Four down, ninety-six to go

Suppose you could change just one thing about our governing system. What would you pick?

  • The Second Amendment?
  • Social Security?
  • Income Tax rates?
  • Presidential powers?
  • The Electoral College?

Lots of candidates, but remember, you can change only one. What’s the one thing which has discombobulated democracy the most thoroughly?

My pick would be the Supreme Court ruling, continually repeated and reinforced over the decades, that corporations are people.

They are people, that is, insofar as their rights and privileges. As to obligations and responsibilities, uh-uh. None of those heinous, restrictive, limitations to which we poor homo sapiens types are subject.

Some absolutely hypothetical and imaginary and utterly-in-real-life-impossible-made-up-for-illustration-only examples of what I mean.

  • Suppose you — individual you — are careless in your little lab, and set loose a cloud of toxic gas which kills half a dozen of your neighbors. That is homicide, pure and simple; law enforcement agencies and prosecutors will be on you in a flash; and you can kiss your retirement plans good-bye unless they already included some prison time. Suppose, however, the corporate you were to do something similar. Let loose a cloud of toxic gas, kill a few dozen people. You will get a financial slap on the wrist, but will come to no personal ill at all.

I was going to list a bunch of surely-this-could-never-happen examples, but now I look at it, that alone will serve to make the point. If you really need others, google industrial disasters.

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