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Corporations have always been people

Skynet
Posts: 674
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7/16/2014 11:17:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
First off, the reason Corporations ARE people and always have been, is not because GM or Delta is a person. They are COMPANIES of people. Plural. When you walk into a restaurant with your friends, it's you and company. Your company is your friends. When you have company over, you have people over. There's no company without people.

When a person starts a business in the US, unless it's a non-profit, it is a legal entity created with the purpose of making money for the person who started it. The company is composed of a person and their property.

If the person were to want more capital investment, they might sell a portion of their company to a partner, or as stock to many. The company is now comprised of multiple people and their property set aside to make money in a particular venture.

The primary purpose of the company is to use property and labor to create wealth for the owners. They have an OBLIGATION to pay their workers, if any, but that's not the reason it was created, and if the owner wants to shut down and sell everything, leaving everyone without a job, it's his right. (Of course they have a right to be paid for any work already done, but they don't have a right to a job. The existence of the employee's position is at the discretion of the owner(s).)

These owners have personal agendas, goals, and beliefs. If you are against guns, you probably wouldn't be a shareholder of Remington. If you oppose abortion, you probably wouldn't be a shareholder of Planned Parenthood. If you're against eating meat, you probably wouldn't own a zoo. What, are you going to feed the lions cabbage? What's it matter who gets the dead animal? It's still being MURDERED.

Point is, people generally own businesses that they run in step with their personal beliefs. Mozilla canned that guy for giving a pittance to Prop 8. Hobby Lobby doesn't want to provide insurance to it's employees that includes the morning after pill (super early term over the counter abortion) or other abortions.

Suppose all the owners/shareholders go on a cruise together at the same time on the same boat, and it runs aground in the Mediterranean due to an irresponsible Italian captain. All aboard are lost. What happens to the company? It's now just a piece of paper associated with pieces of property, with no one to run it. The owners are all dead. The property is divided up according to the deceaseds' wills or the courts. Even if, for some reason, the company isn't liquidated, it will be transferred to another person's(') ownership with their own beliefs who will run it accordingly.

But what is that company between the time the owners die, and the time that new owners are awarded the property? The "company" is a legal entity, and real and intellectual property, but it's like when a person dies, the soul leaves, and you are left with just dead matter. The corpse has no rights as a human, though the rights in the will of the formerly living person are carried out regarding the corpse. You can't chop open a person, and display their naked body in a museum, but you can with a cadaver donated to science. It's a husk with no desires.

No longer a person.

Just as a company without the people who own it is no longer really a company, but property with no purpose. The right to do as they please with the property now falls upon the new owners.

The collective rights of the owners to do as they please with their property are the rights of the company, are the rights of the owners. The only reason the company has rights is because the owners have rights.

If the company does not have the right to act as it chooses, then people who own the company are really the ones who don't have rights to do as they please with their property.

If a company of people who have collected around a common goal no longer have rights BECAUSE they do not represent merely one individual, that also means we don't have a right to elect a representative of the people of a region to demand our rights. What is a congressional district or State but a company of people? Not for profit, but for the common good and to keep order, and to provide security and redress of grievances.

Do only people who gather together in groups for the pursuit of profit have no rights when they gather in such a group? If so, do workers who work for the owners have rights? They have also gathered together for a common purpose: Profit from their labor. This also means no more class action suits by those who seek compensation from an employer for labor. Certainly organized labor unions are without rights, if companies don't.

Beware the consequences of not thinking things through.
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lannan13
Posts: 23,075
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7/17/2014 9:49:43 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
In this case do you believe that corporations have 3/5's votes per employees they have? One could argue that this would be a slippery slope to the same corrupt voting system like in the South before the Civil War.
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Wallstreetatheist
Posts: 7,132
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7/17/2014 3:18:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
That's not the argument. The argument is that corporations should be treated as people for legal reasons, as it is impractical to sue every executive and employee of a multinational corporation for reason X, when instead you could just sue the corporation itself.
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Skynet
Posts: 674
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7/17/2014 10:24:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/17/2014 9:49:43 AM, lannan13 wrote:
In this case do you believe that corporations have 3/5's votes per employees they have? One could argue that this would be a slippery slope to the same corrupt voting system like in the South before the Civil War.

Only individuals can vote. The argument is not that a corporation is a person, but that corporations represent a group of people, the owners, and that group has free speech, religious rights, etc.

If one could make that argument, maybe you should right here, because I think that's a far leap that you can't make.
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DanT
Posts: 5,693
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7/18/2014 1:14:30 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/17/2014 3:18:43 PM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
That's not the argument. The argument is that corporations should be treated as people for legal reasons, as it is impractical to sue every executive and employee of a multinational corporation for reason X, when instead you could just sue the corporation itself.



Technically you would be suing every owner, not executive; the owners being the shareholders. Like the share holders of Limited Liability Companies, the share holders of corporations are freed from legal liability by the fact that the corporation is a legal person. By legal person it does not imply the corporation is a conscious entity, but rather that they enjoy the legal rights of person-hood; such as entering into contracts.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
Wallstreetatheist
Posts: 7,132
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7/18/2014 11:56:15 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/18/2014 1:14:30 AM, DanT wrote:
At 7/17/2014 3:18:43 PM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
That's not the argument. The argument is that corporations should be treated as people for legal reasons, as it is impractical to sue every executive and employee of a multinational corporation for reason X, when instead you could just sue the corporation itself.



Technically you would be suing every owner, not executive; the owners being the shareholders. Like the share holders of Limited Liability Companies, the share holders of corporations are freed from legal liability by the fact that the corporation is a legal person. By legal person it does not imply the corporation is a conscious entity, but rather that they enjoy the legal rights of person-hood; such as entering into contracts.

Yes, good catch! I misspoke :)
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