commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-19 10:55:53 -0400 · Flag
@paul And what better place to codify society’s moral imperatives than a written contract between “legal entities” and the people they (should)serve ? It has also clearly, in my own opinion, become necessary to impose certain size and activity limitations on TBTF institutions, since many extremely large businesses at least appear to conduct themselves immorally, to the detriment of the greater society. When you consider that many global corporations are bigger than some sovereign nations, doesn’t it make sense to put as much thought into their formation and charter as we did our U S Constitution ? There are so many questions we haven’t even considered, such as democratizing corporations along the same lines we elect our government, with one man getting one vote instead of voting his shares. I’m not proposing it here/now but isn’t it worth discussing? Just to put the essence of “incorporation” in sharper perspective? And why aren’t today’s world leaders already debating these issues? What are they/we thinking?!?!?!
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-19 06:18:59 -0400 · Flag
William, I meant fair to all people involved. Many constitutional amendments dictate moral imperatives. So why not dictate moral imperatives for the conduct of business? It has clearly become necessary, in my opinion, since many extremely large businesses at least appear to conduct themselves immorally, to the detriment of many.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-19 01:05:09 -0400 · Flag
You raise an interesting question, Paul: Who said a corporate charter has to be fair to all parties? The only parties we care about are the human ones. That’s really the whole point here, isn’t it?
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-18 21:54:56 -0400 · Flag
William, Aidan, Noah, Matthias, Salvador, Dan:

It seems to me that you are all arguing over stuff that is either already in place (and has been demonstrated NOT to work) or that cannot be corrected by any of the proposals mentioned here. Lawyers have been “clouding men’s minds with legal psychobabble” (to use William’s words) ever since the constitution was written.

The long and the short of the whole issue is that unless and until the Constitution, through an Amendment, defines ALL the responsibilities of any legal organization to the society in which it exists in a way that is balanced and fair to all parties concerned, we will be stuck with the unworkable economic paradigm that we’ve had in place for 250 years. The free-market capitalism of “everyone out for him/herself” with government regulation to (supposedly, but not effectively) ensure that there is no cheating going on is little more than a “Cat-and-mouse” game…. business exploits a loophole for its own gain at the expense of some party, government regulates abuse, and business finds a loophole to get around the regulation…

This country has outgrown its need for free-market capitalism and needs to transition to a more mature and balanced economic system. If I knew exactly how such a system would work, I would expound on it. but I don’t know. I’m not an economist; I’m an electrician. I can say however that the transition must begin with a constitutional amendment to serve as guide-post.

Wolf-Pac has the best strategy to ensure that a constitutional convention on the subject of money in politics is actually convened. But the substance of any proposed amendment is yet to be heard. There are lots of proposals floating about on the Internet, but none of them count. The only ones that will count are those that are to be proposed at a constitutional convention that is actually convened in Washington for the purpose of proposing amendments to the constitution.

In my opinion, any proposed constitutional amendment addressing the issue of money must go further than the influence of money on the electoral process. It must require the charter for all organizations of people to bind an organization to principles of operation that are fair to all concerned parties.
followed Rules 2014-05-18 10:35:05 -0400
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-15 22:40:38 -0400 · Flag
Aidan: That’s exactly what my wording should accomplish for us; i.e. hold the executives responsible for upholding the terms of a corporate charter. Should I post it again?
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-15 22:29:41 -0400 · Flag
If we end corporate personhood, the corporations become zombies: above the law and difficult to kill. You gotta shoot them in the head, i.e. put their executives in prison.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-15 15:41:05 -0400 · Flag
What about unicorns and gyrewolves?
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-15 15:16:28 -0400 · Flag
What about non-corporate lobby groups?
followed Rules 2014-05-10 16:13:22 -0400
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-09 19:21:01 -0400 · Flag
Problem with the first section is that it might take away the rights of the ACLU, the EFF, Greenpeace, and other nonprofits to conduct their campaigns, while reaffirming the draconian privileges granted to the United States Olympic Committee. Though those might be nullified as well, which is a good thing.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-07 16:26:55 -0400 · Flag
Here’s the alternative I would suggest:

(I) No corporation, union, church, or other organized institution of human persons, foreign or domestic, with the sole exception of domestic governmental bodies subject to democratic control, may by law or lawful action of the United States Government or the governments of the States be granted any right equal to or surpassing a right of natural persons individually or severally.
(II) No officer or employee of the United States Government shall accept any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any persons individually or severally, or corporation, union, church, or other organized institution, foreign or domestic, with the sole exception of domestic governmental bodies, without the consent of Congress.
(III) Funds donated for the purpose of influencing elections or government decisions shall not be taxed or regulated when given by natural persons, individually or severally. Funds donated for the purpose of influencing elections or government decisions shall be prohibited when given by corporations, unions, churches, or other organized institutions, with the sole exception of domestic institutions organized for that purpose and funded only by donations from natural persons.
(IV) Public funding shall be provided for each United States federal election as conducted in each state, in an amount equal to twice the expenditure of private funds spent for the same election in that state, distributed equally to all candidates on that state’s ballot for that election.
(V) All United States elections shall use either Approval Voting with districts or open-list Proportional Representation without districts.
(VI) Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Summary: The first part says what we mean by “corporations aren’t people”. The second part bans the revolving door between government and big business. The third part guarantees free political speech for real people but bans it for corporations. The fourth part ensures that public funding is more important that private funds in elections. The fifth part breaks elections free from the “money=votes” system by requiring one of the only two kinds of voting that mathematically guarantee that the right voting strategy is to vote for your favorite candidate.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-07 00:41:49 -0400 · Flag
But what if, as said once earlier, Congress guts the provisions so that they don’t serve their purpose and wind up harming individuals and small business?
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-06 22:31:36 -0400 · Flag
What about unions?
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-06 21:45:34 -0400 · Flag
@aidan: None of the actions suggested here would have any effect whatever on small corporations
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-06 21:30:12 -0400 · Flag
I fear this might adversely affect small businesses that don’t get involved in politics. Our targets are the big corporations that do lobby.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-06 21:14:01 -0400 · Flag
@dan: “Simply removing corporate personhood is a terrible idea, it needs to be REPLACED”. At last, we find common ground. Yes; we have to decide how, as a society, we’re going to sanction non-human legal entities in such a way that they benefit society and can’t be used to concentrate financial or political power in the hands of unscrupulous predators. I think corporate charters deserve as much attention as the Constitution itself. I think my version is a good start insofar as prohibiting ANY U.S. corporation from participating in the conduct of government at any level. We could certainly add more universal “shalt-not’s” to the list of things artificially incorporated entities are forbidden to engage in, like publishing historical material of any kind or any kind of textbook. If certain prohibitions were included in every charter, according to the nature of the business, and it was a crime to violate the terms of such a corporate charter, it would be far easier to impose regulation on big corporations because the individual managers would have clear-cut legal guidelines to adhere to. Wouldn’t that make life simpler? No more Grays between the black and white. Let’s start with the central banks; what Prohibitions do the majority here think would be appropriate for ALL banks to be limited to? Should banks be allowed to own other banks? What would be an allowable reserve ratio? WE could answer ALL those sort of questions before a bank is ever sanctioned as a legal entity. Any manager that over-stepped the charter’s terms would be guilty of a very specific crime (and a new one in historical terms); the crime of “violating a corporate charter” . And they could be as draconian or mild as society makes them. But there would be logic, order, and consistency in the process. Wouldn’t that be a great place to start dismantling 300 years of Aristocratic business law? It should all go back to Latin anyhow.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-06 17:32:53 -0400 · Flag
@william falberg That lawyers rationalize it that way is the problem, since laws are interpreted by lawyers and judges. Lawyers have been using that reasoning for over 150 years to justify why contracts corporations enter in are legally binding, why corporations can be sued, why property owned by an organization has protection from government intrusion, and a host of other issues that need to be considered. Simply removing corporate personhood is a terrible idea, it needs to be REPLACED.

However, the fact remains that corporate personhood is a complex issue that is only slightly related to electoral corruption. Focusing on corporate personhood and not even addressing the silly “money is speech” crap that in no way benefits citizens is the wrong way to go about getting money out of politics.

Complaining about how lawyers view things and wishing that the world worked differently is fine up to a point, but now that states are pushing forward it’s time to address reality and propose a version that would actually get money out of politics.

Wolf-PACs suggested amendment paves the way for corrupt politicians to drop the campaign reform section and just push an end to corporate personhood, which wouldn’t get money out of politics or help citizens, but would convince far too many people that the problem was solved.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-06 16:28:33 -0400 · Flag
Who but a lawyer would attempt to rationalize a simple legal contract (i.e; corporate charter) in anthropomorphic terms rather than create a new class of legal entity and define that entity in terms of an artificial legal construct. Making analogies between humans and legal abstracts is guaranteed to totally cloud men’s minds with legal psychobabble; so, of course it’s going to evolve into the highly nuanced , subtle and arcane line of BS that you can spend hour after exorbitant hour debating with each other. What I’m saying is: instead of trying to compare individual peoples’ rights and responsibilities with organizations’ rights and responsibilities we create a separate class of legal entity that can sue and be sued, enter into contracts, etc. but that have no other human attributes to confuse those keen legal minds into thinking they have other constitutional rights like humans. The definition of “corporation” really needs to go beyond " a legal abstraction created by the various States" to define what all it actually comprises. Would you define human beings as “featherless bipeds”? Let’s get beyond describing what a corporation is NOT; We know what they aren’t; they’re not human.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-06 14:39:42 -0400 · Flag
@william Falberg
It’s funny, here I am explaining how corporate personhood is more complex and nuanced than you and TYT treat it, and you are accusing ME of black and white thinking. Check the mirror, I’m talking about shades of gray and all you can see is black.

You aren’t making the basic effort to even read what I have written. You’ve simply decided that because I recognize that corporate personhood is a complex issue, you know everything else about my views, and are responding to what you think I am saying rather than what I actually said.

I am advocating for more regulation on corporations than you are. Removing corporate personhood without understanding all the regulations and laws that depend on it is dangerous, and the version proposed above points towards in the wrong direction. We should be focusing on election reform and ending the terrible “money is speech” bullshit.

Keep on believing that you are right and ignore all evidence and facts to the contrary. God forbid you learn facts or change your views on something. I guess your willful ignorance is more important to you than actually reigning in corporations.
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