Poor William's Almanack and Journal
Contact and Feedback
About William

Rightspeak Glossary

Privacy Statement
Search this site

Ben Franklin's bifocals Saturday, February 8, 2014

General William Tecumseh Sherman   General William Tecumseh Sherman
[1820 - William Tecumseh Sherman, General, US Army, born in Lancaster, Ohio]

Jules Verne - Science-fiction author    Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea    Jules Verne - Science-fiction author
[1828 - Jules Verne, author, father of science-fiction, born in Nantes, France]

Actress Edith Evans    Actress Edith Evans
[1888 - Dame Edith Mary Evans, actress, born in London]

Actor Lyle Talbot    Actor Lyle Talbot    Actor Lyle Talbot
[1902 - Lyle Talbot (Lisle Henderson), actor, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania]

Actress Lana Turner    Actress Lana Turner
[1921 - Lana (Julia Jean) Turner, actress, born in Wallace, Idaho]

welcome to the gas chamber
[1924 - First execution by lethal gas in America
is performed in Carson City, Nevada]

Actor Jack Lemmon    Actor Jack Lemmon    Actor Jack Lemmon
[1925 - Jack (John Uhler) Lemmon (III), Academy Award-winning actor, born in Newton, Massachusetts]

Actress Audrey Meadows    Actress Audrey Meadows
[1926 - Audrey Meadows, Emmy Award-winning actress, born in China]

Actor James Dean    Actor James Dean
[1931 - James B. Dean, actor, born in Marion, Indiana]

Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty    Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty
[1949 - Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty sentenced to life imprisonment by Communist Court]

Legal Fictions #1

Is it not time that we reexamined the legal fiction that allows corporations to be treated as persons? The corporation evolved from the need to create associations or conglomerates whereby individuals could pool resources for the accomplishment of a common purpose. It was a useful device that fostered the growth of business enterprises by allowing companies to enter into complex relationships while protecting investors from personal liability for the outcome of the venture. One doubts, however, that the early proponents of the corporate form could have foreseen the behemoths that now exist and that have become modern day power centers of wealth and control that rival and exceed the reach of many governments, crossing as they do international boundaries.

Perhaps the most fictional aspect of the corporate personhood legal fiction is that the corporation is controlled by and subject to its shareholders. Indeed some corporations may fit within this rubric, but many do not. Corporations may have become too like individuals, and often display the worst of human passions (greed, arrogance, egotism, and malice) whilst pursuing their legitimate business purposes. Sadly, the corporate fiction is now an instrument for evading personal responsibility for acts of questionable legality and failures of moral behavior. The corporation is too often a cloak that hides from sight conduct that would not be tolerated in a civilized society if exposed to public view.

What is most troublesome is that government and the corporate elite have joined forces to create a new form of tyranny that would exalt the rights of these quasi-persons over those of real citizens. Individuals have rights of free speech and privacy; corporations should not. How different would our world be if corporations were barred from making contributions to politicians, directors' meetings were streamed live, and detailed corporate financials were posted publicly in real time?

I hope we shall... crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government in a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.

Thomas Jefferson
1816 letter to George Logan

William's Whimsical Words:

If corporations are truly persons, than one in every several hundred of them should be sent to prison, as are the real citizens of this great country. We could make a good start by rounding up all the Wall Street Investment Banking firms, Hedge Funds, Halliburton, Big Oil, Insurance Companies, and Big Pharma.

BACKto Almanack Main Page


Almanack | Journal | Contact | About | Forum | Archives | Glossary | Privacy | Search


Content and text copyright ©2009, Will Henry.
HTML and design copyright ©2002, ABC Internet.
All rights reserved.
No claim made as to animated gifs and still jpeg images.
Last updated on February 8, 2014

ABC Mini-logo