Saturday, May 30, 2009

How to tame a corporation.

This is not a recession; it is a return to reality as the last of our bubbles deflates, and we discover that ther are no more bubbles waiting in the wings.

As soon as our economy went into meltdown, the postgame analyses began. The leading culprit was the deregulation that began with the Reagan administration, while others blamed our transition from monopoly to finance capitalism.

However, nobody has mentioned that America’s political and economic well-being are being dragged through the mud by a dinosaur that has outlived its usefulness—the corporation. The corporation began as a dynamic and innovative system. Then, as its complexity increased, it reached a point where it began to devour itself. This is where we are today.

Granted, over the last 150 years, corporations have raised our standard of living. But then they decided that there was more profit to be made by forcing it to decline. After all, why pay workers a living wage when they can shop at Wal-Mart?

This raises the question of the proper role of the corporation.

I discovered years ago that I cannot drive a nail with my forehead. Not only does it hurt like hell, but it’s not very efficient. To drive a nail, I need a hammer. However, this doesn’t mean I make a hammer the center o my life and let it rule over my every move. Rather, it sits quietly in my toolbox until I have another nail to drive.

It’s the same with corporations. They have but one purpose, which is to feed and clothe me. Other than that, I expect them to sit quietly in the corner and not rock the boat.

The question, now, is what to do with them. I have a modest suggestion: a 28th Amendment to the Constitution stripping them of their personhood. Corporations have no rights; they have only privileges granted them by their charters. There is no reason they should have the constitutional protections granted individual citizens.

For that matter, the Supreme Court never granted them personhood. In the case of Santa Clara Count v Southern Pacific Railroad, the body of the decision said nothing about corporate personhood. That was inserted into the header, which summarized the decision, by a Supreme clerk.

Without corporate faux personhood, public funding of elections would become a possibility since the corporations couldn’t go crying to the courts about their free speech being impinged upon. Who knows? Congress might actually become honest again without corporate contributions pouring into its coffers.

Granted, such an amendment stands a snowball’s chance in Hell of passing. However, as our economy does a duck dive, we are seeing an unusual weather pattern—the temperature in Hell is falling precipitously.

Who Knows?

--Case Wagenvoord

2 comments:

Suzan said...

Woo Hoo!

I like your style, baby.

However, as our economy does a duck dive, we are seeing an unusual weather pattern—the temperature in Hell is falling precipitously.Tell it.

Case Wagenvoord said...

Oh yeah!