Letter: Corporations Are Not People Or Governments

A corporation exists for one purpose — profit. The responsibilities, the concerns and the goals of government are very different from those of corporations. Government cares about its neighbors and allies, making security and world peace a top priority and spending a large percentage of the federal budget on national security and international relations.

Corporations care about no one but their shareholders and do not have friends. Effective government has compassion for its elderly, poor children and the disabled, and provides a safety net program for its citizens in distress (as in the case of weather disasters, terrorist attack or devastating illness). Corporations do not know (or need to know) the meaning of compassion.

Government provides police, fire, highways, parks and education for its people, while also providing good working-class jobs for teachers, cops, firefighters, engineers, librarians, etc. Corporations provide jobs, but will ship them overseas for higher profit; will fight to keep democracy (unions) out of their workplace and will pay their CEOs outrageous salaries and bonuses while using every loophole that Congress gives them to avoid paying their fair share.

Unfortunately, the far-right Supreme Court has allowed corporations to buy our government through their ruling on Citizens United. Mitt Romney, with the help of his friends, Karl Rove (Crossroads GPS), the Koch Brothers (Big Oil), the coal industry, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, foreign banks, and corporations and billionaires, is benefiting from the lack of public oversight of our elections and from the obscene amounts of private money flowing into Republican campaigns. Unions were once able to stand up for the working class and against the corporate contributions, but Republican union-busting tactics have diminished American unions to a fraction of what they were just a few years ago. They can no longer even begin to compete with the vast amounts of money pouring into the Republican campaigns from corporate giants.

There are profound differences between government and corporations. Don’t let the far right deceive you. Unless you are a billionaire, they are not on your side. And just because you’re an outrageously wealthy businessman, doesn’t mean you are qualified to be president.

Gwynne Chesher


  1. Times That Try Men’s Souls

    Most of us have the herd mentality. It is comforting for us to stay in the middle of the herd where it is safe, while the point person and those around the periphery display unusual courage. America’s socio/economic landscape has been scorched by a burning desire for change 70 years in its development. Somehow the corporation has become an evil empire. Corporations built the Ford automobile, gave us the electric light bulb, the telephone, the microwave, private corporations accounted for 79 to 90% of lifesaving pharmaceutical products.

    Some believe that politicians possess a degree of honesty not found in the corporate world. Apparently they believe that somehow when a person is elected to public office that person is not motivated by profit or self-interest. Not true. Elected officials want to be reelected. They enjoy having the best tables in a restaurant, the best healthcare coverage, and the best retirement benefits. Because of the law that they passed, they could invest in the stock market which would have been a crime for a corporate executive. Businessmen spend their own money. Government bureaucrats spend other people’s money.

    I believe as the founders did that inalienable rights are God given. I believe in free-market Capitalism. I do not believe in crony Capitalism where government controls the economy and picks winners and losers. The fact is that the scrap yards of history are strewn with the failures of economies that were run by government bureaucrats. Collectively we hold tightly to our hopes in each hand. In the right we hold the laws that govern a peaceful society, where billions of economic decisions are made each day by millions of individuals. In the left we hold a government of a few elite individuals who are expected to decide with greater wisdom how to orchestrate an economy better than the collective intelligence of millions of ordinary people engaged in thousands of private and competitive ventures.

    With the left hand we gave government officials unlimited powers to compel us to comply with their regulations. We gave them the unlimited power to levy taxes. We gave them power to decide that corporations are retaining “excess profits”, and we gave them the power to seize the private property of its shareholders. Chief Justice Roberts in upholding government healthcare made it very clear. The power to tax that we gave our representatives is without limit. No tax is so large that it is “excessive”.

    In the right hand we hold laws that prevent corporate fraud and monopolies. Laws give shareholders the power of the vote, and unlike private citizens who do not have standing to bring an action against government, shareholders can bring a derivative action against a corporation. A third party who has been harmed by a corporation has the right to bring a contract action, a negligence action, a product liability action, and file a criminal complaint to punish corporate wrongdoing. A private citizen has no such right against the government.

    The hope we have of returning to a vibrant economy and a peaceful society, one that respects life and private property is this: For those of us who believe in Divine Guidance – pray, and for those of you who believe in the free market, a government of laws and not of men, and believe in traditional Judeo/Christian values, let us join arms.

    Be kind to those who lack understanding. Be humble and do not be proud of your conceit. Be patient with those who revile you for what you believe and do no harm. The words of Thomas Pain are true today. “These are the times that try men’s souls.”

  2. This frequent letter writer to the Town-Crier fails to mention the corporations which donate to the Democrat Party. General Electric (CEO Jeff Immelt appointed by President Obama to a Jobs Council), Xerox (CEO Ursula Burns appointed by Persident Obama to Export Council), Iridium Communications (CEO Matt Desch appointed by President Obama to advisory council), VerisSign (CEO Mark McLauglin appointed by President Obama to National Security Telecommunication advisory Board), Camal International Corporation (CEO Kase Lawal appointed by President Obama to International Trade Advisory Board), G&C Equipment Corporation (CEO Gene Hale appointed by President Obama to Advisory Board on International Trade) and the list could go on and on. Ofcourse, never mentioned in the writer’s letter is the notorious Democrat supporter George Soros. The frequent letter writer thinks it’s okay for corporations to donate to the Democrat Party, but it’s not okay, to donate to Republican causes. What the letter writer also fails to note is that corporations donate money to charities, scholarships and a litany of other needy organizations and worthy causes. If it’s not okay for the Supreme Court to make this decision on corporations, then maybe, it’s not okay for the Supreme Court to uphold ObamaCare (it’s really a TAX).

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