The Supreme Court decided Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission this week link here
. It declares that corporations and other groups have the same rights as live humans. The left considers this a great defeat which will lead to a flood of corporate money in elections to the detriment of the average voter while the right only sees a justified extension of corporations and other groups freedom to speak and spend money to affect political races.
Professor Juan Cole in his blog, Informed Comment, asks a sensible question: Does this decision really change the amount of corporate money in political campaigns? The cynic might note that both parties seem to be captive of one interest group or another. Another blogger noted that TV time for political ads is already fully spoken for.
There is some irony, however, when one notes that both Chief Justice Roberts and Associate Justice Alito carefully claimed to be judicial conservatives and would stick with precedent. In fact, they are turning out to be radicals of the right. Stay tuned to learn the new surprises they have for us.
[Posted at 01/23/2010 08:08 AM by John Bennett on Against Monopoly comments(5)]
Well, IMHO the problem is not that corporations are allowed to lavish money on politicians. After all, is regulating (i.e. curtaling or prohibiting party finance by any entity other than "live humans") not anti-libertarian?
No, the solution is: leave politicians and government so little to regulate that no one would "donate" with the aim of profiting from it by reciprocal government favors!
[Comment at 01/23/2010 11:30 AM by CrisisMaven]
@Chris - A fundamental mistake. Corporations could still encourage regulation by paying the politicians to pass "regulations" that would discourage competition. Some "regulations" are actually for that reason. There are "benefits" to corporations resulting from regulation!!
[Comment at 01/24/2010 03:56 PM by Steve R.]
The Supreme Court is obviously mistaken. Corporations are not people, in the same way entities like Al-Queda, the Catholic Church, and KKK are not people. In fact, corporations are even worse to equate to personhood than any of these groups, because corporate membership is even more transitory, and forced acceptance and denial of memberships is even more totalitarian. The very definition of a corporation is for the express purpose of limiting the individual liability of its members, and making sure it can survive the loss of any subset of members. In other terms, an unregulated corporation with personhood status is like designating someone above the law, and then also making them immortal. Giving them all unfettered free speech is the same thing as giving bankers free reign to gamble bank reserves -- a license for misuse, misinformation, and chaos.
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