Saturday, May 4, 2013

If corporations are people...

I just saw a post by Robert Reich that said the following:
"If the Supreme Court and most regressives insist big American corporations are people that deserve to be treated as American citizens – given tax breaks and subsidies, along with the right to make unlimited political contributions -- why shouldn’t those corporations take a pledge of allegiance to the United States? I’m thinking of a voluntary pledge so American consumers can at least know which companies that enjoy the benefits of American citizenship act like American citizens, and can boycott those that don’t.

Something like this:

Our Corporation Pledges Allegiance to the United States of America: We will create more jobs in the U.S. than we create outside the U.S. No more than 20 percent of our total labor costs will be outsourced abroad. If we have to lay off American workers when we’re profitable we will give them severance payments equal to their weekly wage times the number of months they’ve worked for us. No executive will be paid more than 50 times the median pay of American workers. We will pay at least 30 percent of what we earn in the U.S. in taxes in the U.S. We will not use our money to influence elections.

What do you think? Want to get behind this?"

While this isn't a bad idea, I have a proposal that is more in line with the saying "corporations are people too" and even more damning for why corporations shouldn't be treated as people.
  1. If a corporation is foreign and is going to operate in this country for a specific amount of time based on where it is based, it will have to pay for the appropriate visa. If a foreign corporation decides to buy an American corporation it will have to pay the appropriate visa, otherwise it would just be unfair. This is one example where it is easy to see how different corporations and people are.
  2. Corporate income should be taxed as individual income, because they are people. This will mean that they will get all the same deductions and tax rates as an individual as opposed to the rate of 15% to 35%, which will then range from 10% to 39.6%, and every large corporation will pay 39.59999% because they will make well into that range. As American citizens, they will be required to pay on their global income, not just domestic. Since most of the deductions won't apply to them, they won't have many to take. This is a bad deal for businesses.
  3. Corporations should be able to vote since they are people! (this is a bad idea)
Let's keep defining companies and people differently, and instead of blaming decisions on the corporation blame it on the responsible parties. Claiming that corporations are people is an absurd assumption. Let's make our elections publicly run and publicly financed to avoid corruption and if a company wants to get a grant it will have to apply and the company that gives the best bang per buck will get the job if it is a job that will last less than a year.

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