Thursday, September 17, 2009

Corporations and Political Donations

No one will argue that every person has the right to donate to their political candidate of choice. Some people have argued what a person is, and the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations are considered people when it comes down to almost all rights granted to people in the constitution. This means that, under the first amendment, corporations are allowed to donate to a political candidate just like you and I. There is a limit to how much a corporation can donate; Obama’s largest corporate donation was from Goldman Sachs coming in just under a million dollars and if you didn’t already hear the Supreme Court is voting on a proposed overhaul of the campaign finance system that would eliminate donation restrictions from corporations.

Looking at this from a moral perspective, obviously a corporation can’t think for itself like a real person. So how does a corporation decide who to politically support? Board of directors or CEOs. These are people who already have their own human rights. So what this boils down to is a board of director member has more than twice the human rights than you and I do because he gets to choose the fate of his own rights plus the corporation’s rights. The worst part about a public corporation donating to their political belief of choice it the fact that they wronged the shareholders. Shareholders have the right to profits after reinvestment and I’m sure that I would rather receive a higher dividend next quarter then have my money donated to the board of director’s buddy politician. That is theft.

Let’s look at this from a different perspective and assume the board of directors leaves their personal political, social and moral views behind and focus in on only maximum profit. Maximum profit does NOT mean maximum benefit but the corporation doesn’t think like that and there are millions of examples if you care to look. The job of the board of directors is to maximize profits, which is a good thing, but they shouldn’t influence political elections that shape our morals. Without real conscience human beings making decisions like you and me making moral decisions then it is left up to the corporations where its feast or famine on the people.

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