Corporations As Frankensteins: How Can We Regain Control?

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Quote gumball:
Quote ulTRAX:

DIRECT QUESTION: Are you EVER going to admit these issues are of legitimate concern? Yes Or No?

http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/494/652.html

See post #54

Is the corruption concerns legit? Yes, is the proposed cure worse than the disease? Yes.

How would keeping business corporations which are chartered for BUSINESS... out of the political arena be bad? You speak of bumper sticker thinking when YOU just keep repeating them... such as the above.

HOW would keeping business corporations out of politics be worst than the disease which, according to a Supreme Court decision was justified by a

...compelling state interest: preventing corruption or the appearance of corruption in the political arena by reducing the threat that huge corporate treasuries, which are amassed with the aid of favorable state laws and have little or no correlation to the public's support for the corporation's political ideas, will be used to influence unfairly election outcomes.

What are your metrics upon which YOUR bumper sticker mantra is based?

Business owners have their own money. Shareholders can use their own money. Employees can use their own money. Why should management use CORPORATE money without shareholder consent... to engage in politics?

You are a big fan of S&P index funds. So what if the CEOs of those companies say... screw earnings... screw shareholders. They think they can get tax cuts passed that affect their own tax rate... golden parachute, stock holdings whatever.

Are you saying that YOU want them undermining YOUR dividends for THEIR purposes? Of course... where does management get permission when a majority of their shares are held not by persons but by holding companies like Vanguard? Seems you're giving them permission to do what they like with your money... actually, you never see that money. Your only hope is someone will pay with THEIR money for shares held in your name.

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Quote ulTRAX:
Quote gumball:I guess that is easier for you to stick to platitudes than to defend your call for government regulation of political speech.

That seems to be what you're doing. When you want to evade simple questions, you merely repeat your manta corporations are associations of people... even when they you can't even establish direct ownership... and for the 10th or 11th time... you claim corporations deserve constitutional rights... yet you REFUSE to specify what they are or their legal or philosophical origins.

Like I said, you really are delving into the weeds here with your this that and the other things... some of a corporations stocks are owned by mutual funds, some are owned by pension funds. Whatever, the reality is that there are people hired by boards that are elected by stock holders to make decisions for the organization.

We can go back and forth all day long, as we have a tendency to do, or we can agree to disagree on if the government has the constitutional authority to regulate their political speech.

I will posit that government does have the authority in order to move past the can and move on to the issue of if the government should.

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Quote ulTRAX:

How would keeping business corporations which are chartered for BUSINESS... out of the political arena be bad? You speak of bumper sticker thinking when YOU just keep repeating them... such as the above.

Some recent issue adds I have seen;

One was advocating for American energy independence by investing in our solar industry infastructure and urging voters to call their congressperson to vote for whatever bill number. You and I know what this is, green energy companies wanting congress to extend green energy tax credits. In short, call your congressperson and tell them to give us money.

Another was by AARP wanting to support social security. It had a ringing phone with "social security" on the caller ID with a Donkey and an Elephant standing around not answering it.

A third, less recent example, was clearly by the oil industry advocating for exporting US crude oil making the case that it would lead to more US jobs.

Are these examples of corporate political speech that should be outlawed? My point being that government deciding what is a legitimate speech and what is propaganda is problematic at best. In these three examples I would suggest that Democrats would like the first, Republicans the third and all would agree that the second is legit.

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Quote ulTRAX:

Business owners have their own money. Shareholders can use their own money. Employees can use their own money. Why should management use CORPORATE money without shareholder consent... to engage in politics?

You are a big fan of S&P index funds. So what if the CEOs of those companies say... screw earnings... screw shareholders. They think they can get tax cuts passed that affect their own tax rate... golden parachute, stock holdings whatever.

Are you saying that YOU want them undermining YOUR dividends for THEIR purposes? Of course... where does management get permission when a majority of their shares are held not by persons but by holding companies like Vanguard? Seems you're giving them permission to do what they like with your money... actually, you never see that money. Your only hope is someone will pay with THEIR money for shares held in your name.

Probably not a very good CEO then, there are more than a few of those. They run the company poorly over the long term and the stock will decline and others will take up their market share and go up. The reality is that as a percentage of revenue the amount spent on political activities is miniscule. I'm sure you can find some outliers, but as a whole it is a drop in the bucket.

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https://www.facebook.com/sunrunpolicy

This showed up as a paid post on my facebook feed, is this an example of corporate speech that should be prohibited?

Or should FB be forced to block such thing or ensure that posts show up that advocate for repealing the tax credit in order to comply with a fairness doctrine?

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Quote gumball:
Quote ulTRAX:
Quote gumball:I guess that is easier for you to stick to platitudes than to defend your call for government regulation of political speech.

That seems to be what you're doing. When you want to evade simple questions, you merely repeat your manta corporations are associations of people... even when they you can't even establish direct ownership... and for the 10th or 11th time... you claim corporations deserve constitutional rights... yet you REFUSE to specify what they are or their legal or philosophical origins.

Like I said, you really are delving into the weeds here with your this that and the other things...
Gee Gummie... in some posts you accuse me of posting bumper stickers, then in others that I'm posting too much detail. Sorry... YOU are the one who's been posting bumper stickers and REFUSES to get into detail

Quote gumball: some of a corporations stocks are owned by mutual funds, some are owned by pension funds. Whatever, the reality is that there are people hired by boards that are elected by stock holders to make decisions for the organization.
BUT THEY ARE PROXIES.

You're blowing off a question I asked here http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2015/11/corporations-frankensteins-how...

For example... imagine ALL shares in the S&P 500 were in index funds. Just where is your "association of people"? How do YOU as a "person" express YOUR voice in those corporations when the funds are actually administered by banks or brokerage firms?

Remember that YOU wrote in http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2015/11/corporations-frankensteins-how...

A trust is not an association of people, it is a fiduciary agreement that allows a third party to hold and manage assets of a beneficiary.

So pray tell... since all those S&P corporate stocks are merely held in what's essentially a trust (or a pension fund) for all the fund holders, where's that association of persons that you claim has constitutional rights? Who then has these alleged rights? The corporate management? But then they have no idea what the actual shareholders think. Does the bank or pension fund have the constitutional rights you claim corporations have but refuse to specify? Do the twice removed actual shareholders the constitutional rights you claim corporations have but refuse to specify?

You want to see ALL corporations as "associations of people" even when they clearly are not as the above examples demonstrate. And that's the point of the corporate form especially in business... that direct link you CLAIM exists... and which you CLAIM is the basis for constitutional rights you refuse to specify maybe they RARELY exists. Mutual Funds may own 8 trillion in stocks. http://www.icifactbook.org/fb_ch2.html So to whom goes those constitutional rights you claim exist but refuse to specify?

Quote gumball:

So people invest in mutual funds and they don't actually own individual stocks in those S&P 500 companies...

What the hell do you think I've been saying!

When we get into business corporations, your claim they are merely associations of people starts to fall apart. But you're going to cling to it anyway because you just want all that right wing money backing your candidates.

Quote gumball:We can go back and forth all day long, as we have a tendency to do, or we can agree to disagree on if the government has the constitutional authority to regulate their political speech.
You're refusing to deal with the question of whether a corporation begins to look more like managed property than an association... and as such does it even has the capacity to speak in that it no longer represents ANY association of "people". That IS your position on trusts. Here is is again

GUMMIE: A trust is not an association of people, it is a fiduciary agreement that allows a third party to hold and manage assets of a beneficiary.

Quote gumball:I will posit that government does have the authority in order to move past the can and move on to the issue of if the government should.

Lost me.

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Quote gumball:
Quote ulTRAX:

Business owners have their own money. Shareholders can use their own money. Employees can use their own money. Why should management use CORPORATE money without shareholder consent... to engage in politics?

You are a big fan of S&P index funds. So what if the CEOs of those companies say... screw earnings... screw shareholders. They think they can get tax cuts passed that affect their own tax rate... golden parachute, stock holdings whatever.

Are you saying that YOU want them undermining YOUR dividends for THEIR purposes? Of course... where does management get permission when a majority of their shares are held not by persons but by holding companies like Vanguard? Seems you're giving them permission to do what they like with your money... actually, you never see that money. Your only hope is someone will pay with THEIR money for shares held in your name.

Probably not a very good CEO then, there are more than a few of those. They run the company poorly over the long term and the stock will decline and others will take up their market share and go up. The reality is that as a percentage of revenue the amount spent on political activities is miniscule. I'm sure you can find some outliers, but as a whole it is a drop in the bucket.

EVASION ALERT!! Reread the above post. The association of people argument rests on some mechanism to measure consent from those shareholders giving permission to management to engage in political activities. People invest in business corporations to make money. There is NO explicit or implied consent that money be diverted from dividends to political activities.

In the case of those who invest in S&P index funds... investors have virtually NO voice in what the fund manager proxies do with the actual shares in those companies.

WHERE'S YOUR ELUSIVE ASSOCIATION OF PERSONS THAT CONVEY THEIR PERSONAL CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS TO THOSE CORPORATIONS?

If you can not demonstrate those persons have ANY direct influence on a corporation's political activities, your entire constitutional rights argument falls apart... and all we have is management stealing shareholder monies for its own political purposes.

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Quote ulTRAX:
Quote gumball:I will posit that government does have the authority in order to move past the can and move on to the issue of if the government should.

Lost me.

To posit means to accept the premise in order to advance the conversation. In this case I am accepting your assertion that the constitution does not prohibit Government from regulating corporate political speech.

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You have called for a government agency to determine what is propaganda and what is legitimate political speech. The corporate political speech that is determined to be propaganda will have to pay a tax penalty. Lets apply this to real world examples

Some recent issue adds I have seen;

One was advocating for American energy independence by investing in our solar industry infastructure and urging voters to call their congressperson to vote for whatever bill number. You and I know what this is, green energy companies wanting congress to extend green energy tax credits. In short, call your congressperson and tell them to give us money.

Another was by AARP wanting to support social security. It had a ringing phone with "social security" on the caller ID with a Donkey and an Elephant standing around not answering it.

A third, less recent example, was clearly by the oil industry advocating for exporting US crude oil making the case that it would lead to more US jobs.

Are these examples of corporate political speech that would lead to a tax penalty?

My point being that government deciding what is a legitimate speech and what is propaganda is problematic at best. In these three examples I would suggest that Democrats would like the first, Republicans the third and all would agree that the second is legit.

You have also called for a fairness doctrine to insure that all sides of an issue are heard. Lets apply this to a real world example.

https://www.facebook.com/sunrunpolicy

This showed up as a paid post on my Facebook feed, is this an example of corporate speech that should be prohibited?

Or should FB be forced to ensure that posts show up that advocate for repealing the tax credit in order to comply with a fairness doctrine?

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Quote gumball:To posit means to accept the premise in order to advance the conversation. In this case I am accepting your assertion that the constitution does not prohibit Government from regulating corporate political speech.

I know what posit means. But your phrasing remains curious. If we see our constitutional system as one where government has only certain powers granted to it... that's not the same as saying it can do anything not prohibited. That's Scalia's argument. But then, as I've written elsewhere... given the nearly impossible bar any amendment has to pass... both parties pay lip service to the Constitution while trying to undermine it. And since the Constitution is somewhat poorly written... there's plenty of room for clever wordsmiths to play in.

I think the Constitution is clear that government does NOT have to power to limit political speech for arbitrary reasons... but like any right, it can be regulated if there's a compelling state interest... as the Supreme Court's Austin v Mich C of C decision stated.

So you're changing your position? It's unclear from what you wrote precisely what you mean.

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Quote gumball:

You have called for a government agency to determine what is propaganda and what is legitimate political speech.

I don't believe I called for any government "agency", did I? I did say our political discourse often amounts to dueling propaganda. Anything I wrote as possible means to deal with this problem were merely examples you asked for... not set in cement proposals. What I worry about is when political ads become like Direct To Consumer drug ads... which are akin to propaganda. Sure, somewhere in the emotional story-line they're presenting, they state what the FDA has determined. But it's propaganda in that it's not meant to educate on the various benefits/hazards of competing drugs... only to promote one drug. As such these slanted ads are a good investment for a drug company... but they don't serve the public well... since there may be other drugs or generics that do a job better... and cheaper. Don't consumers deserve to have such balanced data? So I do worry about political ads that take the same approach. We can hope the public sees through the bullshit. But the average Joe may have problems sorting out the facts from the bullshit when crafted by an entire PR industry that's dedicated to manipulating that average Joe to the best paying client.

We have a defective electoral system that artificially gave rise to a two party system. As a result both parties had to become broad coalitions of special interests. To hold these diverse groups together both parties developed carefully crafted narratives to tie these groups together. But much of it is bullshit... as are political ads. We may never get rid of deception in politics but I would rather see a multiparty political system where parties have more reason to be honest about what they represent.
What are your suggestions to cut through the bull? So far you've prioritized freedom of speech by corporations and the uber-rich and have never shown any concern for the rationality of the American voter or whether they are being manipulated.

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Quote ulTRAX:
Quote gumball:

You have called for a government agency to determine what is propaganda and what is legitimate political speech.

I don't believe I called for any government "agency", did I?

Right here;

Quote ulTRAX:

Since the airwaves are owned by the public we can demand they provide free air time to certain types of commercials or educational efforts. We can demand there be equal time rules. We can crack down on 501c groups that are clearly abusing the tax code. We can tax certain media ad buys and divert that revenue alternative educational efforts. Since not all "news" is broadcast, "news" corporations that refuse to give equal time to other perspectives can have corporate benefits revoked. Yes, I do favor some return to the Fairness Doctrine.

So in my above facebook example would FB be penalized if it is deteremined that a paid advertisement post for renewing solar energy credits was not followed by an ad post that against renewing solar energy tax credits?

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Quote ulTRAX:

What are your suggestions to cut through the bull? So far you've prioritized freedom of speech by corporations and the uber-rich and have never shown any concern for the rationality of the American voter or whether they are being manipulated.

I think we are doing it right here. Technology has vastly improved the ease of communication. No longer is the conversation driven by those that buy ink by the barrel. No longer is our communication determined by the 6 o'clock news.There are countless internet groups, YouTube videos, twitter accounts etc that desiminate information. Just think of how the younger generation gets their news, speech is being democratized.

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Quote ulTRAX:
Quote gumball:To posit means to accept the premise in order to advance the conversation. In this case I am accepting your assertion that the constitution does not prohibit Government from regulating corporate political speech.

I know what posit means. But your phrasing remains curious. If we see our constitutional system as one where government has only certain powers granted to it... that's not the same as saying it can do anything not prohibited. That's Scalia's argument. But then, as I've written elsewhere... given the nearly impossible bar any amendment has to pass... both parties pay lip service to the Constitution while trying to undermine it. And since the Constitution is somewhat poorly written... there's plenty of room for clever wordsmiths to play in.

I think the Constitution is clear that government does NOT have to power to limit political speech for arbitrary reasons... but like any right, it can be regulated if there's a compelling state interest... as the Supreme Court's Austin v Mich C of C decision stated.

So you're changing your position? It's unclear from what you wrote precisely what you mean.

In the case of CU the government prohibited all third party advertisements that mentioned a candidates name 60 days before an election. Is that arbitrary?

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Quote gumball:

Right here;

ulTRAX: Since the airwaves are owned by the public we can demand they provide free air time to certain types of commercials or educational efforts. We can demand there be equal time rules. We can crack down on 501c groups that are clearly abusing the tax code. We can tax certain media ad buys and divert that revenue alternative educational efforts. Since not all "news" is broadcast, "news" corporations that refuse to give equal time to other perspectives can have corporate benefits revoked. Yes, I do favor some return to the Fairness Doctrine.

It was in answer to YOUR question

Direct question. Do you believe that advertisements in support of or critical of candidates should be regulated by government?

and my full answer is here.

http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2015/11/corporations-frankensteins-how...

Your use of the word "regulate" can mean anything. For instance it can mean censorship, it can mean insisting on equal time, limiting spending, or it can mean creating incentives to move away from dueling propaganda to more rational debate.

I floated some ideas should MTA not pass and in the case of the public airwaves we already do have an FCC which already did have a fairness doctrine. It' wasn't regulation of speech as much as an insistence opposing views could get equal time. For example a local TV station used to run editorials at the end of the nightly news. The FCC didn't tell the station owner what they could say but if someone wanted to respond, they could get air time. Is that "regulating" speech? Not really. And as we know the airwaves are just one stream of info along with cable and the internet which the FCC has less power over.

What YOU have refused to do is tell us what YOUR ideas are to insulate the political debate from being controlled by those with money and to move towards rational debate that educates voters rather that dueling propaganda.

>>>I've been asking you that question now for over TEN DAYS... as I did in that post.<<<

...then what are YOUR ideas to move the political debate out of the dueling propaganda and phony debate gutter and insulate the electoral and political systems from the influence of money?

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Quote gumball:
Quote ulTRAX:

I think the Constitution is clear that government does NOT have to power to limit political speech for arbitrary reasons... but like any right, it can be regulated if there's a compelling state interest... as the Supreme Court's Austin v Mich C of C decision stated.

So you're changing your position? It's unclear from what you wrote precisely what you mean.

In the case of CU the government prohibited all third party advertisements that mentioned a candidates name 60 days before an election. Is that arbitrary?

I already expressed an opinion on this matter. Why are you EVADING my question whether you changed your opinion and if so how?

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@ Gummie: For the 11th or 12th time... you've claimed corporations have constitutional rights yet have REFUSED to say just what SPECIFIC constitutional rights do you believe corporations have... and what are their legal or philosophical origins? For example, you claim their rights are derived from people. A cornerstone of our system is that people have natural rights. But corporations do not exist in nature. So do the corporations we CREATE as tools have natural rights?

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Quote ulTRAX:

@ Gummie: For the 11th or 12th time... you've claimed corporations have constitutional rights yet have REFUSED to say just what SPECIFIC constitutional rights do you believe corporations have... and what are their legal or philosophical origins? For example, you claim their rights are derived from people. A cornerstone of our system is that people have natural rights. But corporations do not exist in nature. So do the corporations we CREATE as tools have natural rights?

You are 100 percent right and I am 100 percent wrong. Corporations have no constitional rights.

Now the we have agreed that the constitution allows regulation of corporate political speech lets discuss your proposals to reign in corporate power.

It seems to me that the biggest concern you have is paid political advertisements, would that be a correct assumption?

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Quote ulTRAX:

What YOU have refused to do is tell us what YOUR ideas are to insulate the political debate from being controlled by those with money and to move towards rational debate that educates voters rather that dueling propaganda.

>>>I've been asking you that question now for over TEN DAYS... as I did in that post.<<<

...then what are YOUR ideas to move the political debate out of the dueling propaganda and phony debate gutter and insulate the electoral and political systems from the influence of money?

I think we are doing it right here. Technology has vastly improved the ease of communication. No longer is the conversation driven by those that buy ink by the barrel. No longer is our communication determined by the 6 o'clock news.There are countless internet groups, YouTube videos, twitter accounts etc that disseminate information.

Just think of how the younger generation gets their news, speech is being democratized.

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Quote gumball:
Quote ulTRAX:

@ Gummie: For the 11th or 12th time... you've claimed corporations have constitutional rights yet have REFUSED to say just what SPECIFIC constitutional rights do you believe corporations have... and what are their legal or philosophical origins? For example, you claim their rights are derived from people. A cornerstone of our system is that people have natural rights. But corporations do not exist in nature. So do the corporations we CREATE as tools have natural rights?

You are 100 percent right and I am 100 percent wrong. Corporations have no constitional rights.
Hey Sport... YOU are the one who repeatedly made the claim that OF COURSE corporations have or deserve constitutional rights... refusing to say, despite my asking 12-13 times, specifically which rights they have. Do you believe that your pathetic tactic magically erases your failures?

Your argument always fell back to corporations being associations of people... but that largely fell apart when it comes to business corporations where corporations may act more like trusts which you've already conceded are NOT associations of people therefore can not have any constitutional rights besides. So what rights should a trust have? Presumably those needed for its operation such as a right to contract and to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. Just which are statutory and which are constitutional... that's another question.

So... since you refused 12-13 times to answer what SHOULD be a simple question for someone with your position... I think I'm not going to answer any of your diversionary questions until we have some common understanding of what we're talking about.

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Quote ulTRAX:

So... since you refused 12-13 times to answer what SHOULD be a simple question for someone with your position... I think I'm not going to answer any of your diversionary questions until we have some common understanding of what we're talking about.

Not sure what you mean, you have changed my position and I no longer believe that the constitution prohibits government regulation of political speech.

That does not mean it is wise for government to do so. It seems to me that the biggest concern you have is paid political advertisements, would that be a correct assumption?

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Quote gumball:I think we are doing it right here. Technology has vastly improved the ease of communication. No longer is the conversation driven by those that buy ink by the barrel. No longer is our communication determined by the 6 o'clock news.There are countless internet groups, YouTube videos, twitter accounts etc that disseminate information.

Just think of how the younger generation gets their news, speech is being democratized.

Leaving aside that the mainstream media tends not to question two of the topics that most affect our lives... corporate logic and our antidemocratic political system... there have ALWAYS been alternatives to the main stream media. There have been alternative political magazines, newspapers, cable outlets like Free Speech, and radio talk shows... and those interested enough were always able to find them. The internet makes finding these alternative sources easier... and organizing easier... but it's also highly fragmented. And more fragmented sources really isn't a cure for informing an intellectually unchallenged or dogmatic public simply because there's another half of the equation. People tend to look for confirmation of what they already believe and even if righties come here, it's probably not to investigate what liberals or progressive think. It's to poke libs and progressives in the eye because they believe they already have a monopoly on truth.

So your suggestion to better educate the public on political issues is what? It seems to hearken back to talking points and dueling propaganda. But that's what's wrong with our system to begin with.

But this is a side issue. In 222 posts so far you've evaded the central issues of this thread. We the People created business corporations as economic servants to help meet social needs. They were given numerous freebies such as intellectual property monopolies and limited liability protections. We made others pay more in taxes so capital gains could get preferential rates.

What should we demand in return for these freebies and how does a democratic society prevent these powerful entities from becoming our Frankensteins that can use their wealth and power to mold the public and political system to their needs?

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Quote ulTRAX:
Quote gumball:I think we are doing it right here. Technology has vastly improved the ease of communication. No longer is the conversation driven by those that buy ink by the barrel. No longer is our communication determined by the 6 o'clock news.There are countless internet groups, YouTube videos, twitter accounts etc that disseminate information.

Just think of how the younger generation gets their news, speech is being democratized.

Leaving aside that the mainstream media tends not to question two of the topics that most affect our lives... corporate logic and our antidemocratic political system... there have ALWAYS been alternatives to the main stream media. There have been alternative political magazines, newspapers, cable outlets like Free Speech, and radio talk shows... and those interested enough were always able to find them. The internet makes finding these alternative sources easier... and organizing easier... but it's also highly fragmented. And more fragmented sources really isn't a cure for informing an intellectually unchallenged or dogmatic public simply because there's another half of the equation. People tend to look for confirmation of what they already believe and even if righties come here, it's probably not to investigate what liberals or progressive think. It's to poke libs and progressives in the eye because they believe they already have a monopoly on truth.

So your suggestion to better educate the public on political issues is what? It seems to hearken back to talking points and dueling propaganda. But that's what's wrong with our system to begin with.

But this is a side issue. In 222 posts so far you've evaded the central issues of this thread. We the People created business corporations as economic servants to help meet social needs. They were given numerous freebies such as intellectual property monopolies and limited liability protections. We made others pay more in taxes so capital gains could get preferential rates.

What should we demand in return for these freebies and how does a democratic society prevent these powerful entities from becoming our Frankensteins that can use their wealth and power to mold the public and political system to their needs?

Do you believe there should be a blanket prohibition on all political speech from corporations to prevent them from using their power and wealth to mold the public and political system?

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Quote ulTRAX:

But this is a side issue. In 222 posts so far you've evaded the central issues of this thread. We the People created business corporations as economic servants to help meet social needs. They were given numerous freebies such as intellectual property monopolies and limited liability protections. We made others pay more in taxes so capital gains could get preferential rates.

What should we demand in return for these freebies and how does a democratic society prevent these powerful entities from becoming our Frankensteins that can use their wealth and power to mold the public and political system to their needs?

I have tried multiple time to discuss your suggestion for instating a fairness doctrine on the internet and calling for special tax when a government agency deems political speech to be propaganda and then use that revenue from the tax to educate people into the correct way of thinking. Yet you seem unwilling to discuss your own suggestion?

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Quote gumball:

I have tried multiple time to discuss your suggestion for instating a fairness doctrine on the internet and calling for special tax when a government agency deems political speech to be propaganda and then use that revenue from the tax to educate people into the correct way of thinking. Yet you seem unwilling to discuss your own suggestion?

Not falling for another of your attempts to hijack the discussion. It's time you dealt with the topic of this thread.

But this ANOTHER SIDE ISSUE. In now 225 posts so far you've evaded the central issues of this thread. We the People created business corporations as economic servants to help meet social needs. They were given numerous freebies such as intellectual property monopolies and limited liability protections. We made others pay more in taxes so capital gains could get preferential rates.

What should we demand in return for these freebies and how does a democratic society prevent these powerful entities from becoming our Frankensteins that can use their wealth and power to mold the public and political system to their needs?

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Are we not discussing your suggestion on how to reign in corporate power? How is discussing your suggestion on this a hijack?

My suggestion is what we are doing right here, bypassing the media and discussing the issues directly.

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Quote gumball:

Are we not discussing your suggestion on how to reign in corporate power? How is discussing your suggestion on this a hijack?

After 226 posts I don't think you yet have a clue what problems I'm speaking about. I'm not asking you to agree, but to be sure you're even comprehending my argument please put in your own words why I consider corporations to be Frankensteins... and what the specific dangers are to the political system, health care, foreign policy, banking, consumer behavior, public opinion, etc when big money has too much influence in government and our lives.

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Maybe Ike's farewell address may help

Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/ike.htm

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Quote ulTRAX:
Quote gumball:

Are we not discussing your suggestion on how to reign in corporate power? How is discussing your suggestion on this a hijack?

After 226 posts I don't think you yet have a clue what problems I'm speaking about. I'm not asking you to agree, but to be sure you're even comprehending my argument please put in your own words why I consider corporations to be Frankensteins... and what the specific dangers are to the political system, health care, foreign policy, banking, consumer behavior, public opinion, etc when big money has too much influence in government and our lives.

Special interests put out advertisements that put a simplistic happy face on complex issues that can influence the significant number of voters who do not closely follow the issues of the day. Of course, candidates do that too, but when it comes to a specific issue such as the recent oil export ban lift it can be more influential.

While Ike's statement dealt with the military it clearly has morphed to become the government/corporate complex. The real problem comes into play when each side of the isle wants something and they make an agreement where "everyone wins". They pair things together in bills such as green energy subsidies and the oil export ban lift.

I would suggest also that the larger the government the larger the benefit to influencing government instead of competing in the "market". If you are billionaire Elon Musk and the government is giving your customers a $7,500 credit to buy your $100,000 product you have strong incenentive to see that this subsidy stays.

As a side note, for all the grief the left gives to Atlas Shrugged one of the main message of the book is anti crony capitalism.

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I would also add a personal economics class in high school, stuff that parents should be teaching but unfortunately many of them need it too.

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Quote gumball:
Quote ulTRAX:
Quote gumball:

You have called for a government agency to determine what is propaganda and what is legitimate political speech.

I don't believe I called for any government "agency", did I?

Right here;

Quote ulTRAX:

Since the airwaves are owned by the public we can demand they provide free air time to certain types of commercials or educational efforts. We can demand there be equal time rules. We can crack down on 501c groups that are clearly abusing the tax code. We can tax certain media ad buys and divert that revenue alternative educational efforts. Since not all "news" is broadcast, "news" corporations that refuse to give equal time to other perspectives can have corporate benefits revoked. Yes, I do favor some return to the Fairness Doctrine.

So in my above facebook example would FB be penalized if it is deteremined that a paid advertisement post for renewing solar energy credits was not followed by an ad post that against renewing solar energy tax credits?

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-17/what-just-happened-to-...

5 Billion a year tax payer give away, when government hands out money all the time why are we surprised when industry tries to influence.

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Quote gumball:While Ike's statement dealt with the military it clearly has morphed to become the government/corporate complex.
But that's a circular argument that explains little. Business corporations do not exist in nature. They only have the imperatives we (and the courts) built into the system... and that's a system of amoral corporate behavior. We COULD have designed business corporations so they lacked the power to manipulate Congress and the People for more and more defense spending... but we didn't... and you're clearly opposed to such limitations.

So the way the Congress and the People are successfully manipulated in a "democracy" is for that self-serving interest to build a surreptitious infrastructure to promote its agenda through the back door. When it comes to defense (or any issue) it's typically a network of propaganda think tanks, media outlets expert guests that always have time for media interviews, and susceptible politicians. A self-serving agenda can't be sold unless presented as if it's all in our greater interests... and over time that self-serving agenda may change the assumptions of public discourse. Over time this manipulation creates a cadre of true believers that carry on the mission on their own. We saw this with how the GOP became the Free Lunch party of irresponsible tax cuts... not just of most of those in Congress but of the base who post here.

So, no, the real problem isn't what you wrote

The real problem comes into play when each side of the isle wants something and they make an agreement where "everyone wins". They pair things together in bills such as green energy subsidies and the oil export ban lift.

That tends to happen when everyone loads a must pass bill with riders. Other wise, the parties try to exclude what the other side(s) want.

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Quote gumball:I would suggest also that the larger the government the larger the benefit to influencing government instead of competing in the "market". If you are billionaire Elon Musk and the government is giving your customers a $7,500 credit to buy your $100,000 product you have strong incenentive to see that this subsidy stays.
You're making it sound as if the market is all wise and can be trusted because it's private. It's can't be trusted and neither can government be trusted just because it's government. While there certainly are dumb regulations, to be fair government usually gets involved in the private sector to deal with a deficiency or problem in the market. After all, the market doesn't respond to those without money... or where it's not profitable. The market may not encourage efficiency or make an efficient transition away from fossil fuels on its own so government has to get involved to nudge that process. So your example above is a chicken and egg question. Does Tesla manipulate the government into offering subsidies, or is the government merely correcting a deficiency in the market that Tesla is taking advantage of?

Either way, we stray.

So for the 13th or 14th time... what specific constitutional rights do corporations have? What is the legal or philosophical origins?

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I would submit that without any direct input from special interests this would still occur. If you are a senator from Washington the export/import bank that benefits Boeing, and the hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs, is still something you will be fighting for. If you are a senator from Iowa you will still fight for ethanol mandates. If you are a senator from Kentucky you will still fight against coal restrictions.

You put all these together and you get bills like the recently passed omnibus bill. It is the inherent nature of big government.

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Quote ulTRAX:

We COULD have designed business corporations so they lacked the power to manipulate Congress and the People for more and more defense spending... but we didn't... and you're clearly opposed to such limitations.

If you had a free hand to change this, what would it look like?

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Quote ulTRAX:So for the 13th or 14th time... what specific constitutional rights do corporations have? What is the legal or philosophical origins?

None, zero, zilch. You are completely right and I was completely wrong.

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Quote ulTRAX:
Quote gumball:I would suggest also that the larger the government the larger the benefit to influencing government instead of competing in the "market". If you are billionaire Elon Musk and the government is giving your customers a $7,500 credit to buy your $100,000 product you have strong incenentive to see that this subsidy stays.
You're making it sound as if the market is all wise and can be trusted because it's private. It's can't be trusted and neither can government be trusted just because it's government. While there certainly are dumb regulations, to be fair government usually gets involved in the private sector to deal with a deficiency or problem in the market. After all, the market doesn't respond to those without money... or where it's not profitable. The market may not encourage efficiency or make an efficient transition away from fossil fuels on its own so government has to get involved to nudge that process. So your example above is a chicken and egg question. Does Tesla manipulate the government into offering subsidies, or is the government merely correcting a deficiency in the market that Tesla is taking advantage of?

Regardless of the justification it is still a government corporate handout that green energy business is built upon. Without it many will fail, is it not logical then that they would try to influence government to keep it?

If you are a senator from Nevada where the Tesla plant is being built, would it not make sense that you would fight for this continued crony capitalism?

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Quote ulTRAX:
Quote gumball:I would suggest also that the larger the government the larger the benefit to influencing government instead of competing in the "market". If you are billionaire Elon Musk and the government is giving your customers a $7,500 credit to buy your $100,000 product you have strong incenentive to see that this subsidy stays.
You're making it sound as if the market is all wise and can be trusted because it's private. It's can't be trusted and neither can government be trusted just because it's government. While there certainly are dumb regulations, to be fair government usually gets involved in the private sector to deal with a deficiency or problem in the market. After all, the market doesn't respond to those without money... or where it's not profitable. The market may not encourage efficiency or make an efficient transition away from fossil fuels on its own so government has to get involved to nudge that process. So your example above is a chicken and egg question. Does Tesla manipulate the government into offering subsidies, or is the government merely correcting a deficiency in the market that Tesla is taking advantage of?

Either way, we stray.

Lets not stray then. Back to your suggestion for taxing propaganda, would an ad paid for by Tesla to promote these green tax credits be considered propaganda that would face an additional tax? Or would it be considered educational?

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Quote gumball:
Quote ulTRAX:So for the 13th or 14th time... what specific constitutional rights do corporations have? What is the legal or philosophical origins?

None, zero, zilch. You are completely right and I was completely wrong.

Pathetic evasion #14. Claiming that OF COURSE corporations have constitutional rights has been your core objection to placing limits on corporations manipulating the electoral and political process. And no matter how many clues I've given you where to look, 240 posts later you still can't tell us what these rights are beyond, perhaps, prohibitions on some government powers which is what I conceded they may have. Your "associations of people" argument seems to have fallen apart and without that it's really difficult to claim business corporations especially, derive their rights from humans. So what's left? I still think you're absolutely clueless of the danger of giving corporations freebies which allow them to amass great wealth and power and then allowing them to reshape the system that created them to THEIR needs.

I guess this thread has reached the end and there's nothing left to discuss. Most everything else you raise is a sideshow designed to divert attention from the core issues.

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Going round and round in circles...

Quote gumball:
Quote ulTRAX:

We COULD have designed business corporations so they lacked the power to manipulate Congress and the People for more and more defense spending... but we didn't... and you're clearly opposed to such limitations.

If you had a free hand to change this, what would it look like?

We've been through this.

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Quote ulTRAX:
Quote gumball:
Quote ulTRAX:So for the 13th or 14th time... what specific constitutional rights do corporations have? What is the legal or philosophical origins?

None, zero, zilch. You are completely right and I was completely wrong.

Pathetic evasion #14. Claiming that OF COURSE corporations have constitutional rights has been your core objection to placing limits on corporations manipulating the electoral and political process. And no matter how many clues I've given you where to look, 240 posts later you still can't tell us what these rights are beyond, perhaps, prohibitions on some government powers which is what I conceded they may have. Your "associations of people" argument seems to have fallen apart and without that it's really difficult to claim business corporations especially, derive their rights from humans. So what's left? I still think you're absolutely clueless of the danger of giving corporations freebies which allow them to amass great wealth and power and then allowing them to reshape the system that created them to THEIR needs.

I guess this thread has reached the end and there's nothing left to discuss. Most everything else you raise is a sideshow designed to divert attention from the core issues.

Wow....even when someone agrees with your assertions you still feel the need to argue.

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Quote ulTRAX:I guess this thread has reached the end and there's nothing left to discuss. Most everything else you raise is a sideshow designed to divert attention from the core issues.

Translation; you are unable to defend your OWN suggestions on how we regain control of corporations.

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Quote gumball:
Quote ulTRAX:I guess this thread has reached the end and there's nothing left to discuss. Most everything else you raise is a sideshow designed to divert attention from the core issues.

Translation; you are unable to defend your OWN suggestions on how we regain control of corporations.

You inability to read past posts for comprehension is not my problem. I already dealt with how to deal with the constitutional issues and that's the Move To Amend amendment. I brought it up in post 9, 37, 72, 86, and 188. I also mentioned reconsidering how corporate charters are written in post 1, 16, 32, 33, 49... and that's just the first page. If that can be accomplished then any bandaids suggested elsewhere like the Fairness Doctrine, become less important.

I tire of your games Gummie.

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Quote gumball:Wow....even when someone agrees with your assertions you still feel the need to argue.

Next time try a sincere retraction instead of a fake one and maybe I'll believe you changed your mind.

As I said, it's clear this thread is a dead end and while you seem not to care, it's become a waste of my time.

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Quote ulTRAX:
Quote gumball:
Quote ulTRAX:I guess this thread has reached the end and there's nothing left to discuss. Most everything else you raise is a sideshow designed to divert attention from the core issues.

Translation; you are unable to defend your OWN suggestions on how we regain control of corporations.

You inability to read past posts for comprehension is not my problem. I already dealt with how to deal with the constitutional issues and that's the Move To Amend amendment. I brought it up in post 9, 37, 72, 86, and 188. I also mentioned reconsidering how corporate charters are written in post 1, 16, 32, 33, 49... and that's just the first page. If that can be accomplished then any bandaids suggested elsewhere like the Fairness Doctrine, become less important.

I tire of your games Gummie.

I understand that you had suggestions, my comment was on your inability to defend them. Specifically your suggestion that a government agency determine what is propaganda, tax it then use those proceeds to educate people on the proper way to think about issues.

Or would you like to discuss your call for government enforcing a fairness doctrine on the internet?

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Quote Combad57:

Organizations of people come in different motives with different hierarchical forms. In a corporation, labor used to have a voice. As we move toward fascism, labor has been marginalized and capital speaks much more powerfully to the extent that they write the country's legislation. Thus they are allowed to merge and acquire other entities to form oligopolies and monopolies. In that manner they create barriers to entry that no competing entity can overcome.

The huge corporation can stifle free speech from its employees and do through sheer intimidation. If you took a secret vote of the employees about an issue of labor practices, do you think the rank and file would agree with upper management? Very doubtful. Would the miners at Massey Energy agree to go underground amid noxious gases and die if they could vote on the matter? Yet Don Blankenship and top management sent them down there. So 29 of them died. All they knew is that if they didn't, they would lose their $74,000/year jobs.

Do you think employees at Chrysler, RCA, Western Electric, and Bethlehem Steel voted to close down their plants and become unemployed? A corporation under its present structure is anything but a democratic entity. It's a system of lords and serfs similar to the old days of feudalism.

OK a couple of points here.

No corporation should be able to put their employees into a situation where eventually they will die from exposure to whatever. I don't know about the mining incident you quote here, but if that is true, it should have been illegal. And if Massey broke an existing law, then the company should have been heavily fined and/or persons responsible should have gone to jail. That is what OSHA is for, and my experience is that they are pretty tough. But I have not worked in the mining or constrution industry, so I cannot speak from experience in those industries.

And since when was a corporation supposed to be a democracy? The owners call the shots, it is their money on the line every day, not the employees. If you are employee and don't like what is going on, go find another job. I have done that several times in my career, it can be done.

So the employees do not get a vote when it comes to whether or not to close a plant. And unfortunately plants do have to close when they become uncompetitive or the product that plant makes become obsolete. That is a brutal reality.

Another brutal reality is that certain skills can become obsolete and no longer in demand. You always have to make sure you develope skills that will be in demand so you will be able to find someone willing to pay you. The list of skills that were in demand 20 years ago that are no longer as in demand today are things like travel agents, newspaper printers, book publishers, slide rule manufacturers, and a whole bunch of other things that have been replaced by the internet. I would not want to be a coal miner right now, that business looks to be in trouble to me. And it is up to you to make sure you do not get left behind by technology.

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Quote gumball:I understand that you had suggestions, my comment was on your inability to defend them.
Your question was

"If you had a free hand to change this, what would it look like?"

There's no need to defend my answers since that's a separate questions which has been addressed endlessly in past posts.

Since your claim you no longer believe corporations have any constitutional rights is obviously a lie to avoid answering this question, so for now for the FIFTEENTH TIME... what specific constitutional rights do you believe corporations, and let's be more specific... BUSINESS corporations, have? What are their legal and philosophical origins? Don't play dumb... I already addressed what categories rights may fall under way back on Dec 8th.

http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2015/11/corporations-frankensteins-how...

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Quote ulTRAX:
Quote gumball:I understand that you had suggestions, my comment was on your inability to defend them.
Your question was

"If you had a free hand to change this, what would it look like?"

There's no need to defend my answers since that's a separate questions which has been addressed endlessly in past posts.

Since your claim you no longer believe corporations have any constitutional rights is obviously a lie to avoid answering this question, so for now for the FIFTEENTH TIME... what specific constitutional rights do you believe corporations, and let's be more specific... BUSINESS corporations, have? What are their legal and philosophical origins? Don't play dumb... I already addressed what categories rights may fall under way back on Dec 8th.

http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2015/11/corporations-frankensteins-how...

Got it, continuing to argue points I have already agreed with in order to avoid defending your suggestions on how to reign in corporate power.

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Quote Mauiman2:And since when was a corporation supposed to be a democracy? The owners call the shots, it is their money on the line every day, not the employees. If you are employee and don't like what is going on, go find another job. I have done that several times in my career, it can be done.
Corporations do not exist in nature. They are purely creations of the State. As such we can create ANY corporate structure we want. And why not? We bestow upon business corporations numerous freebies that facilitate the accumulation of wealth and power. I think you evaded this topic in another thread... then fled it. But the fact remains that corporation have immense freebies from the state such as intellectual property monopolies, free limited liability protections, and shareholders are protected from clawbacks in the case of corporate liabilities like lead, asbestos etc.

Other nations like Germany mandate corporate-labor cooperation. In the US we've created... or what has evolved, is an adversarial system. We can change corporate law if we want. But not if people are deluded that corporations MUST, by some law of nature, be private tyrannies.

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Quote gumball:

Got it, continuing to argue points I have already agreed with in order to avoid defending your suggestions on how to reign in corporate power.

I believe your concession is disingenuous designed to EVADE what I've now asked you 15 times: what specific constitutional rights do you believe corporations, and let's be more specific... BUSINESS corporations, have? What are their legal and philosophical origins?

So PROVE it... tell me EXACTLY why you've reversed your position and now believe that corporations have NO constitutional rights. Even I've never claimed that they have NO constitutional protections. At a bare minimum they have protections against search and seizure.

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What Do Democrats Really Want?

Thom plus logo Thomas Friedman, the confused billionaire, told us decades ago that "free trade" is what made the Lexus a successful product when, in fact, it was decades of Japanese government subsidies and explicit tariffs that did so.
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