Reason.tv: 3 Reasons Not to Sweat Citizens United

No recent Supreme Court ruling have evoked more liberal fury than Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a campaign-finance case involving government censorship of a political documentary called Hillary: The Movie. The Federal Election Commission prevented the anti-Hillary Clinton film from being shown on television just before the 2008 Democratic primaries, a decision that was upheld by lower courts. Siding with The First Amendment, the Court struck down laws regulating independent political advertising by for-profit and non-profit corporations before an election even as they reaffirmed rules about disclosure and disclosures for ads and against direct corporate giving to candidates.

Critics fear that corporations will now overwhelm the political marketplace with commercials and advertisements that will program citizens to vote for whatever agenda "the corprations" want at a given moment.

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann railed against the decision, calling it "a Supreme Court-sanctioned murder of what little democracy is left in this democracy" and comparing it to the notorious Dred Scott decision, which ruled that blacks had no rights under the Constitution. His fellow corporate media host at MSNBC, Rachel Maddow, exclaimed, "If you are a regular person who has ever made a campaign donation before, forget about ever having to do that again. What's the point?"

Cyberlaw theorist Lawrence Lessig has called for a consitutional amendment to roll back the Citizens United ruling and President Barack Obama called out the Supreme Court during his 2010 State of the Union address, proclaiming to a standing ovation:

The Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections.

Is there any truth to some hyperbolic, doomsday scenarios? In a word, no. The Citizens United ruling increases freedom of political speech, not simply for powerful, politically connected corporations like Citigroup, AIG, and the companies that run The New York Times and other media outlets, but for small-pocketed nonprofits such as Citizens United too. If you want to get bent out of shape about something, direct your ire at a massive and constantly growing government that has its hands in virtually every aspect of economic and social life in America.

"3 Reasons Not to Sweat The Citizens United Ruling" was written and produced by Meredith Bragg and Nick Gillespie, who also hosts.

For Reason.com's archive on the Citizens United case, go here.

Approximately 3.30 minutes. Go to Reason.tv for downloadable versions.

Subscribe to Reason.tv's YouTube channel and received automatic notifications when new material goes online.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ed||

    Nice job.

  • joeschmo||

    Good day ladies.

    When does REASON.com's "I'm dumber than a 5th-grade-writer" contribution month end?

  • Mango Punch||

    It's amazing how willing people are to strike down the cornerstones of our democracy in the belief that it will make us more democratic.

  • ||

    For many people, having a choice is not acceptable unless there is a guarantee that everybody can be forced to make the "correct" choice. Say, electing a "progressive" candidate...

  • ||

    Hence, the Iron Law:

    You aren't free unless you are free to be wrong.

  • ||

    Isn't progressivism all about the exact opposite?

    Bad results are, you know, just bad. That can't be allowed to happen. Ever.

  • weeds season 6 episodes||

    Great share thanks for the nice read

  • Cookie Kwan||

    Exactly.

  • bleephole||

    Still not much mention of the fact this ruling applies to unions as well. No big union money in campaigns is there? Those evil businesses - if only we could shut them all down and make unemployment 92%.

  • mr simple||

    The Supreme Court reversed a century of law
    McCain-Feingold has been around for 100 years? I knew McCain was old, but...

  • Justice Stevens||

    "A century of more recent history puts to rest any notion that today’s ruling is faithful to our First Amendment tradition. At the federal level, the express distinction between corporate and individual political spending on elections stretches back to 1907, when Congress passed the Tillman Act, ch. 420, 34 Stat. 864, banning all corporate contributions to candidates." Stevens dissent, Citizens United v. FEC

  • ||

    Ooo, ooo, I can play that game too!

    "But to return to, and summarize, my principal point, which is the conformity of today’s opinion with the original meaning of the First Amendment . The Amendment is written in terms of “speech,” not speakers. Its text offers no foothold for excluding any category of speaker, from single individuals to partnerships of individuals, to unincorporated associations of individuals, to incorporated associations of individuals—and the dissent offers no evidence about the original meaning of the text to support any such exclusion. We are therefore simply left with the question whether the speech at issue in this case is “speech” covered by the First Amendment . No one says otherwise. A documentary film critical of a potential Presidential candidate is core political speech, and its nature as such does not change simply because it was funded by a corporation. Nor does the character of that funding produce any reduction whatever in the “inherent worth of the speech” and “its capacity for informing the public,” First Nat. Bank of Boston v. Bellotti , 435 U. S. 765, 777 (1978) . Indeed, to exclude or impede corporate speech is to muzzle the principal agents of the modern free economy. We should celebrate rather than condemn the addition of this speech to the public debate. CITIZENS UNITED v. FEDERAL ELECTION COMM’N ( No. 08-205 ), Scalia, J., concurring

  • Justice Stevens||

    "Apart perhaps from measures designed to protect the press, that text might seem to permit no distinctions of any kind. Yet in a variety of contexts, we have held that speech can be regulated differentially on account of the speaker’s identity, when identity is understood in categorical or institutional terms. The Government routinely places special restrictions on the speech rights of students, prisoners, members of the Armed Forces, foreigners, and its own employees. When such restrictions are justified by a legitimate governmental interest, they do not necessarily raise constitutional problems. In contrast to the blanket rule that the majority espouses, our cases recognize that the Government’s interests may be more or less compelling with respect to different classes of speakers, cf. Minneapolis Star & Tribune Co. v. Minnesota Comm’r of Revenue , 460 U. S. 575, 585 (1983) (“(D)ifferential treatment” is constitutionally suspect “ unless justified by some special characteristic” of the regulated class of speakers), and that the constitutional rights of certain categories of speakers, in certain contexts, “‘are not automatically coextensive with the rights’ ” that are normally accorded to members of our society, Morse v. Frederick , 551 U. S. 393, 396–397, 404 (2007) (quoting Bethel School Dist. No. 403 v. Fraser , 478 U. S. 675, 682 (1986)). Stevens in dissent, Citizens United v. FEC

  • ||

    Which perfectly illustrates the fact that Justice Stephens is not alone in failing reading comprehension. "Congress shall make no law...". Simple and straightforward. Arguing "well, we violate this in lots of other places" is not a legal argument. It is childish and stupid. The logical extension of this argument is that other restrictions on speech are not allowed either. Sad that four with votes on the Supreme Court see it the other way around.

  • ||

    Well said, Cyto. This ruling would also seem to make it obvious that restrictions on individual spending are also unconstitutional. It would be impossible to logically argue the double standard that individuals are limited in their spending, now that this ruling stands. And of course, the 1st amendment is quite clear in that "Congress shall make no law..." thus congress is not allowed to restrain the individual from speaking either. All that should be needed in a court of law is a copy of the constitution and a dictionary.

  • Even the simple can do math||

    "The Supreme Court reversed a century of law McCain-Feingold has been around for 100 years? I knew McCain was old, but..."

    "stretches back to 1907, when Congress passed the Tillman Act, ch. 420, 34 Stat. 864, banning all corporate contributions to candidates"

    2009-1907=102

  • ||

    Except that the matter in Citizens United wasn't about contributions.

    You do know that, right? RIGHT?

  • ||

    Yes, but the Tillman Act didn't ban independent expenditures, and the Citizens United decision didn't overrule the Tillman Act and allow corporate contributions.

    It's okay that you're confused, you probably heard it from someone ignorant like the President.

  • Context: Even for the simple||

    "The Amendment is written in terms of “speech,” not speakers. Its text offers no foothold for excluding any category of speaker, from single individuals to partnerships of individuals, to unincorporated associations of individuals, to incorporated associations of individuals"-Scalia concurring, Citizens United v. FEC

    "At the federal level, the express distinction between corporate and individual political spending on elections stretches back to 1907, when Congress passed the Tillman Act, ch. 420, 34 Stat. 864, banning all corporate contributions to candidates." Stevens dissenting, Citizens United v. FEC

  • ||

    Except that the matter in Citizens United wasn't about contributions.

    You do know that, right? RIGHT?

  • ||

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/ind.....n_finance_(U.S.)

    This site says,
    "Congress passed and Roosevelt signed the Tillman Act of 1907" SO this was not a decision by the supreme court that can even be counted as "judicial precedent."

    The site then goes on to say,

    "In 1910 the Federal Corrupt Practices Act established campaign spending limits for political parties in House general elections and required the national committees of political parties to file post-election reports regarding their contributions to individual candidates and their own individual expenditures. Yet again, active enforcement mechanisms were not created and the Act was rarely enforced. In 1911 the Act was extended to Senate candidates and established limits on the amount of money candidates were allowed to spend on their campaigns. (These limits would later be struck down by the Supreme Court in Newberry v. U.S.)"

    Not only did the legislature not even try to support their own legislation, which was passed in a moment of populist fury, but the supreme court actually struck down similar laws time and time again. Not much evidence of precedent at all. Referencing tillman was the dumbest thing he could have done.

  • ||

    Funny that the Tillman Act is brought up, since the recent ruling didn't strike down the Tillman Act. So in what sense did the 100 year old tradition get set aside?

  • emergency dentist austin||

    completely agree with you. I really like this article. It contains a lot of useful information. I can set up my new idea from this post. It gives in depth information. Thanks for this valuable information for all. And of course nice tips and reasons are figured out.

  • anonymous||

    Too bad, the 20th century witnessed such a blossom of peace, freedom, and wise and responsible governance.

  • weeds season 6||

    Great read thanks for the nice post

  • I, Kahn O'Clast||

    Well done. But you will never convince people who've believe that the crux of the matter is the argument (which I have heard a hundred times now) that the ruling gives corporations the same rights as people. Framed that way seems to upset people quite a bit. (See the Daily Show's bit where "cut my corporation, does it not bleed?" is the hook)

  • ||

    "...Dred Scott decision, which ruled that had no rights under the Constitution."

    Graph 3 - left out a word.

  • watch weeds season 6||

    Nice comment I agree!

  • ||

    Oh wow, what a great idea. Lets hit it JD

    Jes
    www.web-privacy.cz.tc

  • ||

    Who is JD?!? I must know!

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    I demand to know, as well! Is anonymity bot a mere surrealist performance artist experimenting with excerpted graphomania?

  • ||

    I think it's Justin Diamond. He wants to beat the crap out of the annoying, no talent kid from "Saved by the Bell," not that I blame Anonimity-bot. That's a mark of good taste, if nothing else.

  • ||

    Just think if he had said "Lets hit it JW". Blow your mind, man.

  • ||

    Whoa! Did I just blow your cover Epi?

  • D-FENS||

    I thought JD was the dude on Scrubs...

  • watch weeds||

    Nice share thanks for the post!

  • ||

    Heathers.

    Anonimity bot wants to blow up the school, which is code for the Supreme Court.

  • hmm||

    which ruled that had no rights under the Constitution

    I hate when double spaces have no rights. Looking for the PC term?

  • Rich||

    I agree this is pretty good tv.

    The fact "some say that" this ruling will (further) distort elections indicates their belief that sheeple have no ability to think for themselves.

  • Benjamin Morin||

    I like this topic; I have an editorial about why this decision allows for more efficient outcomes.

    wordpress.com/benjaminmorin- my blog

    http://www.statepress.com/node/10382- editorial alone

  • Xeones||

    The fact "some say that" this ruling will (further) distort elections indicates their belief that sheeple have no ability to think for themselves.

    I've had people tell me so explicitly. "I'm not a sheeplike moron, but everybody else is! This is for their own good!"

  • Barack Obama||

    That's why I am your Lord, Xeones. For your own good.

  • Kiwi Dave||

    The part of the reaction that has surprised me the most is the xenophobia: "oh noes, teh foreignerz will buy our election." I am not sure whether it's genuine xenophobia, or a ruse to try and get flyover-country rubes upset about the defeat of electoral speech-control: I actually hope it's the latter, because the former is kind of scary.

  • ||

    It is neither the former nor the latter. It's "we hateses the decision and will dredge up any argument that seems remotely plausible to decry it".

    This is one of the weird little differences between left-wingers and right-wingers. Right wingers will pretty predictably argue against stuff (repeat Rush talking points--GO), but left-wingers will bring stuff up out of nowhere (still repeating talking points, but just bizarre ones), including stuff that if you think about it, is completely anathema to their supposed worldview. Which probably just means that they are complete opportunists.

    I still do not get the outrage here. It's pretty clearly a win for free speech, but they are going mental over it. Even if you hate corporations, this shouldn't drive you insane--but it is. Very, very stupid.

  • MJ||

    That's because insane is not a drive for the left but a gimme putt.

  • Mater o'Distinction||

    Can't one distinguish between "foreigners" buying elections and foreign corporations buying elections?

  • Kiwi Dave||

    Not really. If foreigners are inherently scarier than citizens, it shouldn't matter whether it's individual foreigners or groups of foreigners attempting to influence elections.

  • Mater o'Distinction||

    Well, one could start with the distinction that foriegn persons, unlike foriegn corporations, don't have perpetual existence, limited liability, aren't created by legislatures, etc.,

  • ||

    Yeah, but what makes it scarier if the evil rich foreigners get together and form a club to donate than if they donate as individuals?

  • Mater O'Distinction||

    I already answered this. It's reasonable to suppose that the corporate form contains advantages, distortions, etc., sufficiently different from actual persons and which pose dangers to electoral processes that simply are not relevant when applied to persons.

    For one thing every individual that is part of the corporate form retains full rights to contribute and speak to their hearts content even if the corporate form is limited. For another there has been a longstanding concern that the peculiar advantages granted to the corporate form may give it disparate ability to impact such elections. Etc.

    In the case of foriegn corporations you have a situation where, unlike US corporations, the corporation is a creation of a foriegn state. Should foriegn states be able to sponsor ads and such?

  • ||

    IT's just adds. It's just speach. We look to foreigners opinions all the time when making our own decisions. How is this any different?

  • ||

    How true. Even the Supreme Court has utilized foreign court rulings as precedents in deciding U.S. cases.

  • anonymous||

    Foreign states are still composed of foreign individuals, last I checked. Shit, if Chavez wants to buy a Super Bowl ad, more power to him (well, preferably not, but you know what I mean).

    But still, if Americans are dumb enough that a significant portion of the voting public is taken in by complete bullshit with great production values -- oh, wait, we elected Obama. Never mind, we're pretty much fucked, no matter what.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    "Should foriegn states be able to sponsor ads and such?"

    I don't know. But it's a fact that they were free to donate as much money as they wanted to Obama when his campaign turned off all security checks for credit card donations on his website. Where was the wailing and gnashing of teeth over that?

  • anonymous||

    You'd how to explain how that gives their opinions special mind-control powers first, I think. We're not psionic adepts here, mostly.

  • Marcos||

    If you think the people between the coasts are rubes, then you are one stupid, arrogant, son of a bitch.

  • Zeb||

    Do you deny that there are some rubes in "flyover country"? No one said that everyone there is a rube, or that there are no rubes elsewhere. Relax.

  • Marcos||

    fuck u

  • BakedPenguin||

    you will never convince people who've believe that the crux of the matter is the argument (which I have heard a hundred times now) that the ruling gives corporations the same rights as people...

    This is what I said on an earlier thread:

    1) Individuals have rights.
    2) These individuals do not lose those rights when they join with other like-minded individuals in voluntary collectives of whatever nature.

    Then I asked where they got lost...

  • ||

    The assumption you make in 2) is that corporations are a collection of like minded individuals. I was not asked my political opinion when I was hired. There are questions I understand are against the law to ask during hiring. The head of a corporation I work for can commit money to a candidate I don't support. What is my redress in this situation? I have none. We already have electoral colleges "representing" the votes of the population. This has been shown to cater to the will of the representatives in the Electoral College, not the will of popular vote. Now corporations are going to have unbridled financial access to candidates for office? You have the individual's voice removed from the vote (electoral v.s. popular) and from the economic support (coporations v.s. individuals). How are individuals working as a collective to make a difference in this model?

  • BakedPenguin||

    Since the company is committing funds that you have no right to in any event, I'm not sure why you're bothered. If they took money that they said they were going to pay you and used it for political speech, that would give you a very valid reason to complain. If that's not the case, you can quit the company if their political contributions bother you so much. I know I couldn't work for Benetton.

    Let's say you were a stockholder - then you would have a better argument, since you have a direct claim on the profits of the company, and how they are disbursed. Again, there are non-coercive remedies: complaining to the relevant offices; stockholder "revolt" against the Board / CEO; selling your stocks.

  • Marcos||

    "Since the company is committing funds that you have no right to in any event, I'm not sure why you're bothered."

    Bingo.

  • Draco||

    I think you may be mistaken that you can't be asked your political opinions when hired -- there may be a law against asking your age or your religion, but not your politics. (Someone please cite the relevant law if I'm wrong.)

    For my part, I would oppose any law that would regulate what questions an employer may ask of its employees, from age to religion to sexual preference to political philosophy. It's call liberty. If I'm hiring you, and I believe in free markets and capitalism, why should I have to hire you if you are a little Marxist shit? It should be my choice. Maybe you are a little Marxist shit who can perform essential task XYZ better than anyone else I've seen, and I'll hire you anyway. My choice. It's called employment at will. Voluntary on both sides. What's the problem with that?

    Oh, that's right, Progressives don't give a damn about the voluntary/involuntary distinction. As long as the "correct" outcomes occur.

  • JSinAZ||

    Your mistake is assuming employess are party to the political actions the corporation undertakes. This is wrong; they are not.

    The parties to political action taken by the corporation are the shareholders or owners. There is no reason to consider employees in this calculus.

  • CJ John Marshall||

    "A corporation is an artificial being, invisible, intangible, and existing only in contemplation of law. Being the mere creature of law, it possesses only those properties which the charter of creation confers upon it, either expressly, or as incidental to its very existence. These are such as are supposed best calculated to effect the object for which it was created." Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 4 Wheat. 518, 636 (1819).

  • ||

    In a case holding that Dartmouth College had rights under its charter that the State of New Hampshire couldn't change or alter.

  • CJ John Marshall||

    "it possesses only those properties which the charter of creation confers upon it, either expressly, or as incidental to its very existence. These are such as are supposed best calculated to effect the object for which it was created." Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 4 Wheat. 518, 636 (1819).

  • anonymous||

    "These are such as are supposed best calculated to effect the object for which it was created"

    Presumably, then, a corporation created for the purposes of political advocacy would possess the right to advocate politically (ie, speech).

    And presumably all corporations would have the right to lobby the people or the government to persuade them to enact laws that would help them fulfill their charters.

    So, for example, Exxon Mobil would be perfectly within its rights to run ads criticizing candidates who prevented drilling for oil in the ANWR -- this could have a very real impact on shareholder value. However, if Starbucks put some sort of environmental slogan on its coffee, they would have to prove that this was in fact calculated to boost profit by generating goodwill among gullible environmentalist customers, instead of simply promoting the personal morality of a few major executives.

  • CJ Billy Rehnquist||

    "A State grants to a business corporation the blessings of potentially perpetual life and limited liability to enhance its efficiency as an economic entity. It might reasonably be concluded that those properties, so beneficial in the economic sphere, pose special dangers in the political sphere.

    Furthermore, it might be argued that liberties of political expression are not at all necessary to effectuate the purposes for which States permit commercial corporations to exist. So long as the Judicial Branches of the State and Federal Governments remain open to protect the corporation's interest in its property, it has no need, though it may have the desire, to petition the political branches for similar protection. Indeed, the States might reasonably fear that the corporation would use its economic power to obtain further benefits beyond those already bestowed. I would think that any particular form of organization upon which the State confers special privileges or immunities different from those of natural persons would be subject to like regulation, whether the organization is a labor union, a partnership, a trade association, or a corporation." Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, 435 U.S. 765 (1978)

  • ph||

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof except when they be gathered together; or abridging the freedom of speech of real persons, or of individual journalists the press; the end. or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

  • ||

    Perhaps you could tell us what special privileges or immunities are granted to corporations?

  • CJ Billy Rehnquist||

    "A State grants to a business corporation the blessings of potentially perpetual life and limited liability to enhance its efficiency as an economic entity. It might reasonably be concluded that those properties, so beneficial in the economic sphere, pose special dangers in the political sphere." Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, 435 U.S. 765 (1978)

  • ||

    Corporations don't have limited liability. Certain of their shareholders do.

    As to "potentially perpetual life", WTF? Everything comes to an end.

  • Wiki-Wiki||

    "J.P. Morgan & Co., was founded in New York in 1871 as Drexel, Morgan & Co. by J. Pierpont Morgan and Philadelphia banker Anthony J. Drexel"

    "Harvard College (a component of Harvard University), formally the President and Fellows of Harvard College (also known as the Harvard Corporation), is the oldest corporation in the western hemisphere. Founded in 1636, the second of Harvard’s two governing boards was incorporated by the Great and General Court of Massachusetts in 1650."

    "A shareholder in a limited company is not personally liable for any of the debts of the company, other than for the value of his investment in that company."

    "These individuals do not lose those rights when they join with other like-minded individuals in voluntary collectives of whatever nature"-BakedPenguin above. Seems they do lost their liability to some extent though when they "join with other like-minded individuals in voluntary collectives of" the corporate nature...

  • ||

    That's a bit much to expect from a cut-n-paste bot RC.

  • CJ Billy Rehnquist||

    ""A State grants to a business corporation the blessings of potentially perpetual life and limited liability to enhance its efficiency as an economic entity." Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, 435 U.S. 765 (1978)

  • robc||

    Rehnquist saw the bailouts coming.

    Also notice that says potential perpetual life, it doesnt grant it perpetual life. Just like I have potential perpetual life if I dont die along the way.

  • ||

    Hey there Billy Rehnquist, how about you tell us exactly what was at issue in the Bank of Boston case and what you were talking about when you wrote that opinion? A little context, ya know?

  • Ask and ye shall receive||

    "Appellants, national banking associations and business corporations, wanted to spend money to publicize their views opposing a referendum proposal to amend the Massachusetts Constitution to authorize the legislature to enact a graduated personal income tax. They brought this action challenging the constitutionality of a Massachusetts criminal statute that prohibited them and other specified business corporations from making contributions or expenditures "for the purpose of . . . influencing or affecting the vote on any question submitted to the voters, other than one materially affecting any of the property, business or assets of the corporation." " Syllabus, Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, 435 U.S. 765 (1978)

  • ||

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." US Constitution, First Amendment, 1791.

  • ||

    Silly rabbit, amendments are for interpreting as we see fit, not for what they actually say.

  • Justice Stevens||

    "“Our jurisprudence over the past 216 years has rejected an absolutist interpretation” of the First Amendment . WRTL , 551 U. S., at 482 (opinion of Roberts , C. J.). The First Amendment provides that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” Apart perhaps from measures designed to protect the press, that text might seem to permit no distinctions of any kind. Yet in a variety of contexts, we have held that speech can be regulated differentially on account of the speaker’s identity, when identity is understood in categorical or institutional terms. The Government routinely places special restrictions on the speech rights of students, prisoners, members of the Armed Forces, foreigners, and its own employees. When such restrictions are justified by a legitimate governmental interest, they do not necessarily raise constitutional problems. In contrast to the blanket rule that the majority espouses, our cases recognize that the Government’s interests may be more or less compelling with respect to different classes of speakers, cf. Minneapolis Star & Tribune Co. v. Minnesota Comm’r of Revenue , 460 U. S. 575, 585 (1983) (“(D)ifferential treatment” is constitutionally suspect “ unless justified by some special characteristic” of the regulated class of speakers), and that the constitutional rights of certain categories of speakers, in certain contexts, “‘are not automatically coextensive with the rights’ ” that are normally accorded to members of our society, Morse v. Frederick , 551 U. S. 393, 396–397, 404 (2007) (quoting Bethel School Dist. No. 403 v. Fraser , 478 U. S. 675, 682 (1986)). Stevens in dissent, Citizens United v. FEC

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    tl;dr

  • Justice Stevens||

    "I regret the length of what follows, but the importance and novelty of the Court’s opinion require a full response." Stevens in dissent, Citizens United v. FEC

  • ||

    In contrast to the blanket rule that the majority espouses, our cases recognize that the Government’s interests may be more or less compelling with respect to different classes of speakers

    At this point Justice Stevens cited Dred Scott and Plessy, right?

  • ||

    In contrast to the blanket rule that the majority espouses, our cases recognize that the Government’s interests may be more or less compelling with respect to different classes of speakers

    At this point Justice Stevens cited Dred Scott and Plessy, right?

  • Justice Stevens||

    No, he cited CJ John Roberts..."“Our jurisprudence over the past 216 years has rejected an absolutist interpretation” of the First Amendment . WRTL , 551 U. S., at 482 (opinion of Roberts , C. J.).

  • ||

    Do the reasons for those rejections apply to corporations? Just because some exceptions are made, and it's debatable whether or not those should be made, doesn't mean it's wise. I noticed Justice Stevens cited foreigners. I wonder what purpose it serves for foreigners to be denied free speech in the US. Our Constitution is supposed to protect everyone within out jurisdiction. Are prisoners really prevented from freedom of speech or religion, or redress of grievances? Members of the Armed Forces I understand, but is that not also a condition of employment just like any other job? And the only reason students have limited speech is so they do not disrupt their state enforced education. That's certainly debatable.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    What's funny is that Stevens doesn't mind foreign influence when it suits his needs:

    "In a 2002 case that ruled that mentally retarded people convicted of murder could not be given a death sentence, Stevens contended that “within the world community, the imposition of the death penalty for crimes committed by mentally retarded offenders is overwhelmingly disapproved,” citing a legal brief from the European Union as his authority."

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4506232

  • ||

    The Government routinely places special restrictions on the speech rights of students, prisoners, members of the Armed Forces, foreigners, and its own employees. When such restrictions are justified by a legitimate governmental interest, they do not necessarily raise constitutional problems.

    Well, they do if you think "Congress shall make no law" means, you know, "Congress shall make no law." Which apparently Stevens does not.

  • CJ Johnny Roberts||

    "“Our jurisprudence over the past 216 years has rejected an absolutist interpretation” of the First Amendment . WRTL , 551 U. S., at 482 (opinion of Roberts , C. J.).

  • robc||

    Roberts is a moron.

  • ||

    Here it is IN CONTEXT:
    Yet, as is often the case in this Court’s First Amendment opinions, we have gotten this far in the analysis without quoting the Amendment itself: “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech.” The Framers’ actual words put these cases in proper perspective. Our jurisprudence over the past 216 years has rejected an absolutist interpretation of those words, but when it comes to drawing difficult lines in the area of pure political speech—between what is protected and what the Government may ban—it is worth recalling the language we are applying. McConnell held that express advocacy of a candidate or his opponent by a corporation shortly before an election may be prohibited, along with the functional equivalent of such express advocacy. We have no occasion to revisit that determination today. But when it comes to defining what speech qualifies as the functional equivalent of express advocacy subject to such a ban—the issue we do have to decide—we give the benefit of the doubt to speech, not censorship. The First Amendment ’s command that “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech” demands at least that.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Seconded.

    Absolutist interpretations are the only correct kind.

    Up next: 2A.

  • ||

    Also they are only campaing contributions. There's no garuntee of "you scratch my back, I scratch yours" here. Companies can make donations out of support, but the president will owe nothing to them in return.

  • ||

    No, this has nothing to do with campaign contributions.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Point is, Michael Moore was allowed to make political propaganda films without once being slapped by the FEC, but Citizens United was punished by that same agency.

  • TwoInscrutableChineseBankers||

    Olbermann, Maddow, and Lessig sound positively suicidal in those remarks. Keep it coming SCOTUS.

  • ^forgot2changedefield||

    whoops

  • ^forgot2changedefield||

    So, Justice Stevens, CJ Johnny Roberts, Justice Stevens, Ask and ye shall receive, Even the simple can do math, and the many other manifestation of punk nosed snot, do you have any regrets that prior restraint was used to keep a documentary film out of the public purview, or if you had to do it all over again, Hillary, and the Spirit of '76 would be banned all over again?

  • Justice Stevens||

    "Under BCRA, any corporation’s “stockholders and their families and its executive or administrative personnel and their families” can pool their resources to finance electioneering communications. 2 U. S. C. §441b(b)(4)(A)(i). A significant and growing number of corporations avail themselves of this option; during the most recent election cycle, corporate and union PACs raised nearly a billion dollars. Administering a PAC entails some administrative burden, but so does complying with the disclaimer, disclosure, and reporting requirements that the Court today upholds, see ante , at 51, and no one has suggested that the burden is severe for a sophisticated for-profit corporation...So let us be clear: Neither Austin nor McConnell held or implied that corporations may be silenced; the FEC is not a “censor”; and in the years since these cases were decided, corporations have continued to play a major role in the national dialogue. Laws such as §203 target a class of communications that is especially likely to corrupt the political process, that is at least one degree removed from the views of individual citizens, and that may not even reflect the views of those who pay for it. Such laws burden political speech, and that is always a serious matter, demanding careful scrutiny. But the majority’s incessant talk of a “ban” aims at a straw man." Stevens in dissent, Citizens United v. FEC

  • Jersey Patriot||

    Justice Stevens is wrong. A restriction on speech is a fundamental right under the Constitution. If the government wishes to abridge it, it must do more than have a "legitimate government interest". There must be a "compelling state interest". The provision at hand must be "narrowly tailored" to achieve that interest. The provision must also be the "least restrictive means" of achieving that interest.

    Justice Stevens, Constitutional Law, B-

  • Justice Stevens||

    But that is not the result I want!

  • ^forgot2changedefield||

    Stevens obviously slept through the oral arguments in the case to make these claims, and even goes so far as to pretend the FEC didn't take the action that prompted the suit!

    Rimbaud was less deranged.

  • Ayn Rand||

    "A leaf cannot be a stone at the same time, it cannot be all red and all green at the same time, it cannot freeze and burn at the same time. A is A. Are you seeking to know what is wrong with the world? All the disasters that have wrecked your world, came from your leaders’ attempt to evade the fact that A is A." Ayn Rand, Galt’s Speech, For the New Intellectual, 125

    Corporations are corporations, not persons. They have legal characteristics different than persons. Why treat them the same legally? You don't put oranges in your pie and call it apple pie do you?

  • ^forgot2changedefield||

    Happy fun meme without context.

  • JSinAZ||

    People should be put in jail for their political thought when they dscide to get together in groups of more than two Scostmen at the same time.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech"

    That's right out of that Constitution thingy you keep hearing about around here. It says nothing about corporations. A is A. It doesn't suddenly become B because you don't like corporations.

  • Marcos||

    The reason why corporations should have free political speech is because the government passes laws that impatc corporations. Corprations ARE NOT slaves to the state.

  • Ask and ye shall receive||

    "Corprations ARE NOT slaves to the state."

    They are creations of the state.

  • ^forgot2changedefield||

    So?

  • Ask and ye shall receive||

    They created them, they can make the rules for them. They give them benefits, they can give them restrictions.

    They are not persons. The persons that make them up do not have their rights impinged.

  • ^forgot2changedefield||

    Even if that is taken at face value, you still have not demonstrated that it is in the public interest to ignore constitutional limitations on congress' enumerated powers in this instance. It is in the progressive interest (clearly when Schumer says that this will determine elections in November that explains the fears and overreaction of leftist) to put restrictions on the speech of others but it is not in the public interest. Huge difference. If all progressives were to be raptured tomorrow, in almost all ways the world would be a better place, but if the same were to happen to all corporate boardrooms, we would be massively fucked. There actually exist a public interest in restricting the speech of progressives, whereas there is none to be had with restricting corporations. That does not mean we should do it, but the fact that progressives went that route against their enemies shows that you are far less upright that the rest of us.

  • ||

    No, their founders created them, the state gave itself monopoly power to charter them.

  • ||

    Individuals form corporations. The government just allows it. Even though the constitution states that our rights come from us not the government. The government is an entity that takes rights away, not grants them. By allowing people to form corporations, the government is simply allowing people to do what they were always supposed to be able to do with their own money.

  • robc||

    No, they are creations of individuals APPROVED by the state.

  • ||

    Why does the state have to approve creations of individuals? Our rights come from us. The state does not grant us approval. Only in this light is the state seen as "creating" or "granting" anything. You don't think of the government as "granting" your freedom of speech. THey're just barred from preventing it. YOu have the right first, it doesn't originate with the state.

  • MJ||

    They are the creations of their owners, the state just sets up the rules by which they are created. Secondly, the government's which manage the rules by which corporations are created are the States, not the federal government.

  • ^forgot2changedefield||

    Progressives believe that these restrictions on speech gives them an advantage in elections. Why should we allow the evisceration of our First Amendment so the most disgusting people that we are forced to breath common air with can reign over us?

  • ||

    All the jibber-jabber about corporations being created by the state, limited liability of shareholders, blah, blah, fails to locate the clause in the Constitution that gives Congress the power to pass a law infringing the free speech of corporations.

    Now, if you want to argue that Congress should be able to pick and choose which collections of citizens can exercise free speech, go right ahead. Your proposed amendment to the Constitution should provide much merriment to the assembled masses.

  • ||

    Forgot to add:

    In drafting your amendment, don't forget the Iron Law:

    You today, me tomorrow.

  • Kiwi Dave||

    Such a good point. People are so blinded by the current implications of a given rule on a Team Red/Team Blue issue, they forget that the parties have a tendency to switch positions.

    I still wonder what the progressive talking points would have been if the FEC had, under Bush, tried to prevent the showing of, say, a Soros-backed Michael Moore film.

  • ||

    From the original post: "The Citizens United ruling increases freedom of political speech, not simply for powerful, politically connected corporations like Citigroup, AIG, and the companies that run The New York Times and other media outlets, but for small-pocketed nonprofits such as Citizens United too."

    You seem to have left the voters out of this. Maybe Rupert Murdoch & George Soros can compete with the kind of money corporations -- even the ones like you, who claim you've got 'small pockets' -- can spend to get an election to go your way, but ordinary citizens can't possibly compete with any of you in that department. You all need to get out of the business of influencing elections, and stay out. You're not voters. You're fictitious entities created to skirt taxes. Nothing wrong with that of course -- but this pretense that removing limits on the amount of money you wolves can spend to influence elections is somehow an infringement on the first amendment rights you simply are not entitled to is some pretty appalling intellectual dishonesty. The fact that you're in good company, i.e. 5 Republican appointed, baldly corporation-friendly Supreme Court justices, doesn't change that.

    "If you want to get bent out of shape about something, direct your ire at a massive and constantly growing government that has its hands in virtually every aspect of economic and social life in America."

    Nice Manichean take on this -- but it's not either/or. I think it's possible to be mad at both situations. And if you think that government has more control over ordinary peoples' daily lives than the corporatocracy does I really don't know what to tell you, other than your corporate sympathies are showing.

  • ^forgot2changedefield||

    You seem to have left the voters out of this.

    The voters have fucked me over a thousand times over compared to either Soros, Murdoch, or Citizens United. The voters can go to hell.

  • JSinAZ||

    My bet is the people who created Citizens United were voters too, who decided to create a political tract to change other people's minds.

    Remind me again how congress is empowered by the constitution to limit political speech?

  • robc||

    Its funny how his writing is directed towards corporations as if they were people who could read.

  • MWG||

    The NY Times, Washington Post, and Anytown US newspapers are corporations. Should they not be allowed to opine on political matters?

  • ||

    A great use of your magazine name to make your points (Reason #1, Reason #2, etc.). I would strongly encourage you to use such a tactic again.

  • ||

    It's really only a case of what's more important, freedom or morality.

    Corporations are not people, though they issue statements and generate verbiage and thoughtage. However, with the rarest exception it is always self-aggrandizement. It is constantly, forever and permanently always: "We're tops, we're the best!, We are good for you, we try harder, we give you peace of mind... saecula saeculorum"

    We (the people, who might suffer strokes and haemoglobinopathy) see them and hear them on average about 10000000000 times a day in the form of bingly-jingly advertisements.

    Because of this and other considerations, for example, an orange clown representing a restaurant (cloned 33 thousand times and counting) becoming more recognizable than Santa Claus, we (the people who might catch malaria or the clap) have come to the conclusion that Corporations are very freaky "other sort of people," almost psychopathic in many of their manifestations.

    Whereas for us (who might accidentally fart while laughing), a strawberry milkshake roughly contains strawberries, milk and sugar, for Burger King, it contains: amyl acetate, amyl butyrate, amyl valerate, anethol, anisyl formate, benzyl acetate, benzyl isobutyrate, butyric acid, cinnamyl isobutyrate, cinnamyl valerate, cognac essential oil, diacetyl, dipropyl ketone, ethyl acetate, ethyl amyl ketone, ethyl butyrate, ethyl cinnamate, ethyl heptanoate, ethyl heptylate, ethyl lactate, ethyl methylphenylglycidate, ethyl nitrate, ethyl propionate, ethyl valerate, heliotropin, hydroxyphenyl-2-butanone (10 percent solution in alcohol), a-ionone, isobutyl anthranilate, isobutyl butyrate, lemon essential oil, maltol, 4-methylacetophenone, methyl anthranilate, methyl benzoate, methyl cinnamate, methyl heptine carbonate, methyl naphthyl ketone, methyl
    salicylate, mint essential oil, neroli essential oil, nerolin, neryl isobutyrate, orris butter, phenethyl alcohol, rose, rum ether, g-undecalactone, vanillin, and solvent."

    This alone (along with a quick perusal of the ingredients of Twinkies), suggests to us (who might get rashes or run over by automobiles) that Corporations aren't really people, but might need some regulation now and then, just as special needs children need special needs and over-achievers might need special schools and psychopaths professional care.

    Fools that we are, (and forgive me for going populist) we now see that they will be allowed to supply vasts sums of money to their would-be regulators at all levels of the state, not just presidential elections, but also county and city counselors and elective judges.

    Forgive us for being a bit suspicious. Most of us (who might or might not use condoms, fertility pills or Viagra) are dolefully aware of the abysmal integrity levels of our representatives, and none of us doubts for a second that Corporations are ontologically focused almost exclusively on their bottom line.

    We deduced this, among other reasons by noticing that many Corporations contribute to both parties even though said parties are (or pretend to be) ideologically different. As we know that "heads I win, tail you lose" is hinky, so too do we suspect that "McCain wins I win, Obama wins I also win" can only make sense if something isn't on the up and up.

    We have also noticed how one dollar in 1903 was worth about 800 of today's dollars and how 1 in 4 American children are on food stamps, despite the fact that America is (supposedly) the richest place on earth and has become Corporate earth, heaven, hell, limbo and purgatory.

    Fools that we (who occasionally get drunk) are, we understand the need for a minimum of social justice, nothing spectacular, but perhaps a living wage, zoning laws that are conducive to more liveable communities, the peace of mind of knowing that the shoes we bought weren't made by nine year old girls in Bangladesh (sorry for waxing religious), perhaps an easier entry level for young capitalists. Nothing really fancy. More capitalists, not fewer, more diversity as opposed to Corporate socialism.

    We (the people who might occasionally spit up blood and suffer gall stones) reckon that Coca Cola, now 124 years old and worth about 200 billion, is different in a few vital matters than us, yet paradoxically, very much like us, (most of us, with the exception of libertarians of course) on a few matters.

    For example, they don't like being betrayed. If Coca Cola corporation found out that Pepsi Cola was paying off one of their top executives, they'd probably file a law suit for breach of trust.

    Some of us, (who might be straight, gay or transgendered lesbian dwarfs) would feel the same way (just like Coke) about Pepsi paying off the guys and gals we thought were supposed to be representing us.

    We don't conflate freedom of speech with freedom of pay-off. We are backed up in this by 4000 years of common sense, which admittedly is no longer allowed to rear its ugly head in American politics, 'cause it clashes with freedom (ACHTUNG FREIHEIT!)...

    Yes, those who say common sense morality rubs against the grain of freedom (ACHTUNG FREIHEIT!) are absolutely correct. Perhaps we have seen too many science fiction movies (always the evil corporations in cahoots with the corrupt politicians!). It's definitely OUR problem, because if we were truer to the great sideral void that inspires libertarian freedom (ACHTUNG FREIHEIT!), we would be cool. We'd be cool as corporations, instead of moribunds, we'd be vivibunds, laid back entities like Nick Gillespie (Ach er ist sooooo Kool!)

    How about a compromise? When corporations allow their executives to be paid off by the competition, then we (who might have teenage daughters and parents with shaky hands) will gladly allow Corporations to pay off our legislators.

    Until then hmmmmmm... it ain't fair.

  • cmace||

    Right. People shouldn't get together and make political statements. (Cf. Hillary: The Movie.)
    reply to this

  • cmace||

    Godwin?

  • anonymous||

    "For example, they don't like being betrayed. If Coca Cola corporation found out that Pepsi Cola was paying off one of their top executives, they'd probably file a law suit for breach of trust... When corporations allow their executives to be paid off by the competition, then we... will gladly allow Corporations to pay off our legislators."

    Maybe instead of getting pissed off at the poolboy, mailman, pizza guy, tennis instructor, etc., you should start doing something about your whore wife.

  • ||

    Thank you for your anonymous donation. Are you a corporation?

    I'm all for Corporate lobbying and bribing, but you know, at this point, I think it would be more cost effective if they just paid us, the voters, directly.

    How come politicians can get unlimited funds for their votes, but it's against the law if we do it?

  • Hugh Stimson||

    I have this memory of Reason Magazine once being an advocate for individual freedoms, but now the editorial stance mostly seems to "whatever is good for business must ipso facto be good for people".

    Or maybe that's a false memory.

  • cmace||

    Right. People shouldn't get together and make political statements. (Cf. Hillary: The Movie.)

  • leftist||

    Perhaps it is false consciousness, comrade.

  • ||

    May I raise my hand and wave for attention?

    Thank you.

    The short answer is that they're insane. The long one is that freedom for a true libertarian is not based on virtue, but something more akin to the open sky on one end and a bottomless pit at the other.

    Right. "People shouldn't get together and make political statements" someone keeps repeating. That's all that matters. So just nod yes and concede the debate.

    See the innocence of that? Political statements for them ("things are what we define them") means money from single purpose entities to notoriously corrupt politicians. Just a lot of dots, no need to make the moral / intellectual effort to connect them. That would be common sense (not cool) and that would be moral choice (forbidden to Libertarians).

    Only Freedom (ACHTUNG FREIHEIT!!) matters, cause it's real easy. It's an infinite pattern, whereas the other way might run the risk of becoming a pretty picture requiring thought to figure out truth, goodness and beauty and justice and a bit of sociality.

    Freedom with no orthodoxy leads to all sorts of wonderful things. At Reason, it changes them into Corporate Socialism lovers, in Holland (remember Holland, the most libertarian place on the planet?) it leads to Geert Wilders on trial. What matters is to be laid back and cool. See how cool Gillespie is? That's the real way to be! And Fuck all the rest.

    1 in 4 American kids on food stamps even though many of their parents are working for Walmart or McDonalds? Freedom (ACHTUNG FREIHEIT!!) baby! They took the job, they didn't have to so fuck 'em! (Because that's the real rapport for Libertarians even though in their heart of hearts they know it isn't true except in the rosiest of economies).

    They don't see or imagine a rapport of hammers to anvils, just two identical entities: on the one side a soulless "thingy" worth 1000000000000000000000 dollars, with corporate jets, national "you're-luvin'-it" publicity campaigns in every goddamned place in the world, even Chad, and on the other side a mother with a kid. For a libertarian they're the same, they're two persons! ('Cause see, it says so on this here piece of paper!)

    The ugliest motherfucking urban sprawl on the planet? ACHTUNG FREIHEIT! A culture of sameness, alienation? FREIHEIT!

    Isn't it amazing that you can work at a fast food franchise your entire life, feed millions of people (except your own kids) and never learn a goddamned thing about food except how to dish it out faster? FREIHEIT!

    They don't care, they feel no pain and there are never any reasons to sweat. Gillespie doesn't sweat. He's cool!

    They live in a world of atomized individuals in which the unborn are clumps, the aged are no longer useful and therefore disposable, and culture is a sin... and Corporations don't give a fuck about human beings except how to pay them as little as possible, bombard them morning, night and afternoon with bingle-jingles and then take their money.

    Freedom (ACHTUNG!)

    Isn't it wonderful. Right smack dab in the middle of a looming depression, Corporate America that send a zillion jobs to China (where the immortal remains of the most vicious mass murderer in the history of humanity are on display) and now they earn the right to bribe politicians.

    Ma vaffanculo Reason, the Supreme Court the Corporations, the politicians and Leviathan.

  • ||

    See the innocence of that? Political statements for them ("things are what we define them") means money from single purpose entities to notoriously corrupt politicians. Just "a lot of dots, no need to make the moral / intellectual effort to connect them. That would be common sense (not cool) and that would be moral choice (forbidden to Libertarians)."

    It's common sense to silence your opposition when it's convenient for you? Funny how you aren't really discussing the moral issue at hand here. To you, it's just CORPORATIONS EVIL!!!!

    "Only Freedom (ACHTUNG FREIHEIT!!) matters, cause it's real easy. It's an infinite pattern, whereas the other way might run the risk of becoming a pretty picture requiring thought to figure out truth, goodness and beauty and justice and a bit of sociality."

    Figuring out what exactly freedom is, and where one's rights should be protected is the essence of justice, beauty, etc. I'm trying to respond to you, but all you are doing is ranting about nothing!

    "reedom with no orthodoxy leads to all sorts of wonderful things. At Reason, it changes them into Corporate Socialism lovers, in Holland (remember Holland, the most libertarian place on the planet?) it leads to Geert Wilders on trial. What matters is to be laid back and cool. See how cool Gillespie is? That's the real way to be! And Fuck all the rest."

    I would hardly say that reason is corporate socialism lovers. Reason has done more to point out the stupidity of the Olympics, government paid for sporting arenas, bailouts, etc. Corporations aren't just single purpose institutions, but organizations formed by groups of individuals, you're not going to get us to drop that point. Once again it is hard to respond to the ravings of a mad man like you.

    "1 in 4 American kids on food stamps even though many of their parents are working for Walmart or McDonalds? Freedom (ACHTUNG FREIHEIT!!) baby! They took the job, they didn't have to so fuck 'em! (Because that's the real rapport for Libertarians even though in their heart of hearts they know it isn't true except in the rosiest of economies)."

    Plenty of the people that the government considers poor aren't really "poor" by a traditional definition. You complain about people having to work at mddonalds for little money without either putting any individual's situation in context or explaining how things are supposed to be in your ideal utopian civilization. I work at a fast food restuarant and I'm typing this up on an eight core computer hooked up to a 42 lcd hd tv. You just seem to be bitching about something that you don't even understand in a way that benefits nobody.

    "They don't see or imagine a rapport of hammers to anvils, just two identical entities: on the one side a soulless "thingy" worth 1000000000000000000000 dollars, with corporate jets, national "you're-luvin'-it" publicity campaigns in every goddamned place in the world, even Chad, and on the other side a mother with a kid. For a libertarian they're the same, they're two persons! ('Cause see, it says so on this here piece of paper!)"

    Nobody is arguing that corporations and individuals are THE SAME THING. What we are saying is that just because individuals form a group called "a corporation" they don't lose their collective right to free speech. People don't lack rights as a group that they retain individually. Especially, as in a corporation, where ownership is a shared responsibility. You're not going to win this point.

    "The ugliest motherfucking urban sprawl on the planet? ACHTUNG FREIHEIT! A culture of sameness, alienation? FREIHEIT!"

    ??????? I'm sorry, what planet did you drop in from. And what is with the german shouting. I think you are the biggest dumbest fuck on the entire earth. Please fucking die.

    "They live in a world of atomized individuals in which the unborn are clumps, the aged are no longer useful and therefore disposable, and culture is a sin... and Corporations don't give a fuck about human beings except how to pay them as little as possible, bombard them morning, night and afternoon with bingle-jingles and then take their money"

    No political philosophy can completely ignore individuals, and humans don't exist as groups. FOr human beings, existence is most sacred at the individual level. I can't possibly live my life purely as an extension of everyone else. I might choose to, but if large groups force small individuals to OBEY because hey, you're just on individual, what about everyone else you selfish bastard!!! Tries to pay you as little as possible? Yeah, and I'm sure that you don't try to get as much money as possible for working as little as possible. An employer isn't your care taker, I'm sorry.

    "Isn't it wonderful. Right smack dab in the middle of a looming depression, Corporate America that send a zillion jobs to China (where the immortal remains of the most vicious mass murderer in the history of humanity are on display) and now they earn the right to bribe politicians."

    In the middle of a recession, you want the most useless jobs to die and as many jobs as possible to be outsourced, so that the economy that remains will be able to grow dramatically. Trying to protect old industries or to protect jobs from foreign competition just makes our economy shitty in the long run. You subsidize failure. I'm sure that you have lots of shitty opinions, and I don't want you having any say in my life, but I will always defend your right to say whatever you want in any way you want, regardless of the medium. God Bless.

  • ||

    "No political philosophy can completely ignore individuals, and humans don't exist as groups. FOr human beings, existence is most sacred at the individual level. I can't possibly live my life purely as an extension of everyone else. I might choose to, but if large groups force small individuals to OBEY because hey, you're just on individual, what about everyone else you selfish bastard!!! Tries to pay you as little as possible? Yeah, and I'm sure that you don't try to get as much money as possible for working as little as possible. An employer isn't your care taker, I'm sorry."

    SHould say:

    No political philosophy can completely ignore individuals, and humans don't exist as groups. FOr human beings, existence is most sacred at the individual level. I can't possibly live my life purely as an extension of everyone else. I might choose to, but if large groups force small individuals to OBEY because hey, "You're just one individual, what about everyone else you selfish bastard!!!" then people have no individuality. Employers try to pay people as little as possible? Yeah, and I'm sure that you don't try to get as much money as possible for working as little as possible. An employer isn't your care taker, I'm sorry.

  • ||

    Ciao TKWELGE,

    "Nobody is arguing that corporations and individuals are THE SAME THING. What we are saying is that just because individuals form a group called "a corporation" they don't lose their collective right to free speech. People don't lack rights as a group that they retain individually. Especially, as in a corporation, where ownership is a shared responsibility. You're not going to win this point."

    Thank you for answering. You may choose to ignore the embarassment called reality and prefer to live in your Freedom fantasy world of single-purpose entities (that single purpose being making as much lucre as possible no matter what the social consequences on breathing, farting, crapping, loving, reproducing human beings) and allow them and their huge fortunes to fork over lucre to the very same people who should be regulating them (for free after normal wages) and for "us".

    In the political sphere it's common sense 101 that a corporation is only in it for the money. That doesn't make them evil, that makes them woefully limited, inhuman and devoid of conscience. That alters their speech in inhuman ways under pain of actually being sued by their stockholders.

    Aware of this embarrassment called reality, systems should (and originally were) devised to take it into account and scoff the very idea of their collective right to free speech in the political sphere.

    Once you take the thick slice of Freedom Prosciutto away from your eyes, you'll see that in their own corporate world, they do not enjoy any of those wonderful free speech freedoms.

    I base this on the fact that Twinkie Inc. never went on the public airwaves saying: "Hi, we're that gang that calls cream filling "cream filling" instead of something more akin to Crisco. And these are some other not-so-nice things about the product that we make."

    Instead you'll get 24/7 'free speech' ubiquitous announcements about how good we taste!

    If corporations were at all interested in free speech, why heck, we'd hear all sorts of different messages from them. Not only "we're the tastiest things in all of God's creation" but "donkey turds are more nutritious" or "twinkies suck farts out of dead elephants."

    We would hear free speech, like you telling me to die or that other guy suggesting that my wife's a whore.

    Why is this thing even being called free speech when it is only about money to politicians? Because that is how Corporations "speak". In their world the old adage "money talks, bullshit walks" is very very true.

    "But no, Jake-the-rake, what are you saying? You're going to lose this point!"

    Point me to a commercial on youtube where a Corporation has practiced this free speech you're talking about and I'll concede the point.

    Show me Starbucks saying something that isn't pro-Starbucks, Chevron saying something that isn't pro-Chevron.

    In my pointy little head, I don't expect them to, because I know what they're about. Unlike the don't-give-a-fuck libertarians, I know that they are incredibly different from human beings and need to be regulated for the good of the collective.

    When mama makes a pie, it doesn't have to pass an FDA inspection like Hostess Incorporated Twinkies. When mama boasts about her pie, the boast isn't repeated trasmitted coast-to-coast. Mama is free to say: "I put too much lemon peel" or the edges are burnt!" or "the previous one was better."

    Mama is in free speech realm and today empowered by technology, she can even talk about her not-so-perfect pie to the people in Pakistan or Japan.

    The day Hostess collectively says something different, not about self-aggrandizement, not single-purpose, then I'll believe that Corporation's truly and honestly need free speech rights.

    Until then, they remain soulless entities, money machines, not deserving of personhood on account of their inhumanity.

  • ||

    "Thank you for answering. You may choose to ignore the embarassment called reality and prefer to live in your Freedom fantasy world of single-purpose entities (that single purpose being making as much lucre as possible no matter what the social consequences on breathing, farting, crapping, loving, reproducing human beings) and allow them and their huge fortunes to fork over lucre to the very same people who should be regulating them (for free after normal wages) and for "us"."

    If this were at all true, there would be no hope for anybody anyway. You say that we ignore reality, but you seem to live in some wierd post apocalyptic world of nightmares.

    "The day Hostess collectively says something different, not about self-aggrandizement, not single-purpose, then I'll believe that Corporation's truly and honestly need free speech rights."

    Corporations always "say" lots of nice flowery things to appease people like you. I hate it when they do, as they are just supposed to be managing my money, not writing romance novels. Part of managing my money involves being able to lobby congress to protect my investment from government meddling. I see this as proper stewardship of someone's investment, as they are representing the investors WHO ARE FUCKING PEOPLE!

  • ||

    "1 in 4 American kids on food stamps even though many of their parents are working for Walmart or McDonalds? Freedom (ACHTUNG FREIHEIT!!) baby! They took the job, they didn't have to so fuck 'em! (Because that's the real rapport for Libertarians even though in their heart of hearts they know it isn't true except in the rosiest of economies)."

    People who work at mcdonald's shouldn't have kids perhaps.......?

  • ||

    "They don't see or imagine a rapport of hammers to anvils, just two identical entities: on the one side a soulless "thingy" worth 1000000000000000000000 dollars, with corporate jets, national "you're-luvin'-it" publicity campaigns in every goddamned place in the world, even Chad, and on the other side a mother with a kid. For a libertarian they're the same, they're two persons! ('Cause see, it says so on this here piece of paper!)"

    How does one person's increased freedom of speech take away from your freedom of speech? Sorry to keep responding to this guy, but his nonsensical rantings drove me up a wall.

  • ||

    You seem to believe that just because somebody has a louder voice than you, You're freedom of speech is somehow diminished. You must think that people are zombies who only listen to the loudest voice in the room.

  • ||

    "Show me Starbucks saying something that isn't pro-Starbucks, Chevron saying something that isn't pro-Chevron."

    Show me one example of you saying something anti jack ass. Seriously, though, you wouldn't say things that weren't in your interest, why should corporations representing the interests of their investors do otherwise?

  • Colonel_Angus||

    "So long as the Judicial Branches of the State and Federal Governments remain open to protect the corporation's interest in its property, it has no need, though it may have the desire, to petition the political branches for similar protection."

    Since all political branches of government often favor one interest's property and rights over another, then the system isn't really so "open" then is it. Maybe the real problem isn't money or influence that a corporation may have, maybe its government's nearly unrestricted ability to regulate in favor of one interest over another that invites corruption.

  • ||

    I think there's an idea behind freedom-limiting laws, essentially: "To save the naive masses from our experiencing the consequences of their dread naivete." It is a sort of twisted "noblese oblige", an ivory tower idealism that fails to recognize its very own naievete, and ultimately punishes the people for electing such ivory tower politicos into power. My two cents.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    In order to save their freedom, we had to destroy it. Or something like that.

  • ||

    If a corporation is the equivalent of a citizen as far as speech is it the equivalent of a citizen in other things? In times of national emergency can the corporation be drafted [nationalized]? If the corporation commits a crime can it be imprisoned [nationalized]? I don’t see how you can grant rights without also having the duties or responsibilities of citizenship. But this is all a mute point, all congress needs to do is legislate that all of the stockholders of a corporation must approve of any political speech being done in their behalf by the corporation.

  • ||

    ".....If a corporation is the equivalent of a citizen as far as..."

    Stop right there. Even a 1 hour year old baby understands, "senses" that they're not equivalent. To actually believe otherwise requires lots of education.

    Do you know the difference between your sister and Hewlett Packard?

    Keep studying, take this law course, listen to that lecture, read this other book, don a black toga and look solemn... and eventually you'll realize that they are substantially identical.

    This was done to humanity by the French Revolution.

    Take my advice, get a standard Acme Inc. Protestant cross and put a suffering Jesus Christ back on it. Then celebrate with a glass of wine and go ahead and dance the tarantella.

    trust me, you wouldn't even begin to utter ".....If a corporation is the equivalent of a citizen as far as..." because it's preposterous.

    Take a deep breath and enjoy your return from the Matrix.

    Human beings and Corporations equivalent? It can only happen when you've read too many books that mighta oughtta shoulda remained on the index and their authors burned at the stake.

  • ||

    Nobody is arguing that corporations and human beings are equivalent. What I'm trying to pound into your brain is that corporations are formed by groups of people and represent the financial interest of large groups of shareholders. Part of defending those shareholders money might include running ads about political changes that might take place. Censoring corporations from defending the collective private property of the PEOPLE that these corporations represent, forever places these people outside of the conversation. Now labor unions could make a corporation their property via the political process. And that is just one example of how leaving corporations out of the conversation can lead to the usurpation of private property rights from people who would have no way to defend themselves collectively, or with the support of the institution that is supposed to be protecting their money.

    A corporation represents the interest of shareholders, and to a lesser extent, managers and employees. All of these individuals are "people." I agree that workers might not be fully represented by their employers, but they at least have similar goals in the long run (the success of the company).

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Why the fixation on corporations?

    MAKE NO LAW
    MAKE NO LAW
    MAKE NO LAW

    Read the freaking Constitution, wouldya?

  • ||

    "If a corporation is the equivalent of a citizen as far as speech is it the equivalent of a citizen in other things? In times of national emergency can the corporation be drafted [nationalized]? "

    I don't think that either party should be draftable, but I would like to point out that, in answer to your example, I would like to point out that the shareholder's of companies as well as the managers and employees are all able to drafted (assuming they are male).

    "If the corporation commits a crime can it be imprisoned [nationalized]? I don’t see how you can grant rights without also having the duties or responsibilities of citizenship."

    Their shareholders can be. Also, the corporations assets can be seize also. And they pay taxes. Etc. etc. Any other dumb questions?

    "But this is all a mute point, all congress needs to do is legislate that all of the stockholders of a corporation must approve of any political speech being done in their behalf by the corporation."

    If you don't like what the corporation is saying, you are free to pull your investment at any time. Wow this is easy!

  • ||

    "If a corporation is the equivalent of a citizen as far as speech is it the equivalent of a citizen in other things? In times of national emergency can the corporation be drafted [nationalized]? "

    I don't think that either party should be draftable, but I would like to point out that, in answer to your example, I would like to point out that the shareholder's of companies as well as the managers and employees are all able to drafted (assuming they are male).

    "If the corporation commits a crime can it be imprisoned [nationalized]? I don’t see how you can grant rights without also having the duties or responsibilities of citizenship."

    Their shareholders can be. Also, the corporations assets can be seize also. And they pay taxes. Etc. etc. Any other dumb questions?

    "But this is all a mute point, all congress needs to do is legislate that all of the stockholders of a corporation must approve of any political speech being done in their behalf by the corporation."

    If you don't like what the corporation is saying, you are free to pull your investment at any time. Wow this is easy!

  • ||

    Ciao Grognard,

    Tkwelge answered your question. Corporations can't get drafted, but the people who work for them can. That to me points to the opposite of what he's defending, but that's par for the Libertarian course.

    However you bring up a good point. Might a corporation stand to gain something in a ruinous war? Could the continuance of a "conflict" (wars haven't been properly declared since time immemorial) be good for the stockholders, but not so good for the stakeholders?

    Does a plantigrade mammal of the ursidae family make caca in the copse?

    Now why on earth would an Eisenhower, a military man, on his way out of the White House warn: "Beware of the establishment of a military industrial complex."

    Could it have been to avoid giving freedom-of-speech-and-bribe rights to companies that make whopping profits in conflicts?

    Hell, what's wrong with them defending their interests?

    Sensible people (as opposed to Libertarians) would instantly point out that Corporations don't spill blood (because they don't have any) and don't grieve, because they don't make and rear children, they merely hire and train them.

    But Libertarians are about freedom... and REASON, not about SENSE.

    Big Cannons Inc. which also makes hearing aids, pharmaceuticals, pizzas and storm windows must have freedom of speech-und-bribe. We (the people who burp and fart and shed blood and lose children) will never hear their "free speech" when they cut the hush-hish deals with the people WE elected (or hope to elect). What will be released will be the boilerplate, spin-control stuff about defending freedom, democracy, security and goodness. But even the rocks know that the real speech is done hush-hush.

    Now Freedom fighter Tkwelge asserts:

    "Part of defending those shareholders money might include running ads about political changes that might take place. Censoring corporations from defending the collective private property of the PEOPLE that these corporations represent, forever places these people outside of the conversation."

    Think STAKEholders and not just STOCKholders... and all doubt should quickly evaporate at least concerning personhood of Corporations (compared to the corpsehood of real people) at least regarding the armaments industry.

    Then from there, a glass or two of wine, might lead you to reckon in similar fashion about Pharmaceuticals, Foodstuffs and similar.

    What the Libertarian doofuses don't understand (because they connect dots any way they please - through REASON and not SENSE) is that they are blithely headed to socialism / Fascism by fostering - in the name of freedom - the incestuous rapport between politics and corporate interests.

  • ||

    "Now why on earth would an Eisenhower, a military man, on his way out of the White House warn: "Beware of the establishment of a military industrial complex.""

    He also warned against technocracy too. It seems like Eisenhower at least realized the real problems, and I would stand by those particular remarks from him. I agree, a military industrial complex is the opposite of what I want. However, you seem to forget that it is always an overactive government that beats the drum for war. Very few corporations have any direct interest in war. Sure, some specific contractors might try to influence decisions to encourage war, but they have no power outside of their own hands and there are far more corporations who don't want to be taxed to support a war that will probably draw investment and customers from their business.

    Think STAKEholders and not just STOCKholders... and all doubt should quickly evaporate at least concerning personhood of Corporations (compared to the corpsehood of real people) at least regarding the armaments industry."

    Shareholders are the only real stakeholders in a company. Shareholders bare all of the risk. AN employee risks nothing, as they are paid wages for time worked. When you say "stakeholder," you simply mean that you want people who bare no risk to make decisions for the people who bare the direct risks. You don't even make points. You are completely driven by "feeling" as you understand them in your own misguided way. Someone like you couldn't begin to pontificate on the nature of morality with your flighty twisted, emotional sense of rightness. Please stop writing dissertations that make it almost impossible to respond to you in the first place. Christ you are annoying.

  • Craig||

    Of course, this decision shouldn't have been difficult at all, and the 4 dissenting voters should be defrocked. The right to peaceably assemble is also protected from Congressional interference in the first amendment, not just the freedom of speech.

  • ||

    Hello stocholders, we are going to fork over 100,000 smackeroons to Kyle Briggs, democratic candidate for the Paskaloosahassie County seat and 100,000 green ones to Susan Libowitz, the republican candidate for the same position.

    We're doing it to have some gummint tax incentives and a new road built to our new premises. If you don't like this policy you can disinvest.

    Oh what's this some impertinent cocksucker just whispered to my ear? Most of you have given your stocks to fund operators and don't even know that you own a share or two of us? And don't even know where that county in question is and have never heard of Kyle Briggs or Susan Libowitz? Well, don't worry, we've got them both in our pocket and the county is in West Virgina.

    Just between you and us, Susan would have come for free, but the polls say it's close, and if she finds out that we invested only in buying off Kyle, she'd likely change her mind and favor you-know-who - our competitor, so fear not, we hedged it.

    Gee I hope this news trickles down to you. I don't know if the day traders will be informed, but come on, for a couple of hours what's it cost them to be simultaneously Democrats and Republicans vis-a-vis Paskaloosahassie County politics?

    I've been informed by the same impertinent cocksucker (somebody remind me to fire him) that none of you lives in Paskaloosahassie County or really gives a fuck about that godforsaken place. You can Google Map it. That's all for now. God bless America.

  • ||

    Can we just send Maddow, Obermann, and Obama a copy of Mill's 'On Liberty' and be done with this nonsense???

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    No... not enough. They must read The Road to Serfdom as well.

  • ||

    Tkwelge the Achtung Freedom fighter says:

    "People who work at Mcdonald's shouldn't have kids perhaps.......?"

    Jake who is a Rake suggests that people who work full hours should have a living wage.

    Blame it on my love of humanity. As a theist (yech!) I don't create false gods and as a humanist, I don't create false humans.

    Man and his basic well-being come first. Money and freedom have their places in a balanced picture which has many other elements.

    If a gal who works all day for a Corporation that has 33,000 restaurants worldwide and spends gadzillions on telling everyone "you're luvin' it" can't afford to raise a kid, then she's a slave. Plain and simple. Call it a prejudice...

    And my prejudices don't end there. I would like her to be able to express more of her humanity and not the pat answers and attitudes decided for her in skyscrapers thousands of miles away by executives (Corporate Commissars).

    While we're at it, I wish the place had its own decor and atmosphere and didn't play the Music of the Corporation's web radio. Instead of Happy Meal boxes, I'd be delighted if she could on occasion invite someone's kid behind the counter and play with him for a while.

    I see this being done in my favorite Italian bar and the kids are really happy not Corporate Socialist happy, real Capitalist kid happy.

    I can go to my bar and belt out "Me and Mrs. Jones have a thing going on" and not be escorted to the door and they even allow me to run a tab. It's connected to place and time and local people and spirit / soul of the owners (who are blessedly unadvised by scads of Corporate Commissar five-year-plan experts).

    And the hamburgers are better, though today it was gnocchi alla saracena and tomorrow will be a surprise. Maybe so good that I will plead for the recipe.

    At my other eatery, I flirt with Giorgia. If she's busy just something quick, if not then she teaches me stuff in Romanian and I fire it back to her, because when she smiles the world is a better place... and when another client joins in, a competition ensues and the premises (unlike no other in the world) become a theater.

    It's lush, full of life, it's small and beautiful... The Corporate Socialist equivalent (mulitiplied by 33,000) is silence, it's "place your order, pay, gobble, chug down, give burp of relief... and NEXT!"

    It's Achtung Freedom, it's Achtung REASON... everything's been calculated to the last detail. Like Communism, except instead of being doomed to failure, it's doomed to success. They wear the same outifits, they have name tags and make the same standard suggestions. It's Achtung Gelt ueber alles and not Gelt part of alles.

    Scald your lips and you can start a class action suit and win a million bucks (it's happened a few times). If Giorgia scalds my cappuccino, and I burn my lips, she'll press a sliced potato on them, if serious, and if not, she'll poke fun at me.

    Btw Giorgia is a single mother with a kid and she makes enough to keep the child in more than a modicum of style.

    It's still a world of truth, love, beauty, justice, free opinions, untamed attitudes... it's still human. It can be improved, it's not Utopia... it's Giorgia.

    What does all this have to do with anything? Nothing at all, it's just me being crazy. But the next time there's a blackout and major rioting breaks out in the land of the free and home of the brave, with people destroying the shops and eateries of their own neighorborhoods (instead of helping each other out) remember the difference between Achtung Freiheit and real freedom which is the result of countless, unsystematic and unlegislated virtues. Remember the difference between mere cold reason and blessed sense, Corporations and people. And remember also if you happen to crap out on the street and everybody walks by and only professionals come to succor you. You might want to factor that into the public or private health system.

    Who are the real bringers of Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Starbucks or the Giorgia kind of places? Why is PC so prelevant and accepted, because of the speech codes and attitudes enforced by Corporations.

    You'd think that Libertarians would notice that millions of people are being oppressed. But they don't care about community, they are slaves to money instead of lovers of people. And that's why Tkwelge the Achtung Freedom fighter says:

    "People who work at Mcdonald's shouldn't have kids perhaps.......?"

    McDonald's is more important.

    But keep your eyes steady on that one in four children on food stamps figure. That is corporate America looking back at you.

    And THAT along with the alienation and imposed conformity of Corporate America is what will bring socialism. The Corporate Commissars will bring the other kind. The Corporate speech codes will lead to the social ones.

    Libertarians my foot in your tasteless "contentless" vanilla Freiheit pudding! You are only stooges of the servile state. Enjoy your stimulus packages and maxed out credit cards!

  • ||

    "Blame it on my love of humanity. As a theist (yech!) I don't create false gods and as a humanist, I don't create false humans."

    Your love of humanity seems to involve forced coercion and slavery. No thanks. Nobody creates false humans. Humans group their money together to see a return, and form an organization to protect their investment, and somehow you see this as completely divorced from the sphere of human existence.

    "Man and his basic well-being come first. Money and freedom have their places in a balanced picture which has many other elements."

    Money is resources and a human's basic well being requires the utilization of resources. Funny how you want to balance freedom against utility. Interesting.......

    "If a gal who works all day for a Corporation that has 33,000 restaurants worldwide and spends gadzillions on telling everyone "you're luvin' it" can't afford to raise a kid, then she's a slave. Plain and simple. Call it a prejudice..."

    SO it is mcdonald's job to pay for her mistakes? Mcdonald's wouldn't have 33,000 stores if it was unicef. We've seen syndicalistic societies in which workers bid their wages up continuously, and funny thing is, their economies were a complete failure that were forced to reform! You're a slave if I don't make myself a slave to you?

    "While we're at it, I wish the place had its own decor and atmosphere and didn't play the Music of the Corporation's web radio. Instead of Happy Meal boxes, I'd be delighted if she could on occasion invite someone's kid behind the counter and play with him for a while.

    I see this being done in my favorite Italian bar and the kids are really happy not Corporate Socialist happy, real Capitalist kid happy."

    Yeah, and that italian bar might become very successful. IF that's what people decide they want to pay for.

    "At my other eatery, I flirt with Giorgia. If she's busy just something quick, if not then she teaches me stuff in Romanian and I fire it back to her, because when she smiles the world is a better place... and when another client joins in, a competition ensues and the premises (unlike no other in the world) become a theater."

    Wow you're so interesting and special! Cause I'm just some corporate raised deuchbag who sucks the corporate dick all day while watching a blank screen and handing my money to guys in suits cause they flash shiny objects in my eye. Dude, you are no different from anybody else, and we all have relationships with all sorts of people. Sometimes even those corporate slaves that you talk about. I talk with the mcdonald's chicks, too ya know.

    "Achtung Freedom, it's Achtung REASON"

    Every time you say, "Achtung!" I imagine you're getting a dick in your ass. You sound retarded. Why are you doing that?

    "Who are the real bringers of Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Starbucks or the Giorgia kind of places? Why is PC so prelevant and accepted, because of the speech codes and attitudes enforced by Corporations."

    I think that they are both bringers of life. PC is only prevalent in corporations because of the government and PC culture amongst the customers. Here you damn corporations if they do or they don't. If they obey the PC populism, they are dogmatic social controllers, but if they do what they want regardless of what large portions of society may want, then they are evil for ignoring "humanity and dignity."

    "But keep your eyes steady on that one in four children on food stamps figure. That is corporate America looking back at you."

    I'm sure that most of those kid's parents are facing issues that can't be shown in a statistic. I don't blame corporations for people having kids they can't afford while not investing enough in their own skills or working hard enough to take care of said progeny.

  • ||

    The left is going crazy about this because they fear that there will be new voices in political debate that are louder than their own. Thus, it's a power issue to them, not a freedom issue. Because of their irrational fear of free dialog (a classic, perpetual characteristic of all adherents to utopian belief systems), they fail to recognize that the holding in the SCt case that supports freedom of speech for corporations also supports freedom of speech for unions, and left wing public interest groups.

  • Justice Thomas||

    “If 10 of you got together and decided to speak, just as a group, you’d say you have First Amendment rights to speak and the First Amendment right of association,” he said. “If you all then formed a partnership to speak, you’d say we still have that First Amendment right to speak and of association.”

    “But what if you put yourself in a corporate form?” Justice Thomas asked, suggesting that the answer must be the same.

  • ||

    Yes the left is bitching and screaming, but when the 2010 elections are held, guess which side will abuse this ruling? The left of course. It is within Obama's power to give TARP funds to gov't owned companies, and to use those companies to advertise for Democrats. With a mere $10 billion he could overwhelm all other advertising combined. All his faux outrage could just be laying the groundwork for Obama to justify such abuse later. You can't go by what Obama says since his scheme could be much grander. Remember, he is the one who refused to take matching funds in the 2008 General Election, and thus was able to outspend McCain.

  • ||

    Frankly I don't see how anyone who even pretends to support the 1st amendment can tolerate the Politician Protection Act AKA McCain Feingold. The sole purpose of this so called reform was to silence criticism of elected officials and keep them in office. That is and always was it's only purpose. The only problem here is that this ruling should have come years ago. The people who are upset over this ruling simply hate free speech plain and simple.

  • ||

    I posed the questions to see if anyone saw the possible wider implications of this, again, if a corporation is equivalent to a citizen then could a Hugo Chavez type claim the ability to “draft” a company like drafting a citizen? Is the unintended consequence of this decision giving the Federal Government broad powers to nationalize?

    “just sell your stock” No that’s not the way it works, The shareholders are the owners of the company, management reports to them, not the other way around. Owners have all sorts of protections on the value of their investment, management is not given free reign to do whatever they want with the shareholders money. For example outside accountants check the books for accuracy and important decisions, like an acquisition, are voted on by stockholders. The time to find out that your managers have funded a neo nazi group is not when your share price has plummeted to zero. There are all sorts of reasons shareholders would want to, or be authorized to, vote on how the company gets involved in the political sphere.

  • ||

    Nowhere in this ruling did anybody say that CORPORATIONS are PEOPLE. Nobody said that you fucking morons. The ruling simply stated that individuals organized into a corporate form retain their freedom of speech collectively. In no way did they attribute humanity to corporations. When will you people get this into your fucking skull? What the fuck? I mean, how many times can you say the same thing and get the same response and keep just rattling on like a mad man?

  • ||

    Hey, if the democrats hadn't been trying to tighten the bolt on free speech one 1/2 turn tighter, the bolt wouldn't have broken for them.

    They just couldn't tolerate someone using a Michael Moore tactic against them.

    Well, what goes around comes around. Becareful who you try to censor. They would have never sued if the democrats hadn't been trying to stifle everyone.

    And nowwwwwww. . . . . .everyone gets to speak whatever they want. Even small companies.

    My guess is, most of their screaming is because it's a self inflicted wound when they had it so good.

    Karma baby. . . . .karma.

  • ||

    Classic Obama -build a strawman then burn it in effigy.

  • weeds season 6 episode 3||

    Great share I agree that the shareholders are the only real stake holder in a company

  • ||

    Tkwelge asserts:

    "Shareholders are the only real stakeholders in a company. Shareholders bare all of the risk. AN employee risks nothing, as they are paid wages for time worked. When you say "stakeholder," you simply mean that you want people who bare no risk to make decisions for the people who bare the direct risks"

    I appreciate the doltish simplicity of your world view that only shareholders are the stakeholders in a company. Even that point is debatable, because ideally workers shouldn't be merely robots, but human beings. But that's for another day and another thread.

    My point was that all of society is the ultimate stakeholder. What corporations do affects society in a host of different ways. Can you deny that McDonald's has affected society when its Orange Clown is the most recognized symbol and when publicity compaigns are targeted at children?

    The crap issuing from a corporate smoke stack is breathed in even by non-shareholder people. The whole point of corporations is to have an effect upon society. And that's generally fine, but you will notice that there are plenty of situations in which a company's profit is not the only concern, but - for instance - the safety of their product. Why should said companies be allowed to finance the politicians (representatives of all the stakeholders) who in turn must be the regulators?

    If you sued a company, would you like the court judge to be a stockholder in that company or would you scream conflict of interest?

    Corporations have a huge effect on life for one and all and at all levels.

    Imagine a townhall meeting. A heavy debate is on. How do corporations fit in? Well there could be a Ceo or two, workers, shareholders, delivery boys... human beings. And as human beings they intervene and have their say. Now add corporate money to the mix. What is gained? Only bribery and blackmail.

    Why do corporations go to third world countries and pay minors working in horrendous conditions, pennies and then bring the goods to the USA, thereby destroying the local companies? Where along the food chain did they once care for the stakeholders? The consumers, you will answer. Well that's Homo Economicus and not just Homo (man).

    If you like it that way, fine, but don't go telling me that society as a whole isn't affected. Lives were destroyed, entire industries have disappeared, vasts amounts of goods were brought in that have no life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness to them. The shirt made in the sweatshop has no healthcare cost, no pension cost, no nothing cost attached to it (that's why it's so wonderfully inexpensive). And the shirt NO LONGER made locally, will bring little or nothing to society. An entire field, with its talents and possibilities was lost. American workers were forced to compete with slave laborers... and they lost.

    Real wealth was lost, not at first: the tertiary sector did just fine: lawyers, accountants, advertisers and all the rest. But then downturn: Ooops!

    China booming and the USA about to plunge into a depression, her productive capacity nearly crippled. Marx's dire prediction that Capitalists will eventually make and sell the rope to hang themselves sounding true (except, they will no longer even "make" the rope, just put the company logo on it (Swoosh, just do it!).

    Chesterton's warning: "The trouble with capitalism is that it tends to create too few capitalists" also ringing true.

    1 in four American children on food stamps (and the number soon destined to rise). Thank you Corporate America. Thank you for only considering shareholders and not stakeholders. Thank you for allowing profit to be the only voice... and calling everything else "communism" or "socialism" or "fascism"... though oddly enough, the greatest beneficiary has been RED CHINA.

    What is that Tkwelge, the Achtung Freedom fighter said?

    "Shareholders are the only real stakeholders in a company. Shareholders bare all of the risk. AN employee risks nothing, as they are paid wages for time worked."

    Tell that to the slave laborers in China and to the unemployed ex-laborers of the USA. We risk nothing, not our talents, livelihoods, not our educational systems, our standing in the world.

    The only thing that is REAL for Tkwelge, the Achtung Freedom fighter is the money. The social realm doesn't exist... but now the social realm will come to haunt him. It's already happening. Main Street became Wall Street and Wall Street went global... and somehow along the line, America went broke. All done in the name of freedom... but a freedom that is really ACHTUNG FREIHEIT!

    And now we are stuck with Giants too big to fail, which oftentimes means too big to prosecute. We have the USA government desperate for job creation (the social coming back to haunt us). But instead of creating jobs, they increase imports.

    We have social unrest... Hmmm, time for a war maybe. Obama selling arms to Taiwan and making threatening overtures to Iran. Tertiary sector gone wild? Bubbles ladies and gentlemen! Great big enormous bubbles. Ah, but the conservatives will insist that Government has no business getting involved in business. So, the answer? Let business finance the politcians! That will surely lower Government involvement in business. By golly will it ever!

  • ||

    "My point was that all of society is the ultimate stakeholder. What corporations do affects society in a host of different ways. Can you deny that McDonald's has affected society when its Orange Clown is the most recognized symbol and when publicity compaigns are targeted at children?"

    You're saying that inter connectivity is an argument for control. As long as we are "part" of society, our individuality and the contracts we make with others as well as our financial associations mean less than "the greater good."

    "Imagine a townhall meeting. A heavy debate is on. How do corporations fit in? Well there could be a Ceo or two, workers, shareholders, delivery boys... human beings. And as human beings they intervene and have their say. Now add corporate money to the mix. What is gained? Only bribery and blackmail."

    We weren't talking about campaign contributions at all. This supreme court decision has nothing to do with campaigning and campaign contributions. This decision was about freedom of speech.

    "Why do corporations go to third world countries and pay minors working in horrendous conditions, pennies and then bring the goods to the USA, thereby destroying the local companies? Where along the food chain did they once care for the stakeholders? The consumers, you will answer. Well that's Homo Economicus and not just Homo (man)."

    Actually foreign investors in third world countries usually pay workers more than domestic alternatives. Working a in a dusty factory beats prostitution or tilling soil with grandpa's femur.

    "If you like it that way, fine, but don't go telling me that society as a whole isn't affected. Lives were destroyed, entire industries have disappeared, vasts amounts of goods were brought in that have no life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness to them. The shirt made in the sweatshop has no healthcare cost, no pension cost, no nothing cost attached to it (that's why it's so wonderfully inexpensive). And the shirt NO LONGER made locally, will bring little or nothing to society. An entire field, with its talents and possibilities was lost. American workers were forced to compete with slave laborers... and they lost."

    Well, american consumers got better products for less, freeing resources for more productive jobs, and those foreigners received a living that allowed them to live above sustenance level.

    "Real wealth was lost, not at first: the tertiary sector did just fine: lawyers, accountants, advertisers and all the rest. But then downturn: Ooops!"

    Actually, overall wealth has increased dramatically over the long run, even with the downturn, and there is no reason to believe that we won't bounce back.

    "China booming and the USA about to plunge into a depression, her productive capacity nearly crippled. Marx's dire prediction that Capitalists will eventually make and sell the rope to hang themselves sounding true (except, they will no longer even "make" the rope, just put the company logo on it (Swoosh, just do it!)."

    Lol, you scream about the poverty of third world workers and how they are being exploited and then you argue that China is kicking our butts thanks to us buying stuff from them. That's not true by the way, but it's obvious that you don't understand economics at all if you really think the US is "falling behind" anybody.

    "Tell that to the slave laborers in China and to the unemployed ex-laborers of the USA. We risk nothing, not our talents, livelihoods, not our educational systems, our standing in the world."

    The average American has benefited from trade with China and vice versa. And yes, I would tell them that, not to mean, but because it is fact. Nobody is just going to hand somebody money if it is probably going to be wasted or lost. Why is that so evil? Sure some people are stuck with a terrible lot in life, and we should do what we can for our neighbors outside of government coercion, but that is no reason to make the rest of society suffer along, too. Why is two people starving better than one person living, especially if the survivor lives by some sort of merit?

    "The only thing that is REAL for Tkwelge, the Achtung Freedom fighter is the money. The social realm doesn't exist... but now the social realm will come to haunt him. It's already happening. Main Street became Wall Street and Wall Street went global... and somehow along the line, America went broke. All done in the name of freedom... but a freedom that is really ACHTUNG FREIHEIT!"

    Um, yeah, I only have relationships with money, not people. Look, business is an important part of the social realm. When two people put their money together they are bonded in a strong way. Their interests are now similar and a new relationship built on trust is formed. How is this the enemy of humanity? SHould socialization occur as it would in a giant high school or prison, in which the strongest and most popular are the leaders, while smart, useful individuals are given a low standing?

    "And now we are stuck with Giants too big to fail, which oftentimes means too big to prosecute. We have the USA government desperate for job creation (the social coming back to haunt us). But instead of creating jobs, they increase imports."

    Actually the trade levels fluctuate over time. In the future, we may well see huge trade surpluses as a payoff for our current, temporary trade deficits.

    "Ah, but the conservatives will insist that Government has no business getting involved in business. So, the answer? Let business finance the politcians! That will surely lower Government involvement in business. By golly will it ever!"

    Actually the best way to fix problems would be to lower the ability of the government to interfere with the private property of the citizenry, thus lowering the advantage to be gained from political chicanery. TA DA!

  • ||

    Who are the morons?

    As is common in debates, there is cursing and one side calling the other moronic. So let's see who are the morons. In my view:

    The morons are those who cannot see the single-purposeness of Corporations (profit), thus tainting not their right to freedom of speech, but in forking over unlimited amounts of money to politicians.

    A moron is someone who doesn't understand that such monies, if disbursed, are considered by the corporations as merely expenses towards furthering their profit.

    Only a moron would call profit intrinsically evil, however only a moron would not recognize that there are many - a great many instances, when the larger entity called society, or even smaller entities called "local towns" are at odds with corporate aims and have honest cause to worry about politicians being paid off.

    Only a moron would assert that ALL politicians are on the take, but the greater moron would be the one not to constantly doubt their integrity. This is based on 4000 years of human experience. Empiricism.

    Only a moron would say that Corporations have no effect on society.

    You will hear great bragging and philosophising about the "social good" that all the outsourcing and factory displacements have done to the third world, (bringing new prosperity, jobs, talents), yet for reasons bizarre, talk about "social bad" being wreaked upon the country hosting corporate headquarters is not permitted. In that case "good" becomes Corporate profit, better prices for consumers, etc. all exclusively about money. I'm not sure whether to call that moronic or diabolically clever, sinful. But I'll settle for moronic.

    Only a moron would deny the troubling social effects of a full-time job no longer allowing for a living wage. The trilogy is "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". Life comes first.

    Only a moron would refuse to see what Corporations would do without regulations. Child labor, pollution, unsafe products, unsafe foods and medicines, sweat shops. Look at the behavior of corporations in those countries that have no regulation or highly undemocratic systems. This indicates to all, except the libertarian morons that Corporations need certain levels of regulation for the public good. And that said regulation coming from the people's representatives, there is a huge conflict of interest when corporations are allowed to dole out huge sums of money to politicians.

    Only a moron would deny the corruptive and coercive power of money. There are very few saints in the world.

    Only a Moron would dare suggest that a Corporation's political views reflect those of its shareholders. The managers' intervention in politics at best reflect the shareholders' profit motivation. Said shareholders might not even be personally aware that they own shares in that particular Corporation. A large percentage of them might be foreigners. Investments can and often are made and changed in a matter of hours. Profit is the only real, honest and solidly recognizable motive. Ergo: corporate intervention in politics is only about corporate profit.

    Only a moron would suggest that corporate funding of politicians will decrease government intervention (and invasiveness) in the business sphere.

  • ||

    See my post on the Citizens United case at

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....47342.html

  • weeds season 6 episode 2||

    The managers' intervention in politics at best reflect the shareholders' profit motivation. Said shareholders might not even be personally aware that they own shares in that particular Corporation. A large percentage of them might be foreigners. Investments can and often are made and changed in a matter of hours.

  • ||

    "The morons are those who cannot see the single-purposeness of Corporations (profit), thus tainting not their right to freedom of speech, but in forking over unlimited amounts of money to politicians."

    You dramatically oversimplify things when you call a corporation a "single purpose institution." Corporations have lots of varied interests across the board. And even profit isn't a "single purpose." You could aim for long term or short term profits. YOu can take bigger or smaller risks. Not to mention the diverse array of things a corporation does in pursuit of those profits. A human being isn't a "single purpose institution" even though you could break down our entire scope of existence to a few activities in service of our basic natural drives. I'm not trying to compare corporations to people, as corporations simply represent the the interest of investors. BUt why do investors lose the right to have their investment protected by the stewards of their savings and hopes? Nobody is saying corporations are people!

    Nobody is saying corporations are people!

    Nobody is saying that corporations are people!

    Did you get any of that? Do I need to repeat it for you? CItizen's United simply stated that a group of individuals with limited liability (not zero liability, you fucking morons) cannot be refused the same right to protect their interests via a representative (as is the purpose of corporations; to guide the collective investments of people willing to take risks, and therefore represent their interests).

    "however only a moron would not recognize that there are many - a great many instances, when the larger entity called society, or even smaller entities called "local towns" are at odds with corporate aims and have honest cause to worry about politicians being paid off."

    I don't think that the interests of corporations and the interests of towns and communities differs much. It just seems to me like some towns and communities want to have their cake and eat it too. They want a corporation to take massive risks and provide a ton of services at a loss only to be strong armed by politicians whenever they actually succeed. TO liberals it's not private property if I want it more!

    "You will hear great bragging and philosophising about the "social good" that all the outsourcing and factory displacements have done to the third world, (bringing new prosperity, jobs, talents), yet for reasons bizarre, talk about "social bad" being wreaked upon the country hosting corporate headquarters is not permitted. In that case "good" becomes Corporate profit, better prices for consumers, etc. all exclusively about money. I'm not sure whether to call that moronic or diabolically clever, sinful. But I'll settle for moronic."

    No, free markets and corporations create higher standards of living. More food, more consumption opportunities, more skills, more investment (money given on faith), etc etc. You just mentioned in your last post how China was supposedly kicking our asses. How would their current success be possible without the fact that we actually take a chance and allow trade deficits while they develop? Every American's quality of life also increases as we get more goods from China and utilize resources for other purposes that would have had to be used to make washing machines.

    "Only a moron would refuse to see what Corporations would do without regulations. Child labor, pollution, unsafe products, unsafe foods and medicines, sweat shops. Look at the behavior of corporations in those countries that have no regulation or highly undemocratic systems. This indicates to all, except the libertarian morons that Corporations need certain levels of regulation for the public good. And that said regulation coming from the people's representatives, there is a huge conflict of interest when corporations are allowed to dole out huge sums of money to politicians."

    Yes, without government regulations, customers would just drop dead in the streets while workers passed out chained to their workstations. And we would all bathe in the blood of the innocent while praising SATAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why would a corporation poison its customers, and why would a corporation treat workers with valuable skills like total shit?

    "Only a moron would deny the corruptive and coercive power of money. There are very few saints in the world."

    Except getting money requires actually providing somebody with something that they would be willing to give the money up for. Unless you're the government, then you just steal it. Plus you don't seem at all worried about the corrupting influence of power itself. Or the corrupting influence of fame.

    "Only a Moron would dare suggest that a Corporation's political views reflect those of its shareholders. The managers' intervention in politics at best reflect the shareholders' profit motivation. Said shareholders might not even be personally aware that they own shares in that particular Corporation. "

    You own shares in companies that you don't know that you own? lol, okay. Corporations may not poll their shareholders before every decision, but when you give a corporation money, you are implicitly trusting their ability to use your money in a way that is mutually beneficial. Stewardship of that investment may involve stating opinions about legislation that might impact the investors investment. THe only zero liability investment would be a contracted CD with a bank, or some other guaranteed, contractually promised return. If you don't agree with a corporation, don't invest in it!

    "Profit is the only real, honest and solidly recognizable motive. Ergo: corporate intervention in politics is only about corporate profit."

    In my experience, food and water are the only solidly recognizable motives behind humans. Well, that and sex. WHen I vote, I vote based mostly on my financial desires. Money represents resources, and we all want to utilize resources. Human beings all vote on greed. I think that everyone has wants and desires when they go to the polls. People can speak out in their own interests and vote in their own interests, no matter how greedy or self centered, so why can't a corporation (who isn't a media corporation lol) make commercials stating their wants and desires. The corporation itself still cannot vote, it can only speak for its investors. A human being can walk up to the polls, announce to the world, "I want more money and more suffering of people who aren't me!" and vote vote vote! A corporation can simply speak for its investors. Nobody is granting a corporation humanity for the fucking millionth time. Corporations still aren't allowed to make direct contributions to political campaigns. In what way do you people think that the recent court decision made corporations "people" in the eyes of the law?

    "Only a moron would suggest that corporate funding of politicians will decrease government intervention (and invasiveness) in the business sphere."

    Only a moron would suggest that decreased corporate funding of politicians would decrease government intervention in the business sphere.

    The only true way to decrease corporate influence and the influence of centralized institutions is to weaken the power of the strongest centralized institution around.

    Start typing shorter posts bitch. And you better not be standing when you pee.

  • ||

    Ease up, Tkwelge, we're only talking and disagreeing. I instead thank you for your time and if you were here I'd give you a bottle of wine. If your jowls get wobbly, I understand. I'm sorry if I've challenged your simpleton's freedom-fool's paradise.

    "........You're saying that inter connectivity is an argument for control. As long as we are "part" of society, our individuality and the contracts we make with others as well as our financial associations mean less than "the greater good.........."

    There is a difference between governance and control. Ever been to a successful party? It's a happening sort of thing. It is governed, but not controlled. Because of the nature of man, total anarchy is not freer than governance. Governance is what keeps an eye on the greater good. Control instead is more about pre-ordained purpose. Do not confuse governance with control, which is precisely what will happen with Corporations getting into even deeper and more incestuous rapports with Politics.

    As the Independent Business Alliance noted in its amicus brief,

    [P]recisely because a corporation enjoys significant state-created economic advantages designed for the narrow purpose of furthering wealth- accumulation, corporate participation in candidate campaigns promotes market entrenchment and corrupts the political marketplace in a fundamentally undemocratic manner.

    ".........We weren't talking about campaign contributions at all. This supreme court decision has nothing to do with campaigning and campaign contributions. This decision was about freedom of speech....."

    It's the final straw. Money from Exxon, Goldman Sachs, Pfizer and the rest of the Fortune 500 is already corroding the policy making process in Washington, state capitals and city halls. Today, the Supreme Court tells these corporate giants that they have a constitutional right to trample democracy.

    "............Actually foreign investors in third world countries usually pay workers more than domestic alternatives. Working a in a dusty factory beats prostitution or tilling soil with grandpa's femur........."

    Yes it does, I agree. (Though get ready to see prostitution on the rise both there and here).

    I live in Italy. It took centuries to create shoe manufacturing here and make it famous. It would take only a few years to reduce it to zero. The choice is between Governance (give and take for mutual benefit) as opposed to Control (either prohibitive tariffs or a free-for-all shoe market pitting first world citizens against third world slaves).

    You decide. I'd like to see the shoe business survive in Italy and talents centuries in the making passed down. I consider it a national heritage, a wealth.

    So what is it? Governance or lassez-faire / control? Do we maintain a cultural continuum of craftmanship or do we surrender to the lure of shoes that cost a penny each to make by peasants who will be gunned down the minute they say "boo" to the management?

    Are you only interested in money? Then go forth young lad (ragazzo mio) and buy them shoes! Kill the artisans / workers of your own country. Make them poorer so that they will even HAVE to buy Chinese shoes, because that's all they will be able to afford... and then blithely suggest that one day those talents, centuries in the making, will bounce back.

    Either that or else "govern" a deal with the Chinese.

    Is it profit motive alone, or something socially mitigated to consider human beings? I believe moral man can be victorious. I don't want my fellow citizens forced to compete with the desperate thousands of miles away. They can develop their internal market, the way we developed ours.

    ".........Well, american consumers got better products for less, freeing resources for more productive jobs, and those foreigners received a living that allowed them to live above sustenance level......"

    Americans lost jobs, productive jobs, that is to say, jobs that produced actual wealth. And those jobs were replaced by service "tertiary" jobs, undoubtedly more fun and cleaner, but in time destined to disappear, because tertiary jobs follow the fate of primary productive jobs.

    Very hard come, very easy go. The real action will gravitate where the actual wealth is created.

    Why is Great Britain in such a mess? 'Cause they don't produce hardly anything anymore. They trade, they advertise, they consult.

    What's wrong with our banks? Banks are very simple and easy in a healthy, primary, real-wealth-producing economy. But once the real-wealth-producing is lost, then they must per force become creative. Et voila' the Lawrence Welk bubble machines.

    ".........Actually, overall wealth has increased dramatically over the long run, even with the downturn, and there is no reason to believe that we won't bounce back......."

    Okay, I'll stop here, because you live in a free trade myth.

    Set yourself straight with Economist Ha-Joon Chang. Even if you disagree, I guarantee you a surprisingly entertaining talk (given the topic).

    And remember "governance" isn't control.

    Also you might want to view:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=channel

    ...showing a speech by Ralph Gomory (ex IBM senior vice president for Science and Technology), who makes it clear how economic theory has been shattered because there is no longer any connection between the profits of American companies and the welfare of Americans.

    Listen to what happened while he was at IBM (when the investor fund driven shareholders took over).

    The “New Economy” is a hoax. There is no new economy. There is an unemployed economy.

    The headlined unemployment rate is just over 10 percent. The real unemployment rate, as measured by the current methodology is 17 percent. The unemployment rate as measured by the methodology of 1980 is 22 percent.

    If jobs offshoring is a benefit to America, why is more than one-fifth of the U.S. work force unemployed? Why does the U.S. have the largest trade deficits in world history? Why is the U.S. dollar losing value over time to other tradable currencies?

    Greed, and elected representatives who are toadies to special interests, are decimating the American economy.

    "........ The average American has benefited from trade with China and vice versa. And yes, I would tell them that, not to mean, but because it is fact...."

    Nobody's buying it anymore. Sorry, nice try. But do keep insisting!

    ".......... Actually the trade levels fluctuate over time. In the future, we may well see huge trade surpluses as a payoff for our current, temporary trade deficits....."

    I take note of your optimism. Concerning the future, better Gerardo Celente than Tkwelge who puts money before people.

    I'll join you in praying for the next big thing, if you join me in praying that the United States doesn't unravel

    "......Start typing shorter posts bitch. And you better not be standing when you pee......."

    Ah yes, underneath every Libertarian there's always that "ACHTUNG"... There's nothing quite so intolerant as a freedom worshipper.

  • ||

    YOu keep writing posts that are inherently difficult to reply to so I'll make this short. I don't put money before people. I don't know why you seem to pigeonhole and stereotype people. You have no understanding of real economics and you only have a touch feely notion of right and wrong to guide you. You're inherently skeptical of corporations and you keep ignoring what the supreme court case was actually about. You seem to prefer this illusory conversation about the rights of corporations as if they (and the decisions of the people who own and run it by extension) were some sort of "special" entity deserving of "containment." As if evil swells from the productive centers of our society. Why do you not want people who are responsible for our very quality of life to have any say in the process? How could the united states unravel? The United States has been getting wealthier all along. I want you to show me one chart that shows that this country is losing wealth over the long run. It's not "optimism" to believe that free people trading with eachother and building wealth will continue to produce prosperity as it has been shown to do in the past. Is it "optimism" to believe that the united states won't fall into the tenth circle of hell just because more people can speak in the discussion?

  • ||

    Why do you want the PEOPLE who control the CORPORATION to have so much power over the PEOPLE in their COMMUNITY that they now dare not oppose the views of the CORPORATION openly for fear of any form of retaliation?

  • weeds season 6 episode 1||

    How could the united states unravel? The United States has been getting wealthier all along. I want you to show me one chart that shows that this country is losing wealth over the long run. It's not "optimism" to believe that free people trading with eachother and building wealth will continue to produce prosperity as it has been shown to do in the past. Is it "optimism" to believe that the united states won't fall into the tenth circle of hell just because more people can speak in the discussion?
    reply to this

  • ||

    They are big on Sieg Heil also.

    When my father was in school here in the midwest the pledge of allegience also forced people to bring their hand to their chest and then thrust it upward and outward like a Hitler salute. My dad says that memory still scares him to this day. That was in the late 30's - early 40's. Our family fled Germany as the Kaiser was rounding up young men for World War One.

  • ||

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=channel

    This is the worst example of sector fetishism portrayed as real economics. The government will always protect a favored sector by treating it as "special." They used to argue that farming was the center of the American economy when most people were farmers. Then manufacturing took off, and everyone decided that if you weren't importing lots of raw materials and turning them into manufactured goods, you were just falling behind. When the manufacturing sector left parts of NEW York after the post war boom fizzled, places like SOHO were a travesty. People didn't want to re zone the land away from manufacturing, because everyone dreamed of the day those manufacturing jobs would return. Later, they reached a compromise allowing bohemians and whatnot to move in and turn it into apartment lofts. A combination of art culture and gentrification turned SOHO into successful little community. The lesson here is that there is no silver bullet sector. All sectors are important and labor shifts between these sectors based on demand. Once the demand from the developing world is bigger than the demand from the developed world, you'll see industrialized world manufacturing expand. This seems likely if the developing world is so much larger in population size compared to the current developed world, and the developing world is expanding at an amazing pace. Get your crummy neo mercantilistic keynsianism out of here sir.

  • ||

    Is the position of Nick Gilespe, as stated on Bill Moyers Journal recently, intellectual fraud?

    He indicated that he supports the recent SCOTUS decision and feels that the decision did not go far enough. His ideology is the same ideology of Alan Greenspan, the former poster boy for the Libertarian movement. Greenspan has admitted some of his assumptions about FREE self regulated unrestrained markets were wrong. Therefore, one could safely apply the deficiencies in the FREE Market argument to the argument made by Gillespie for free speech as he articulates it.

    He argued that other ideas – speech will make it into the public debate or onto the airwaves. Here is where he is wrong: For example, Lets assume that the pharmaceutical industry (PI) pools its resources and decides to purchase issue advertising time on a network or group of networks. What would prevent them from dangling the carrot of billions of dollars for the contract with the stipulation that no counter argument be allowed one second of airtime in return for the opportunity to share some of the profit of the quasi – monopoly in the form of ad dollars?

    Mr. Greenspan came to grips with the flaws in his ideology. Mr. Gillespie, why do you appear to be having difficulty with yours? By blindly believing in the word FREE, as it relates to many aspects in life, are you not ignoring potential improvements that could be made in your beliefs by challenging their assumptions? In my opinion, you are actually arguing in favor of piling onto the ideological flaws that nearly destroyed the United States.

    Furthermore, you argue that Government is basically dysfunctional in that their product produces so many poor outcomes. But, doesn’t that argument ignore the influence big money and corporations have over the government? Don’t industry lobbyists often write legislation? And you’re proposing that the government is dysfunctional? Isn’t that intellectual fraud? Are you purposely functioning as a “Trojan Horse” for corporate interests, or is this a product of intellectual deficit? Are you just a “pawn in the game” pandering to the P.T. Barnum target market? Does the phrase “there’s a sucker born every minute” have anything to do with your strategy?

  • ||

    The crux of my frustration is not the point Mr. Gillespie brings up about corporations being "intricately involved" in our electoral process.
    The frustration I maintain is (and always has been) corporate America and American media being inextricably linked with campaign finance. Now, the Supreme Court has empowered corporate America to tell us who to vote for. And yes, Mr. Gillespie is right, every major newspaper and union has always had their greedy hand in swaying the American voter. This is just wrong. The purpose of the media is to present both sides and let people make their own decision. NOT present both sides and then decide which candidate is incorrect... or who lacks moral compass.
    American voters have to get off their dead ass and realize it is their responsibility to educate themselves on the candidates, their platforms, and make an EDUCATED voting decision. Not a decision based on who corporate America or the media tells them to vote for. This is a major source of frustration for me.
    The American will blindly vote "Democrat or Republican" because of what party they pledge allegiance to. Ironically and paradoxically, they will turn around and complain about our government, never once lifting a finger to hold the elected officials accountable. American voters need to open their minds, educate themselves and use the God given intelligence they were so generously blessed with.

  • ||

    Furthermore, "By the People, For the People" does not apply to corporate America.

  • ||

    Corporations are mostly interested in making money. One need only look at Big Tobacco who paid "scientists" to say that tobacco was safe when everyone knew why their "smokes like a chimney" friends or relatives kicked off. After that, THERE IS NO REASON to trust another corporation again EVER.

  • ||

    Ciao Kirkules,

    Oh I disagree. There's every reason in the world to "trust" corporate views. Tobacco will say that tobacco is fine, Hostess will say that Twinkies taste just great, Walmart will defend trade with China. We may trust how they will use their "free speech" (and how they will throw their money around. There are very few certainties in life. To death and taxes, I think we can safely add Corporate profit motive. Be trusting. Turn on your TV and rest assured that companies will always and without fail advertise their product. Profit motive is always good. Should there ever be negative consequences, they didn't mean it.

  • JohnR||

    The problem the Democrats have with Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission is that they will need to find another way than an ACORN type organizer now the election should be or level on all sides.

  • abercrombie milano||

  • jordan||

  • cz jewelry wholesale||

  • wholesale imitation jewelry||

    You can do this with VirtualBox, but it is a bit more limited for example, you cannot branch off of a previous snapshot and create a whole new node of differencing disks, whereas you can do this with VMWare.
    wholesale imitation jewelry wholesale fashion jewelry

  • nike air max||

    is good

  • fashion jewelry wholesale||

    Great Article. thank you for sharing.
    fashion jewelry wholesale

  • crystal jewelry wholesale||

    than you for sharing nice post.

    crystal jewelry wholesale

  • Silver jewelry wholesale||

    Great post. Thank you for sharing, I like it.

    silver jewelry wholesale

  • fashion jewelry wholesale||

    Nice Post. Thank you for sharing, Like your articles.

  • discount fashion jewelry||

    These are such as are supposed best trends calculated to effect the object for which it fashion was created.

  • ||

    Federal Election Commission is that they will need to find another way than an ACORN type organizer now the election should be or level on all sides

  • mbt discount||

    good

  • nike dunks||

    good

  • ||

    To Nick Gillespie: The current GOP Presidential campaign has clearly demonstrated the ability of a small handful of mega-wealthy extremist ideologues, and powerful corporations, to subvert democracy by literally changing the outcome of elections by overwhelming the voices of the citizens. You defended Citizens United when it was handed down and derisively dismissed the fears voiced by the many critics of the decision. How does it feel to now be proven a complete and utter fool in front of the entire world? Repeat after me: Speech is speech and money is money. Corporations are not people--they are legal fictions created to limit the liability of individuals and promote commerce. The Constitution gives the right of free speech to individuals. It does not give it to artificially created commercial legal fictions.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement