Romney “corporations are people.”

@bobmnu (8160)
United States
August 24, 2011 1:46am CST
Most people do not understand the corporate structure. In many public opinion polls people favor taxing big corporations as if they were some big money machine. Many people are upset that the Supreme Court declared that corp. have the rights of people. Most Corps are held by the public and traded through stock sales and purchases. When President Obama demanded that BP not pay its dividend was the Corp hurt - no, were the people who owned stock - hurt yes. Who were the people who were hurt? For the most part it was retired people. BP Stock is in most retirement accounts or pension funds. BP has 3.16 Billion shares outstanding. If a pension fund had 1 million and the dividend was scheduled to be $.84 per share by missing two quarters the pension fund was short $1.68 million dollars that they can't pay their retirees. The government also lost $252,000 in capital gains tax for the year. BP [paid a dividend of $.81 or more per share all during the recession which helped the retired people. When the government wants to tax business more remember that tax money will come out of the dividends the company pays or it will result in higher prices for the goods and or services. Gov. Romney was right when he said “corporations are people.” because a corporation is like you community without people there would be no community. Do you agree or not and why?
2 people like this
3 responses
• United States
24 Aug 11
I am reminded of the Native American way of decision making in communities. Here every decision needs to keep in mind the needs of the seventh generation - - that is, how will the decision impact the lives of people seven generations FROM NOW? Corporations do not see that far, or even in many cases to seven years or one year ahead given the drive to profit and for the corporation to live on. As a life-long capitalist, I appreciate the needs of the corporation and its impact on people... but the decions of the corporation RARELY consider the impact on a community as first and foremost. The needs of the immediate corporation come first time after time. Hundreds of towns and villages across the US - - across the west, Africa, etc. - - have been devastated because corporations made decisions that were best for the bottom line despite economic (moving manufacturing, call centers or even service jobs from one town to half-way around the world) or environmental costs (mountain-top coal mining, hydro-fracking, oil spills, severe air polluition, etc.) to the towns they were in. I wish Mr. Romney well, but his business experience ended in the laying off of thousands of people effected by leveraging and buyouts. I understand his viewpoints, but to equate corporations and THEIR viewpoints with people and how corporate decisions effect lives of the people "who do most of the living and dying around here" (thanks George Bailey in "Its A Wonderful Life") - - his example is near-sighted and an illusion. Thanks for a great and timely topic...
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
24 Aug 11
"Corporations do not see that far, or even in many cases to seven years or one year ahead given the drive to profit and for the corporation to live on. " You're wrong about that. Only failed businesses think short term. Look at how long term businesses are run and you'll see exactly how wrong you are. Did you know that Microsoft loses money on every XBox 360 they sell? Did you know that Sony loses money on every PS3 they sell? That's because they aren't thinking short term. They see the long term gain by selling games and licensing for these systems in addition to the online features they offer. Now not everyone is willing to take a loss for long term gains and not everyone has too. Nintendo actually makes money off every Wii they sell, but they do that by using substandard graphics and storage in the Wii. That didn't hinder their success, but they also took a risk by building a console with wireless internet at a time when wireless was new and not the standard method for internet connections. "his business experience ended in the laying off of thousands of people " You know, for all the big business bashing I hear, you'd think that all business ever do is lay people off and NEVER hire anyone. Somehow people forget that you can't have layoffs without hiring people first. Those thousands of layoffs were a fraction of people employed and those people still had good jobs and benefits for a long time before they were laid off.
• United States
25 Aug 11
Please look at the record of the businesses Romney was involved in... there is your proof. My concern about short-sighted companies is not that they lose the long term profits by making near sighted plans (many do that) but that they also make plans not keeping in mind the needs of the community many years ahead. Just look around at the stores that opened in your community in the past twenty years now closing their doors or withdrawing from your area. Corporations do what they have to do to survive and thrive... I get taht. But they do not deserve the mantle of people, like us. They do not really have the people's needs at the heart of their decisions. Then again, they are not supposed to.
• United States
24 Aug 11
I think it is a fair way to look at every level of economics and politics. I think we should look at groups as we do individuals and countries as we do people and as such we should be able to hold companies accountable just as we do people. Yes it stinks that the investors (the consumers less so since we SHOULD have choices who to purchase from) have to suffer when a company messes up. That is one of the inconsistencies of seeing them as people however. The people within the company who screw up are rarely the ones who suffer when the company (being treated as an individual) is rightly punished. It's as horrible as it is common. In terms of taxing, those who benefit most from doing business here SHOULD pay more. Whether individual or corporate. Again there are options: move to another country to pay less taxes but get less benefit. Taxes are a cost of doing business and, like payroll or infrastructure, have to be managed accordingly. Failure to do so is no more the country's fault than failing to invest in your company's future. Higher taxes need not be passed on to consumers, that is just corporate speak for "we want to pay less taxes". Running a company more efficiently including taxes in your costs is part of the process. Even if the cost does get passed along and even if the investors are suffering from corporate bad decisions, more money moving through government coffers offsets the losses by circulating more sales. The only money "lost" in the economy is the highest income "savings" that fails to circulate. In a weak economy, the redistribution of wealth by government from the wealthy downward is a terrible sounding, but often best, solution. So by all means treat companies like people, but don't compain when you get exactly what you asked for.
@andy77e (5165)
• United States
24 Aug 11
Here's the problem. People who earn more money from doing business already pay more. It would be crazy, absolutely nuts, to suggest that Léo Apotheker CEO of HP, is not paying a vast amount more than I am in taxes. Even if we had a 10% flat tax, 10% of my $17,000 a year, is just a tad smaller than 10% of his $300K a year, yes? But we don't have a flat tax. Instead he's paying 33% or more. So this crazy class envy is unfounded, and unreasonable. So those who benefit most from doing business ARE paying more. But if we approach this logically, we're not even talking about that. We're talking about capital gains, and business taxes. This doesn't hurt the CEO or CFO, or anyone in the business. Who is hurt by these taxes? Well... what effect these taxes have? Money the business would have to expand, to invest, to create new products... is now taxed away to the government where it is blown on crap. So who's effected? Engineers who now won't be hired because the company doesn't have to money to design new product. Workers who now won't be building that new product. Equipment that won't be purchased to make the product, and subsequently those companies won't hire workers to make that equipment. And of course the shareholders. Who are shareholders? Well we are. We're the number one largest section of shareholders. As the original poster said, most shares of companies are in mutual funds. Mutual funds are generally where you put your 401K money. I have my IRA in mutual funds. So you are hurting me, a poor worker. So who is hurt by taxes on business? Us. The public. When you see 9% unemployment, blame taxes on business. When you see 401Ks dropping, blame taxes on business. Oh, and by the way. There is only one reason any business, any job exists. Profit. What is a capital gains tax? A tax on profit, the number one reason a business exists. Have you heard people complaining "oh the company is moving over seas" "oh the oil company is investing abroad!" Why do you think they do that? To make profit. When you increase capital gains, a tax on profit the only reason a business exists, they tend to move where they can make a profit. Hence they invest over seas, and once again we lose. In each and every single case, every dollar of tax, hurts only us, the public. Taxing business is the worst idea possible.
@deebomb (15322)
• United States
24 Aug 11
I agree with you. They are started by people to make a profit as we do when we get a job. When a business goes public to expand the inverters earn from that investment. The corporations hire people to work for them. Some corporations share some of the profits with their employees. My daughter and granddaughter work for such corporations. Obama has added to the class warfare every time he gives a speech. Here is something to think about. One in eight lawmakers have no idea how economics work. They have ne3ver ran a business and their schooling is in Law or political science. I think it time to rethink what type of person we want to run the country. and stop bashing big business. Big business is what give us every thing we buy. With out it we wouldn't have gas for our cars, food for the table and clothes for our backs.