commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-22 22:07:49 -0400 · Flag
Before we get back into all those shades of grey again; how about we set some absolutes like : should corps be allowed to own other corps? Should there be a limit on how many newspapers or TV stations a media corp can own? Should corporate executives be forbidden to contact Any government official in private? Ever? There are certain things that will be found totally inappropriate for any type of corporation but they’ll all depend on the nature of the business being chartered . The rules for proper corporate behavior should be the subject of long and heated debate; like the Constitution was. We should do it here. There are way too many details to effectively enumerate in an amendment; but there’s plenty room in all those corporate charters when we re-write them with more details about responsibilities, etc.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-21 21:35:58 -0400 · Flag
My point exactly William. You said below, “You raise an interesting question, Paul: Who said a corporate charter has to be fair to all parties?”

The constitution does not say that a corporate charter has to treat all parties to the corporation (owners, managers, workers/employees, vendors and last but not least, customers) fairly, but it should!

One may ask the question then, how does even this ensure socially responsible corporate behavior? Answer: lacking a clear definition, it doesn’t specifically. But if a corp is required by its charter to be fair to all concerned parties, we will have come a long way.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-21 21:25:39 -0400 · Flag
We should all be furious; it’s inexcusable !
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-21 08:15:30 -0400 · Flag
I heard a piece on PBS Newshour yesterday that underscores exactly what we are talking about and my point that the Constitution of this country needs to define the moral responsibilities of wealth, individual or corporate (institutional): following the conclusion of a Justice Dept investigation into it’s financial practices, Credit Suisse admitted to tax evasion over many years and has agreed to pay a $2.3B fine. NPR revealed that most of the $2.3B was back taxes. Only a small % of the total fine was actually penalty! AG Holder was quoted as saying that this “should be a lesson” to those who would cheat the system… we’ll catch you and punish you harshly. Credit Suisse’s response to the fine: it will only have a minor impact of our profit for 1 quarter of business! A “slap on the wrist” is all they got for screwing all of us for years! So for Credit Suisse, it’s “take the hit and move on” continuing to find better ways to avoid paying their fair share of taxes! Ie, maximize our profit at society’s expense!

The story made me so furious I had to turn it off.
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.
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