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Issues

Corporate Power

We believe that corporations, as artificial entities, are not entitled to the Constitutional rights of people. The notion of corporate personhood as a vehicle for corporations to limit the liability of shareholders, own property, enter into contracts, and sue or be sued in court should be the extent of corporate personhood.

“The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.” – Thomas Jefferson

“… Corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires.  …they are not themselves members of ‘We the People’ by whom and for whom our Constitution was established.” – Justice John Paul Stevens, 2010 dissent to Citizens United vs. F.E.C.

We call for:

  • Full enforcement of antitrust laws and the breakup of corporations and banks that are “too big to fail”;
  • A constitutional amendment to establish that corporations shall not be considered as “persons” for purposes of political activity, to reverse the pernicious ruling that money equals speech and to institute stringent corporate campaign-contribution reporting requirements and prohibitions on such contributions without specific advance approval by stockholders who are U.S. citizens;
  • International trade based on fair trade that includes living wages and environmental protection and human rights;
  • Increased exports of manufactured goods and decreased exports of raw resource material through use of tariffs and taxes;
  • Governments to hold natural resources such as land, water, and timber in trust for citizens. Lease law rates for harvesting of public resources must be updated annually and set at fair market value. Corporations must leave the lands, waters, and air in an environmentally sound, sustainable state;
  • Strengthening and enforcing laws against corporate crime, with penalties to include prison time for executives and revoking corporate charters;
  • Investment banking to be separated from commercial banking and subjected to tighter regulation, transparency, and accountability (e.g. implement the Volker Rule);
  • The derivatives market to be tightly regulated or abolished;
  • Repealing subsidies or tax reductions to U.S. based firms that outsource jobs overseas;
  • Multinational companies to pay their fair share of U.S. taxes and be prohibited from using foreign tax havens, and their status as U.S.-based corporations or their ability to do business in the U.S., or federal business overseas, should be forfeited by those who violate these tenets;
  • Reinstating the windfall profits tax;
  • Corporations that adversely impact the sustainability of the natural environment in populated areas to be required to do remediation (mitigation) on site or at least in the same neighborhood, so that the value of natural environment is not lost to the citizens in the neighborhood;
  • Promotion of corporate structures owned only by the corporate employees (a.k.a. Employee Stock Ownership Plan companies);
  • Whistleblower laws to be strengthened and enforced, to provide active protection and restitution for any whistleblowers who lose their livelihoods.

We oppose:

  • Attempts to weaken the powers of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to pursue fraudulent practices;
  • The ability of a corporation to terminate defined benefit plans to make up for poor management;
  • Foreign ownership and management of our ports, highways, bridges, pipelines, and other infrastructure assets which are crucial to our national safety and security;
  • Patent and copyright laws that grant corporations monopolies over unnecessarily long terms;
  • Corporations exerting undue influence on our government through access to regulatory commissions and drafting congressional and state legislation.