Comment: Corporations and liberty

(See in situ)

In reply to comment: I like Ratigan a lot. He is (see in situ)

Corporations and liberty

As a Progressive who is voting in the Republican primary in my state for Ron Paul but cannot support him in the general election, you are spot on when diagnosing that my biggest quibble in my understanding of the Liberty Movement is the lack of policy prescriptions to address the threat that corporations (or more precisely the Supreme Court's invention of corporate personhood) pose to my individual liberty and their corruption of the republic.

Corporations are creations of the state that only exist because their owners paid a fee to the government and filed some paperwork allowing them to exist. They have nothing to do with "we the people" and they have been endowed by our Creator with squat. So why are we pretending they are people and giving them First Amendment rights to express their will in our elections from their corporate treasuries post-Citizens United?

Corporations are amazingly efficient tools for managing capital and maximizing profits and their tremendous liability shield is great for promoting risk-taking, creativity and ambition. I think corporations, on the whole, have been a net positive for capitalism, the best and most dynamic economic system ever invented. But that still doesn't mean we have to treat corporations as if they are people with the same Constitutional rights as people. And that doesn't mean that Corporations can't yet get so out of control like Frankenstein's monster that they topple our Republic.

But don't take my word for it. Take Jefferson's:

"I hope we shall... crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and to bid defiance to the laws of their country."
- Thomas Jefferson, letter to George Logan. November 12, 1816.

So while I can't support Dylan Ratigan's amendment because it seeks to restrict an individual person's free speech right to contribute to political candidates that I am not willing to give up, I would LOVE it if we could get a ban on political donations from corporations, labor unions and PACs.

I mean if it wasn't for military-contractor corporation donations to politicians, does anyone think these wars would still be going on at this point? If the financial corporations couldn't donate to politicians, would the politicians still support the Federal Reserve and TARP bailout programs? If the car companies and labor unions couldn't donate to the politicians, would Detroit have been bailed out? If it wasn't for beer and pharmaceutical companies donating to politicians, do you think the marijuana prohibition would be in effect? OF COURSE NOT.

I just think it's too idealistic to say... yeah well we just need more politicians with the integrity and outlook of Ron Paul and we can change the foreign policy or change the Fed. But how can we get these folks in place if the game is rigged against people with integrity and the system so corrupt that most folks with integrity would rather not play. I think we need to reform how our politicians get in power before we will ever see these things change.

OK... getting off my soapbox now... I'll hang up and listen to your answer.