Supreme court rules corps are people (in Debates)


AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] January 21 2010 2:22 PM EST

With this recent ruling (alt1 alt2), I was wondering something, what could possibly go wrong with this?

I know that there are a lot of people with very different perspectives then me around here, so please let loose. I'd like to hear your opinion on this because all I can think of are the reasons why this seems like a bad idea.

In concept it sounds like a great idea, because freedom is always great right? Regardless, I am interested to see what kind of crazy political ramping-up there is, as a result of this decision.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] January 21 2010 2:36 PM EST

wowzers! i hope this is a case of things having to get worse before they can get better but it is equally scary to me the precedent set by the implied widening of the scope of the original case.

QBRanger January 21 2010 3:06 PM EST

At least this gives the other party a chance to possibly compete on equal footing with the Democratic fund raising machine.

That opted OUT of the public financing laws during the 08 election. Even after Obama, the then candidate promised he would abide by the public financing laws.

Now given the union shave always found ways to circumvent current campaign finance laws, there is a more equal footing.

QBBast [Hidden Agenda] January 21 2010 3:58 PM EST


"... you can plainly see the weariness in Stevens eyes and hear it in his voice today as he is forced to contend with a legal fiction that has come to life today, a sort of constitutional Frankenstein moment when corporate speech becomes even more compelling than the 'voices of the real people' who will be drowned out. Even former Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist once warned that treating corporate spending as the First Amendment equivalent of individual free speech is 'to confuse metaphor with reality.' "

Bless you, Dahlia Lithwick.

QBRanger January 21 2010 4:04 PM EST

As opposed to the union's special interests? Which so inflammed the public that a Republican won Ted's seat. SEIU poured over 62M for Obama.

InebriatedArsonist January 21 2010 7:21 PM EST

The following is an excerpt from the first oral argument of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (pages 26-29 of the PDF transcript available here):

JUSTICE ALITO: Do you think the Constitution required Congress to draw the line where it did, limiting this to broadcast and cable and so forth? What's your answer to Mr. Olson's point that there isn't any constitutional difference between the distribution of this movie on video demand and providing access on the Internet, providing DVDs, either through a commercial service or maybe in a public library, providing the same thing in a book? Would the Constitution permit the restriction of all of those as well?

MR. STEWART: I think the -- the Constitution would have permitted Congress to apply the electioneering communication restrictions to the extent that they were otherwise constitutional under Wisconsin Right to Life. Those could have been applied to additional media as well. And it's worth remembering that the pre-existing Federal Election Campaign Act restrictions on corporate electioneering which have been limited by this Court's decisions to express advocacy --

JUSTICE ALITO: That's pretty incredible. You think that if -- if a book was published, a campaign biography that was the functional equivalent of express advocacy, that could be banned?

MR. STEWART: I'm not saying it could be banned. I'm saying that Congress could prohibit the use of corporate treasury funds and could require a corporation to publish it using its PAC.

JUSTICE ALITO: Well, most publishers are corporations. And a -- a publisher that is a corporation could be prohibited from selling a book?

MR. STEWART: Well, of course, the statute contains its own media exemption or media --

JUSTICE ALITO: I'm not asking what the statute says. The government's position is that the First Amendment allows the banning of a book if it's published by a corporation?

MR. STEWART: Because the First Amendment refers both to freedom of speech and of the press, there would be a potential argument that media corporations, the institutional press, would have a greater First Amendment right. That question is obviously not presented here. The -- the other two things --

JUSTICE KENNEDY: Well, suppose it were an advocacy organization that had a book. Your position is that under the Constitution, the advertising for this book or the sale for the book itself could be prohibited within the 60/90-day period -- the 60/30-day period?

MR. STEWART: If the book contained the functional equivalent of express advocacy. That is, if it was subject to no reasonable interpretation --

JUSTICE KENNEDY: And I suppose it could even -- is it the Kindle where you can read a book? I take it that's from a satellite. So the existing statute would probably prohibit that under your view?

MR. STEWART: Well, the statute applies to cable, satellite, and broadcast communications. And the Court in McConnell has addressed the --

JUSTICE KENNEDY: Just to make it clear,it's the government's position that under the statute, if this Kindle device where you can read a book which is campaign advocacy, within the 60/30-day period, if it comes from a satellite, it's under -- it can be prohibited under the Constitution and perhaps under this statute?

MR. STEWART: It -- it can't be prohibited, but a corporation could be barred from using its general treasury funds to publish the book and could be required to use -- to raise funds to publish the book using its PAC.

MR. STEWART: That's correct.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: If it's a 500-page book, and at the end it says, and so vote for X, the government could ban that?

MR. STEWART: Well, if it says vote for X, it would be express advocacy and it would be covered by the pre-existing Federal Election Campaign Act provisions.

Today's ruling was a victory for the citizens of the United States and a severe blow to the authoritarians who wish to control and censor the speech of the American people. I do not fear the speech of others, even those people whose beliefs I find abhorrent, but I do fear the heavy hand of government censors who wish to use the threat of fines and imprisonment to silence me.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] January 21 2010 7:43 PM EST

Today's ruling was a victory for the citizens of the United States and a severe blow to the authoritarians who wish to control and censor the speech of the American people.


I suppose this is the point of contention here, but I don't think anyone is trying to censor the speech of the American people. This is about limiting the American Corporation. This leads to another question, do you think a corporation's voice is equal in impact as a single person, and therefore should have the same freedoms?

QBBast [Hidden Agenda] January 21 2010 7:45 PM EST


A corporation is not a person, it is a legal entity.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] January 21 2010 8:16 PM EST

a legal entity created to avoid some responsibility and liability for the individuals creating it no less.

Lord Bob January 21 2010 8:26 PM EST

As opposed to the union's special interests?

The unions are there to represent the people.
The corporation is not.

I am split on whether or not I support this ruling. As the article mentions, this most likely also removes restrictions on unions. However, the conservative's comments on this thread are, as usual, ludicrous.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] January 21 2010 11:08 PM EST

going through the bill of rights and replacing all instances of people with corporations is a pretty scary exercise. i guess the right of the corporations to keep and bear arms is next?

QBRanger January 21 2010 11:16 PM EST

i guess the right of the corporations to keep and bear arms is next?

Have you heard of Xe Services LLC?

Of course they have that right.

And the right to be heard just as unions do. A union is a legal entity just as a corporation.

If we stifle free speech from corporations, how about newspapers, or unions? Where does it end?

But I guess my comments are ludicrous.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] January 21 2010 11:33 PM EST

i would think security services would be covered under something besides the second amendment. can a non-security corporation, let's say general foods go out and own a cache of weapons in the corporation's name?

QBRanger January 21 2010 11:41 PM EST

I am certain they can have their own armed guards where required. Whether for their warehouses or main offices. Just the same as when I got my concealed weapon permit.

Either way, I see little difference between unions being able to throw money at candidates but corporations cannot.

And please spare the union is working for the little people crap. It is obvious they are working for their own benefit. We have all seen unions destroy good companies with their excessive demands and expectations.

QBBast [Hidden Agenda] January 21 2010 11:53 PM EST


No one said anything about midgets. Unions represent the interests of their members.

Corporations have interests aside from, and in incredibly large measure counter to, the people who work for them.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] January 21 2010 11:57 PM EST

As the "slippery slope" argument has been thrown down, I'm going to make this clear...

There are three things here:
To say that they are all equal is to be intellectually dishonest, or as some might put it, to lie. But I'm sure there's a juicy rationalization behind why I'm wrong.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] January 21 2010 11:59 PM EST

Just the same as when I got my concealed weapon permit.


your business or corporation got one or you as a person got it? was the firearm in your name or your businesses?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] January 22 2010 12:02 AM EST

it may turn out for the best. perhaps there is a limit to how much people can actually be affected by fear propaganda before they just go numb.

i guess corporations will have to state they are paying for these ads, it may make it easier to see who not to invest in or buy from! ; )

QBRanger January 22 2010 12:08 AM EST

Veri,

So where do we draw the line?

At the local dry cleaners?

Or at the regional business?

Or the larger conglomerate?

One has to let free speech prevail. Or do we make carve outs like it is ok for unions to give money, but not a local business? That would see very unfair.

And the union carve out of the excise tax was likely the tipping point in the Mass election. Which is something the public does not want.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] January 22 2010 12:11 AM EST

I forgot my favorite part...

From Justice Stevens: "Under today's decision, multinational corporations controlled by foreign governments" would have the same rights as Americans to spend money to tilt U.S. elections. "Corporations are not human beings. They can't vote and can't run for office," Stevens said, and should be subject to restrictions under the election laws.

QBBast [Hidden Agenda] January 22 2010 12:12 AM EST


Answer the question!

QBRanger January 22 2010 12:13 AM EST

And Veri,

I would agree with you there.

Corporations can be something as small as 1 person based or as large as multinational.

But where do you draw the line? That is the slippery slope. Censorship.

I would rather err on the less restrictive side.

And yes, I am quite anti-union.

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] January 22 2010 12:25 AM EST

"The unions are there to represent the people."

Made me lol.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] January 22 2010 12:26 AM EST

Corporations are not people, Corporations are not people, Corporations are not people. Also, Corporations are not people. 1 person or a million people, Corporations are not people. Why is this a complicated concept? Even unions are not people.

Ranger, you of all people should be behind me on the thinking that each person in a corporation or union or whatever can be free to be politically motivated and go out and participate in the political process however they like. Their labor has generated profit for the company and under the new ruling, can be co-opted by a few top executives to gain political favor. Not to say that they can't do this already, but this makes that process easier.

QBRanger January 22 2010 12:33 AM EST

There are people who are corporations for tax purposes, for legal purposes etc..

If they want to donate, why not that way, if it is best for then legally and taxwise?

I see your point, but how is that different than a union, which is made of people but is an entity to itself, analogous to a corporation.

To use your analogy, why should a union in Florida be able to contribute to a Senate race in Mass when a corporation cannot?

I just want consistency. Either limit it to individuals with a maximum or it be an open system.

I see this as yet another union carveout.

Gunny Pew Pew [Red Permanent Assurance] January 22 2010 12:37 AM EST

Just to make things more complicated. What does this mean for the bailed out corps? ;)

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] January 22 2010 12:38 AM EST

IMO should be neither.

QBRanger January 22 2010 1:19 AM EST

Their labor has generated profit for the company and under the new ruling, can be co-opted by a few top executives to gain political favor.

And that is what unions were doing all this time. But to say corporations cannot is a large double standard.

I myself have a personal corporation. Designed to help vs those pesky lawyers and their nuisance suits. If I want to donate money via my corporation for tax or legal purposes, why can't I?

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] January 22 2010 1:26 AM EST

Jeez man, settle down, did a union steal your girlfriend when you were little or something? Didn't you see I included Unions in what I said too?

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] January 22 2010 1:39 AM EST

If you have a single person company, then pay yourself money so you can donate it yourself.

If you have to pay taxes, them's the breaks.

And as far as legal reasons? I'm not sure I understand what you mean by that.. If you want to obscure the fact that you as an individual support some political thing or another, I'm going to have to say that is also too bad, you gotta play by the same rules the rest of us do.

Lord Bob January 22 2010 1:51 AM EST

Have you heard of Xe Services LLC?

The rest of you may know them by their previous name: Blackwater.

But I guess my comments are ludicrous.

I should clarify: I misplaced an apostrophe in that statement. I meant conservatives' plural not conservative's singular possessive. I wasn't singling you out, though you are included in my criticism.

And please spare the union is working for the little people crap. It is obvious they are working for their own benefit.

The unions' interests are their workers' interests. Working for their benefit generally means the workers - what I meant when I said "the people" - are better off.

We have all seen unions destroy good companies with their excessive demands and expectations.

I never said unions don't sometimes overreach and do harm. In fact, I just attended a seminar about this very subject earlier today, hosted by none other than our union.


Back on topic:
It is a fact that those candidates with the bigger campaign budget generally win elections. Large corporations can pump large amounts of cash into the campaign that traditional donors and grassroots groups simply can't match. This has the effect of propping up the corporations' favored candidate and drowning out the sound of the opposition entirely, effective resulting in purchased elections.

Yes, unions are no longer bound by the rules they were once beholden to either. The problem here, as Ranger's buddy Olbermann so eloquently pointed out tonight, the unions will get crushed by the much more powerful corporations. And with purchased candidates in Washington, you can bet one of the first things you will see is more restrictions and limitations on unions. So there goes the opposition.

When you give one side a microphone with an arena full of amplifiers and loud speakers, then give the opposition the tube from a roll of paper towel, you're only going to hear one side.

Since I heard about this earlier, I stayed impartial (as noted above) until I could listen to both sides of the argument. Now, after hearing both sides, I have found myself agreeing with the dissent. I can understand where the Right is coming from here. On paper, "more free speech" sounds great. In practice, this ruling will lead to less free speech as any opposition to the new corporate owners of this country are effectively silenced by the thunderous roar of the rich.

QBRanger January 22 2010 9:11 AM EST

Yes, unions are no longer bound by the rules they were once beholden to either. The problem here, as Ranger's buddy Olbermann so eloquently pointed out tonight, the unions will get crushed by the much more powerful corporations. And with purchased candidates in Washington, you can bet one of the first things you will see is more restrictions and limitations on unions. So there goes the opposition.

So right now it is ok for the unions to have unchecked ability to give to candidates such as Obama, while corporations cannot do anything?

That is hypocrisy at the extreme.
The unions' interests are their workers' interests. Working for their benefit generally means the workers - what I meant when I said "the people" - are better off.

Tell that to the workers of the auto unions who have put GM into bankruptcy. Of which I have to bail them out.
And as far as legal reasons? I'm not sure I understand what you mean by that.. If you want to obscure the fact that you as an individual support some political thing or another, I'm going to have to say that is also too bad, you gotta play by the same rules the rest of us do.

I have to have a personal corporation to try to shield my money from lawsuits, which is a part of being a physician.

Right now I have 2 lawsuits I am a part of, both of which I did nothing wrong. But knowing our fine legal system, I may lose. Being a corporation shields me from losing anything more than my insurance limit.

Any small business does the same thing, if they have half a brain. All money goes through the corporation. For tax purposes, giving from the corporation is better than personal giving.
It is a fact that those candidates with the bigger campaign budget generally win elections. Large corporations can pump large amounts of cash into the campaign that traditional donors and grassroots groups simply can't match. This has the effect of propping up the corporations' favored candidate and drowning out the sound of the opposition entirely, effective resulting in purchased elections.

So it is ok for the democrats and unions to give, like in 08, but when the pendulum swings it is not?

Such hypocrisy.

Neo Japan January 22 2010 9:21 AM EST

PEACE OUT! I'm moving to Italy

Lord Bob January 22 2010 10:04 AM EST

So right now it is ok for the unions to have unchecked ability to give to candidates such as Obama, while corporations cannot do anything?

I'm not sure why you continue to post here under the assumption that unions previously had no limits on campaign spending when several posts here plus the article said otherwise.

Tell that to the workers of the auto unions who have put GM into bankruptcy.

Did you miss the part of my last post where I said unions can do harm as well?

However, to think it was primarily the union's fault that any of the Big Three are in trouble is laughable.

Of which I have to bail them out.

And I had to bail out Wall Street.

Better to bail out the one that helps people keep their jobs, I say. But of course your side in Congress didn't want to do that.

QBsutekh137 January 22 2010 10:23 AM EST

Good grief. I think I'll make a new metric called "time to polarization" (TTP) and use it to judge the health of the CB community. This thread took just a few posts to reach TTP. *sigh*

Stop it, folks. There are no sides here. Veri posted a nice little food-for-thought issue (and even tried to keep it on track!), and it went from that into flames within five posts (yes, mainly because of your posts, Ranger). After a very generic OP, you started talking about Democrats, Obama, unions, and "enflamed" within just a couple hours.

Why, Ranger? Seriously, why? Please answer the meta-question, not something about unions or liberals. Answer me, if you can, why you had to go straight to polarizing viewpoints on what could have been a fruitful, thought-provoking thread about history, sociology, and economics? And yes, I say "could have been". It's ruined now. Too late.

Here's a news flash, folks: Everything and everyone that has ever existed has done good things and bad things. No debate. From Mother Theresa to Rush Limbaugh, everyone has had good days and bad days, deeds of fame and deeds of infamy. Robber barons have ruined entire cities, families, cultures, and childhoods. Unions have led to complacency, entitlement, bloat, economic turmoil, and even violence. Corporations have allowed economies of scale and innovation to propel society and technology and do Good Things. Unions have allowed workers to have a voice they never had before so they could fuel that growth and still get treated fairly.

Everyone. Everything. No sides. Because there are no "sides". If you want differences, you're making them up. You can find common ground if you want to, but you don't want to. Easier to snark and snipe, I suppose. To put it in a way I think you'll understand, Ranger, judging by previous comments concerning B5:

Sheridan to ambassadors: "Now we gave you a promise, and we are bound by that promise, And damn you for asking for it! And damn me for agreeing to it! And damn us all to hell, because that is exactly where we are going! We talked about peace. You didn't want peace! We talked about cooperation. You didn't WANT cooperation! You want war! Is that it? You want a war? Well, you've got a war!"

(I am assuming, above, that you understand that the mentioed lack of cooperation and lack of understanding is a _bad_ thing, just in case you watched the above scene from "And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder" and went, "Yeah! War! All right!")

Another question, Ranger -- what does your concealed weapon have to do with anything? Was that supposed to be an example of something, or am I supposed to be impressed, or what? I don't get it?

If you think unions are bad, fine. Propose a different system. Propose something else that keeps a system of economic checks and balances in place so that workers are treated fairly without the gov't having to legislate even more rules (because, Ranger, I know you'd be even more vehemently against that). Dazzle us with your ideas, not your bluster concerning tales of hidden firearms. Can you do that? Are there ideas you can share with us without it being a polarized war?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] January 22 2010 10:50 AM EST

corporations can be individuals and now those individuals can donate as such as well as a corporation. an individual can actually have multiple corporations and could also donate under all of those and get around campaign finance limits in such a manner now?

QBRanger January 22 2010 10:53 AM EST

Another question, Ranger -- what does your concealed weapon have to do with anything? Was that supposed to be an example of something, or am I supposed to be impressed, or what? I don't get it?

Did you read the entire thread. I was responding to something that was typed about corporations and security. I think it was Dudemus that started this line of posting. But certainly blame me. In fact this was the post that started on this line of posting:
going through the bill of rights and replacing all instances of people with corporations is a pretty scary exercise. i guess the right of the corporations to keep and bear arms is next?


Admindudemus [jabberwocky] January 22 2010 10:55 AM EST

i think that sut was asking what your conceal and carry proves regarding corporations owning weapons as i also had asked above if you got that as a business or an individual as i was wondering what the heck that had to do with corporations owning weapons as well. we all are aware that individuals can do these things after all. ; )

QBRanger January 22 2010 10:59 AM EST

i would think security services would be covered under something besides the second amendment. can a non-security corporation, let's say general foods go out and own a cache of weapons in the corporation's name?

That was your post Dude.

I was using the concealed weapon analogy to show that corporations have mechanisms to have their own weapons using the same type of system. A legal based monitored one.

As a person has to get a concealed weapon permit to carry a weapon, a corporation has similar mechanisms to be able to own a cache of weapons.

That was simply my analogy to your question. However, Sut seems to think I picked it out of thin air to do state something of something or something else.

QBsutekh137 January 22 2010 11:03 AM EST

Ranger, you're missing my point. Why make it personal TO YOU? I could not possibly care less if you carry a gun, concealed or not.

Is there a chance you can maintain a conversation on a higher level, a level of theory, of openness, of true dialogue?

Example: Someone brings up the topic of, say, car seats:

Person A: I think car seat laws are a little bit onerous...they require people to get bigger vehicles, to spend a lot of money on equipment, and kids have to stay in the seats way too long. It's inconvenient.
Person B: I use car seats.
Person A: OK, cool! What do you think of them?
Person B: I had a friend whose kids weren't in a car seat, and they died in an accident.
Person A: Oh, dear...that's...that's terrible. Um, but sure, bad things happen even when car seats are in place. I'm asking about what you think of car seats and the legislation behind them.
Person B: I use car seats. It's the law. I like them.
Person A: OK.

The above conversation, I hope you'll agree, is useless. Frustrating, mind-numbing, and useless. It is a classic disconnect where anecdote and pure personal experience negate any higher-level thinking. I am not saying "higher-level" as in "better". Personal stories and identifying with others on an experiential level is EXTREMELY important. But not in an academic discussion such as this one.

So, I don't care if you have a gun. So there's no reason to discuss that. Your gun ownership has nothing to do with the overall right to bear arms. What do you think, overall, of the Second Amendment? Pros? Cons?

What do you think of huge corporations? Pros? Cons?

What do you think of unions? Pros? Cons?

See what I mean? And do you see how sticking with higher-level discussions, polarization is taken right out of the equation? If you tell me about what you think the pros and cons are for labor unions, using no purely personal examples (unless you do have a great deal generic experience with unions), it is MUCH easier for us to have a calm, rational discussion about it.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] January 22 2010 11:05 AM EST

i don't think that corps can get a conceal and carry in their name but that individuals within that corp can do so and therefore that is the same mechanism as for individuals.

would you be okay with the idea of corporations getting the right to vote as well?

QBsutekh137 January 22 2010 11:05 AM EST

Ranger, I never said you picked anything out of thin air. The tone you use to deliver your language is entirely under your control.

The concealed weapon thing (which is the only aspect of my post you decided to comment about) was just one example.

Your first posts talked about democrats and Obama, suddenly making the discussion partisan and anti-president. Why did you instantly take things there? What purpose does that serve?

QBRanger January 22 2010 11:12 AM EST

So, I don't care if you have a gun. So there's no reason to discuss that. Your gun ownership has nothing to do with the overall right to bear arms. What do you think, overall, of the Second Amendment? Pros? Cons?

I was using that to discuss what Dude posted. I am sorry you are taking it as something else. I believe the 2nd Amendment allows people to legally own guns. 100%. Certainly those with criminal records, mental instability, and prior misdeeds should not be able. But law abiding citizens should be allowed to own firearms.
What do you think of huge corporations? Pros? Cons?

As in all things, there are good and bad ones. Huge corporations want to make a profit for their shareholders. If they do it honestly, fine. If they are like Enron, throw the book at them.

What do you think of unions? Pros? Cons?

At one time, they served a purpose. Now, with a global economy, they are more trouble than help. Especially if they get too big. And politically powerful like SEIU. The same can be stated about corporations however. But I live and chose to live in a right to work state. My personal experiences with unions is nothing but negative. I was never in one but my Dad was. And all they did was take his dues and do whatever they wanted, most of the time against his wishes. But he had to be a union member to have a job. He called it the price to work, sort of a bribe.

Personally, until I sold my business, I was a small business owner and did not want to deal with unions.

QBsutekh137 January 22 2010 11:51 AM EST

Ranger, thank you for answering those questions.

As I already stated, I agree that everything (corporations, unions, people, dogs) has good and bad aspects. There's a lot of space between a corporation being "good" and a corporation being "Enron". So, we have to remain vigilant along that entire spectrum of possibilities. I, for one, do not want to only punish corporations once they reach Enronesque infamy proportions. So, what can be done to act as a check and/or balance to the power of corporations? If you think everything is currently fine with corporations, can you remind me what was changed in corporate-land post-Enron? Anything?

Same with unions. There's a lot between "They had their time" and "now we don't need them." Are you saying we don't need Unions any more? That once Unions are gone, corporations would simply just behave themselves (even when history tells quite a different tale)?

They're called checks and balances for a reason. And, however imperfect, unions are a check on corporate greed, at least as far as the workforce goes. How can we make that check work more efficiently?

QBRanger January 22 2010 11:58 AM EST

But Sut,

The issue here is the ability for corporations to have the same ability as unions and PACs to contribute to campaigns.

You either:

1) Let everyone and everything contribute equally.

2) Let just individual people contribute up to a monetary limit. Therefore closing all the loopholes that unions and PACs on both sides were abusing.

It was less of an issue until the 08 election where Obama had almost 3x the money of McCain. This decision just puts everyone on more equal footing.

But the law, as was written, was unequal and unfair. It let unions contribute with certain restrictions, but did not let corporations do the same.

As you always state, of which I do agree, I want consistency.

Ranger, thank you for answering those questions.

Your welcome!

QBRanger January 28 2010 1:01 PM EST

This just gets better and better:

Anyone watch the SOTU address and Judge Alito's actions during the part Obama slams the Supreme Court?

Fun times for all.

InebriatedArsonist January 28 2010 1:09 PM EST

I did indeed watch the entire speech, Ranger. It wasn't very presidential for Obama to throw an obviously incorrect verbal jab at members of the Supreme Court, considering that by their own custom they generally remain quiet and avoid obvious displays of political bias. It was very much a small-man moment for Obama.

QBRanger January 28 2010 2:13 PM EST

Indeed embarrassing for America to have its President scold the Supreme Court on a legal matter that he did not like. And to see the clapping of the congressmen/women behind them while they sat there was painful for me to view.

This is a very good commentary on the situation:

Randy Barnett
Professor, Georgetown University Law Center :

In the history of the State of the Union has any President ever called out the Supreme Court by name, and egged on the Congress to jeer a Supreme Court decision, while the Justices were seated politely before him surrounded by hundreds Congressmen? To call upon the Congress to countermand (somehow) by statute a constitutional decision, indeed a decision applying the First Amendment? What can this possibly accomplish besides alienating Justice Kennedy who wrote the opinion being attacked. Contrary to what we heard during the last administration, the Court may certainly be the object of presidential criticism without posing any threat to its independence. But this was a truly shocking lack of decorum and disrespect towards the Supreme Court for which an apology is in order. A new tone indeed.

Canibus January 28 2010 2:33 PM EST

I wonder why there is such hostility against unions in the US. In Norway they prevent abuse of employees and make sure people have benefits like vacations and sick leave.

QBJohnnywas January 28 2010 2:37 PM EST

I have to say I wouldn't have a job currently if I hadn't had a Union behind me to protect my interests.

When you're dealing with big business you need a union in place. Even if it is only for the purposes of balance. Companies acting only in the interest of their shareholders and profit margins tend to make decisions that impact badly on their staff.

It isn't always the case, and Unions, being political organisations attract people who are more interested in their own agendas than the needs of their members. But not always. I'd rather they were there than not.

QBBast [Hidden Agenda] January 28 2010 3:12 PM EST


Australia also has unions protecting all manner of earners who are unrepresented here. I'm always revealing things shocking, appalling, and in several regards utterly "uncivilized" about the standards for our employer-employee relationship, to wit: we stay with crappy employers to keep our healthcare benefits, new jobs don't come with 4-weeks leave, wages can vary widely enough in even professional positions that those states facing depressed economics can well be bottom-dwellers forever, etc.

More importantly: If it weren't for unions, we wouldn't have the SAG Awards!

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] January 28 2010 3:27 PM EST

could an admin please move this thread to the debates forum? i have that forum hidden for a reason.

QBRanger January 28 2010 3:39 PM EST

I wonder why there is such hostility against unions in the US. In Norway they prevent abuse of employees and make sure people have benefits like vacations and sick leave.

In America unions do serve that function. However, some unions become too big and powerful.

SEIU and the autoworkers unions are prime examples. Instead of just serving their members, they serve political interests.

Like SEIU giving 80+M to elect Obama. And in return he agreed to give the unions an exemption on the excise tax for "Cadillac" health insurance policies. But if you were not in a union you lost out.

And the thought that unions are looking out for their members is far from the truth. My dad had unions go against his wishes in the last election. And was told that if he put a sign promoting McCain he would lose out on the best shifts at his job. The anti-thesis of free speech.

I could go on about how the auto unions have destroyed the auto industry in Detroit. With their "Job Banks", excessive compensation, and excessive benefits. The costs for the unions make it almost impossible to build a competitive car at a competitive price. While Honda, Toyota, BMW etc.. can build factories in right to work states and not have unions increasing their costs.

I guess it goes as follows: When something is too big, it loses sight of its true purpose. Most unions in the US have reached that point.

QBRanger January 28 2010 3:45 PM EST

When you're dealing with big business you need a union in place. Even if it is only for the purposes of balance. Companies acting only in the interest of their shareholders and profit margins tend to make decisions that impact badly on their staff.

It is in the companies best interest to make a profit, no?

In addition, nothing is stopping anyone from leaving their current job if they are not treated well and getting a new one or starting their own business.

The free market system also works for the workers. The ability to take your abilities and go to the highest bidder for your services.

If companies make decisions that are adverse to a good working environment they will likely lose their best employees and therefore their profitability.

I have a friend that works for Honda in Alabama. No unions, just a great working environment designed to keep the best people happy doing the best job possible.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] January 28 2010 6:21 PM EST

In addition, nothing is stopping anyone from leaving their current job if they are not treated well and getting a new one or starting their own business.

You have education and invaluable skills, you'll have job security at practically any job you choose. Not everyone has that, and not everyone has the resources or means to accomplish that. You are lucky, you should exclaim that fact instead of holding everyone else to the fire.

The free market system also works for the workers. The ability to take your abilities and go to the highest bidder for your services.

You're right, that works especially well when you have a highly specialized skill that is only valuable in a certain industry. Which is totally unlike your skills which allow you to up and move anywhere you like and use your skills.

If companies make decisions that are adverse to a good working environment they will likely lose their best employees and therefore their profitability.

No, they won't, if they are the only game in town they get to call all the shots. You know this.

I have a friend that works for Honda in Alabama. No unions, just a great working environment designed to keep the best people happy doing the best job possible.

That's awesome, unions are there when labor relations go sour, sounds like they've tried to keep things good between their employees so they haven't needed a union. I don't understand why you're arguing against unions so fervently.

Again.. I must ask: Ranger, what did Unions do to you to deserve such scorn?

QBRanger January 28 2010 7:56 PM EST

Unions caused me to have to pay for the auto bailout.

Unions caused my dad to get fired from his job at Disney since he would not "play ball" with the union bosses.

Unions negotiated a special deal with the new health care bill to not have to pay for an excise tax on Cadillac plans while the rest of us have to pick up that cost.

Unions donated over 100M to Obama's campaign while corporations (including the one I one) could contribute a small fraction of that.

Unions look out for their own special interests. Instead of looking out for their workers.

QBRanger February 3 2010 4:05 PM EST

Perhaps this should put things into a better perspective:

http://hotair.com/archives/2010/02/03/three-reasons-not-to-sweat-the-citizens-united-ruling/

All the hysteria over a ruling that was so misunderstood and did not undo 100 years of precedent.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] February 3 2010 6:03 PM EST

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/02/corporation-says-it-will-run-for-congress/

InebriatedArsonist February 3 2010 9:29 PM EST

As much as I like Nick Gillespie, Ranger, I doubt that a slick video will assuage the Chicken Littles who are currently calling for the government to re-institute censorship of corporate speech. The hatred for all things corporate, not to mention the alarmist influences of politicians and a self-interested press, will be very hard to overcome.
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