Tuesday, February 02, 2010

SCOTUS Scotched That! - 2

An hour or two grazing around the blogiverse for the topic has turned up only two general categories of commentary; the left-side horror show; passing mention from the right-side.

Neither side, from my quick and dirty scan, has commented on the dichotomy between the howls of protest that accompanied some the SCOTUS's decisions over the previous nine years; the outrage at a Supreme Court that was deliberately setting out to "make new law".

But let that thought pass. One of the reasons I enjoy this kind of "new direction" is for the possibilities it opens up. Yes, there are all of the Doomsday possibilities that the left-side are howling about. As I pointed out in the first on the topic there is little between that and the "problem" that Auntie Helen tried so hard to solve. Really there is little "new" in that debate.

What I want to look at requires a bit of "tweaking" in the corners of the decision, a twist or two here and there, a push or pull in other places...

If a corporation, a "virtual person", has the God-given right to free speech under the First Amendment, what other rights might a corporation have? A corporation is not a "person"? Read SCOTUS and the decision. That is its first fundamental - that a corporation has the right to free speech. It is guaranteed by the Constitution, and ultimately by God.

First that comes to mind stems from the venerable, and very true "No taxation without representation". Now I had thought this came from Britain, at about the time of the Corn Laws. Transpires that it does not. According to all of the best www sources, it was "coined" in 1765 in Boston of all places. Others can put that into context of other events. The source is common in the following form -
Formal opposition to the Stamp Act led to the Stamp Act Congress in New York, in October 1765. Delegates from nine colonies convened and wrote a moderate statement of colonial rights. In addition to the adoption of "The Declarations" on October 19, the delegates prepared petitions to the King, the House of Lords, and the House of Commons. Because the members of the congress were far more conservative in their sentiments than colonial legislatures had been, some of the delegates refused to sign even the moderate documents that were produced by the congress. Parliament rejected the petitions in spite of their mildness. The Stamp Act Congress was the first intercolonial congress to meet in America. It was a foundation from which the subsequent Continental Congresses arose.

There follows in that document a series of logically presented points leading to the conclusion that if His Majesties Government is going to impose taxes and duties on the population of the Colonies then there had better be direct representation rather than the (very speciously argued) "virtual representation" through the elections held in Britain. The colonists were represented by men elected by the "common man" of Britain.

Now, think on that for a moment.

Who probably pays the greatest share of the total tax take in any western, capitalist society. The "common man"? The voter? Take a look at the statistics. In NZ and Australia and I see the US as little different the greatest part of income tax, plus some 50% of indirect taxes are paid by corporations, businesses. Yes, one has to agree, most of that comes from the pockets of thee and me as we buy their products. To make matters worse, however, the corporations get taxed again when they try to pass the proceeds of their trading on down to the people who hold the capital, the share and stock holders.

How right is that? If the government were to select a sizeable proportion of the "real" population, let's say single men and charge them a penalty tax based upon their spending (to encourage saving for their future you understand...) there would be OUTRAGE!! Politicians would likely lose their jobs left, right, and centre!

How does that happen? Because single men are also entitled to vote. As "real" persons subject to taxation they must have the right to representation. That can only be achieved by the right to vote.

If ever there were an argument that stems from the heart of the Constitution, this has to be it. Why should the largest single contributing group to US taxes remain without direct representation in Congress? It is a discrimination that literally sticks the Stamp Duty on a miniscule.

Interesting, too, because that penny does not seem to have dropped anywhere else.

It also raises the spectre of how many votes a corporation should have. Ooo boy!! Is there fun in that debate as well.

For the moment I will wait for Citizens United to take up the cudgel and fight for corporate representation.

After all, it is only RIGHT!!

1 comment:

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