The Instigator
congresschick
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
16kadams
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points

Corporate personhood should be repealed

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
16kadams
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/29/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,773 times Debate No: 22431
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (24)
Votes (1)

 

congresschick

Pro

I created this topic simply to get use to the system of debates on here...so any takers? :D round 1 is for acceptance and I will start debating with round 2
16kadams

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
congresschick

Pro

". . . corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires. Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their 'personhood' often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of "We the People" by whom and for whom our Constitution was established." ~Supreme Court Justice Stevens, January 2010
During early 1886, with the case of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, the United States Supreme Court had officially recognized corporations as having the same rights as human being as protected under the 14th amendment.
I stand here in front of you to urge an affirmative vote on the piece of resolution to repeal corporate personhood as it is an inherent misconstrued definition of what is human and what is not, it undermines the rights that are given to actual human beings, and also by giving corporations human rights, it allows for political monopolies by them.
C1: Mirriam Webster dictionary defines "human" as a bipedal primate mammal, not a corporation. In fact, the English lexicon has from its inception defined a person as a human, an individual of specified character, the personality of a human self. To say that a corporation, which is a political contrivance of humans with an agenda is in anyway a person is a fly in the face of an essential linguistic and semantic distinction that is deeply rooted in the language. (Newquist, 2010)
C2: Corporate personhood diminishes the rights of citizens with its inherent advantages given to corporations. It undermines our freedom and authority as citizens because while corporations are setting the agenda on issues in Congress and courts, We the People are not; for we can never speak as loudly with our own voices as corporations can with the unlimited amplification of money. Not only that, corporations can outlives a normal human lifetime, and so have a temporal advantage over actual humans if they were ever to go head to head against each other. (Garcia, 2010)
C3: Due to the case of Citizens United v. FEC, there are no limits on campaign funds that can be given to a particular candidate. With corporate personhood granting that same rights to corporations, it is nothing less than granting full rights to corporations that have much more funds than any individual persons does to use that funds to back up any candidate of their choice. That will lead to nothing but a huge political monopoly of these corporations, which is once again another instance when the people's rights are undermined by corporate personhood.
A quote from Chief Justice John Marshall, "corporations are an artificial being, invisible, intangible. Being the mere creature of law, it possesses only those properties which the charter of its creation confers upon it, either expressly, or as incidental to its very existence." They are not people and should not receive the same rights that actual humans get.
I thank my opponent and voters, please vote PRO.
16kadams

Con

My opponents first statement is a quote from a supreme court justice, and the quote itself is highly flawed. Many of the things it states are false, they have beliefs, thoughts, desires, feelings, all of the above. Why? Because a corporation is a person, how is it a person? It is run by people. These people want money, have goals, have feelings, and believe in whatever they believe. The quote is false as it ignores what runs the corporation.

Rc1: Definitions

I will use a more... accurate definition, and the definition from oxford dictionaries is one regarded as a person. [1] Now, one must first ask is a corporation considered a person? As the resolution states "repeal" the cooperate person hood, we can assume for the context of the debate the law recognizes corporations as people. As the definition only requires recognition, this here on the bat is a link to person hood.

But lets assume her definition is correct. But this isn't the case as she defined human, when the resolution stated personhood. She should define person. But I will refute her premise right off the bat of a human is relating to characteristics of humans. [2] Now, a corporation still has this: guess who owns the corporation? People do! Case closed.

Rc2: Rights

The basis of my opponents argument here is it takes away rights, which is not the case. Assuming a corporation is a person, debarring them of this recognition is actually unfair. My opponents argument lies on they pass agendas, I do not see how this is a problem. Sure, it is unmannerly, but is it truly a take of freedom? My opponents argument is we cannot speak loudly enough, but this is quite false, I think the 99% movement, the tea party, the ron paul revolution ALL did well, without being a corporation. A large movement is just as powerful as a corporation, the tea party kicked a lot of people out of the house in 2010. My opponents argument is essentially false.

Rc3: No limits on campaign funds

If I prove the premise in my argument a corporation is a person then they are then justified to have no limits.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

=Case=

P1: All corporations are people
P2: Not giving them this right is discrimination
P3: This violates the 1st and 14th amendments
C: Keep corporate personhood

Defending P1:

All corporations are in fact people. Who runs them? Robots? The fact is they are run by individuals, just like you and me, just a little more money ;). Corporate success helps people, corporate failures hurt them. They are run by people, get taxed, get sued, speak, advertise, donate, argue, fund etc. [3] As stated all a person needs is human attributes, [2] or recognition [1], as this is the case corporations are people. Just because your name has the letters CEO =/= non human, the rich are a class of people too.

Defending P2:

As stated in the deceleration "all men are created equal," [4]. As corporations are people, denying them personhood is discrimination and then does not make all men equal, all men are equal, minus GM. As I have proven my point P1 coupled with P2 = no corporate personhood? Discrimination.

Defending P3:

---> 14th amendment

"The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits states from denying any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. " [5]

Making them not human contradicts the laws and procedures they can accomplish. Banning corporate personhood = unconstitutional under 14th amendment grounds.

---> 1st amendment

"The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference." [6]

Not alloeing them to fully contribute funds infringed on the expression part of the 1st amendment.

C: Therefore keep Corporate personhood



_________________

[1] http://oxforddictionaries.com...
[2] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[3] http://www.nationalreview.com...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[5] http://www.law.cornell.edu...
[6] http://www.law.cornell.edu...
Debate Round No. 2
congresschick

Pro

I thank my opponent for the response and I will now refute his contentions then moving on to defend my own. Let's get this show on the road ;D
Definitions:
Ahh the lovely case of looking at who's definition works best. I implore you to look once again at the definition of a person that the con provided in his case. [1] Honestly that definition served very well to prove the AFF because as the first definition it states: a human being regarded as an individual. Please don't tell me the negation intend to regard a corporation, which consists of many people and the legal bindings between them to be neither human nor an individual.
Now to the actual definition of what is a corporation [2]. an association of individuals, created by law or under authority of law, having a continuous existence independent of the existences of its members, and powers and liabilities distinct from those of its members.
RC1:
It is interesting to hear it be brought up by my opponent in his first contention that corporations are run by people. That's not a little known fact, and it actually works to strengthens my case believe it or not. First, let's rewind the debate a little bit. My opponent seems to be under the misconception that corporate personhood gives right to the people behind the corporations. That is absolutely not the case as every person under the constitution already have rights, before during and after they become part of a corporation. Corporate personhood nothing but to give them twice the human rights as any non-corporate citizen of the United States, and the Con considers that fair? Think about this logically, corporations aren't people, they can't face the consequences like you and I, so why should they receive the same benefits. They can't go to jail, can't be put on death row, can't be drafted at 18...but they're allowed to reap in the same "rights" that we have for the entirety of their lifetime? Which is, as I would like to point out, a heck of a lot longer than any person's is. [3]
The last part of the Con's first contention stated that CEO's are people too. Yeah you'll get no argument from me on that point, because they are, WITHOUT corporate personhood. Tell me, did Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or Donald Trump not have all the rights under the constitution just because they are in fact citizens of the United States before Corporate Personhood was ever enacted? What gives them the rights of two U.S citizens just based on the fact that they are now part of a group of people?
RC2:
"All men are created equal." The famous words of our forefathers. I wonder if we need another definition as to what precisely "men" is. [4] [5] [6] I took the liberty of providing the con with three sources that stated that men, are anything but corporations. The Con is assuming that corporations are people just because the supreme courts ruled it to be so, but that's the entire point of the debate. Corporations are not people, and nowhere in the con's case he had proven that corporations are in fact, men. So his second contention is void. Since corporations aren't men, the fact that the Declaration states that all men are equal have no bearing on this debate.
RC3:
The con is using the 14th amendment to prove that repealing corporate personhood would violates the constitution. Well, let's see, the 14th amendment was created for newly freed slaves that are undisputedly people. One of the main issues under debate is whether or not corporations, a simple charter from the government, is an actual person. [7] As I've stated before, and have backed up with many cards, corporations are simply not people, and the 14th amendment does not apply. Also, if we were to be a bit picky with the legalese of the 14th amendment, it's kind of hard to apply it to corporations anyways. "The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits states from denying any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. " If we read the "states from denying any person within its jurisdiction" part, we will see a bit of a problem implementing this in real life. In this modern age, most corporations are international, let alone nation-wide. If we were to have states granting right to it according to it's definition, then how do we grant rights across state lines or even country borders? A corporation isn't as simple as a person, one that can't easily live in the exact middle of country borders just to complicate how his/her rights will be given. The only reason corporate lawyers back in the day pushed for corporate PERSONhood and not corporate humanity or anything else is with the 14th amendment, it gives corporations "degree of immunity to government supervision". Which translate to it not being responsible for its negative affects. [7]
Same can be said of my opponent's reference to the 1st amendment and just one more source [8], so I will move on to his rebuttal of my case.
Rights, my opponent thinks that recognizing corporate personhood is fair and it grants both the people and the corporations the same rights. This is not the case as seen in negative free speech of the first amendment [8]. And it's also not true with the "right" to harm the environment. [9] Corporations can use the 14th amendment to dump waste water into our rivers, can pollute the world we live exponentially more than any individual can, yet while we as true citizens can be jailed for doing any of the above, they get away with a slap on the wrist, if even that. And one of the most important difference between these rights, the liability. [10] If a corporation is charged with a crime, who's responsible?
Alright now we are moving on to campaign funds. With our politicians depending on corporations for millions of their fundings, are we really naive enough to believe that corporations has absolutely no influence on the way our country is ran? [11] Even though the drive for profit of corporations can help our economy, it can conflict with our politics with its creation of "corporate-funded think tanks" that creates enormous influence on our government. [12] And we cannot simply forget about a little issue called lobbying. Yes the people can lobby, but the corporation can lobby a heck of a lot louder, longer and stronger with their money and lobbyists employed under them. With both unlimited campaign fundings and a great deal of lobbing power, there is no possible way the Con can call corporations equal to actual human beings. [13]
Stand up for We the People, not We the Corporations and vote PRO. Thank you and the debate is back to you Con ^_^
[1] http://oxforddictionaries.com...
[2] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[3] http://www.citizenworks.org...
[4] http://mw1.merriam-webster.com...
[5] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[6] http://oxforddictionaries.com...
[7] http://reclaimdemocracy.org...
[8] http://reclaimdemocracy.org...
[9] http://www.californiademocracy.org...
[10] http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
[11] http://www.opensecrets.org...
[12] http://www.globalissues.org...
[13] http:// http://www.polisci.ccsu.edu...
16kadams

Con

Definitions :D

Before we dive into this, a corporation is a business run by people made to be an "artificial" person. [1] Now, my opponent has just CONCEDED in this debate, as the definition is a group of individuals. As by nature they are defined as individuals, it is unconstitutional to not consider them a person under the 14th amendment.

Rc1:

My opponents argument is on the basis of they already have rights, and letting them be a human under a corporation is double rights as she put it. Now, this is actually impossible as you cannot give freedom of speech twice without any effects. Then my opponent claims corporations cannot go to jail. This is false, as the individual is the corporation. Without him there is nothing. And the owner of the company, the people in it, can be arrested put on death row etc.

Further more there is something called corporate liability. This determines how responsible as a collective group and individuals in the crime. [2] This procedure allows the corporation as a whole to be punished for the problems they create in the US, and can involve the penal system.

My opponents argument essentially they have more rights then us etc. Yet the courts actually deemed it necessary for these corporations to have corporate person hood so they could enforce contracts. [3]

My opponents arguments are false as the rights granted to the corporation stay in the business, only during working hours. During this time, he gets corporate rights. Once he leaves he gets normal person rights.

My opponents arguments here are full of false arguments and fallacies.

Rc2:

My opponent claiming a corporation is not a human because she used 3 sources. woo hoo!! One is a liberal think tank the other two proved my point. A corporation is a run by a person and, as we know, is logically given the right of being a person. [4] My opponent has yet to refute this premise, as if they are run by people they deserve the same rights. Without people, the GM sign would not exist. Also taxation only applies to people. This may actually help the IRS's job as they now have the power to tax people through income this way. [5]

My opponent then goes on to claim nowhere have I proved this, even though she technically has the BOP. (instigator and change in the status quo) So if anything, I need to just sit back until you fulfill the BOP. y opponent has still not provided proof on how it takes peoples rights away. She claims double rights, but this comes with double taxation ;). Also, its kinda hard to apply second amendment twice. Double rights are not really double, as rights like this cannot multiply.

Rc3:

she drops this. She refutes things outside of my argument.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

=Case=

P1: All corporations are people
P2: Not giving them this right is discrimination
P3: This violates the 1st and 14th amendments
C: Keep corporate person hood


DP1:

Extend

DP2:

extend

DP3:

Here we go. My opponent is correct in the assertion that the 14th amendment only applies to people. [6] Yet her only proof of her claim it is not a person is like my old debate style: "its not a person [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]" And basically force brute evidence down your throat, then I noticed I wasn't getting anywhere with that. My opponent has not applied any logic to her refutations here, and is basically using foot notes to argue her whole case. My opponents logic is they are not humans, rather something else. Now what is that something? Corporations, as you conceded, is a group of INDIVIDUALS. So even if her definition is correct, she essentially conceded.

Then my opponent is using semantics... but ok. She extends her argument of "oh we cant give rights for a Texas corporation in NJ". This is false. She in this argument assumes they have rights, then tries to show the way these rights are non transferable, so having corporate person hood is a waste of time.

"This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, SHALL BE SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND;" [7]

This means the rights that are given here are the ruling document, they control the states too. Meaning a corporation has rights the same throughout the united states. Also my opponent says it is irrational as look at other countries. This is false as once you leave this country, you have US rights, but you must abide by foreign laws, which take away your rights. So basically once a corporation goes viral, they lose rights. They keep them here, but lose them there.

My opponents next attack is on the freedom of speech. Her first argument is on environmental harm. As stated, the corporations rights change depending on the location. Here for example the EPA regulates corporations. [8] Here they get the same regulatory laws as us, AND MORE. Then my opponents argument is corporations can pour all the money into X's campaign which is unfair because Y is at more of a chance for losing. Now, my opponents argument actually does not reject my argument, kinda curves around it. The supreme court has ruled recently that corporations money is protected under the first amendment, and any limit violates their right. [9] Yes, you heard me. Her only argument is basically it is unfair. I am sorry, but the constitution is unfair. Just because a corporation is more powerful does not mean it is a violation our rights. And as the supreme court said it, it is unconstitutional to ban them from the right of the first amendment, which allows means they are people.

CONCLUSION:

She has not fulfilled her nearly total BOP, and her arguments have been thoroughly deconstructed, and have not survived the scrutiny. My arguments for the most part where dropped, and one of my refutations was dropped by her. This right here is enough of a reason to vote con. I have defended P3, 1, and 2, and proved C. I urge a CON vote.



_____
[1] http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[5] http://www.irs.gov...
[6] http://www.law.cornell.edu...
[7] http://www.law.cornell.edu...
[8] http://www.epa.gov...
[9] http://www.nytimes.com...
Debate Round No. 3
congresschick

Pro

congresschick forfeited this round.
16kadams

Con

I ask for conduct points. Extend arguments.
Debate Round No. 4
24 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by themanofearth 5 years ago
themanofearth
These are just lighthearted comments for congresschick:

I think you fell into a bit of a trap set (intentionally/unintentionally) by the spurious logic presented by 16kadams in the 14th amendment argument he presented. 16kadams said, "Making them not human contradicts the laws and procedures they can accomplish. Banning corporate personhood = unconstitutional under 14th amendment grounds."

In other words to put it in logical argument form:
P1 - Since (not if) corporations are people (i.e. possess the quality of personhood) then the 14th amendment applies.
P2 - Since the 14th amendment applies it would be unconstitutional to strip corporations of personhood.
C - Corporations cannot be striped of personhood.

16kadams is assuming what needs to be proven (i.e. that corporations ARE in fact people) in order to assert that the motion cannot be carried. The entire motion is about whether or not corporations ARE actually people and therefore can't/can be striped of their legal status as persons: Not about the legality/constitutionality of striping them of their legal status.

Also it's an interesting argument that 16K presented in the argument that since corporations are run by people they have desires, hopes, dreams, ect. and therefore must possess personhood. I'd have to counter with the fact that trains, oil tankers, assembly lines and the internet are all run by people; does this mean that they possess the quality of personhood as well?
Posted by congresschick 5 years ago
congresschick
I am working on that rebuttal lol it will unfortunately have to be posted tomorrow morning as I timed myself wrong cx
Posted by congresschick 5 years ago
congresschick
I didn't do too bad lolz your school kicked butt though cx
Posted by TheDiabolicDebater 5 years ago
TheDiabolicDebater
Oh cool. I did LD. Only got to go the first half of the tournament though...Transportation to the meet didn't work out. How'd you do in congress?
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
No, he proved my point... He said if they are people not making them people is unconstitutional.
Posted by congresschick 5 years ago
congresschick
As a negation you are standing to keep corporate personhood, and he is showing the unconstitutionality of corporate personhood, thus proving my side.
Posted by Zaradi 5 years ago
Zaradi
Nietzsche's always a fun guy to use, especially for a skeptical argument.
I don't know much about Agamben, but I only read his stuff on Homo Saccer for a Kritik my team was writing.
Kant's okay, but there's a lot of flaws in his arguments.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
please put spaces in your arguments...
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
how did he contradict himself?
Posted by congresschick 5 years ago
congresschick
Zaradi: eh haven't really truly looked but Nietzche, Kant and Agamben so far lol
16k: how did he what?
DiabolicDebator: yeah I was lol I was in senate 1 :D
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by frozen_eclipse 5 years ago
frozen_eclipse
congresschick16kadamsTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Weel, the dumping example made an appeal to me, But over all con did back up his case pretty well, and had bloody refutations( i always wanted to say that...lol)......