corporations as persons, “not true?”

I like showing the first few minutes of The Corporation when teaching Politics and Economics in 101. I’ll have the opportunity to touch up that opening gambit on Corporate Personhood with a few recent news clippings. The first is the much-avoided (in the mass media) topic of the Citizen’s United ruling which, according to the majority opinion, is a validation of First Amendment free speech. (Justice Alito, when POTUS did a public shaming of the Court on this matter, reportedly mouthed ‘Not true’.) The other part is a nice news clip (and here) about how, in the economic meltdown, corporations have been walking away from their $4.4 billion debt, called an ‘underwater property’ (like the massive 56-building/11,282 property Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town complex), to ‘protect shareholder value’ while individuals are shamed into their debts: In the Wall Street Journal, the head of the Mortgage Bankers Association was quoted as saying, “What about the message they will send to their family and their kids and their friends?” (Morgan Stanley walked away from five San Fransisco office buildings last month too.)

Update 2/10/10: A student informed me that a PR firm, Murray Hill Inc., is running for the Republican primary in Maryland’s 8th Congressional District, tongue in cheek. Campaign Manager William Klein “plans to use automated robo-calls, ‘Astroturf” lobbying and computer-generated avatars to get out the vote.”

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