for moving their workforce overseas.

By forcing a flat 20% tax on their Gross Revenue you eliminate alot of skullduggery. You also level the playing field between corporations in the same sector (like energy) who are offering wildly different services (wind power vs fossil fuel). Now they will still continue to lobby congress on policy issues and for govt contracts but a set in stone, no loophole taxcode means that they will have to actually DO something tangible other than write checks to Congressmen.

The 20% on individuals would have a huge effect on govt revenues.
Yes we currently have a progressive tax code, but it is deeply flawed in how it taxes individuals. Theoretically the more you make the higher the percentage of income you pay. That falls apart however when you consider the ACTUAL disparity in income in this country.
Example.
Bob makes $100,000 annually via his salary.
His tax rate is 32 % (guessing here)
Mark makes $100,000 annually.
Marks income is $40,000 on salary and 60k via rental properties, farm lease income, and performance bonuses paid in a lump sum.
So his rate is 26% on 40k
And .............15% on 60k
His 60k is all capital gains.

Most Americans don't have substantial capital gains income. None of the poor do. This is where you get the disparity, not all income is equal. The funny thing is that in America the money you have to go out and make (your job via wage) is taxed higher than the money that works for you ( property like farm income or an apartment house). That's just weird, but it is the result of a taxcode that has been massaged by congress.

Taxes will always be a burden on the poor disproportionate to the rich. Anyone who tells you different is a dirty fibber. What happens in America is that taxes are a heavier burden on the middle class or the middle 5th percentile. This group makes to much for the lower-class vote buys and not enough for the upper-class handouts. They get squeezed from both ends but since this is the middle they are really hard to pander to. This is also the group least likely to take the hand out for some odd reason.

Now the EITC; Earned Income Tax Credit, is a unique case.
It is a replacement for welfare.
It is a massage of the tax code.
It is a necessary stop gap to protect the working family.

It is also the reason that Fox News reports that "47% of American low income earners don't pay taxes". They won't say that though, because an awful lot of their viewers get that tax credit. These people pay taxes, every week it gets deducted from their check. They just get the money back at the end of the year, so it either offsets the tax they would owe at filing or actually produces a big refund (for the two bottom 5ths of the workforce).

It'll not likely ever go away, it's wildly popular with both Parties in Congress, a huge percentage of the population ( everyone making less than $48,000 per year with a dependent child), and the top 1% of earners. That 1% likes it because it is an encouragement to have children who will become good consumers and eventually workers. Without the EITC, it would be financial suicide to have kids in this country.

The detractors of the EITC are rare but they make valid points.
The guys on the Right point to the lack of taxable contribution from EITC beneficiaries and that rather large cost of the program, they argue that the credit puts an unfair burden on small businesses who are the only group left to tax. (Since taxing the very wealthy is out of the question and taxing corporations is almost impossible in our current model).
The guys in the Middle argue that the EITC has created an entire generation of Americans who now view the federal government as a cost neutral operation. This in turn produces people who pay no attention to the government and how they blow through tax revenue. Personally I think this is what the actual members of Congress like about this tax credit, Incumbents vastly prefer elections with tiny turnouts. (Just look at what happened when Obama got elected).
The guys on the left argue the middle's point but from the standpoint that this tax credit has allowed a huge swath of the American population to vote against their own economic interests by not seeing how rigged the system is against them.


houstonderek wrote:

Enron. They were in the black (they had billions in cash reserves), but got caught artificially pumping up their stock price by hiding losses. A few people should have gone to prison, but the Feds basically executed the corporation.

Basically, their stock prices would have been maybe ten dollars a share lower had they accurately claimed the losses from Brazil and Africa, but the stock price would have still been respectable. The company was far from being in dire straits.

The whole shebang basically came about because the Clinton Justice Department started digging after Enron, El Paso, and Reliant took huge advantage of California's idiotic decision to deregulate their energy sector. They couldn't find corporate dirt on El Paso or Reliant (although a few individuals were convicted of unrelated insider trading charges), but they hit the goldmine with Enron and their stupidly greedy accounting practices.

I don't really blame the government at all, i think they did what should be done when corporations get out of hand, but I kind of wish they did the same thing in '07-'09 with all of the Wall Street firms, all of whom were much worse than Enron could ever have hoped to be.

Sources: a ton of reading and being this guy's cellie for a year and a half. Minor quibble with the article. He was released from FCI Bastrop, not Beaumont.

As far as I can remember and as far as I can tell from a quick search on the web, Enron was not convicted and destroyed by the government. It was investigated and its stock price plummeted as the details came out.

Some of its executives were tried and convicted, but I don't believe the company itself was. It went into bankruptcy protection and came out a few years later mostly to sell the last pieces off.
Hardly an execution. Just the natural effect of revealing the fraud it were committing.


zagnabbit wrote:
By forcing a flat 20% tax on their Gross Revenue you eliminate alot of skullduggery. You also level the playing field between corporations in the same sector (like energy) who are offering wildly different services (wind power vs fossil fuel). Now they will still continue to lobby congress on policy issues and for govt contracts but a set in stone, no loophole taxcode means that they will have to actually DO something tangible other than write checks to Congressmen.

You can't do this. A 20% tax on Revenue would destroy almost every business in the country. Almost no one has a 20% profit margin.


Enron was not executed. It commited suicide.

Just like MCI worldcom

And Lehman Brothers and the Royal bank of Scotland.

AIG had a division that tried to shoot itself in the head, but it was too fat and couldn't line up the shot.


thejeff wrote:
zagnabbit wrote:
By forcing a flat 20% tax on their Gross Revenue you eliminate alot of skullduggery. You also level the playing field between corporations in the same sector (like energy) who are offering wildly different services (wind power vs fossil fuel). Now they will still continue to lobby congress on policy issues and for govt contracts but a set in stone, no loophole taxcode means that they will have to actually DO something tangible other than write checks to Congressmen.

You can't do this. A 20% tax on Revenue would destroy almost every business in the country. Almost no one has a 20% profit margin.

I'm aware.

Businesses are set up from creation to operate in an environment where tax loopholes are known, 90% of American businesses are designed to make very little money, it's actually a goal.

Do you know what our current corporate tax rate is?
It's alot higher than you think, but it's meaningless because of the loopholes.


zagnabbit wrote:
thejeff wrote:
zagnabbit wrote:
By forcing a flat 20% tax on their Gross Revenue you eliminate alot of skullduggery. You also level the playing field between corporations in the same sector (like energy) who are offering wildly different services (wind power vs fossil fuel). Now they will still continue to lobby congress on policy issues and for govt contracts but a set in stone, no loophole taxcode means that they will have to actually DO something tangible other than write checks to Congressmen.

You can't do this. A 20% tax on Revenue would destroy almost every business in the country. Almost no one has a 20% profit margin.

I'm aware.

Businesses are set up from creation to operate in an environment where tax loopholes are known, 90% of American businesses are designed to make very little money, it's actually a goal.

Do you know what our current corporate tax rate is?
It's alot higher than you think, but it's meaningless because of the loopholes.

35% But that's 35% on profits not on revenues.

I know a lot of large companies play games with revenue. On the other hand most smaller business are hand to mouth. Maybe more of the multinationals would survive than I think. How many small ones would?

OTOH, if you could actually pull off a revenue tax, you could make it much smaller and still bring in all the money you need.

On the gripping hand, there are significant advantages to letting businesses use pre-tax money to grow and expand. It encourages them to invest in the business rather than take the money out and be taxed.


The percentage would likely need not be anywhere near 20%.

10% of GDP is a staggering amount of money.

The pre tax development model is a strong argument. It's what most likely set up the U.S. as the world dominate innovator in technology in the 50's and 60's. Sadly as we've moved forward it has become far more likely that companies spend enormous amounts on bonuses to the top end of employees as a better expense. That those bonuses aren't taxed much comparatively leaves the govt strapped for cash and companies in a state of stasis sometimes. This is what is really sorry with our system; it rewards mediocrity in Buisness.

I'd see a smaller tax rate for the small Buisness. But the definition of the small Buisness would need to be clarified. It's too easy to set up a tax dodge as a small Buisness in this country.


Just to say I'm good with allowing for development to be tax free.


zagnabbit wrote:

The percentage would likely need not be anywhere near 20%.

10% of GDP is a staggering amount of money.

The pre tax development model is a strong argument. It's what most likely set up the U.S. as the world dominate innovator in technology in the 50's and 60's. Sadly as we've moved forward it has become far more likely that companies spend enormous amounts on bonuses to the top end of employees as a better expense. That those bonuses aren't taxed much comparatively leaves the govt strapped for cash and companies in a state of stasis sometimes. This is what is really sorry with our system; it rewards mediocrity in Buisness.

I'd see a smaller tax rate for the small Buisness. But the definition of the small Buisness would need to be clarified. It's too easy to set up a tax dodge as a small Buisness in this country.

I suppose you could put marginal rates based on revenue? There's not much you can do setting up a tax dodge that doesn't have revenue coming in.

There's been some talk of capping executive pay and/or bonuses. A less intrusive and more constitutional approach would be to limit the amount of pay a company deduct as a business expense.

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