[FoRK] My sentiments exactly...

Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca
Fri Jan 22 14:37:46 PST 2010

--- On Fri, 1/22/10, Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo <ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca> wrote:
> 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.

Somewhere in the thread someone responded that the corporation is not the employees but the owners. I've quoted myself to illustrate that I did not point to either employees or owners. I did that intentionally because it wasn't necessary. It applies either way.

How it applies to employees is self-evident.

How it applies to shareholders should be equally self-evident to anyone who actually gives it a little thought.

Do you believe anyone polled the shareholders to get the majority opinion?

For those who answer that that's the role of the BoD, that is likely wrong on at least two counts.

First it assumes the C-suite went to the board with a price list of the politicians they intended to purchase. I doubt that would be a normal occurence.

But let's stipulate for this discussion that it is; that the C-suite assembled their shopping list and took it to the board of directors for approval. My point stands because in this context the BoD does not represent the shareholders.

No. It doesn't.

It represents the shares.

That's a whole different thing. Think about it.

The argument is that the corporation is analogous to a group of freely associating individuals who come together to lend weight to their feelings about an issue or agenda by speaking with a single, louder, voice.

That analogy sure doesn't hold here. In the analogy of a freely associating group each person's opinion is of equal weight to any other persons. That's not the case with shareholders.

In a corporation it's each voting share that has equal weight. 

So it's the people and organizations with the preponderance of shares who carry the vote. Huge difference. 

Next, you have to consider that the owners holding the largest blocks of shares aren't individuals either. They are invariably organizations; other corporations, mutual funds, pension funds. None qualified or mandated to submit political decisions on behalf of *their* owners.

 .......mmmmm..... actually it's worse. Some of the majority owners are state-owned funds who probably *are* mandated to push forward any political and/or religious beliefs of their owners.

There is simply no basis to compare a corporation to a freely associating group of individuals, whether you look at it from the employee side or the ownership side.

I'm even more befuddled that thoughtful citizens of the Excited States of America would try to rationalize using such a specious argument. The USofA is the most strident nation on the planet when it comes to equality of the individual. You have taken great pains to ensure that one person:one vote and prevent those with more money getting more than their one vote.

This nonsense with corporations being able to apply as much money as they want to the political process is just an end run. A way for those with more money to, in effect, get more votes. And I see American citizens supporting it and trying to justify it.

         ...ken... <????more confused than ever????>

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