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Old 07-24-2014, 06:19 AM
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Jail Time? Corporations Are People Too, Apparently

The Citizens United ruling says that corporations are people.
Since that ruling was made, corporations have enjoyed the same rights and priviledges as people.
So, why don't we saddle them with the same responsibilities that people have?

Allow me to explain..

If a person were to commit a crime, like, for example, poisoning a lake or a river or underground water supply, that person would almost certainly go to jail, especially if people died as a result of their actions.
But if a corporation does the exact same thing, they get a fine which is usually far less (often in the amount of 5% or less) than the profit they made from the misdeed.
That's no incentive to do the right thing.
Why don't we put them in jail?
I know what you're saying.
You're saying... "Zap. That's impossible. We can put human beings in jail because they are physical beings that we can control. We simply capture them, put them in jail and it's done."
True enough. But what about the very first criminal? What about that first guy who really needed to go to jail, yet jails hadn't been invented yet? We simply invented a jail and put them in it.

Why can't we do the same for non-physical entities (like corporations) which insist on having the same rights as people?
Isn't jail for humans just a (mostly) temporary blockage of their rights and complete halt of their economic activity?
Why can't we do that with corporations that poison water and cause destructions to people?
Why can't we bar that corporation from exercising any rights normally granted to corporations and freeze all of their economic activity for a certain period of time that fits the crime committed?

Any thoughts?
 
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:18 PM
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I hear you and agree if it were that simple. The problem lies in that corporation directors (CEO's) wouldn't do the time but some scapegoat would probably be put forward.

This leads the justice system into murky waters as they end up jailing some fall guy that has been put forward instead of the actual perpetrators.

If for example an oil company accidentally poisoned the sea with oil (anything come to mind? ) they are so big a company that all they will get is a slap on the wrist fine and no one man could take the blame. AND, if the blame could be taken by one man, I can garuntee it won't be the boss at fault but some fall guy.
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Old 07-24-2014, 05:34 PM
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I hear the both of you and have recently often contemplated the same as Zap. The GM ignition mess was a big part of my thinking.

G10 has a good point, one I fear would be true. If we can't overcome that and make the guilty person pay, why not jailhouse the corporation? A total or partial suspension of all corporate rights (depending on the crime) for the duration of the sentence.

It isn't going to happen because they own to many politicians but it sure makes sense to this old country boy.
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:11 PM
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There is another side to this that we haven't considered.

Imagine if you tried to penalize GM or an oil company, or even a pharmaceutical firm. They may have to lay 100's (or if what they did was really bad), 1000's of people off due to the punishment. This in turn would hurt our economy even more.

The reason this sort of thing could never happen is because a law would have to be brought in to allow this and the corporations of the world would club together to make sure this can't happen.

Scenario - Lets say the US government tried to penalise Pfizer for some side affects within their diabetes drug and punished them by freezing the sales of it for a few years. Pfizer would have to lay of a load of staff to compensate for the monetary loss, and, they could move their offices to another country which in turn would screw over the economy and also the workforce.

A few major corporations together are bigger than any government.
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Old 07-25-2014, 07:35 AM
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I wasn't suggesting a guilty corporation choose a human being to suffer jail time for the company. Put the company in "economic jail". Stop all of the corporations economic activity.

It's true that some companies would have to lay off several people, but that might serve as a deterrent to even committing the crime in the first place. And it might make an employee think twice about committing a crime on behalf of the corporation.
For example, the bean counters at GM might not be so flippant about allowing a death trap into the market if their own jobs are at risk when GM gets convicted of murder. And in clear cases where particular humans sign off on crimes, then I see no reason why they can't be put into a jail cell.

If we don't demand accountability, we'll never get it.
 
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:08 AM
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Sounds like a great idea. Expect that to never happen though lol

the democratic ideology has plagued US, Mexico and Canada which is popularity. Focus on popularity, worship popularity, love popularity and so on.

economics and rights from a logic perspective is not popular today and people really don't even care either with monetary redistribution becoming more popular than ever. People have a sense of security being that the government seems to take care of them and the popular answer is to borrow money to solve problems.
 
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