Jon Stewart Slams the Notion that Corporations Are People as they Continue to Escape Liability for Criminal Behavior

jon-stewart-gmWhile it’s been said by many people, it was during the 2012 presidential election when Mitt Romney made the phrase “corporations are people” extremely well known.  Most liberals find this notion completely preposterous.  The fact that an entity is given the same rights as a human being should be something everyone opposes.  Especially when you consider the fact that corporations are offered protections that normal individuals are not.

Jon Stewart pointed that out perfectly last night when he discussed GM using loopholes in their bankruptcy agreement to avoid facing criminal liability concerning the fact that they knew millions of their cars had a safety defect yet did nothing, which resulted in 13 deaths.

Stewart noted that the part involved in the recall cost a whopping 57 cents.  He mocked GM by saying, “You could have found at least that much in the seats of the cars you’re fixing.”

He then concluded by saying, “Not only are corporations people, they’ve got some sort of weird mutant power that allows them to dodge the consequences of their actions.”

Which is sadly true – and absolutely ridiculous.

These companies almost entirely escape any form of criminal prosecution whenever they’re responsible for some horrific act.  Oil spill in the gulf?  Nobody goes to jail.  Chemical plant spills deadly chemicals into the water supply of hundreds of thousands of people?  Nobody will go to jail.  Numerous companies (and individuals) responsible for the worst economic collapse in nearly a century?  Nope, no jail that time either.

Corporations want to be given the same rights as people – that is until they they’re caught doing something that an ordinary citizen would face jail time for, then suddenly they hide behind the shield of being a corporation or LLC.

Essentially, they have the best of both worlds.

They have a Supreme Court (well, at least the 5 conservative justices on that court) that continues to grant them the rights of ordinary citizens, yet a legal system that almost completely protects the individuals in charge of these corporations from legal prosecution (as an ordinary citizen would face) whenever they’re responsible for some kind of criminal activity.

I’m just glad Jon Stewart took and a stand, and I believe we all need to be more vocal about this injustice of corporations being allowed to behave criminally while nobody is held responsible for it.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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    • FD Brian

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      • Stephen Barlow


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      • Stephen Barlow

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    • Stephen Barlow

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      • xnerd

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      • Stephen Barlow

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  • Mrs_oatmeal

    I will believe corporations are people when Texas executes one!

  • ziggywiggy

    I think I’ll become a corporation, seems like they got it good

    • Stephen Barlow

      An individual can incorporate in Delaware AND Nevada. Google ‘self in corporation’.

      • ziggywiggy

        darn I live in NY, guess I’ll just have to be a regular person

      • Stephen Barlow

        YOu can mail order it from the WSJ ad.

      • ziggywiggy

        interesting, I’m an artist… I’ll check it out, thanks

      • Stephen Barlow

        If you are a sole proprietor for tax purposes, you can indemnify your self against personal financial responsibility by making your ART a business and incorporating it as an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation0 you will have to file taxes a little differently, but the 5th graders 2 H&R Block can do it for about $100.

        You can do this in EVERY state. But if you do it in Nevada or Delaware, there is minimal corporate income tax. You will need a bank account and a mailing address, which can be had by renting a box in a private mail center for about $100 a year. A phone call can redirect your business mail to you home monthly or weekly.

        The other thing it does is allow you to keep all your earning in the corporate account, with special tax savings. You are taxed on income annually, but on Capital Gains (profits made on interest and appreciation of investment) ONLY WHEN YOU SELL THEM.

        Also, if your art falls on someone and kills them, or spontaneously combusts… all your personal assets (Home, car…etc) can NEVER be taken in a lawsuit. Where asa sole proprietor, they can sell your underwear from off your ass to pay for damages.

        A half hour with a reference librarian will hook you up with lots of free information.

        Good luck to you.

  • Eddie Krebbs

    Also add in that originally corporations were given a special status as they were performing a monumental good for the people / government as a whole – such as building a transcontinental railroad (fighting urge to point out the image of the railroad tycoon / robber baron). There were only a small number of corporations.
    Today, it is relatively easy for a company to become a corporation.

    • Stephen Barlow

      But shold corporations be allowed to form corporations that have no function other than to shield the parent?

      Shell, dummy and holding corps…

  • Ted Cruz

    If corporations are people then a hostile takeover is rape?

    • Darkthunder

      But is it truly Rape, or a form of Fake Rape that Republicans love to argue?

      • Ted Cruz

        Doesn’t matter either way no one is ever going to jail…seems totally fair

      • Stephen Barlow

        A legitimate rape results in an embryo?

        Or is that rape only legitimate if it’s a tax deductible rape?

    • Stephen Barlow