General Question

laurenigula's avatar

Could you explain to me what corporate personhood is?

Asked by laurenigula (171points) March 27th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

10 Answers

Dog's avatar

Can you give us an example or expand on the question?

Amoebic's avatar

I’m interested in hearing about this one; the wikipedia entry for it is a touch hard to follow

fireside's avatar

As in understand it, it is a way to game the system and attempt to declare your personal property as business assets. I’ve heard people who want to use it to somehow claim that they cannot be regulated by the traffic cops. I’ve also heard some people who want to use it to declare first lien hold rights on their mortgage so that if the bank ever does seize the property, they will still have to pay the lien holder.

I don’t put much credence in it, so that is as far as I have ever listened.

laurenigula's avatar

Well from my understanding when corporations go to court, they are represented as if they are an “artificial person” and have the same rights as a person might have. I don’t know what type of answer I was looking for, but I just have a hard time grasping that concept. Or I could totally be wrong all together.

fireside's avatar

@laurenigula – you may be right. I was thinking of corporation sole.

kevinhardy's avatar

being a puppet on the job, being used

Allie's avatar

Corporations are given some of the rights that individuals have. So in some cases they are legally considered a person.
Legal person (which is what corporations are) means that they are allowed to sell, buy, and own property. They have the right to political free speech meaning that they can legally back any candidate/party/legislature they want (either publicly or privately via donations) and it’s ok. They can take part in contract deals, and act as a person if a lawsuit should arise.
Personally, I think it’s crooked. Corporations are so much more powerful than most individuals – including their CEOs and Presidents. With as much power as corporations have almost anything is possible for them.
If you’re interested you should read The Corporation by Joel Bakan. It’s a short read and pretty interesting. (If you want the cheat version, there is also a DVD.)

kenmc's avatar

@Allie hit it right on the noggin.

laurenigula's avatar

@Allie that was wonderful allie! thank you.

Halliburton_Shill's avatar

@Allie – that was a great answer. They don’t get to vote, that’s the only real limitation on their personhood. Unlike a President or other politician, they can recreate themselves under different names repeatedly, avoid liability and jail, sell guns and bombs to whoever they like without a cavity search, and issue frog-backed securities.

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