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Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for president against Barack Obama, has gotten himself into some hot water by making the bold statement that corporations are people. Apparently some people are under the impression that corporations are run by robots, aliens, or Oompa-Loompas. Although it could be argued that Oompa-Loompas are people too, so please hold off on the racism™ accusations.
Without people, corporations are just empty boardrooms, factories, trading floors, and storefronts. Corporations are comprised of shareholders, boards of directors, or sole proprietors. They are made up of employees, and they cater to customers looking to buy a product or service. Corporations are people any way you look at them.
This is a good thing. People can anticipate the wants and needs to the market (also comprised of people, by the way), and act accordingly. People read bottom lines and assess cost/benefit ratios, hire and supervise employees, and create things for other people to purchase.
Corporations have a mission and a purpose, and see themselves as members of the community to serve the common good -- else they cease to exist. They have a purpose and have a mission statement. They exist to satisfy our needs and wants.
If companies aren’t people working hard, making decisions, and creating things, then what are they? Job trees are as elusive as money trees. Jobs don’t come from that mythical orchard or from the government -- they come from corporations.
President Obama proposed Monday that the Bush-era tax cuts for individuals making over $250,000 a year be rescinded. 894,000 of those individuals are essentially corporations. They take profits from their corporations in the form of income. If the government taxes income from corporations through people ... then corporations are indeed people.
Too many people have drawn a caricature of the corporation in their heads -- a behemoth Uncle Scrooge sitting atop a pile of money and doing absolutely nothing all day. The truth is that these companies provide the vast majority of jobs for the American people, and provide useful products and services for the public at market value.
Nothing wrong with that.
Image via Jerome/Flickr