Category: Corporate Abuse of Power

Video: Target Ain’t People

In January, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations can spend unlimited money in our elections. This video was made in response to Target’s decision to give $150,000 to an anti-gay, anti-worker candidate for the Governor of Minnesota. Watch this video on YouTube
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The Next Senator from Target Corporation

Here’s a type of story that may become so common it’s no longer a story, or those pushing back and working for structural reform may prevail: Target Corp. spending company money on candidates By MARTIGA LOHN (AP) – ST. PAUL, Minn. — Here’s something Target Corp. isn’t advertising in its Sunday circular: The discount retailer
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Corporate Control of Our Democracy: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

By Radhika Balakrishnan and James Heintz, Huffington Post

This January the U.S. Supreme Court issued a shattering ruling that will intensify corporate influence in our democracy to an unprecedented degree. In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Court ruled that government restrictions on corporate election spending are unconstitutional because such restrictions violated corporations’ right to free speech as set out in the first amendment of the Bill of Rights. In effect, the Court was evoking a core civil right to advance corporate power. This is a dangerous precedent, one that will undermine the obligation of the government to respect and protect human rights by giving corporations full reign to advance their own interests in the democratic – yet increasingly plutocratic – United States.

The idea that corporations have the same rights as you and me comes from a Supreme Court decision over 120 years ago – Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad (1886) – the focus of which was whether railroads could deduct their debts from the value of their property for tax purposes. The Supreme Court laid down a much broader ruling, effectively stating that corporations should enjoy the same equal protections under the law as individuals. Equal protection under the law was spelled out in the 14th Amendment which was adopted following the Civil War. The original motivation for the amendment had little to do with advancing corporate influence. It overturned the Dred Scott decision (in which slaves were denied citizenship) and laid the groundwork for ending segregation in the U.S. and subsequent civil rights laws.

READ THE REST AT Huffington Post

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Or Are They Already Here?

Craig Barnes says the corporations are coming, and documents in a fine overview how close their breath is to the backs of our necks.  He recounts recent corporate abuses, with government assistance: coal mine owners ensuring the deaths of workers, oil corporations making certain our oceans are poisoned, mega banks apparently defrauding ratings agencies, Goldman Sachs defrauding investors, and this oldie but goodie from earlier this year:

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What If BP Were A Human Being?

 

gulf oil spill

What if BP, the principal corporate entity responsible for the monstrous oil well rupture a mile beneath Gulf of Mexico were a human being, a flesh and blood person instead of a faceless transnational corporation? It’s a fair and simple question, and the answers tell us a lot more about the world we live in.

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Gooey Black Corporate Greed

Corporate persons aren’t like you and I. They have eternal life and legal immunity. No death, no taxes, no joy or pain or moral feeling. No sweat and no tears. When they move their mouths, out come dollars, and we call those dollars speech. But when they stub their toe and bleed, out comes thick black goo in a gusher that could turn the ocean into a dead black pit, and we call that goo petroleum.

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