Sunday, July 8, 2012

How Will Exxon Vote?

I wonder, who will Wal-Mart vote for? Seriously. Will the big department store chain vote for Romney or Obama? Not sure? How about Apple Computers? Could be a vote for Obama, there. General Motors is likely to vote for Obama as well. Goldman Sachs, on the other hand, is a sure vote for Romney.

Hang on, you might be thinking, why do corporations get a vote? Isn't that a bit awkward? Would that be decided at the next shareholders meeting? What about who gets to cast on behalf of the corporation? The CEO? The Chairman of the Board?

All this is silly, of course. Voting is only something individual people do.

Ah, but corporations ARE individual people, according to Citizens' United, and that's my point.

The thing is, corporations can do some things that individual people can do. They can own property, buy and sell goods, and they have certain rights. But these things do not make up a person any more than having a face gives a clock the ability to express emotions.

You see, in the labarynth of logical syllogisms, smart people get all twisted into dumb conclusions. For example: Poe is a raven. All ravens are black. Mr. Magic is black. Therefore Mr. Magic is also a raven. Fine, except that Mr. Magic is a black cat! Or how about this one that any child knows: If God is love, and love is blind, and Stevie Wonder is blind, is Stevie Wonder God? (It's pretty clear to me that infatuation, not love, is blind, so although God may certainly be blind, it's quite possible that Stevie Wonder is infatuated.)

These conclusions are silly because the assumptions based upon them are silly. Start with one or more false statements, pair them together, and you get an absurd conclusion.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in certain areas of law. Clever lawyers will draw conclusions based on bad laws in order to twist their clients out of jail or worse. But the Supreme Court is not immune to such mental traps. The one they fell for goes like this: Corporations are people. People have free speech. Free speech means being able to buy up as much air time as one can afford. Therefore, corporations can buy up as much air time as they can afford.

Great, except that corporations are not people! They are a government made up of other people. Always have been. But because The Law (notice I capitalized it) recognizes corporations, wrongly, as people, it gets forced into asserting that corporations are people with free speech rights.

I'll believe it when they pay taxes. Subchapter S corporations are tax-exempt, you know. That means that they have representation, without taxation.

Alexander Hamilton would have thrown a conniption!

Let's end this nonsense as soon as possible. And let's vote for it ahead of time by voting down the darling of this corporate clusterfuck, Mitt Romney.

In the meantime, I wonder who Exxon would vote for?

Eric


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