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If corporations are persons then they should have all of the responsibilities & priviledges we do

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/8/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 499 times Debate No: 30060
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
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If corporations are persons then they should have all of the rights and responsibilities of persons.

A few rules:
1. No new arguments in the final round.
2. Semantic arguments will be ignored, focus on the effects.
3. Match my style and this will be a fun debate.
4. Burden of proof is stupid in a world where corporations are people.
5. Read the fifth argument in the second block.

The Citizens United ruling extends personhood to all corporations. Under this concept, it is perfectly reasonable that the following should be true.

1. Corporations should pay income taxes
I am a person, the audience are persons and I would assume my opponent is a person (unless a robot accepts the debate). Americans all pay or will pay income taxes because we are residents in America. As a person residing in America, corporations should be extended this same privilege. Otherwise, they are just loafers who don't want to contribute to society. No one likes the guy who lives in his mom's basement.

There is a clear implication to this: as most corporations would qualify for the highest income bracket ($400,000.00/year and up) they would be paying 39.6% of their income to the Federal Government. I'm unsure as to how much revenue this would create, but I assume it'd be in the trillions, meaning that the U.S.A. can pay off it's debt within the next couple years and then expand it's education and military funds to make us the hegemon again and spend our way to Utopia!

2. Corporations should be required to register for the draft
Again, residents and even non-residents are subject to this rule.

The implications are that in an event of a draft, GM, BP, GE, Starbucks and others will be fighting alongside our draftees in the trenches of whatever mess we get involved in next. And honestly, I would probably be more resistant to PTSD if my barista-battle-buddy was giving me with a steady supply of caramel frappucinos. Delicious.

3. Corporations should pay the Estate Tax
Persons can't combine to become one entity, believe me my girlfriend has tried and no matter how clingy she was I still was my own person. So it stands to reason that when two corporations join together, in a buyout for example, the new entity cannot be the same entity as before and the previous entities are functionally gone as independent "persons", so in a sense the previous corporations had died leaving their resources to the new corporation. This is quite obviously inheritance, so the new company should be subject to the same taxes we are when inheriting resources from say, our parents.

The same implications of my first argument apply here.

But corporations don't just need to fulfill their obligations! They need to benefit from the same privileges we do! Otherwise that would be unfair, wouldn't it?

1. They get Social Security!
Is your corporation growing into old age? Guess what? It gets a weekly $400 check from the government!
2. They can apply for Welfare!
Is your corporation unemployed or underemployed by America? It gets another weekly check!
3. They can't be discriminated against!
Is your corporation being boycotted because it hates "The Gays"? Chick-fil-e, sue the pants off of those Liberals!
4. They can run for public office!
I mean hell, Schwarzenegger got elected to be the Governator and I'm not even sure he's a person, I mean, check out this picture the press got:

To be fair, he can show more emotion than a corporation can.
5. If you're still taking me seriously there's something wrong with you.
6. They can get free housing!
Not making enough to make ends meet? Well the government will give your corporation a place to live!
7. They can get student loans!
Are you just a young corporation trying to come up in the world? Well college is a great way to do that!
8. They can get emergency care!
Has your corporation been literally or metaphorically shot? Heart attack? Hemorragging? Overdosed? Well just like the bum on the street, you'll be helped by the government to help save your "life", no matter the cost!

I mean doesn't that all sound fair and reasonable to these persons that surround, feed, clothe, dictate to, employ and love us?


Corporations should not have to pay any taxes. The government has no right to the wealth that a corporation creates. The government has done nothing to earn the money they demand from the corporation. Simply because individuals are currently extorted into funding the government is hardly justification that this same extortion be extended to other organizations. It is immoral to use violence or coercion (the threat of violence) to obtain revenue; we must acknowledge the states claims to revenue are illegitimate.

Corporations should not have to register for the draft. The draft is slavery. The same argument above applies. Simply because individuals are enslaved by the state does not mean corporations should be as well. Further, a corporation is an organization and the draft applies to individuals. I suppose you could draft the individuals who work for corporations but you are theoretically already doing that with the draft in the first place.

Corporations do not die. They are not really people. The only way a corporation dies is if it voluntarily disbands or it goes broke. In the former case, it's assets are already owned by it's rightful owners. Why then should the state have a claim on these assets? And clearly if it is bankrupt then there is no money for the state to tax anyway and it's assets will be committed to paying back it's debts. Even if there are left over assets they do not belong to the state but to the shareholders.
Debate Round No. 1


Krestoff forfeited this round.


i win villian forfeits
Debate Round No. 2


Bah, didn't think anyone would take this seriously and reply hence the time limit forfeit. There is plenty of argumentation here that I'd like to make in response but I'd rather not violate my own terms, so instead I'll contextualize the debate and leverage the drops:

1. Extend the #5 argument in the second block of my arguments. This is an ironic debate and as my opponent did not engage in the same kind of debate the criticism of the ridiculousness of Citizens United still stands.
2. "Corporations do not die. They are not really people." My opponent concedes that corporations do not meet the qualifications of "people" which is what the Supreme Court asserts, strengthening the ironic nature of this debate and why my point has been adequately made.
3. My opponent claims that as proposed, the government is using "(the threat of violence) to obtain revenue." However nowhere does he demonstrate equal treatment of corporations as persons qualifies as the "threat of violence". When the second block of arguments go dropped, it's obvious that the only articulated effects are beneficial in nature for corporations. This applies to his draft responses as well.
4. The only analysis of what would happen for corporations with or without this treatment was made by myself in R1. While my opponent makes analysis of the "right" of governments, overall, the benefits to corporations are enormous: Social Security, Welfare, Discrimination protection, Running for public office, Free housing, Student loans and Emergency health care. This alone would make approval of equal treatment attractive to them.
5. Extend the fourth rule I gave: "Burden of proof is stupid in a world where corporations are people." My opponent concedes that an empirical analysis of the world is untenable when we accept assertions such as "corporations are persons."

While I must apologize for not responding in the second round, my opponent does not make enough offense in his argumentation to show why such an extension of responsibilities & privileges is a bad idea, only giving moral reasons why without actually providing a moral measure. This is an open-shut debate for the Pro.


Now you are changing the debate half way through? Please. If you wanted to argue that corporations weren't people, maybe you should have made that the resolution. You didn't even bother to participate in this debate, andn now you're completely changing the debate to something else.

Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Krestoff 3 years ago
Please, you missed the point of the "debate" from the get-go.
Posted by ZakYoungTheLibertarian 3 years ago
give me points my opponent didn't even show up for this debate
Posted by Krestoff 3 years ago
Pro would have one helluva time if this was a serious debate, heck I'd take Con if I had the option.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 3 years ago
If this debate was serious, I would take Con.
Posted by Krestoff 3 years ago
Posted by Krestoff 3 years ago
Haven't quite figured out how to post images successfully yet I guess, here's the picture I was trying to add:
Posted by UniversalEmulator 3 years ago
However more sympathy must be given for a person who can't pay their tax than a corporation.
Posted by UniversalEmulator 3 years ago
Mostly I can agree.
No votes have been placed for this debate.