The Instigator
mentalist
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
bballcrook21
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Individual human rights and liberties should transcend or out-rank the rights given to corporations.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
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...
bballcrook21
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/7/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 670 times Debate No: 77355
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)

 

mentalist

Pro

Individual human rights and the liberties of the people should transcend or out-rank the rights given to corporations. Corporations should not be able to do business in a way that hinders, dampens or impedes upon the rights of the individual or the general public. shared BoP Opponent must prove that the rights of a corporation deserve more consideration or jurisdiction than those held by an individual or the people.
bballcrook21

Con

I have accepted the challenge. I will be arguing against the Pro on the basis that individual right and liberties should not go above the liberties of corporations.
Debate Round No. 1
mentalist

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting the debate.

The ability of corporations to practice in a manner that violates, endangers, or curtails the human rights or liberties of the general public or individuals is inappropriate. Corporations should be required to consider the rights, liberties and safety of the general public or individuals before engaging in any business practice. Corporations that pollute the environment, endanger the safety of communities or in any other way infringe upon the public's inteests should not be allowed to continue their activities until the problems caused by said infringements have been resolved. As corporations cannot be physically injured, the rights, liberties and safety of individuals and the general public should be protected and considered paramount to those of corporations.

This is my general argument. I will allow my opponent to post his argument before continuing.
bballcrook21

Con

As I read your argument, I find a lot of idealism, and an incredible lack of realism. Please explain to me how the world will function if we were to force businesses to adhere to environmental standards. All plastic is made from oil, which you need to refine and get out of the ground. Over 75% of the world's power comes from polluting power, such as coal and other fossil fuels.

You state that "The ability of corporations to practice in a manner that violates, endangers, or curtails the human rights or liberties of the general public or individuals is inappropriate."
What human rights? Humans, under the United States, have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Those are natural rights. You could argue, it won't be a very good argument, but you could argue that a company that asks for money in exchange for services or products is violating peoples' rights because those people have the right to those products without having to pay for it.

This is called Capitalism. What you speak of is called extreme Socialism, which destroys the economy. There is 1 Socialist country in the world, and that is the DPRK, or North Korea. North Korea has one of the worst standards of living.

You state that corporation should have to consider peoples' safety. Your safety is your own problem. Of course you cannot work in unsafe conditions, like the ones we had 100 years ago, but your safety if your own. No one should have to watch out for you but yourself.

It is right that corporation cannot be physically injured, but the people running them can. Corporation have interests and property.

Corporate person-hood is an American legal concept that a corporation, as a group of people, may be recognized as having some of the same legal rights and responsibilities as an individual. For example, corporations may contract with other parties and sue or be sued in court in the same way as natural persons or unincorporated associations of persons. The doctrine does not hold that corporations are flesh and blood "people" apart from their shareholders, executives, and managers, nor does it grant to corporations all of the rights of citizens.

The basis for allowing corporations to assert protection under the U.S. Constitution is that they are organizations of people, and the people should not be deprived of their constitutional rights when they act collectively. In this view, treating corporations as "persons" is a convenient legal fiction which allows corporations to sue and to be sued, provides a single entity for easier taxation and regulation, simplifies complex transactions that would otherwise involve, in the case of large corporations, thousands of people, and protects the individual rights of the shareholders as well as the right of association.

I shall await your response.
Debate Round No. 2
mentalist

Pro

My opponent has suggested that placing public safety and individual rights and liberties before the profit model of corporations is idealistic. I disagree with his perspective. As the world survived before the advent of plastic, oil, and fossil fuels, I suppose it would continue were these materials cease to be used. Also, other more ecologically friendly options are currently available. If not, others would be discovered. Necessity is the mother of invention. However, my argument stated that personal and societal rights should take precedent over products manufactured by corporations. I did not say that the products should be automatically trashed. It has beeen proven that corporations that produce toxic or harmful products disproportionately build their factories in underprivileged, disadvantaged and oppresses communities. Issues such as environmental racism are proven 'realities' for many disadvantaged people.

"Poor communities...tend to bear a disproportionate amount of pollution and toxic waste from factories and polluting industries that are located inside their neighbourhoods and territories, often because poor communities lack the political and financial resources to move these industries elsewhere. Although environmental problems disproportionately affect people in poor nations, they also disproportionately affect poor people in wealthy nations, especially where environmental pollution and toxic waste is concerned. For these reasons, we can understand that environmental problems are also problems of injustice and poverty. " [1]

"The extensive use of fracking in the US, where it has revolutionised the energy industry, has prompted environmental concerns...The first is that fracking uses huge amounts of water that must be transported to the fracking site, at significant environmental cost. The second is the worry that potentially carcinogenic chemicals used may escape and contaminate groundwater around the fracking site. The industry suggests pollution incidents are the results of bad practice, rather than an inherently risky technique...environmental campaigners say that fracking is simply distracting energy firms and governments from investing in renewable sources of energy, and encouraging continued reliance on fossil fuels." [2]

As stated, these toxic manufacturers are disproportionately found in underprivileged and/or racially casigated and marginalized communities. However, as global warming suggests, these practices have a negative environmenal impact on the entire planet.Toxins released by these manufacturers have been known to contain carcinogens and have a myriad of adverse ecological and physical impacts.

"What human rights?...right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Those are natural rights..."
As quoted by my opponent, the people have the right to life, liberty, etc.. Thus, if a corporation in the U.S. engages in practices that endanger the lives of the people, those practices should not be allowed.

"...a company that asks for money in exchange for services or products is violating peoples' rights...have the right to those products without having to pay for it."
My argument is not against the basic principles of barter or trade. However, when a company attempts to monopolize the market and hinder individuals from plying their trade it is clearly a violation. Mosanto and the gov't (TRIPS agreement) restricting farmers' ability to save seeds is a good example. While the courts have ruled to protect Monsanto when their seeds contaminate the cfrops of other farmers, this is clearly an intrusion on the part of Monsanto. The fact that the GMO created by Monsanto have been proven to cause cancer, yet, do not have to be labeled as such is a clear illustration of the collusion between gov't and corporations. A negative result of the corporatocracy.

"This is called Capitalism...Socialism"
My argument does not mention any economic system in particular.

"...corporation should...consider peoples' safety. Your safety is your own problem. Of course you cannot work in unsafe conditions"
While my argument does not refer to wworking conditions, my opponent is incorrect.
- "Workers at the site on Lawrenceville Highway were doing stucco and brick work on an unsafe scaffolding system and were at risk of falls, the leading cause of death for construction workers. Hundreds of these workers die each year and thousands more suffer catastrophic, debilitating injuries...Our investigation found that several contractors were ignoring basic rules about fall protection and created unsafe working conditions...In this case, the project was behind schedule and the employers chose to put profits ahead of the safety of their workers." [3]
- "LaWanda Williamson’s arm was burned by fryer oil at the McDonald’s where she says she works in Detroit, her manager was standing right next to her...And the manger was standing there like, ‘Oh snap, you ok?’ And it was burned she never even offered me the [burn] cream. I didn’t even know they had burn cream...We go to work and get treated like crap, but we have to go to work because we have to make a living. [This way] the workers will eventually get managers that care and provide a proper, safe environment for us.”[4]

My argument refers to practices of corporations that negatively effect individuals and the communities in which they are located. Goods and services such as cell phone towers, oil refineries, chemical plants, etc. have been known to cause deaths to individuals who are not employees.

"It is right that corporation cannot be physically injured, but the people running them can. Corporation have interests and property...Corporate person-hood is an American legal concept...same legal rights and responsibilities as an individual... The doctrine does not hold that corporations are flesh and blood "people"... they are organizations of people, and the people should not be deprived of their constitutional rights when they act collectively. In this view, treating corporations as "persons" is a convenient legal fiction which allows corporations to sue and to be sued..."

My opponent admits to the crux of my argument. Corporations cannot be physically injured. Thus, when viewed from a different perspective, treating corporations as individuals is a way for the individuals and groups in these corporations to protect themselves from criminal (not civil) culpability for actions that carry the risk of death to uninvolved parties, (i.e. neighborhoods, communities, individuals, society, etc.)

In short, while these corporations are legal fictions, they threaten and take the lives of real conscious beings and pollute the environment and water supply in the areas that they are located. These toxins even affect unborn children by causing miscarriages, birth defects and deformities.[5] The threat, risk, and actuality of death should prohibit the ability of a corporation to be formed or continue production.

I have yet to mention pharmaceutical corporations which cause some of the greatest harm to society. It is known that their lobbyist are paid to urge governments and doctors to endorse pharmaceutical remedies over homeopathic or natural lifestyles and medicines.

I would like to close this round with a quote from Adam Smith who is considered by many to be one of the founders of capitalism in the U.S.:

"Our merchants and master-manufacturers complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising the price, and thereby lessening the sale of their good both at home and abroad. They say nothing concerning the bad effects of high profits. They are silent with regard to the pernicious effects of their own gains. They complain only of those of other people...The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it." [6]

I look forward to further examination of the issue.




http://environmentaltranslation.org... [1]
http://www.bbc.com... [2]
https://www.osha.gov... [3]
http://michiganradio.org... [4]
http://bmb.oxfordjournals.org... [5]
http://www.globalissues.org... [6]
bballcrook21

Con

Corporations and similar organizations are classified as APs, or "artificial persons." Corporations are treated as singular thinking and acting entities for legal purposes. The corporate person is a fiction; corporations and other organizations are made up of individuals or "natural persons" but are not "persons" themselves"the law is what personifies them.

Whether it is good or bad for the law to personify corporations depends upon one"s goals. Certainly it is useful to treat the corporation as an entity that can sue and be sued, that can own property, and that can enter into contracts and commit torts. These are all things that make corporations look like individuals for legal purposes. But it would be strange to permit corporations to vote in elections or to claim violations of their "human rights" or their political rights more generally. The corporate form of organization is just that"a form of organization. Corporations are useful organizations"they help coordinate large numbers of natural persons and encourage investment and give room for individuals to engage in productive enterprise. But there are lots of different ways to organize natural persons in the world. Families, churches, clubs, towns, cities and other governments are all institutions that engage in productive activity. We do not have to treat any of them as persons for them to fulfill their missions.

As far as I can tell, the Occupy Wall Street protesters do not care about whether or not the law treats corporations as legal persons for purposes of deciding whether or not they can make contracts, commit torts, own property, or bring lawsuits. When they refer to corporations they are not referring to the legal entities that are recognized by the law due to the operation of statutes for the incorporation of for-profit, nonprofit, and municipal entities. Rather, they are using the term corporations to refer to the social community of persons associated with the corporation: its leaders, its employees, its creditors, its shareholders, and even, perhaps, its customers.

This usage is fairly new to me. I first became aware of it when I realized that the press was aggregating contributions made by the employees of an entity and reporting them as contributions attributable to the entity. Thus reported contributions by "Goldman Sachs" would include contributions by all of the employees of Goldman Sachs. So when Occupy Wall Street protesters object to "corporations," they are not objecting to their corporate form. They are objecting to the behavior of the persons associated with the entity. Consistent with this interpretation, the Occupy Wall Street protesters do not appear to be considering any changes in corporate and related laws related to the question of whether or not a corporation is treated as a legal person.

Corporate person-hood actually benefits creditors and customers of corporations. Without person-hood, they wouldn"t be able to sue "the corporation" but would have to sue individual shareholders, from whom it would be much more difficult to recover.

Corporations are not creatures of constitutions, but rather of the legislative power recognized by constitutions. It is the legislature that sets out the rules governing their existence.

Corporate person- hood has no constitutional implications across the board. Courts decide on an issue-by-issue basis as to what provisions of a constitution affect corporations. Corporations, for instance, can"t vote, while people can. But corporations can assert a constitutional claim for compensation when their property is taken by the government, just as people can.

n the context of the First Amendment, and in particular freedom of speech and freedom of the press, revisiting the capacity of corporations to exercise First Amendment rights is implausible. Virtually all newspapers, magazines, motion pictures, and books, among other message-deliverers, are corporations, and to suggest that these entities do not possess First Amendment rights would undercut the information- and idea-providing function of the First Amendment, and would, in addition, be the occasion for a dramatic alteration in longstanding First Amendment doctrine and theory.

But to say this is not to foreclose careful thinking about the extent to which elections, like other First Amendment settings and institutions, are or should be subject to distinctive and institution-specific First Amendment rules, doctrines, tests, and principles. Thus, some election-specific regulations of corporate contributions and expenditures in the electoral process would be consistent with the increasing institution-specific nature of First Amendment doctrine, and would do far less violence to the general principles of freedom of speech and press than would the broad acceptance of the implausible proposition that corporations cannot be the holders or claimants of First Amendment rights. In a world in which many of our messages and information are created and transmitted by corporations and similar large organizations, limiting generally the constitutional right to transmit messages and information to natural persons only would be highly unfortunate.

I do not have exact sources, as most of the stuff I get are from books, because I find websites to be for the most part poorly written and not always correct.
Debate Round No. 3
mentalist

Pro

My opponent has offered some interesting information and opinions, yet, much of it is irrelevant in regard to the issue being debated.

I am not against the formation of corporations. I am challenging the ability of corporations that pose a threat of physical or ecological harm to be given rights that transcend or outrank the human/natural rights and liberties of the individual or general public. However, I do feel that corporations would be able to fulfill their mission (profitability) without being given 'legal' individual rights. While it may be easier for the corporations, expedience and/or comfort should not be allowed to endanger individual liberties or the rights oft he people.

"... there are lots of different ways to organize natural persons in the world. Families, churches, clubs, towns, cities and other governments are all institutions that engage in productive activity. We do not have to treat any of them as persons for them to fulfill their missions."
Families - Families are not protected or viewed as single persons. In fact, many governmental programs
(such as certain welfare policies) are considered to be factors that cause the break-up of families.)
Churches - There is a supposed separation between church and state.
Clubs - Clubs do not mass produce industrial merchandise that is hazardous.
Towns and Cities - Towns and cities are civic organizations.

"...Occupy Wall Street protesters... When they refer to corporations...refer to the social community of persons associated with the corporation: its leaders, its employees, its creditors, its shareholders, and even, perhaps, its customers."
Again, this is a periphery topic. However, these protesters do seem to grasp an understanding of how the corporatocracy works. Their protests appear to focus on state-corporate crime.

"...realized that the press was aggregating contributions made by the employees of an entity and reporting them as contributions attributable to the entity."
First, as much of the 'press' is owned and controlled by corporations, any information or propaganda that is offered by its sources can be considered a conflict of interest. I imagine that my opponent is referring to election contributions. The political system has been commandeered (so to speak) by lobbyist and special interest groups. Many corporations sponsor these special interest groups which are often comprised of said corporations' employees. These lobbyist and special interest groups are used by corporations to sidestep limitations placed on how much money a corporation can 'contribute' to any particular election. Another example of how the legal person-hood of corporations is used to avoid criminal culpability for deleterious or criminal actions take by "its leaders, its employees, its creditors, its shareholders, and even, perhaps, its customers."

"...when Occupy Wall Street protesters object to "corporations,"...not objecting to their corporate form...objecting to the behavior of the persons associated with the entity...protesters do not appear to be considering any changes in corporate and related laws related to the question of whether or not a corporation is treated as a legal person."
Again, I do not claim to know the agenda of the Occupy protesters if there was one. I will wait until my opponent makes clear the changes in corporate and related laws related to corporate person-hood he is referring to before deciding if they warrant comment. It does seem that part of the protester's gripe seemed to involve the infringement of the corporatocracy upon the liberty or sovereignty of individuals.

"Corporate person-hood actually benefits creditors and customers of corporations. Without person-hood, they wouldn"t be able to sue "the corporation" but would have to sue individual shareholders, from whom it would be much more difficult to recover."
My argument focuses more on criminal rather than civil law. Activities such as purposeful environmental pollution and phamaceutical crime cause actual physical harm or death to many individuals and communities. These individuals have no contract or agreement with the corporation. While individuals can be physically punished for assault and murder corporations cannot. Thus, any action that has the potential to be dangerous or has proven to be deadly should be prohibited.

"Corporations are not creatures of constitutions, but rather of the legislative power recognized by constitutions. It is the legislature that sets out the rules governing their existence."
As we live in a corporatocracy, it seems duplicitous to suggest that corporations can be viewed as totally independent from the legislature.

"...the capacity of corporations to exercise First Amendment rights is implausible..."
Corporations should be held liable for false advertisement. Also, corporations that are not classified as 'press' should not have 1st ammendment rights or freedom of speech as they are not able to speak. Private for profit corporations that are not classified as 'press' should not be able to use their influence to sway the masses or overshadow the voice of the people.

"... most of the stuff I get are from books, because I find websites to be for the most part poorly written and not always correct."
My opponent seems to think that books cannot be inaccurate. There are still texbooks that state Christopher Columbus discovered America. The entire theory of scientific racism was based on myths and lies. As one of my teacher's once said, one should always consider the author's biases - regardless of the source.

I await your response.



bballcrook21

Con

I shall first make a list of all the things a corporation itself can do to "pose a threat of physical or ecological harm" to humans, as you put it.

As you can see, there is no list. There is absolutely nothing a corporation itself can do to others - it is completely for legal purposes.

What you are alluding to is factories, and yes, I do believe that we need some form of regulations in factories that help keep the air clean and make sure that people are not put into unsafe conditions. There should also be some sort of health regulations that make sure that the food you are getting is well made and no products have any toxic chemicals in it.

If we were to strip corporations clean of their rights, then that would not only hurt the corporation itself, but the buyer as well. You see, the reason why we have corporate person-hood is, like I said before, for legal purposes. This is why we give them 1st Amendment rights. If you were dissatisfied with a product, then you can sue. Without person-hood, you cannot sure the corporation, you have to sue the individual. To sue the individual, that person, has to individually do some harm to you. If you take away person-hood, corporations can get away with nearly everything because you cannot sue them and you cant sue the individual!

Not to mention, everyone deserves 1st Amendment rights. Person-hood gives corporations the right to advertise, and it gives them the right to go to court. Think of corporations like a political party: just a representation of a large group of people. A corporation enables people to bring their ideas together.

The largest misconception is that if a corporation does something illegal, they cannot be sent to jail. This is wrong. Often times, the FBI traces the crime back to someone who oversaw it, or at least allowed it to happen, and then that person is put on trial. [1]

I shall now move on to the environmental factor. Corporations are set up for profit. They are not set up for sympathy. They are not set up to be fair to the uneducated people that work in their factories. They are not set up to make their employees rich. They are for profit and nothing but profit. Every nation that has had corporate investments has grown in terms of their economies.

Nigeria is a Western African nation with huge oil deposits. The HDI or Human Development Index sits at over 50%, which means that 50% of their population meets some standard of development set up by an international organization. [2] Nigeria also has the largest economy in Africa. Primarily because of oil. It is also one of Africa's most rapidly industrializing nations. I do believe there should be some restrictions on how much toxic chemicals are put into the atmosphere, for the benefit of everybody.

Let's take freedom of religion as an example for my next argument.
You give a nation the freedom of religion. In this case, the nation is a corporation, and freedom of religion is person-hood. However, you put some restrictions. Freedom of religion is a big concept that envelops many different aspects, so you can just take away some of those aspects. For example, let's make it so the nation has freedom of religion, but you cannot practice it in public. You also cannot impose your religious ideas on someone else. You cannot use religion to influence anything political. Do you see what I am trying to get at here?

We should give corporations person-hood, but put specific limitations on certain things. Health regulations to some extent, and environmental protection agencies. However, we cannot be too big on environmental protection. We have 2 trillion dollars of U.S. money in overseas banks because corporations are moving to China due to their low regulations. We need some standard, of course, but we need those corporations to come back.

Also, banning person-hood would be very bad for the economy.[3]

Sources:
[1]http://www.nytimes.com...
[2]https://en.wikipedia.org...(nominal)
[3]http://www.boulderweekly.com...
Debate Round No. 4
mentalist

Pro

Ok, we are getting closer to the issue.

"..There is absolutely nothing a corporation itself can do to others - it is completely for legal purposes."
A case can and has been made to illustrate how many corporations are designed to camouflage illegal activities. An example would be the recent HSBC scandal.

"I do believe that we need some form of regulations in factories that help keep the air clean and make sure that people are not put into unsafe conditions. There should also be some sort of health regulations that make sure that the food you are getting is well made and no products have any toxic chemicals in it."

While you admit that regulation is needed to limit the negative impact of these corporations, it is my assertion that such corporations should be outlawed if their activities are known or proven to be deadly to individuals or the general public. In the same way that GMO production and products have been banned in several countries. In fact, many countries will not accept food exported from the U.S. that contains GMO's. [1] This same food is sold unlabeled in the U.S. to unwitting and financially cornered individuals.

At the heart of this debate is the question of whether the profits or profatability of corporations overshadows or overrides the safety or right to life and liberty of the general public. As the profits mainly benefit a small minority of the public (commonly referred to as the 1%) I do not think these corporate-persons deserve such entitlements.

It seems relevant to review how these corporate persons received such broad leeway or latitude.

"After fighting a revolution to end this exploitation, our country’s founders retained a healthy fear of corporate power and wisely limited corporations exclusively to a business role. Corporations were forbidden from attempting to influence elections, public policy, and other realms of civic society. Initially, the privilege of incorporation was granted selectively to enable activities that benefited the public, such as construction of roads or canals. Enabling shareholders to profit was seen as a means to that end. The states also imposed conditions (some of which remain on the books, though unused) like these*:
  • Corporate charters (licenses to exist) were granted for a limited time and could be revoked promptly for violating laws.
  • Corporations could engage only in activities necessary to fulfill their chartered purpose.
  • Corporations could not own stock in other corporations nor own any property that was not essential to fulfilling their chartered purpose.
  • Corporations were often terminated if they exceeded their authority or caused public harm.
  • Owners and managers were responsible for criminal acts committed on the job.
  • Corporations could not make any political or charitable contributions nor spend money to influence law-making.
For 100 years after the American Revolution, legislators maintained tight controll of the corporate chartering process. Because of widespread public opposition, early legislators granted very few corporate charters, and only after debate. Citizens governed corporations by detailing operating conditions not just in charters but also in state constitutions and state laws. Incorporated businesses were prohibited from taking any action that legislators did not specifically allow...

In Europe, charters protected directors and stockholders from liability for debts and harms caused by their corporations. American legislators explicitly rejected this corporate shield. The penalty for abuse or misuse of the charter was not a plea bargain and a fine, but dissolution of the corporation.

In 1819 the U.S. Supreme Court tried to strip states of this sovereign right by overruling a lower court’s decision that allowed New Hampshire to revoke a charter granted to Dartmouth College by King George III...Laws were written or re-written and new state constitutional amendments passed to circumvent the (Dartmouth College v Woodward) ruling... As late as 1855 it seemed that the Supreme Court had gotten the people’s message when in Dodge v. Woolsey it reaffirmed state’s powers over “artificial bodies.”

But the men running corporations pressed on. Contests over charter were battles to control labor, resources, community rights, and political sovereignty. More and more frequently, corporations were abusing their charters to become conglomerates and trusts. They converted the nation’s resources and treasures into private fortunes, creating factory systems and company towns...

The industrial age forced a nation of farmers to become wage earners, and they became fearful of unemployment–a new fear that corporations quickly learned to exploit. Company towns arose. and blacklists of labor organizers and workers who spoke up for their rights became common. When workers began to organize, industrialists and bankers hired private armies to keep them in line. They bought newspapers to paint businessmen as heroes and shape public opinion. Corporations bought state legislators, then announced legislators were corrupt and said that they used too much of the public’s resources to scrutinize every charter application and corporate operation...

Corporate executives paid “borers” to infest Congress and state capitals, bribing elected and appointed officials alike...During this time, legislators were persuaded to give corporations limited liability, decreased citizen authority over them, and extended durations of charters.

Attempts were made to keep strong charter laws in place, but with the courts applying legal doctrines that made protection of corporations and corporate property the center of constitutional law, citizen sovereignty was undermined. As corporations grew stronger, government and the courts became easier prey. They freely reinterpreted the U.S. Constitution and transformed common law doctrines.

One of the most severe blows to citizen authority arose out of the 1886 Supreme Court case of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad. Though the court did not make a ruling on the question of “corporate personhood,” thanks to misleading notes of a clerk, the decision subsequently was used as precedent to hold that a corporation was a “natural person.”...

From that point on, the 14th Amendment, enacted to protect rights of freed slaves, was used routinely to grant corporations constitutional “personhood.” Justices have since struck down hundreds of local, state and federal laws enacted to protect people from corporate harm based on this illegitimate premise. Armed with these “rights,” corporations increased control over resources, jobs, commerce, politicians, even judges and the law.

A United States Congressional committee concluded in 1941, “The principal instrument of the concentration of economic power and wealth has been the corporate charter with unlimited power….”

Many U.S.-based corporations are now transnational, but the corrupted charter remains the legal basis for their existence...[2]

"..Without person-hood, you cannot sure the corporation, you have to sue the individual..."

The artical you quoted states "..investors in a failed business could land in debtors’ prison if they couldn’t cover the business’s losses. .." Holding the owners and investors responsible for criminal and deadly actions would not bring an end to the economy. When bankers were bailed out, the public took the brunt of the damage. Fathers who owe child support are sent to jail. Accesories to crimes are sent to jail. Why should corporations and their investors be treated any different? Iceland seems to have found a way to survive after punishing corporate criminals. :

"Iceland's Supreme Court has upheld convictions of market manipulation for four former executives of the failed Kaupthing bank in a landmark case that the country's special prosecutor said showed it was possible to crack down on fraudulent bankers..."This case...sends a strong message that will wake up discussion,"..."It shows that these financial cases may be hard, but they can also produce results."...the country's efforts contrast with the United States and particularly Europe, where though some banks have been fined, few executives have been tried and voters suffering post-crisis austerity conditions feel bankers got off lightly..."It is dangerous that someone is too big to investigate - it gives a sense there is a safe haven.""[3]

.."Think of corporations like a political party...They are for profit and nothing but profit.."

I would rather not think of corporations as political parties, as they are for profit not the well being of the society. As stated, we live in a corporatocracy. Giving corporations political power is a danger that was warned against by the founders of the U.S..

"..Corporations are set up for profit. They are not set up for sympathy..."

Outlawing deadly corporate activity is not sympathy, it is justice.

"Nigeria is a Western African nation with huge oil deposits..."

If we are to be honest, the only reason for the world's dependence on oil is because the global elite have a vested interest in its continuance. There are several more ecologically friendly sources currently available. They are kept off the market because they either provide more consumer sovereignty or methods of monopolization have not been formulated by the global corporate barons.

"...freedom of religion as an example for my next argument..."

As stated, religion does not spread toxic and deadly material that is unavoidabkle into the environment.

"..corporations are moving to China due to their low regulations.."

While this may be partially true, corporation in the U.S. are mainly moving to avoid paying livable wages to employees in the states and to create tax shelters.


http://www.thenation.com... [1]
http://reclaimdemocracy.org... [2]
http://www.cnbc.com... [3]
bballcrook21

Con

This will be my final argument, so I will try not to add new parts to the argument.

"While you admit that regulation is needed to limit the negative impact of these corporations, it is my assertion that such corporations should be outlawed if their activities are known or proven to be deadly to individuals or the general public."
If you look at the technicality of it, every single corporation that creates a product is deadly to the public or to the environment. We spray our food with pesticides and inject them with growth hormones, we drill oil and refine it, we put up nuclear power plants, we burn coal to power our cities, we release gas into the atmosphere from the cars we drive, etc. 90% of all human made products either were made in a non environmentally friendly way, or release things upon construction that harm the environment.

What you claim would be something unimaginable. It would be even worse then Socialism. First, what you need to understand is that not everything we do helps the environment. Most things we do harm it.

"This same food is sold unlabeled in the U.S. to unwitting and financially cornered individuals."
This is a quite cynical thing to post. Products are made for the consumer, and the consumer wants cheap products. From what you write, I will guess that you do not understand the root of economics, so I will explain it to you.

When supply is low, and demand is high, prices skyrocket. Since people cannot afford these products, the demand goes down, so does prices. To keep demand and supply at the same level, we use GMO's. These GMOs contain hormones that make it grow faster and larger and more resistant to pests. I find no harm in this.

"At the heart of this debate is the question of whether the profits or profitability of corporations overshadows or overrides the safety or right to life and liberty of the general public."

This is rather vague. In the U.S. and many nations in Europe, as well as Canada, Japan, and Australia, there are many regulations that defend the people vs the corporations. In nations such as China, there are not. You are stating that person-hood is bad, and that corporations do bad things in AMERICA, which they do not. We have health codes, and violating those codes gets you a hefty fine. We have a minimum wage, which I find stupid, but you have to pay all adults at least minimum wage. There is no such thing as "violating the right to life".

You also said liberty. If anything, our government is violating our liberty. They are stating that we have to serve homosexuals even if our religious view conflicts with it, they are stating that we need to remove the Confederate flag, etc.

Corporations have done nothing but fought for liberty. They value freedom of speech.

You also argued against my freedom of religion example. Once again, it was an example. It was an analogy. I was comparing government and the American people with corporations and the American people.

I do not believe in lee ways or tax exemptions.

I believe in a truly free market. In true Capitalism. I believe that corporations cannot receive special treatment, nor can they be undervalued. People should not receive special treatment either, nor can they be undervalued. To tell you the truth, a multi-billion dollar corporation is more important to our country and our economy then some uneducated swine working at a factory.

Corporate charters is a stupid concept. It states that you need permission to have a business. This is Socialism!!!!!!

"If we are to be honest, the only reason for the world's dependence on oil is because the global elite have a vested interest in its continuance"
Now you are just spouting nonsense. If we stopped using oil, our world would cease to exist. Need I remind you, without coal and oil there would have been no Industrial Revolution. We would still be using swords and rowing wooden ships. Without industry we would need extreme slavery. Without oil we have no plastic, we have no cars, we have no automated factories. Without plastic, we have no technology - no phones, no computers, no calculators, nothing. Without technology we have no advancement of our society. And a lack of societal advancement is prevalent in African and South American nations, and you can see that those nations are not doing exactly too good.

Let me elaborate. Nations such as Colombia have extreme poverty and a large drug sector and human trafficking sector. Nations such as Liberia have extreme poverty, corruption, lack of funding, no education systems, no sewer systems, no modernized housing, etc.

"While this may be partially true, corporation in the U.S. are mainly moving to avoid paying livable wages to employees in the states and to create tax shelters."

This is true. They should not have to be forced into paying a certain amount of money. This goes against the free market. If I hire you, someone else does not get to dictate how much I pay you. It is inarguable that our economy now relies on skills and a good education. Minimum wage jobs are for high school kids so they can pay for food and save up for college. They are not so you can have a family of 4 and mooch off of our stupid welfare systems.

Let me talk about tax shelters. The corporation pays a corporate tax, which in the U.S. is 35%. This means that ALL corporate income is taxed 35%. We have a higher tax rate in that sector then Canada, which is a deeply Socialist- oriented nation.

The reason why China is outlasting our economy is because they now have more of a free market then we do. They have very low taxes, very little regulation, no minimum wage, etc. China does need a minimum wage, because so many of their people are poor. We do not. We have one of the highest standards of living, while 12% of the people in poverty live in China.

The one thing that you have failed to do is to clarify what deadly activity actually is being done in the United States. Since you have not done that, I will do it for you, and then counter each one.

1. Nuclear power plants are a giant source of our power. As you know, these power plants are pollutants, but they do not release any Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere. The only waste these produce is nuclear waste, which we then put into landfills far away from the public. Each power plant creates around 750 permanent jobs and 1400 temporary jobs. Illinois is one of the largest power consuming states. 80% of Illinois power comes from nuclear plants. We have 6 power plants in Illinois, which is approximately 4500 permanent jobs and 8400 temporary jobs. [1]

2. Unsafe working conditions. If you have ever read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, you will see how people used to work. Now they do not. Those same conditions are prevalent in China. We have extreme restrictions on how people can work and the conditions they work in. For example, there has to be fire exits in every single factory. Everyone is given protective gear if the job requires it. There are gloves and sanitation stations in factories to make sure that people are clean and the product remains clean as well. There is paid sick leave. There is medical insurance that you are given. If you lose a finger on the job, you can be granted a large amount of money, depending on the finger.[2]

3. Politics. This is where it gets very specific. There are lobbyists that sit around trying to get our government to give tax breaks and so on. This should not happen, and I agree with you on that part, but for a different reason. You need to look at how much money it costs to keep a business running. Firstly, a third of you money is taken away, so that is lots of profits lost. Second, you have to pay wages and medical and so on. Thirdly, you have to pay people that make the parts that you need to make your product. For example, a technology company such as Sony will need to pay AMD or Intel for the processors, NVIDIA or AMD for the graphics cards, different companies for the RAM sticks, hard drive, and then they get the case and assemble it all together. They just lose out on a lot of profits. I do not believe in tax breaks, I just think there shouldn't be a tax in the first place. We need to lower spending, get a much better budget, and then we can afford to lower corporate taxes to around 15% at most.

If you believe so firmly that companies who endanger people and the environment should be demolished, then why do you spend money on electricity, gas, a computer, or any other factory made or naturally extracted products?

Sources:
[1]https://en.wikipedia.org...
[2]http://www.injuryclaimcoach.com...
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by bballcrook21 2 years ago
bballcrook21
I want to shine some light on the argument I made in the 3rd round. I for some reason have quotation marks at the beginning. Those were not intended to be there. Probably just punctuation errors. Just noticed them a couple hours after.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by PericIes 2 years ago
PericIes
mentalistbballcrook21Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro was much too unrealistic in his methods for achieving his ideas. I don't necessarily agree or disagree with his premise that humans supersede companies, bt he went about arguing it incorrectly.