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Forum Post: Corporations are not people and their money is not free speech

Posted 10 years ago on Dec. 13, 2011, 11:29 a.m. EST by Americant (0)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Hello, I have been following politics very closely for last 2 years, listening and watching media from sources not bought by corporations, and to both parties that are mostly center.

From what I have learned over the years there are two laws passed that (I feel) are the at the base of the problem.

  1. Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976), where the US Supreme court said money is free speech and Candidates should be allowed to accept campaign money. (While I do feel that if I want to donate to something that I should be able to, in politics when major corporations are allowed to do so then we have what we have today not a congress and government calling the shots but corporations because greed is the root of all evil). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckley_v._Valeo
    Wikipedia puts it nicely and sums up why campaign contributions should be limited in spending and receiving. It will keep the wealthy from drowning out the less fortunate's voice and allow government to do it's real job of listening to the country on the whole and not a few. EX: less corrupt.

  2. Corporations as people. We need to amend the fourteenth amendment so that corporations can't exploit the 99% of the population and seize control of government. If corporations are people then like the individual they will be allowed to make contributions with money the same way an individual will. I do think that corporations do take on a huge risk employing so many people and should have some securities but not to the extent that they get to play to both sides of the same coin, culprit and victim, manipulating the law so they are always on top.

I think we should focus on getting government to amend these two laws. I truly feel that if we are to make any kind of change we first have to return government to the hands of the people, making it damn near impossible for corporations to have any influence. If we took these actions first then getting the government to start paying attention to corporate corruption and other issues might be easier. I feel that because of these laws we will be at a stand still and great disadvantage since corporations have one on one meeting with congress and the little man gets the auditorium.

If you agree with me, how do we get government to start amending these laws? Realistically any law put into place should be simple and not 100's of pages long.



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[-] 3 points by LSN45 (535) 10 years ago

Yes! This is the heart of the issue.

[-] 3 points by ineptcongress (648) 10 years ago

government has devolved to become an instrument for the rich and corporates, not to serve the people.

[-] 2 points by OccupyCentre (263) 10 years ago

Exactly. Only Occupy is the one to serve the 99%, who make up 99% of the people.

[+] -4 points by necropaulis (491) 10 years ago

You don't serve anyone. If so, site how. I don't mean sitting in a park either. Some have, but most don't

[-] 1 points by ineptcongress (648) 10 years ago

the signs are an expression to show discontent about how things have been run. clearly the government didn't understand what obama's election meant, so a protest became necessary, what's next after that?,,, it's a sequence getting progressively uglier unless changes are made.

[-] 1 points by OccupyCentre (263) 10 years ago

You are wrong. You know the fundamental difference between us in the Occupy Movement and you - we have compassion. You don't even know the meaning of the word. All you know is high net worth. I think people are beginning to see just how horrible the bank executives are.

[-] 0 points by necropaulis (491) 10 years ago

I have compassion. I'm just someone who can look at both sides fairly. It's not just bank exec's getting caught for doing bad things. People everywhere are. Due to technology, things can be tracked in a way that was never possible. I can size up a person worth in my particular fields, yes. Everywhere else?? Nope. But then, I'm a manager

[-] 1 points by OccupyCentre (263) 10 years ago

I think you mistook what I said about high net worth. It is what bank executives judge people on - how much money they have. You say you are a manager. The Occupy Movement is interested in executives, not managers. The really big fish have titles like Assistant Director or Vice President, not Area Manager or even General Manager, who are managers reporting to executives.

[-] 0 points by necropaulis (491) 10 years ago

But you can't say the people making said loans didn't know they couldn't repay.

[-] 1 points by OccupyCentre (263) 10 years ago

huh? We are after these crooks doing things like paying themselves massive bonuses while the stock crashes, selling dud certificates to pension funds, lying to insurance companies about risk and using prostitution services and charging them as computer expenses. I could have 10s of thousands of these example. These bank executives are evil crooks. Period. Decent business people shouldn't attack us and help them.

[-] 0 points by necropaulis (491) 10 years ago

Nevermind. I think I was in the middle of something else when I posted that. Anyways:

Yeah. And they did it for years and years. Nobody know or they didn't care. The thing is. The reason they are all leaving(with the big money), is because of computerization. How many people have you heard about losing their jobs because of Facebook?? Anything you do can be tracked online. If you Google a person's username, I bet you can find them all over. You might even be able to find out who they are. This is the same with the companies. The hammer is coming down, and they are getting out before they get busted. I have a friend who is a bank auditor, and he claims that he's very busy. My mother works at a college, and the bulk of her higher ups are either on sabbatical or retired(yep even these people do shady shit), so they don't get in trouble.A lot happens in the background. Just because it isn't in the news, doesn't mean it not happening. Should more be done?? Maybe, but there is a lot to undo right now.

[-] 1 points by OccupyCentre (263) 10 years ago

People will probably lose their jobs in the bank if they support the Occupy Movement also. The Occupy Movement is not anti-bank, but anti bank executive. These people are employees who take no personal risk. They are not "bankers" who put up their capital to fund the bank. Bankers provide money and jobs. Bankers give lots of money to charity. Bank executives only take money from the bank. Most of the bankers are dead now. They built the banks 100s of years ago. The thieving bank executives ruined the banks, stole the money from them.

As an example, take bank executive Vikram Pandit of Citigroup. The bank took over his hedge fund for $750,000,000. The hedge fund was later found to be practically worthless. He was then made CEO. He ran the stock down from around $40 (it was $60 at one stage) to just over $1. He paid himself well over $100 million in bonuses, just after this calamity. Now he wants to meet with OWS people to explain the bank's side of the story. He is OK. He has lined his pockets. What about the small fish at Citigroup who have lost their shirt on Citigroup stock? What about the pension funds invested in the stock.

I have not mentioned all the dodgy deals undertaken by Citigroup. This bank is only one of the bad banksters. Some of the others are so much worse.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (23643) 10 years ago

Rep. Ted Deutch has introduced the "Occupied Amendment" inspired by this movement to get corporate money out of politics:


Also, you can sign the petition at:


[-] 1 points by April (3196) 10 years ago

Support these bills. It's a start. Don't expect OWS to do it. OWS does not believe in working with politicians.



[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 10 years ago

Repudiate Buckley v. Valeo and Citizens United, and then from there start enacting laws forbidding for-profit institutions from contributing to campaigns, strictly limiting donations by individuals to $100 per election, and require any and all campaigns make available, both in print and on the Internet, exactly who donated what.

[-] 0 points by ChristopherABrownART5 (46) from Santa Barbara, CA 10 years ago

Article 5 convention NOW! Yes, amendment of the constitution is vital. We need to immediately involve ourselves in an article 5 convention in order to defend the constitution and preserve our rights and freedoms.

Lessig power point on article V http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gpbfY-atMk

Lots of facts here about Article V. http://algoxy.com/poly/article_v_convention.html

Article V conference, Lawrence Lessig at harvard 9/25/11-other attendee video comments http://vimeo.com/31464745

This message board has a proposed preparatory amendments to assure an article 5 convention has maximum constitional intent.


[-] -2 points by Confusedoldguy (260) 10 years ago

If you remove the word "corporations" and replace it with "unions," would you still have written this post?


[-] 1 points by Confusedoldguy (260) 10 years ago

I want to make sure that the opposition to money in politics covers both sides of the political spectrum. I see a lot of complaints here about corporate money corrupting the system, but in my state, unions buy more politicians than business does, with the result that we are on the verge of bankruptcy. Unions have become the puppet masters of OWS, as shown by the union-inspired port shutdown attempt yesterday, and the deafening silence regarding union money is interesting. And hypocritical.

[-] 1 points by WorkerAntLyn (254) 10 years ago

If a union is buying off a politician, the laws that enable them are the same laws that enable corporations to do so. Remove those laws, and neither has the right to do so.

I'm not anti-union, because of what unions once did for the workforce. (And what they could still do for the workforce if used for the right reasons.) But if they're going to play the corruption game, then I'd feel no guilt about demanding changes from them as well.

I'm for getting big money out of politics, no matter who is paying it. We're supposed to be By the people For the people. Money is not a form of speech, and a corporation (or union) is not a person. They are made of people who can freely choose to aid and support a party on their own and individually.

[-] 0 points by simplesimon (121) 10 years ago

I agree with that. But I will be honest with you...I don't really care who donates to political campaigns. If union people want to donate they can. If corporate people want to donate they can.

Am I an advocate for unions? No. I believe they are of no use to the American public.

[-] 0 points by Confusedoldguy (260) 10 years ago

Looks like we're on the same page.


[-] 2 points by Arditum (37) 10 years ago

Seriously, people, discussing on a dictionary term won't get you anywhere. Even a child knows corporations are made of people. The meaning of "corporations ARE people" is purely legal. In a democratic nation a corporation should have no legal weight, as it is an entity administered by a board of directors. If said directors decide to make a political donation they should do it personally, not as a corporation. It's just common sense.

[-] 0 points by simplesimon (121) 10 years ago

They are people. People can make donations. No big deal.

[-] 0 points by ChristopherABrownART5 (46) from Santa Barbara, CA 10 years ago

Article 5 convention NOW!

Each person has a birth certificate. No corproration can show that.

[-] 0 points by simplesimon (121) 10 years ago

The board of directors, PEOPLE, authorize the contribution in the name of the company. Without people there is no corporation. Come on now.

A corporation's list of contributions is publicly available if you would only bother to research it. It really isn't a big deal. Who cares if people lobby? It's a normal part of almost every business transaction.

[-] 0 points by ChristopherABrownART5 (46) from Santa Barbara, CA 10 years ago

Article 5 convention NOW!

Authorization is not a birth certificate.

Making a group status equal to that of an individual gives the group that status PLUS their numbers giving that group unfair power over the individual that only the state can have because the group can distort the corporate individual rights to an unfair advantage.

This is why only individuals can have individual rights.

Lessig power point on article V http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gpbfY-atMk

Lots of facts here about Article V. http://algoxy.com/poly/article_v_convention.html

Article V conference, Lawrence Lessig at harvard 9/25/11-other attendee video comments http://vimeo.com/31464745

[-] 0 points by simplesimon (121) 10 years ago

Do you really think I'm going to read any of this?

Explain it right here.

[-] 0 points by ChristopherABrownART5 (46) from Santa Barbara, CA 10 years ago

Article 5 convention NOW!

I've explained why corporations cannot have individual under the constitution. Here it is again. The constitution is there to prevent groups other than the constitutional group from having power greater than the individuals and the individuals rights are secured by it because then they can exist to incorporate if they want to. It is simply a contractual structure of a group of people securing their common investment.

Article. V.

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Which is the Declaration of Independence extended.

--That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

[-] 2 points by PandoraK (1678) 10 years ago

cor·po·ra·tion    [kawr-puh-rey-shuhn] Show IPA noun an association of individuals, created by law or under authority of law, having a continuous existence independent of the existences of its members, and powers and liabilities distinct from those of its members.

Courtesy of http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/corporation

Please note the phrase, created by law or under authority of law, and continuous existence independent of the existences of its members.

Sorry, people are pro-created and not by law or under authority of law.

[-] -1 points by simplesimon (121) 10 years ago

association of individuals...

Individuals are not dogs or cats, guinea pigs or hamsters, chickens or ducks.

in·di·vid·u·al    [in-duh-vij-oo-uhl]


  1. a single human being, as distinguished from a group.

  2. a person: a strange individual.

  3. a distinct, indivisible entity; a single thing, being, instance, or item.

  4. a group considered as a unit.

So an association of individuals is also an association of people.

Corporations are people.

[-] 2 points by PandoraK (1678) 10 years ago

Nope. People own corporations. I can incorporate and not be an association of people, I've done it. I owned a corporation. It wasn't a person.

[-] 0 points by simplesimon (121) 10 years ago

Did a duck create the corporation? A goat maybe? What operates a corporation? Does it just magically run, or is there like a polar bear or something behind the scenes pulling all the strings?

Come on man.

[-] 2 points by PandoraK (1678) 10 years ago

Sigh, now it's getting ridiculous...

Magically run, you are really reaching.

If you own an unincorporated business, does that business have the same rights you as an individual do? Or in the event your business gets sued for fraud, does it do jail time?

The whole point of incorporating is to put a shield between the individual and the potential of financial harm.

So while corporations are not persons, they are legal entities owned by persons and utilized by those persons.

[-] 0 points by simplesimon (121) 10 years ago

Well, I'm not an attorney, but fraud is brought against persons, i.e. officers in the business...a combination of civil/criminal. A business entity can certainly be sued civilly, and the persons named as well. In the case of a criminal charge the persons involved are culpable.

[-] 2 points by lookingfortruth88 (75) from Chicago, IL 10 years ago

Prove that they are people.

[-] 0 points by ChristopherABrownART5 (46) from Santa Barbara, CA 10 years ago

Article 5 convention NOW!


I would like to speak to the corporations mother please.