Are Corporations People?

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney made headlines last Sunday when he told a group of Iowa State Fair hecklers, "Corporations are people, my friend."

When the hecklers shouted, "No they're not!" he continued:

“Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people. Where do you think it goes?”

File this statement under the category of Things That Make You Go 'Hmmmm.'

The notion that 'corporations are people' has become a defining statement of Romney's presidential candidacy -- and as we continue to encourage discussion among our political bloggers about the candidates, we thought we'd put the question to them this week: Are corporations really people, even figuratively?

What do you think?


After Romney made that remark last year, Democrats were quick to use it against him.

"It is a shocking admission from a candidate — and a party — that shamelessly puts forward policies to help large corporations and the wealthiest Americans at the expense of the middle class, seniors and students," said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schulz, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, in a statement.

Mr. Romney's connection with Bain Capital as its co-founder, a firm that often improved the overall health of its companies by cutting jobs and salaries, doesn't exactly make him seem like the most caring potential leader of the United States.

But Republicans argue that healthy corporations result in increased job opportunities and a more robust economy, thus improving the lot of hard-working Americans.

Legally, corporations are recognized as people- Personhood extends to corporations, allowing them to own property, be sued, or conduct business in the same manner as an individual.

Yet the statement that 'corporations are people' tends to infuriate people who hear it, particularly on the heels of a recession and in a time where the Occupy Wall Street movement has gained so much traction.

Here's what our political bloggers have to say on the subject:

Corporations Can Be Good People

Corporations Are More Tin Men Than People

Corporations Are NOT People, My Friend

Corporations Are People Any Way You Look at Them


Image via Austen Hufford/Flickr

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