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Dr_Dredd's avatar

If corporations are now persons, as the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled, should Wall Street be shut down?

Asked by Dr_Dredd (10533points) February 27th, 2010

After all, the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude… shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

Wall Street engages in the buying and selling of parts of corporations. Is that technically slavery?

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15 Answers

The_Idler's avatar

Cool, how corporations hijacked the rights that were originally guaranteed to the individual citizens of the United States, very clever.

American Ingenuity, if you will.

dpworkin's avatar

The Supreme Court has never ruled that corporations are persons. They have extended to corporations an unregulated right of free political speech. This was a carefully thought out act of legislation on the part of a very political right wing court with an agenda.

phoenyx's avatar

No, they should run for congress so that they can get proper representation and, in turn, exemptions from constitutional amendments. ~

gorillapaws's avatar

The problem with corporations being treated as people, is that you can’t throw a corporation in jail if it does something bad. It’s a bit like those foreign ambassadors that have diplomatic immunity that drive around drunk and kill people with no fear of repercussion.

For example, if an individual tries to maximize the payout from an insurance company it’s insurance fraud and they go to jail, however insurance companies make it a matter of standard practice to make paying out claims as difficult, convoluted, slow and frustrating as possible.

kevbo's avatar

Corporations were ruled as legal Persons many, many decades ago—at least as far as I understand it.

I haven’t read this fully, but here’s a source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_personhood_debate

ETpro's avatar

If corporations are persons, shouldn’t thay have ALL the rights of individual citizens under the Constitution. What about the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. Won’t America be better off with heavily armed “Marketing Squads” patrolling our streets to urge customers into the doors of the newly armed Walmart?

dpworkin's avatar

@kevbo they have had certain legal aspects of person-hood for a long time, but it is known and kept as a fiction.

kevbo's avatar

Yeah, I’m shooting from the hip on this one, so I’ll defer.

Cruiser's avatar

The fact the Al Gore objects to this notion of corporate personhood is enough for me to embrace it as the single greatest thing since canned whip cream. Long live Cool Whip!

Pazza's avatar

From what I understand (not stand-under!) of the ‘system’ is that common law jurisdiction acknowledges/assumes the existence of souls that inhabit flesh and blood bodies, in this common law jurisdiction, there are very few ways to break the law, in fact there are only two that I know of, the first and most important one is never infringe on the life, liberty, property, or rights (inalienable) of a natural being who has every right to seek just compensation for their injury. The other is never breach the agreements of a contract, although that really is covered by the first.

So, anyhoo, so far as I know, corporations aren’t persons, persons are corporations according to black’s law (though I don’t have a copy, so I don’t really know), living souls (people) are not persons, hence, I am not a person, I have a person that exists in association with me, the evidence of this person is known as a ‘birth certificate’, this person of which it is assumed that I am acting as surety for has a contract with (in my case) the UNITED KINGDOM CORPORATION, since from what I’ve learned that living souls cannot contract with fictions (corporations) and visa-versa (ref, meeting of the minds) to earn money I need my own corporation to play this monopoly game.

To answer the question (in that long winded way), technically I suppose its not slavery, but since the public fool system doesn’t teach me the skills I need to farm, hunt and provide shelter for myself and my family, then any other way you look at it, its forced servitude. I cannot survive without the system, and to use the system I have to contract with it (a slight contradiction I know) and thus be subject to countless statutes aka the legal system.

As for the American constitution, I’m not entirely sure where ‘we the people’ stand, although Rudy Giuliani was quoted as saying “the people can’t quote the constitution because they are not party to it”, my understanding of that comment was that in contracting with the AMERICAN government you waver all of you inalienable rights and freedoms.

Oh, I forgot, also my understanding of this whole legal fiction contract palaver, is that technically you’ve given up ownership of your own body to a corporation, and if you don’t treat it in the manor that they have stipulated, they fine your ass!

dpworkin's avatar

Your body lives in a manor? Cool beans.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@Pazza I have no idea what you just said, but it sounded very lawyer-like. :-)

ETpro's avatar

@Cruiser Al Gore is also on record telling people they shouldn’t swallow bull shit too, so looks like time for you to start chowing down since he says its bad. That’ll larn ‘em.

davidbetterman's avatar

Corporations have been ficticiously considered “people” for legal actions for 35 years or more.

ETpro's avatar

@davidbetterman Not exactly. They can’t be held personally liable as persons can. THey can’t be jailed. If they go bankrupt, the creditors can’t go after the assets of the real persons involved as they can whan a reap person defaults on a debt. They enjoy all sorts of protections individual citizens don’t have.

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