Corporations are Not People: Why They Have More Rights Than You Do and what You Can Do about it

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Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2012 - Business & Economics - 218 pages
The January 2010 Supreme Court Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision marked a culminating victory for the legal doctrine of corporate personhood. Corporations, as legal persons, are now entitled to exercise their alleged free-speech rights in the form of campaign spending, effectively enabling corporate domination of the electoral process. Jeffrey Clements uncovers the roots, expansion, and far-reaching effects of the strange and destructive idea, which flies in the face of not only all common sense but, Clements shows, most of American legal history, from 1787 to the 1970s. He details its impact on the American political landscape, economy, job market, environment, and public health-and how it permeates our daily lives, from the quality of air we breathe to the types of jobs we can get to the politicians we elect. Most importantly, he offers a solution: a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United and tools readers can use to mount a grassroots drive to get it passed. Overturning Citizens United is not about a triumph of one political ideology over another-it's about restoring the democratic principles on which America was built. Republican president Theodore Roosevelt and conservative Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist both vocally opposed the idea of corporate personhood. Community by community, state by state, we can cross party and ideological lines to form a united front against unchecked corporate power in America-and reinstate a government that is truly of, by, and for the people.
 

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Contents

Whats at Stake
1
1 American Democracy Works and Corporations Fight Back
7
2 Corporations Are Not Peopleand They Make Lousy Parents
31
3 If Corporations Are Not People What Are They?
57
4 Corporations Dont Vote They Dont Have To
79
5 Did Corporate Power Destroy the Working American Economy?
109
6 Corporations Cant Love
127
7 Restoring Democracy and Republican Government
145
Resources
165
Notes
189
Index
209
About the Author
217
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Jeff Clements is a co-founder and General Counsel of Free Speech for People, a national, nonpartisan campaign to strengthen self-government and democracy in America by reversing Citizens United v. FEC and corporate rights doctrines that unduly leverage corporate economic power into political power. Jeff is also founder of Clements Law Office, LLC, and has represented and advocated for people, businesses and the public interest since 1988.

Bill Moyers is an American journalist and public commentator with an extensive involvement with public television, producing documentaries and news journal programs. He has been president of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy since 1990.

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