So, it’s been a few days. You’ve probably heard about the Supreme Court ruling about corporations being able to donate as much money as they want to a political campaign with no strings attached.
(What? You hadn’t heard? Dude, the Supreme Court ruled that a corporation can give all the money they want to any politician! No limits.)
Ok, we all knew that big money was already buying most of our elections and thereby buying politicians, but they at least used to have to circumvent some loopholes along the way…now they can just nakedly buy any politician they want.
(It really is time for the politicians to start wearing those NASCAR-style suits with all the logos of their corporate sponsors on them. Everyone acts like that’s a joke, but I think it’s really a good idea. Not everyone has the time or energy to investigate the money trails behind the politicians talking to them, and it would be a good visual clue for the masses to know who actually owns “their” Senator or Representative.)
Pity the poor corporations, said the court. Let’s not infringe on their “freedom of speech”!
I have a real problem with corporations being considered “persons”. They’re not people. They outlive people. They have more money than most individuals. They are not burdened by a personal conscience, and when they do get caught breaking some law, the punishment given out is laughably inadequate.
Imagine that a bunch of big old monsters came to live in your neighborhood. They live for 500 years and have more money than anyone you know. As they run around gobbling up resources, the humans run to their government for help, and their Supreme Court says, “Now, now, play nice and treat them as equals.”
They’re not the equals of humans and they shouldn’t be on the same legal footing. Our Bill of Rights is supposed to protect the rights of humans, isn’t it?
But here’s an alternative idea: instead of rejecting the idea of corporations being considered “persons”, we could take the idea all the way and really start treating them as “persons”.
Yeah, yeah…and what if a corporation broke a law and everyone in the corporation had to do time for it? Like, every single stockholder. (I know, it’d never really happen, just picture it.)
What if you had invested in, say, a health insurance corporation and they inadvertantly killed someone by denying them health care? What if it happened in a state with the death penalty?
Of course it won’t happen. But I’m getting more than a little sick of seeing giant corporations call the shots in Washington, and this is only going to make things worse.
Oh yeah, and remember it doesn’t really matter if the corporation is American or not. (How many corporations are really “American”, anyway? Nearly any large corporation will have a diverse group of stockholders and officers and interests.) A corporation with a lot of foreign influence would have the power to influence our elections. And it’s not outside the realm of possibility for the same group to buy both politicians running in a race.
(Doesn’t Bin Laden’s family in Saudi Arabia have a ton of money? Don’t know why that just crossed my mind…forget it.)
Fortunately, there is always the possibility that voters will see through the zillion dollar campaigns that are likely to run all over the media and elect a real human who wants to support the interests of real humans. Unfortunately if that human isn’t in one of the Only Two Parties That We’re Allowed to Vote For, their efforts are pretty doomed.
Well. Wasn’t that nice.