posted on Sep, 30 2012 @ 10:37 AM
No, corporations are not people, as they are not living organisms, cannot vote, and cannot be jailed.
Yes, corporations are people as they can enter into contracts, conduct business deals, and be held financially liable for torts.
The difference is the common definition and the legal definition of a 'person'.
I am not a Romney supporter (hate the guy!) but this debate is getting old. Each side is arguing over something totally different: those who "hate
corporations" (meaning they hate everything they have access to: cars, computers, television, wide food choices, easy shopping, housing, etc., etc.)
appear to want all corporations to disappear... equating to wanting 98% unemployment and a return to Medieval life. Those who are stating that
corporations are people are, for the most part, trying to buck a political sound byte that has become part of the culture. And that sound bytes is
People work for corporations, yes. People also own corporations. Every person with a retirement account, an IRA, a 401k, probably owns a part of some
corporations. They have, via an investment company that handles their retirement funds, bought stock in corporations (usually through a pool) in hope
and expectation that this investment will allow them to live better after retirement. I doubt anyone reading this doesn't at least know someone whose
retirement hinges on the stock market. The stock market is nothing more than the trading of corporation ownership.
The corporate structure is the only known way for someone to invest in a company without encountering crazy legal liability. If I could build a flying
car, for example, it would do me no good because I can't afford to build a flying car. Someone would need to loan me enough money to build
them. Banks don't typically do loans like that, because banks want collateral. People, however, especially wealthy people, do this. But none of them
would if investing a million dollars in a company that had 100 such investors made them liable for 100 million dollars or more for something they
would have no idea about. Investors generally don't spend all day running the corporation they invested in.
That's why we have corporations. Someone who buys stock in WalMart owns a part of WalMart and profits when WalMart profits, but if WalMart is found
guilty in a civil trial and forced to pay a million dollars, no one is going to show up at Granny's doorstep and demand that she owes this money
because she bought $500 in stock. They can't; she is an owner of the corporation, but she is not the corporation. Her only liability is the value of
the stock and the profits she might lose along with the other investors.
A corporation is a separate legal entity (a separate legal 'person') than those who financed it. It has to be that way, or there will be no more
corporations. No more corporations means no more Ipods, no more Chevys, no more Nissans, no more Motorola, no more GE light bulbs, no more
electricity, no more gasoline, and no more food unless you raise your own with a shovel and a hoe... which you had made by the local blacksmith.