Saturday, January 23, 2010

Punishing capital?

OK then....

So, the Supreme Court has decided that corporations should have the right of free speech. That, to me, is a sign that our justices may have been chosen for their political bias rather than their judicial wisdom. After all, giving paid-for speech the same right as truly free speech seems to miss one very big point. Corporations are not citizens. Maybe that’ll be the Court’s next step, who knows?

Anyway, instead of just moaning about it, ‘seems to me that all of us who don’t like the idea that money can buy political influence should agitate for some simple laws that the Supreme Court probably can’t overturn.

Suggested new laws: 1) If corporations want to be treated like people, let’s do it. For crimes such as union busting, discrimination in the workplace, tax heating, environmental degradation instead of fining the companies, why not just turn a reasonable chunk of their stock over to the jurisdiction (local, state, federal) in which they were tried and convicted and let that stock be sold for revenue. The problems with fines is that they often just get passed on to customers and are treated by the guilty firms as part of the cost of doing business. Diluting the amount of ownership left in the hands of the original stockholders will get their attention, for sure, and will bring significant pressure on management to play by the rules.

2) For crimes more serious, such as hiding or obscuring the truth about products or practices that can sicken or kill people or conspiring with other companies to monopolize markets or cheating on contracts with the government, death! 100% of their stock must be forfeited. The government would not become the owner. The stock would be auctioned to the highest bidders.

Let the bidding begin!

1 comment:

  1. This is definitely an idea I can get behind! The idea that a corporation has most, if not all, of the same rights as a citizen is a disturbing trend. Definitely not a new trend, but disturbing nonetheless.