Mitt Romney (R-People Person) has been mocked (by Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert) and sort of defended (by Media Nation’s Dan Kennedy) for telling a heckler in Iowa that “Corporations are people, my friend.”
As Mr. Media Nation wrote:
Romney was making a fundamental, noncontroversial point: corporations are groups of people, and if you raise taxes on them, they’re going to pass those costs on to the public. Or should I say he was trying to make that point — he said, “You can raise taxes,” then got pulled in another direction.
But, really, this isn’t hard.
It also isn’t one-dimensional.
Consider the issue of “corporate personhood,” which Ralph Nader railed against in the 2008 presidential election:
In 1886 the Supreme Court, in the case of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, was interpreted to have ruled that corporations were “persons”—before women were considered persons under the 19th amendment to have the right to vote.
Ever since, corporations have enjoyed most of the same constitutional rights granted to real people.
But corporations are not humans. They don’t vote. They don’t have children. They don’t die in Iraq.
The people who work for the corporations are of course real people, but the corporate “entity” should never be given equal constitutional rights to real human beings.
Nader, as usual, did not prevail, so corporations have retained their personhood.
Corporations are people, my friends.