Saturday, January 14, 2012

10 Reasons Corporations Aren't People

10. People have names, corporations have logos. 
It's a simple concept: people have names like Larry, Twiggy, Sigismund, Thorvald, Ranjeev, Dev Singh and Thaksin Chachavalpongpun. Corporations have logos with large red or blue letters and nifty tag lines in them, like this one:

9. People have nicknames, corporations have "alternative negative desciptors."
So,  for family members we might have affectionate nicknames like Dimple, Cupcake or Beeswax. Or the usual all-purpose sobriquets like Lefty or Gimpy, Butch, Bubba, Chief or Ace. None of these could be applied to a corporate entity with any propriety or plausibility, whereas some such descriptive phrase as "Murder, Inc." could only designate something called Blackwater USA whose logo says it less subtly:

8. People have families, corporations have subsidiaries. People have genealogies, corporations have histories of acquisition. 

7. When people sell drugs, they get arrested. When corporations sell drugs, they pay dividends.

 "No, no - it's hydroponic arugula, officer."

6. People marry, corporations merge. 
 (Although some marriages resemble mergers.)

"Then I think about how rich you are, and everything's all right again."
(Gahan Wilson)

5. People get hostile divorces, corporations manage hostile takeovers.

Never sell your company to a guy who wears a striped tie.
4. People get to vote. Corporations don't (yet).
Basic eligibility to vote is set out in the U.S. Constitution, which says that suffrage cannot be denied on grounds of race or color, sex, or age for citizens eighteen years or older. But it doesn't say anything about corporations being either citizens in the accepted use of the term, nor eligible to vote. I'm sure someone is working on that, though - a block of corporate votes could be ascribed based on net corporate worth. That way, things won't get out of hand again, like they did in Zucotti Park. 

3. A person cannot buy, purchase, hold financial interest in, inherit, appropriate, own shares in or in other wise own another person. 
At least that's what the 13th Amendment says. But you can own stock, shares or other interest in AT&T, ExxonMobil, General Motors, General Electric, and it's considered wise investing, not slavery or indentured servitude.

2. "No person, whether a citizen, naturalized citizen, resident or nonresident alien, may buy, purchase, rent, rent to own, exchange for equivalent consideration, franchise, let, sublet, lease, indenture, auction, or (inclusive of the foregoing) in any manner own, possess, nor hold in seizin, tenancy, socage or villeinage, nor inherit, engross, or appropriate for equivalent consideration, any member duly elected and currently serving elective office in the United States Congress, whether in the House of Representatives or the Senate."  
I think it says something like that, maybe not those words exactly, but it's somewhere in the Constitution. Isn't it? Did I just write that? So does this mean no subsidies for me again this year?

"Then I think about how rich you are, and everything's all right again."

 1. As of April 2011, Texas held 321 inmates on death row. As of August 2011, the state has carried out 234 executions. No member of either the detained or executed parties was a corporation.

"So shoot me."

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