Thursday, July 8, 2010

Corporate Charters Should Not be Contracts

So what? Who cares about "corporate charters" in the first place? BOOORRINGG !

True, but imagine a world in which we the people had control over corporations. Under our thumb. Whoa!

Corporations have power to literally get away with murder, because so much of their "rights" are protected by the US Constitution, among other defining laws. An example is that the US Supreme Court determined, in Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 17 U.S. 518 (1819), that a corporate charter is a "contract." This gives corporations contract powers that, like "property rights," are protected by the US Constitution.

The government (read "the people") are not allowed to meddle in the private affairs of contracts. This corporate contract shield is greater than the corporate shield that limits liabilities of the humans running and profitting from the corporate shell wrapped around a "business" enterprise... more likely these days a scam called a business.

Corporations are chartered to exist by states. These states, like Delaware, or some Caribbean nation, want the tax revenues that come with issuing corporate charters. That's because corporations make their headquarters in the place that issues their charter. So, to attract "business," states and Caribbean nations compete with each other to issue corporate charters. To attract wanna-be corporations, there is a race to the bottom in how lax their charters can be to benefit corporations. These states write corporate charters that are very favorable to corporations, but not favorable for we the people.

For example, lax charters can help corporations hide records from the public, making it almost impossible for the public to even know what a corporation is doing, let alone influence that activity if it is damaging to society.... like that never happens.

In sum, corporate charters, which give birth to corporations, are protected by the US Constitution as a "contract," which gives corporations way too much power. We need to re-define corporate charters to be something less than a contract.


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