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Lamrot Hakol (Despite Everything)

Musings and kvetchings and Torah thoughts from an unconventional Orthodox Jew.

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"I blog, therefore I am". Clearly not true, or I wouldn't exist except every now and then.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Citizens' Briefing Book and removing corporate "legal individual" status

So... I don't think it will come as any surprise to those who know me that I didn't vote for Barack Obama. That said, he's doing a number of things that I like. The visibility of his http://www.change.gov/ site seems good. And now he's created a thing called the Citizens' Briefing Book. This is basically a suggestion box. Ideas that are voted for by a lot of people will be presented to Obama each day.

Yes, it's possible that this is just a stunt. That these suggestions will be thrown into the garbage and never see the Oval Office. But maybe it's legit.

In any case, I posted a suggestion on that site. You can see it here, but what it says is this:

A lot of fingers have been pointed at CEOs and corporate board members who have made socially irresponsible decisions. But ultimately, these people are required to make decisions based on the good of their company. They can be sued if they don't.

Corporations have no sense of morality. They are soulless things which we have created, and like Frankenstein's monster, they have gotten out of control to the point where we are menaced by them. Not by specific corporations, but by the very concept of the corporation as a legal individual.

It is probably impossible to get rid of corporations altogether, but what can be done as a first step would be a law or ruling (or Constitution amendment, if necessary) removing their status as legal individuals. This would mean that corporations would not be able own anything. Would not be able to borrow or lend anything. Only individuals, individually or jointly -- as individuals -- would be able to do so.

Partnerships would still be a viable alternative for joint ventures, but unlike corporations, there would be no "limited liability", and all partners would be responsible for the actions taken on behalf of the partnership.

Such a move would create individual accountability which is sorely lacking now in our economy. Such a move would return ownership of our nation to the people who comprise it. I urge you to consider this proposal.

I added this as a comment, because it occurred to me that some people might see this as a government encroachment on private enterprise:

Please note that this proposal is not government interference in private property. On the contrary, it is government which gave corporations "legal individual" status at the cost of real individuals in the first place, and removing this would be correcting a mistake.

I think this is something that would be very beneficial to the citizens of the United States, and I hope that everyone reading this will consider going to the CBB site, creating an account, and voting for my proposal.

Also, if you're on Facebook, you can join the group I've created for this purpose.


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