Why Isn't PG&E Getting the Death Penalty?

Thom plus logo Pacific Gas and Electric, known as PG&E, just pled guilty to killing 84 American citizens.

When they want to buy politicians' favors and votes, they claim that they are a "person," but when they admit to killing real human persons, they claim that they are just a corporation and therefore nobody can or should go to jail.

Corporate Personhood is a lie.

It was a lie when corporations argued that the Supreme Court had given them personhood in 1886 when in fact it did not.

It was a lie when the Supreme Court itself quoted a clerk's headnote to claim the Court had given them personhood.

It was a lie in 2010 when, in Citizens United, the Court used Corporate Personhood to allow even foreign corporations to own American politicians and the political process.

Corporate Personhood has completely destroyed our American political process.

That doctrine, along with the parallel doctrine, that the Supreme Court also created, that "money is speech" when that money is used to promote political positions or buy politicians,have turned America from a democracy into an oligarchy.

Americans are sick of living in an oligarchy.

The 1980 "Reagan revolution" begin 40 years of shifting political power from people to massive corporations and billionaires.

The result has been the destruction of the American middle class, the destruction of small and medium size businesses, and the destruction of our environment and our democracy.

Enough. It's time to either amend the Constitution or expand the Supreme Court to reverse these two Supreme Court-created doctrines.

No more Corporate Personhood, and no more phony assertions that money is the same thing as free speech.

PG&E should get the corporate death penalty for killing all these Americans. The company should be dissolved, its assets sold, and its directors put in jail.

Americans have had enough. We want a democracy instead of an oligarchy.

-Thom

Comments

Legend 1 year 24 weeks ago
#1

I worked in American industry as a Consulting Engineer. I worked in many locations for many Companies. I had my own euphemism, calling it the Good, Bad and Ugly. CEO's for Electric Utilities are paid anywhere from about $10 to as high as $35 million per year, plus numerous unreported benefits. Upper management below them are also well paid. These are hired hands. There is nothing special. They did not invent the company like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. They were at the right place at the right time. The game is to cut costs and take the profit. In this case cut maintenance costs on the electrical grid. PG&E owns and operates 2 large nuclear reactors in San Luis Obispo, CA. How much have they cut costs there and consumed the profit as salaries? The CEO that is there now is about the 3rd or 4th since the Paradise Fire. They make enough in 1 year to retire very (actually extremely) comfortably at your cost. And the blame is distributed until nobody knows who to blame. The entire Board of Directors has also been changed. The Utility only keeps running because of the trained lower management and workers.

avn013's picture
avn013 1 year 24 weeks ago
#2

People, irrespective of government (monarcy, oligarchy, democracy, communism), have been funding technology, since ancient and even prehestoric times. The aim of technology has always been to make life easier: i.e. instead of spending 36 hours every two days to catch your food (several thousand of years ago), nowadays on average, one needs to work at most a couple of hours each day.

Since people, society in general, have paid for the technology, they have the inalienable right to its benefits. UBI or the equivalent is the inevitable step in this direction. According to Andrew Young UBI is an old idea and has been practiced in Alaska for decades. People with such ideas need to be given the chance to apply them. Then (after voting them in) we can go back to our couch and see what happens. If we like the results, we just keep voting for such people, or even become one of them. If we do not like the result, we just wait till the term is over, get out of the couxh, and vote someone else in.

But getting out the comfie couch is tough. What me worry? I ain't going to save the world. The world is a grown up and should shave itself.

a-zander's picture
a-zander 1 year 24 weeks ago
#3

Let us not forget that corporations are granted special protections under the law such as limited liability that a regular person cannot claim. If a corporation = personhood, shouldn't those special protections go away? They shouldn't have it both ways. Corporate personhood is another example of the oligarchs looting the economy.

whatabout's picture
whatabout 1 year 24 weeks ago
#4

Follow the $$$$$$$$

Politicians and PG&E: Congressional leaders accepted thousands in donations

https://krcrtv.com/news/local/politicians-and-pge-congressional-leaders-accepted-thousands-in-donations

And then we have this from Pelosi's nephew,

"California Gov. Gavin Newsom accepted big dollar donations in 2018 from the utility company now being vilified for shutting off large sections of the state’s electricity grid to avoid sparking wildfires.

Newsom and his allies took $208,400 from Pacific Gas and Electric during his run for governor before the public utility began controlled blackouts, ABC’s California affiliate reported in July. PG&E gave the governor the maximum amount of $58,400 and gave another $150,000 to a political spending group supporting his candidacy."

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 1 year 24 weeks ago
#5

Is collusion, corruption and nepotism a crime in america?

Lantana's picture
Lantana 1 year 23 weeks ago
#6

Just listening this morning to Ro Khana on this topic. A caller asked if this would be the time to take advantage of the PGE problem and address Citizens United and to show how absurd this Supreme Court decision was. Rep Khana did not address the question only saying that PGE had done bad things. Does anyone else notice that Rep Khana often fails to answer the hard questions?

Thom, will you please follow up with the questions asked if they are not answered? Thanks! Love you!

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Today, we are closing Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom is a national treasure. Read him, embrace him, learn from him, and follow him as we all work for social change."
Robert Greenwald, political activist and founder and president of Brave New Films
From Screwed:
"Thom Hartmann’s book explains in simple language and with concrete research the details of the Neo-con’s war against the American middle class. It proves what many have intuited and serves to remind us that without a healthy, employed, and vital middle class, America is no more than the richest Third World country on the planet."
Peter Coyote, Actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"If you wonder why and when giant corporations got the power to reign supreme over us, here’s the story."
Jim Hightower, national radio commentator and author of Swim Against the Current