[FoRK] My sentiments exactly...

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Fri Jan 22 10:39:58 PST 2010

Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo wrote:
> ....
> Your point, and that of others, that the corporation is considered a legal entity unto itself puts the immediate lie to that notion.
> If a corporation loses a civil suit or is found guilty of criminal acts, it is not necessary, and very rare, that any individual(s) in the corporation will suffer any consequences at all.
> If it is decided that individuals in the corporation should be held individually accountable for their personal actions, they must be sued or charged independently. Otherwise they get to hide behind the corporation's skirts.

Not those that have fiduciary responsibility, at least not for certain 
classes of things like taxes.  They are directly and automatically 
> There are many consequences that it simply is not possible, nor even relevant, to apply to corporations. One of the most common consequences isn't even possible: You can't take away their freedom (toss their asses in jail) for a specified period of time, for instance.
> When was the last time you saw a corporation subjected to the three strikes rule? When was the last time you saw a corporation designated as a dangerous offender? When was the last time you saw a corporation subjected to capital punishment in a state that still supports it?

Corporations can suffer existential penalties monetarily, by court order 
or regulation controlling them, etc.  I sued a company out of existence 
in small claims.  (Well, when I appealed and one in Circuit court 
anyway.  That was an interesting pro-se experience.)  Racketeering / 
RICO and similar statutes are essentially a corporate death penalty, 
confiscating all assets and charging participants.  You have to consider 
what laws apply to corporations and which do not make sense.  Perhaps it 
helps to think of them as little countries or something similar.
> Even beyond that gaping hole in your logic there remains an even larger one: corporations are not simply groups of individuals who have agreed to associate voluntarily and speak as one. The war chest of a corporation is controlled by a tiny few at the top. While they may, collectively agree, on the political position they are going to support, not only is it possible that the majority of the individuals who comprise the corporation disagree with that position, it is virtually a certainty that nobody asked their opinion in the first place.

The "corporation" is made of those that own it, not those that merely 
have personal contracts to work there.  Some corporations ARE owned by 
everyone who works there, often as a matter of principle.
> So, back to my initial befuddlement. I can understand that this is a corporate lawyer's dream. But I can't understand why a functional reasoning individual humam, like e.g. jb, would see the perpetuation of this nonsense, especially in the context of the right of an individual to freedom of speech, as a good thing.

I can see it both ways, in general.  In some cases, I'm annoyed by it:  
In Virginia, a corporation always has to be represented independently by 
an attorney, even if it has a sing shareholder.  In that case one case, 
the requirement is an error.
>  ..... hmmmmmm ..... Perhaps I am in error assuming he is either functional or reasoning.....???? (Where's that "spot check" you mentioned, jb, so I can perhaps see where I rate/rank compared to you????)
>  ...ken...

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