It’s True: Corporations Are People

Hamiton83 (CC)

So say Jack and Suzy Welch (you know, the corporate titan who ran GE forever before it cratered and the young journalist he dumped his wife for), airing their opinion in the Wall Street Journal (natch):

Here’s a new party trick. Want to be accused of being a member of a satanic cult? Like to be called the kind of person who would steal candy from a child, or harm a puppy and start a forest fire—all in the same day? Do you want to be described as evil, heartless and stupid?

Then just do this: Offhandedly mention in public that you agree with Mitt Romney—and that, yeah, you think corporations are people.

Oh, how that notion sets some people right off their rockers! Take, for instance, the scene last month when senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren introduced President Obama at a big fundraiser in Boston:

“Mitt Romney tells us, in his own words, he believes corporations are people. No, Mitt, corporations are NOT people,” she pronounced. “People have hearts. They have kids. They get jobs. They get sick. They love and they cry and they dance. They live and they die. Learn the difference.” The audience went wild.

What nonsense.

Of course corporations are people. What else would they be? Buildings don’t hire people. Buildings don’t design cars that run on electricity or discover DNA-based drug therapies that target cancer cells in ways our parents could never imagine.

Buildings don’t show up at a customer’s factory and say, “We won’t leave until we solve your inventory problem.” Buildings don’t encourage their employees to mentor inner-city kids in math and science. Buildings don’t fund homeless shelters in Boston or health clinics in Rwanda. People do.

Corporations are people working together toward a shared goal, just as hospitals, schools, farms, restaurants, ballparks and museums are. Yes, the people who invest in, manage and work for corporations are there to make a profit. And yes, corporations may employ some bureaucrats, jerks, cheapskates and even nefarious criminals…

[continues in the Wall Street Journal]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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29 Comments on "It’s True: Corporations Are People"

  1. Anarchy Pony | Jul 16, 2012 at 3:01 pm |

    Is this guy mentally handicapped? Piece o’ shit apologist weasel. And that is an insult to weasels.

  2. Now this is an article worthy of being included on a site called “Disinfo”.

  3. Sonnenritter | Jul 16, 2012 at 3:17 pm |

    What a bunch of retarded shit. The point is that corporations should not be LEGALLY DEFINED AS PERSONS. fucking wall street journal scum of the earth fucktards

  4. Well then people are corporations too.

  5. The Bottom Line | Jul 16, 2012 at 3:36 pm |

    Jack and Suzy are obviously not the ones being bent over the desk and spreading their cheeks to take it dry! Corporations aren’t the ones that hand out pink slips to hundreds of workers and ship production overseas to bump up the bottom line? Corporations don’t lobby the government on changing environmental laws to help them get around the dumping of their waste to bump up their bottom line? or lobbying for new tax cuts to help bump up their bottom line?  

  6. Bruteloop | Jul 16, 2012 at 3:39 pm |

    Welch really does look like one of the undead there.

  7. Matthewpond | Jul 16, 2012 at 3:58 pm |

    to quote an occupy placard “I’ll believe corporations are people when texas executes one of them”

    • Wayyyy back in the day, before a group of investors was given a charter to act as a Corporation, they had to demonstrate that the public welfare would be served.

      Then, the issue would be periodically re-visited to ensure that the public was still being best served by the continued operation of said chartered corporation.

      As with so many other issues, over time the process was deformed by special interest pressures so that corporate charters were “automatically” granted without needing to demonstrate that a corporation would best serve the public interest.

      What may be even worse was the gradual loss of the idea that the government could simply revoke the charters of corporations which failed to benefit the public by their continued operation.

      For quite some time now, I’ve been in favor of the idea of a “Death Penalty for Corporations”.

      If corporations commit a serious crime, we simply revoke their charter, liquidate their assets and pay off their creditors first.

      Stockholders get their money last.

      If we’re hard core enough to execute a living person for the crimes of a mentally disabled child, then certainly we should have the stones to keep some profit seeking stockholders in line… right?

      • Calypso_1 | Jul 16, 2012 at 5:17 pm |

        The only change I would suggest is paying off those harmed before creditors.

        • Also, toss the executive officers from their high rise office windows. Clear the street first.

  8. Mitt Pygphucher | Jul 16, 2012 at 4:38 pm |

    By her logic, a pizza is a person because it can feed people.  A country is a person because because it pursues actions within its narrow interests.  By my logic, she’s a cuntboner-assclown.  

  9. Capitalist collectivism.

  10. Slaz La Chance | Jul 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm |

    At no point do the authors of this article address the actual issue. 

  11. Linsang811 | Jul 16, 2012 at 5:17 pm |

    Idiocy, plain and simple. A corporation is, BY THE VERY DEFINITION, NOT A PERSON. Besides, if corporations are people, then why don’t they have the same responsibilities as people? You wanna guess what would happen if I dumped millions of gallons of toxic sludge into a river or sold a product that killed or injured thousands of people? I wouldn’t be fined a small percentage of my fucking income, that’s for sure. I’d be called a fucking serial killer and summarily executed. And when was the last time you ever heard of a person paying effectively NO TAXES and also getting subsidies at the same time (essentially being paid by the government to operate)? DOES NOT HAPPEN. I could keep going but I think I’ve made my point.

  12. Michaelkvalente | Jul 16, 2012 at 5:42 pm |

    So, corporations are people because corporations consist of people? Am I a molecule?

  13. If corporations are people, then they should be put, closed and away from society, in a mental institution.

  14. If US corporations are people
    they should pay taxes in the exact same manner as other US “people”
    on the revenue they received for their services

    presently corporations pay taxes
    (if they pay taxes at all)
    on “profit” after expenses

    I have never see coronations are people pukes
    putting that idea forward

    • chinagreenelvis | Jul 16, 2012 at 10:35 pm |

      As much as I disagree with corporate personhood, people pay taxes on their “profits,” too. We’re allowed certain deductibles for qualifying purchases and living/business expenses; the deduction is a subtraction from the final amount on which we are taxed.

      • > We’re allowed certain deductibles for qualifying purchases and living/business expenses

        yeah, well if that’s just like corporate taxation
        how come you actually pay tax and they don’t?

        obviously you know nothing about corporate taxes vs “personal” taxes
        which is exactly what they’re hoping for

        but I’ll tell you what
        give the the average ‘Merkin the same tax rules as any corporation
        and they’ll never pay any taxes again

  15. Liam_McGonagle | Jul 17, 2012 at 11:25 am |

    Hate to rain on y’alls’ parade here, but I gotta call Disinfo out on the major flub:  the picture posted with this article is Max Schreck, not Jack Welch.

  16. Festernaecus | Jul 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm |

    Apparently Jack Welch thinks everything is either a building or a person. Senile dementia?

  17. This is the biggest ‘straw man’ fallacy I’ve ever heard of:
    Romney says corporations are people
    Liberals say corportaions are not people
    Liberals think corporations are buildings

  18. Happypedro | Jul 17, 2012 at 4:09 pm |

    So by Welch’s logic, we should make an equivalency: Corporations ARE
    people. So, what he’s
    saying is that everything in a corporation IS a person, since they are
    equivalent; the computers in the corporation are people, the paperwork,
    the telephones, those are all people. Interesting reasoning. Now, if he says, no, that people are not computers, telephones, and paperwork, but
    things they produce (products), then the WHOLE of a corporation cannot
    be equivalent to people — as the absolute nature of “corporations ARE
    people” clearly states — but that people are a PART of what makes up a
    corporation. Thus they cannot be equivalent, and he cannot say
    “Corporations ARE people.” Corporations are “an ASSOCIATION of
    individuals” not the individuals themselves. Welch may belong to the
    Knights of Columbus, but he himself is not the Knights of Columbus.
    So corporations are not people; they are organizations (structures,
    associations) who in part are composed of people, but they are not the
    equivalent of people. The faulty equivalence Welch applies
    simultaneously claims to be absolute and clear, while using language and
    a stance which is not absolute nor clear. Welch may wish it so,
    but that don’t make it so.  Or as Michaelkvalente’s comment here states more succinctly, “So, corporations are people because people consist of people? Am I a molecule?”

  19. I cant believe I wasted my time reading that drivel. Way to be completely obtuse.

  20. Unemotionally- Technically, Welch’s fallacious argument is called the fallacy of composition- inferring that what is true of part of the whole is true of all of the whole.(Corporations are partly people, therefore they are wholly people.) But a fallacy on the other side is equating “person,” which can be just a legal entity, with the word “people<" which has a strong emotionally-loaded connotation. 

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