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"Corporations are people, Officer!"
January 10, 2013 12:45 AM   Subscribe

'If Corporations Are People, Can They Ride In The Carpool Lane?'

"Motorist Claims Corporation Papers Are Carpool Passengers" and has apparently been doing this for a while, hoping to take it to court.

California Vehicle Code Section 470:'"Person" includes a natural person, firm, copartnership, association, limited liability company, or corporation.'
posted by the man of twists and turns (72 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Unfortunately corporations are also useless for marriage, although this particular case seems to have ended because the corporation wasn't old enough to get married so a few seconds of googling suggests that there's still a lot of shenanigans to pull around this ruling if you can find something that incorporated before 1995.

My services as a priest of the Dude (among other things) are available for any officiation you may need.
posted by sandswipe at 1:04 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not a lawyer, but could it not be argued that the corporation was not present in the car because the corporation has no corporeal presence? I know it sounds a little silly, but if the documents he was carrying around were destroyed that would not be the end of the corporation. It would still be registered somewhere else as well, right?
posted by Pseudology at 1:07 AM on January 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


Would have loved it if he had a crudely made cardboard robot
next to him in the passenger seat...that said:
I am incor por rated... there fore.. I am.... a per son too.
I have... the right to be a... legal passen ger.

but seriously, you make my day Jonathan.
posted by quazichimp at 1:07 AM on January 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Pseudology has a good point there. Even if you ran your business out of your car, destroying the car doesn't necessarily kill the business. I guess crudely similar to how destroying (part of) the body doesn't make the person cease to exist. I think you'd have a better case driving around with an urn. Or a rabbit's foot. (Mine's invisible and named Harvey.)
posted by iamkimiam at 1:14 AM on January 10, 2013


"When the corporate presence in our electoral process is financially dominant, by parity it appears appropriate to recognize such presence in an automobile."

But corporations don't drive cars. Yet.
posted by three blind mice at 1:15 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is filing a corporate bankruptcy illegal if seen as a form of euthanasia?
posted by PistachioRoux at 1:17 AM on January 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


Is filing a corporate bankruptcy illegal if seen as a form of euthanasia?

Hang on, I need to make a call to, uh, not Lloyd Blankfein, honest.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:25 AM on January 10, 2013


It's problematic (and, frankly, idiotic) that corporations get to be people for things which are great for them but awful for actual humans, but aren't considered people for things that would benefit actual people but would suck for the corporation.
posted by maxwelton at 1:27 AM on January 10, 2013 [41 favorites]


quazichimp: "Would have loved it if he had a crudely made cardboard robot "

"I call him Fister Roboto, and he's also helpful when people cut me off!"
posted by mannequito at 1:27 AM on January 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


While I agree with the man on these points and applaud non-traditional means of bringing an idea to court, I really don't think that papers can count in any way as a person. Personhood is a noncorporeal concept. Slaves were people, but not "persons." The personhood of corporations does not appear to manifest in a way that enables his protest to function. It's convenient, of course, that corporations get all the benefits of personhood without the drawbacks associated with a body, but that doesn't seem to me to make this particular method of protest valid.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 1:41 AM on January 10, 2013


His corporation should adopt the highway. Then the corporation would tell the highway it had better clean up its room and come down to dinner at 7pm and don't even think of wearing that baseball cap at the table, mister.
posted by zippy at 1:47 AM on January 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


Don't you need three people to ride in the carpool lane around here anyway?
posted by aubilenon at 2:21 AM on January 10, 2013


The driver is from San Rafael. I think either 101N in the afternoon or the Richmond San Rafael bridge toll plaza is 2 passengers for the diamond lane.
posted by zippy at 2:34 AM on January 10, 2013


OK, I am opening a book, I am giving 5-2 he wins his case. If he loses I give 2-1 he takes it all the way to the supreme court, and 1-3 he wins there.
posted by marienbad at 3:10 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's an amusing stunt but this sort of thing is actually pretty intuitive. Incorporation is a legal fiction and everything a corporation does - sign a cheque, build a factory, trade in shares - is accomplished through a human agent acting on its behalf. Similarly, I suppose a corporation's agents could ride in a car "on behalf of" the corporation - but even using joke-logic that wouldn't increase the number of people riding in the car, any more than someone delivering pizza "on behalf of" their employer should count as two people.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:11 AM on January 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've forgotten where I saw this article originally, but the commenter there noted that a corporation's paperwork is not the corporation, any more than having someone's birth certificate on your passenger seat would count as that person.
posted by rifflesby at 3:15 AM on January 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


But corporations don't drive cars. Yet.

Google is coming!
posted by channey at 3:45 AM on January 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Corporations are tools, like hammers. (More specifically, they're shields.)

There is no reason in the world that Biggie Galt, the founder of Galt's Widgets, couldn't keep it as a privately held business, without incorporating. He's rich beyond Midas. When he does incorporate (whether he floats some shares or not), no one is under the illusion that the company is anything but his.

Why does this legal tool (in all senses of that word), the incorporated pet of Biggie, get to enjoy some of the basic rights that ordinary people have, and yet not suffer the consequences for crimes "they" commit?* When a carpenter hits me with his hammer, no smart person says "well, the carpenter isn't at fault, it's the hammer." Yet when Biggie Galt hits me with his corporation, neither the corporation NOR Biggie are in trouble.

In fact, there is nowhere to find the corporation, because it turns out the part that hit me was a wholly owned subsidiary of the parent company, incorporated in Botswana, and which coincidentally has since shuttered its doors. (As a result, the parent corporation took a write-off on its taxes, since hitting me, the sole objective of the subsidiary, turns out to have not been profitable.)

So, assuming I have the financial wherewithal to pursue a civil suit, and then presuming against odds that the overwhelmingly corporation-friendly courts rule in my favor, and again assuming I have the money to pursue the appeal and have the judgement served, assuming I win again...I will probably get nothing. Despite the parent company (and Biggie himself) having a jillion dollars, the legal shield I won the suit against doesn't have anything (on paper, anyway).

In the meantime, the parent company, through yet another subsidiary, dumps millions of dollars into the pockets of politicians who will shepherd friendly legislation into law which makes hitting me legal anyway.

I say all this as the owner of a corporation. Which I don't consider a person.

* If you look at the relative punishments handed out to corporations vs. the equivalent punishments handed out to actual humans, the corporations get off incredibly lightly. The sliciest, diciest serial killer has never made entire nations suffer or taken everything from tens of millions of people, yet such avarice and psychotic behavior is rewarded rather than punished by the state.
posted by maxwelton at 4:00 AM on January 10, 2013 [31 favorites]


I'd say there are corporate entities really eager to start driving cars.
posted by ardgedee at 4:04 AM on January 10, 2013


According to a blog post he wrote in mid-2011 for San Rafael Patch, Frieman had been driving around with his corporate imaginary friend hoping to get pulled for over a decade before it finally happened late last year

Just because you're making a poliical point I agree with doesn't mean you're not also a douchebag who's been abusing the carpool lane for a decade. Does he really believe this Yes Men-lite stunt is going to get him to the Supreme Court?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:23 AM on January 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Corporations are not natural persons, they are legal persons. There's a very real difference, and while it's largely one of semantics, it's important.

These kind of shenanigans do nothing to highlight the difference between natural and legal persons, and only serve the cause of those who would obfuscate the discussion for their own benefit. If you really want to rail against the idea of "Corporations as people" focus on the natural persons versus legal persons argument. It's not really that hard, but this sort of stunt will very easily make "Corporations are the same as real people" true in the mind of the populous, even thought it's not true, and no one in the know actually believes it.

Legal person-hood is really important to retain as a valid legal concept. It is possible to do so without giving carte-blanche to utter douchebags who are distracting you with this kind of nonsense performance-theatre.

You're playing right into their hands. Cut it out.
posted by But tomorrow is another day... at 4:37 AM on January 10, 2013 [10 favorites]


I've always wondered if it could be argued that the different taxation of corporations would violate equal protection of the law.
posted by jamincan at 5:08 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


This raises all kinds of questions. How old is the corporation? If it's under 8, should he get a citation for not buckling it in, or even potentially for letting it ride in the front seat at all?
posted by Ella Fynoe at 5:25 AM on January 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


This opens a whole new avenue (ahem) for other car pool shenanigans. A pregnant pro choice woman should ride in the car pool lane and let the state explain how the fetus is not a person. I'd love to see that one go to The Supremes.
posted by leftcoastbob at 5:35 AM on January 10, 2013 [14 favorites]


OK, I am opening a book, I am giving 5-2 he wins his case. If he loses I give 2-1 he takes it all the way to the supreme court, and 1-3 he wins there.

And what happens with the DA drops the charges resulting in there being no issue before the court?
posted by rough ashlar at 5:35 AM on January 10, 2013


These kind of shenanigans do nothing to highlight the difference between natural and legal persons, and only serve the cause of those who would obfuscate the discussion for their own benefit.

You seem to suggest that the idea of corporate personhood was being routed in the courts and a major cause belli in the minds of the electorate. I think the people who most benefit from corporate personhood are trying to keep a low profile (when they're not collecting big bags of money) and this guy is at least pushing the discussion back into the mainstream.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:41 AM on January 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


The doctrine of artificial personhood helps individuals get redress in the courts against corporations and powerfully limits corporate malfeasance. Imagine a world where you couldn't sue a corporation unless you found and served every shareholder. It used to exist.

The doctrine of corporate personhood also allows news outlets the right to sue the government when it censors them.

The doctrine of corporate personhood allows the government to sue corporations for violations of law, rule and regulation. Prior to it existing, governments would have to pass individual legislation to punish each company, making corporations unaccountable in ways we can barely imagine.

If we want to solve the Citizens United problem, we attack the idea of money=speech.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:42 AM on January 10, 2013 [18 favorites]


Pregnant Woman Loses HOV Lane Case
During a hearing, Wilkinson, who represented herself, pointed out that the local criminal code defines person as an unborn child.

But the judge ruled when she drove in the lane in November, she was clearly in violation of the law requiring at least two people in any vehicle in such a lane.
Maryland defines an 'occupant' as: "any person who occupies one seat in the vehicle (i.e. Pregnant mothers count as one occupant, and an infant in an infant seat counts as one occupant)."

CHP says similarly, it's about the number of butts in seats.

The National Right-To-Ride Carpool Coalition is fighting for the rights of "pre-born persons" to use HOV lanes.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:43 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've always wondered if it could be argued that the different taxation of corporations would violate equal protection of the law.

The poor are taxed less than the rich on their income. Does that violate equal protection?
posted by Ironmouth at 5:45 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think it went to court and he lost, as a jurist said the point of the law was to reduce congestion and having papers in the car doesn't do this.

http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Corporation-not-person-in-carpool-lanes-4173366.php

posted by rubber duck at 5:52 AM on January 10, 2013


Looking forward to new highway signs "Carpool Lane, for vehicles with four (4) or more buttcheeks only"
posted by cacofonie at 5:57 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


The poor are taxed less than the rich on their income. Does that violate equal protection?

The poor and rich are taxed on the same continuum and, in fact, a rich person can and often does move money, make donations, etc. to make part of their earnings non-taxable so they are taxed as a poorer person. Explain what moves a very rich (or poor) person could make to get into that -64% tax bracket that GE enjoys and you might have a point.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:26 AM on January 10, 2013


Better argument: I don't get to say that I have a passenger in the car because I hold their passport or birth certificate.

The car isn't even the registered office in which the company is held to reside.
posted by jaduncan at 6:29 AM on January 10, 2013


Even if he can prove the letter of the law, this certainly violates the spirit.
posted by Twain Device at 6:40 AM on January 10, 2013


Ironmouth, I wish I could like your comment a thousand times. All this "corporations aren't people" snarking is so abysmally stupid, so orthogonal to any issue of significance, and so embarrassingly ignorant of the law, I would be very happy to see it never come up again. Not least because, as you say, corporate personhood is what makes it possible to sue a corporation for negligence or malfeasance!
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 6:42 AM on January 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Corporations are not natural persons, they are legal persons. There's a very real difference, and while it's largely one of semantics, it's important.

This. It's the reason why you can file criminal charges against a corporation, but you can't throw it in jail.

Sorry, bub -- nice stunt, thanks for playing. You can pay your fine at the court clerk's window.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:44 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've long thought that when AI's become sentient and gain human rights, it will be because they've been established as a corporation. You just create a corporation with the bare minimum of people involved and establish the AI as he sole decision maker and so on. I think it would be rock solid, legally.
posted by empath at 6:57 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just because you're making a poliical point I agree with doesn't mean you're not also a douchebag who's been abusing the carpool lane for a decade. Does he really believe this Yes Men-lite stunt is going to get him to the Supreme Court?

Actually, shouldn't you be blaming the cops, who didn't notice a dude using the carpool lane alone for ten years? How was this guy to know it would take that long? He might've gotten stopped the first day.

In the list of Harms to Humanity, I'm pretty sure "inadvertantly using the carpool lane illegally for ten years while trying to get arrested," is pretty low down.

What I like about this is, like others have said, is that it gets people talking about the whole idea of corporate personhood. It's the same reason I enjoy the trillion-dollar coin debate; it makes lots of people uncomfortable who are suddenly having to deal with the realization that money is basically illusory. A trillion dollar coin isn't really any more ludicrous than electronic blips moved by my employer from their bank account to mine, which I then trade for food and necessities. A corporation can't sit in your car, because it doesn't actually exist, yet we grant them rights and privileges of actual persons.
posted by emjaybee at 6:59 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]



Man of Twists & Turns
, is that "National Right-To-Ride Carpool Coalition" satire or not? It's so dry:
If you are cited, remain polite and accept the ticket. You can contest it later. Give the officer a copy of our mission statement, and say, “"Thank you, officer. My son (daughter) and I will see you in court. Have a good day.”
posted by wenestvedt at 7:00 AM on January 10, 2013


I've long thought that when AI's become sentient and gain human rights, it will be because they've been established as a corporation. You just create a corporation with the bare minimum of people involved and establish the AI as he sole decision maker and so on. I think it would be rock solid, legally.

The issue there is turtles all the way down. The company requires officers, and although another company can be the officer you run into the same issue. I suppose the company officers could also be privately contracted to follow the instructions of the AI, but there's a lot of legal and regulatory questions that could be raised if someone was in the mood.
posted by jaduncan at 7:01 AM on January 10, 2013


Well you essentially would have a guardianship situation with the human officers. Corporations don't have the same rights as people, but they do have a significant amount of rights.
posted by empath at 7:06 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately corporations are also useless for marriage, although this particular case seems to have ended because the corporation wasn't old enough to get married so a few seconds of googling suggests that there's still a lot of shenanigans to pull around this ruling if you can find something that incorporated before 1995.

Could this be a way of getting around anti-same-sex marriage laws? Have one of the partners in a same sex couple file incorporation papers that retroactively define himself or herself for legal purposes as a corporation of the opposite gender.
posted by jonp72 at 7:17 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


This needs more cowbell ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^public rail.
posted by drowsy at 7:24 AM on January 10, 2013


Just because you're making a poliical point I agree with doesn't mean you're not also a douchebag who's been abusing the carpool lane for a decade. Does he really believe this Yes Men-lite stunt is going to get him to the Supreme Court?

posted by Horace "never plead guilty" Rumpole

= = =

Ironmouth, I wish I could like your comment a thousand times.

ThatFuzzyBastard, you're new here. This is Metafilter. We don't like anything.
 
posted by Herodios at 7:33 AM on January 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Looking forward to new highway signs "Carpool Lane, for vehicles with four (4) or more buttcheeks only"

That means that Mister Arthur Frampton of Monty Python fame is one short of being able to ride in the carpool lane all by himself. Rats.
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 7:47 AM on January 10, 2013


...as a jurist said the point of the law was to reduce congestion and having papers in the car doesn't do this.
Since when does it matter what 'the point' of a law is? I thought lawmakers were supposed to write laws that were specific. That's why they're so full of the 'legalese' the late lawmaker Sonny Bono once complained about.
And why does 'a jurist' get to decide the case?
posted by MtDewd at 7:52 AM on January 10, 2013


All this "corporations aren't people" snarking is so abysmally stupid, so orthogonal to any issue of significance, and so embarrassingly ignorant of the law, I would be very happy to see it never come up again. Not least because, as you say, corporate personhood is what makes it possible to sue a corporation for negligence or malfeasance!--ThatFuzzyBastard

I would agree with you completely, except that the Supreme Court gave corporations the right, as people, to give money to politicians. I would not consider that insignificant. I applaud anyone who takes this argument to its logical conclusions.

rubber duck mentions that he lost, which is what he wanted. So the adventure continues....
posted by eye of newt at 8:18 AM on January 10, 2013


Not least because, as you say, corporate personhood is what makes it possible to sue a corporation for negligence or malfeasance!

Corporate personhood is also what stops corporate officers from going to prison and personally being liable for corporate malfeasance.
posted by empath at 8:20 AM on January 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


And also, it seems relatively easy to create a set of laws that govern and regulate corporations without considering them persons.
posted by empath at 8:20 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Since when does it matter what 'the point' of a law is? I thought lawmakers were supposed to write laws that were specific. That's why they're so full of the 'legalese' the late lawmaker Sonny Bono once complained about.
And why does 'a jurist' get to decide the case?


Legislative intent
posted by gyc at 8:21 AM on January 10, 2013


The doctrine of artificial personhood helps individuals get redress in the courts against corporations and powerfully limits corporate malfeasance. Imagine a world where you couldn't sue a corporation unless you found and served every shareholder. It used to exist.

Sloppy code.
posted by Jpfed at 8:33 AM on January 10, 2013


Corps are also exempted from the death penalty. (except, i guess, in an anti-trust context. but still...)
posted by Zerowensboring at 8:51 AM on January 10, 2013


I've always wondered if it could be argued that the different taxation of corporations would violate equal protection of the law.

The poor are taxed less than the rich on their income. Does that violate equal protection?


Those differences are based on the income not the person. It's a deeper point than that. We don't tax people differently based on their age or sex or race. Why should a corporation that makes $50,000 pay a different rate than a person?
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:54 AM on January 10, 2013


The doctrine of artificial personhood helps individuals get redress in the courts against corporations and powerfully limits corporate malfeasance.

Can you think of an example where the opposite happens? Because that's all that comes to my mind.
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:59 AM on January 10, 2013


The papers aren't the corporation, hence not a person (quick question: do the papers own themselves? No. Does the corporation own itself? Yes.), so he's not going to get anywhere with this.
posted by kenko at 9:02 AM on January 10, 2013


Corporiality v Legality. Nothing in the law says a person can't be in more than one place at a time. That sort of regulation belongs not to the law, but to physics. Writing law is the art of goring someone else's ox while letting yours graze peacefully in the pasture.
posted by mule98J at 9:09 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


In Pennsylvania, municipalities and school districts can charge a per-capita tax, a fee of $5 or $10 for each resident person...

I know a anti-corporation libertarian (there are such folks) township supervisor, and will mention this when I see him next week.
posted by tommyD at 9:38 AM on January 10, 2013


Ironmouth, thank you for your comment. This thread is so full of astounding ignorance of the law it's depressing. I guess "corporations aren't people!" is the liberal equivalent of "if evolution is true, why are there monkeys!"
posted by Sangermaine at 10:09 AM on January 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Since when does it matter what 'the point' of a law is?

Since always. Its called legislative intent.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:00 AM on January 10, 2013


Since always. Its called legislative intent.

Maybe MtDewd is Scalia?
posted by Sangermaine at 11:15 AM on January 10, 2013


Does the corporation own itself? Yes.

No--it's owned by the shareholders. Which leads to a problem with the AI-corporate personhood scenario. If the AI gains human rights, then the shareholder(s) of the incorporated AI effectively own a human. The incorporators would simultaneously create human rights for the AI and become slaveholders instead of shareholders.
posted by fogovonslack at 11:22 AM on January 10, 2013


Ironmouth, thank you for your comment. This thread is so full of astounding ignorance of the law it's depressing. I guess "corporations aren't people!" is the liberal equivalent of "if evolution is true, why are there monkeys!"

Soylent Green is made out of corporations! Delicious corporations!
posted by jonp72 at 11:22 AM on January 10, 2013


New Zealand has granted legal personhood to a river, so that it can go to court to protect itself. That's likely to be a more palatable use for the left. Perhaps the way forward is legal personhood for everything!*

*retrospectively and by new definition; everyone!
posted by anonymisc at 11:25 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


The poor are taxed less than the rich on their income. Does that violate equal protection?

Seriously?
The poor are taxed exactly the same as the rich - everyone pays the same tax on their first $10k (or whatever the threshold of the particular year in question is), then the same tax on their next $10k, and so on.
posted by anonymisc at 11:29 AM on January 10, 2013


Metafilter: we don't like anything.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 2:39 PM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ambrose Bierce - long may he wander northern Mexico - said it best: “Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.”
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:28 PM on January 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


My cousin clerks for a judge. He gave the judge a magnet for Xmas that reads "I'll believe a corporation is a person once Texas executes one". I think that's a pretty fair benchmark.
posted by WASP-12b at 3:51 PM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wait, what's the minimum you can earn before you become a not-person?

I'm pretty sure that's in the Code of Federal Regulations, I just don't know how to interpret legalese.
posted by mule98J at 5:00 PM on January 10, 2013


Which leads to a problem with the AI-corporate personhood scenario. If the AI gains human rights, then the shareholder(s) of the incorporated AI effectively own a human.

No more than shareholders own a human when they own any other corporation.
posted by empath at 5:59 PM on January 10, 2013


Ironmouth: "The doctrine of corporate personhood allows the government to sue corporations for violations of law, rule and regulation. Prior to it existing, governments would have to pass individual legislation to punish each company, making corporations unaccountable in ways we can barely imagine.

If we want to solve the Citizens United problem, we attack the idea of money=speech.
"

Ironmouth, a lot of the time I think what you're saying is downright wrongheaded, but I think you're on to something here.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:51 PM on January 10, 2013


In Australia you can have a corporation without authorised/registered/nominal capital (i.e., shares): it's called a company limited by guarantee. With a bit of evasion you can also arrange to have no "members" (i.e., the people guaranteeing the company's debts). IANAL but I think such an entity would have no owners other than itself. Let's call this a self-owned corporation.

So let's suppose you set up a share-trading computer and gift it to a self-owned corporation. There's no intrinsic reason why it needs to use an agent to enter into contracts, and it may even be legally able to sign or seal documents via its printer. If it has less than $250,000 in assets it doesn't need to file financial reports, so it would probably be under the radar of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. If ASIC did hear about it and chose to do so it could apply to a court to have the corporation wound up - but this would look like naked self-interest (because ASIC would get the corporation's assets) and a court in such a position might well refuse to act. So yeah, I think you can have (effectively) self-owned AIs in Australia.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:23 AM on January 11, 2013


Pseudology has a good point there. Even if you ran your business out of your car, destroying the car doesn't necessarily kill the business.

Ah, but if you are the sole private owner and sole employee of a privately held corporation, then in a certain sense, you are you and a corporation. So I think that totally qualifies you for the carpool lane.

The doctrine of corporate personhood allows the government to sue corporations for violations of law, rule and regulation. Prior to it existing, governments would have to pass individual legislation to punish each company, making corporations unaccountable in ways we can barely imagine.

That still doesn't mean "corporate personhood" is necessarily the best or only possible legal solution that could achieve the same effect without unintended consequences like setting up a legal situation that lets some wealthy individuals exceed caps on personal political campaign contributions by also funneling more of their personal money as a corporate donation through SuperPAC they established...
posted by saulgoodman at 1:57 PM on January 11, 2013


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