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dabbler's avatar

What If? U.S. constitution is amended, corporations are not persons, money is not speech. Now what?

Asked by dabbler (18518points) July 11th, 2012

What would be the major effects?
Would elections change overnight?
Who’s out of business ? Who’s back in business ?

How would the judgements of the Supreme Court of the U.S. be affected?
Are SCOTUS past judgements automatically reviewed in light of the new amendment ?

How long will it take to replace the people now in charge in our governments with people who would apply their energy to different goals than corporate fund-raising?

The media seem to love the status quo, though, how could a un-corporate point-of-view get coverage? The political circus makes people crave more “news”, and political ad revenue looks tasty.

Armagedon ? Nirvana ? Socialism ? Savagery ? The BBC ?
What do you think?

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17 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Old decisions are not reviewed in light of a new amendment. We haven’t reversed the Fugitive Slave Act since slavery was amended out of the Constitution.

Corporations would be bound by campaign finance laws that limited their expenditures. An amendment would not mean they could not speak, just that they don’t have an inherent right to speech.

Ron_C's avatar

Now you’ve returned to the country our founders fought and died for. The original problem started with the largest international corporation in the world abusing the colonists. They fought back and for more than a hundred years making or accepting corporate payments to politicians was a felony.

Allowing corporate money into politics spelled the beginning of the end of representative democracy in this country. Since then, we have allowed corporations to influence and guide everything from banking to who and when we fought wars.

WW!, the Spanish American War, Vietnam, Korea, and all the smaller wars or “conflicts” were fought for corporate gain and had NOTHING to do with protecting our freedom.

filmfann's avatar

Fairer elections.

Economy gets worse, since all these corporations aren’t spending all that money on advertising.

ETpro's avatar

@Ron_C said it well.

We return to sanity and a world where what the founding fathers wrote still has some meaning, instead of one where 5 men appointed by corporatist stooges try to hand the keys to the kingdom to their plutocratic masters. I’ve already signed the petition for a Constitutional Amendment—even though none should be needed. Simply following what the document already says would be enough.

Ron_C's avatar

Thanks @ETpro I don’t know if Congress can be saved. They have proved that they don’t learn form their mistakes, care nothing about the concerns of anyone worth less that a million dollars, and that the country can run without them. Therefore I suggest a one time change in election rules so that the entire House and Senate stand for election this year. New candidates are to be chosen by lottery from the current list of eligible voters.

They would be permitted to have former senators and representatives around during the orgainzing phase of the new congress but all former elected officials must be forbidden from entering Washington DC while the House and Senate are in session.

ETpro's avatar

@Ron_C The solution is strict term limits and public financing of all elections. No more corruption. And weld shut the revolving door between high position in government and cushy jobs in the K-Street lobbying firms that feed the beast; and the corporations the beast feeds.

zenvelo's avatar

@ETpro But I LIKE my congressman and Senators. I want term limits on yours!

Is that fair?

Brian1946's avatar


But I LIKE my congressman and Senators.

Are you referring to Nancy, Dianne, and Barbara?

ETpro's avatar

@Brian1946 It works like this. All, or nothing at all.

Brian1946's avatar


I realize it works like that. Did something give you the impression that I didn’t or that I thought it shouldn’t?

I was merely wondering who @zenvelo‘s representative and senators are; I wasn’t implying that they should be excluded from the restrictions imposed by term limits.

zenvelo's avatar

@Brian1946 Diane and Barbara, and my Representative is John Garamendi, but will be George Miller during the next term.

We’ve had term limits for twenty years in the California Legislature. It’s been a disaster. We have leadership with first termers who don’t even know how to submit a bill. And with no institutional memory, there is no experience on how to compromise.

ETpro's avatar

@zenvelo Very interesting. But California has, at long last, taken the first tentative steps toward rational governance. How did that come about?

zenvelo's avatar

@ETpro What do you consider “the first tentative steps towards rational governance”?

ETpro's avatar

@zenvelo California is moving to close the budget deficit and to invest in its future and in things that will put Californians to work again and even bring people to the state to fill infrastructure construction and repair jobs. Those people are going to buoy your tax base.

zenvelo's avatar

@ETpro For the first time in 30 years we have a decent Governor. Oh wait, it’s the same guy! Wish he’d been President.

ETpro's avatar

@zenvelo Amen to that. I was living in California the first time Governor Moombeam ran for and won the office. He did a great job back then, and I am sure he’s going to be a great governor this time as well. He’s certainly off to a good start.

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