James A. Everett
To the editor:
It takes a certain amount of ignorance or arrogance to question legal judgments rendered by the Supreme Court, but that is exactly what I am about to do. In 2010, by a 5-to-4 vote, the court in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission ruled that corporations have the same rights as humans when it comes to elections.
Many scholars and others have argued that is another step toward giving an unfair advantage to corporations over human citizens. For generations corporations have rightly shared some of the same legal rights as humans, but to say they are absolutely the same before the law when it comes to voting rights seems ludicrous.
Many corporations have the ability to donate huge sums of money to pay for lobbyists, or to financially support candidates who will treat their view favorably in ways that are well beyond the wildest dreams of individual citizens. The result is that laws are skewed to help make the rich richer, the poor poorer, and the middle class weaker. That is the exact historical formula that has destroyer every empire before ours, and many feel if it is not repealed, it will destroy the American Empire!
America has always stimulated entrepreneurship, but not to the point of destroying our fundamental social fabric. Henry Ford, when at the height of his financial success, felt that in order to stabilize our economy, the salary of the head of any corporation should not exceed more than 12 times the salary of the lowest paid employee. Now, however, many, if not most, of the heads of our Fortune 500 companies make salaries 1,200 to 4,000 times more than the lowest man on the totem pole! We have created a two-headed monster – a corporate head that gobbles up human resources in an unseemly fashion and the other head making sure that the system is rigged in their favor.
Fortunately, some very wise flesh-and-blood U.S. citizens have started a grass-roots’ non-partisan campaign to try to abolish corporate personhood at the ballot box. It is called MoveToAmend.org and it is dedicated to helping people regain control of a government that is once again “of, for and by The People.” I can only pray for its success.