I am just a girl of average intelligence and middle-age, so I need a little help to understand an often-uttered statement swirling in the news. I hear it all the time: “Corporations are people in the eyes of the law,” or some variation of that refrain. I’ve heard of Citizens United and I know the Supreme Court was split wide on the decision, so I am, apparently, not the only person for whom this idea seems . . . odd.
I understand that there’s a need to legally describe corporations as individuals to be able to conduct meaningful business relationships and to provide for appropriate control as respects anti-discrimination, safety, and other issues important to the general welfare, but to say they are people, REALLY???
Okay, since I am a big fan of going to the ends of the continuum (‘cause that’s where the lunatic fringe lives and I love fringe,) let’s take this to an absurd extreme. If corporations are people, why not let ’em vote? Let’s give them jury duty. Ooh, why do they have “mergers,” when everyone else (who is not gay) gets to be married? Poor corporations!
What about citizenship? Show us your papers, Corporation! You say you are an American company but you were formed in Bermuda. No rights for you! What about the corporations you’ve spun off from your fertile parent corpus? How many have you let fail, Dead-beat Daddy? Let’s garnish some child-subsidiary support from your sorry “corporations-are-people” butt! You want to be a person, be a man.
Corporations are not people. Now soylent green is a whole ‘nother story.