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This is one of the oldest battles in our Republic. And you ain’t seen nothing yet.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision ignites a battle over women’s health care, which will command center stage. But it’s really just part of the long-running battle over the proper relationship between corporations and the government/the people. (See Mitt Romney: “Corporations are people, my friend.”)
Corporations as we think of them today didn’t exist when the Constitution was written. They appeared In the early 19th Century, according to one history, as “bridge companies, water companies, transportation companies, banks, and insurance companies…essentially public service corporations or public franchises.”
After the Civil War came the first trusts: oil, steel, finance, cigarettes and the like. They dominated politics and government through the Gilded Age and into the 20th Century. Then came Trust Buster Teddy Roosevelt, who characteristically had a pretty clear view on the subject:
“We must have complete and effective publicity of corporate affairs, so that people may know beyond peradventure whether the corporations obey the law and whether their management entitles them to the confidence of the public. It is necessary that laws should be passed to prohibit the use of corporate funds directly or indirectly for political purposes; it is still more necessary that such laws should be thoroughly enforced. Corporate expenditures for political purposes, and especially such expenditures by public-service corporations, have supplied one of the principal sources of corruption in our political affairs”.
The anti-corporate wave ebbed in the Roaring Twenties, then came roaring back in the New Deal and Square Deal. From the 1950s on, corporations and big business worked their way back into the driver’s seat.
Now, the Supreme Court has held that corporations, like citizens, have the right to spend unlimited funds to influence elections and the right to religious views that overrule the law of the land.
So here’s a safe prediction: The wheel will turn, as it always does in the cycles of history. There will be a turn against corporate power, especially given the growing economic gap between the top (CEOs, owners, mega-billionaires) and the rest of us.
Politics is like physics. For every action, there is (or will be) an equal and opposite reaction. It may start in the Democratic presidential contest next year. (Hillary Clinton, are you listening?) And it may dominate politics for decades to come.
But it’s coming.


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3 comments on “Corporations Vs. The People

  1. Anonymous says:

    What ridiculous spin!

    What the Hobby Lobby case is really about is religious liberty, something you leftwingers are totally opposed to. Just like you are opposed to free speech. Harry Reid wants to restrict the first amendment, by attacking political speech, which our Supreme Court has always held to be the very most protected form of speech. If you don’t have free political speech, you do not have a democracy.

    Oh, and as to women, Obama doesn’t even have to unconstitutionally rewrite Obamacare, as he already has several times, in order to provide women other means to get free birth control without goosestepping all over religious liberty of others. However, Obama refuses to use the mechanism that in this case was already written in to the Obamacare law to provide those services. He is pushing for an unnecessary political fight instead. The women concerned about this issue need to know that Obama is just playing cynical games with them for his own political purposes.

  2. Anonymous says:

    If corporations are not people, what are they, buildings. Don’t be silly. Corporations are made up of people. Politicians battle them all the time for power. Politicians, and Democrats in particular hate that they can’t control corporations. Getting back to Hobby Lobby. Now that birth control pills and the like have been taken away from all women, what will the companies that make them do. We are sure to have a population explosion in the next few years. No birth control anywhere. Only because Republicans hate women. Can we abort only the women babies. Wonder what women did before Obama Care. I guess they made their own birthcontrol pills. Who was feeding them pills back then? Here is the bigger question. Women have a right to have someone else pay for their housing, food, transportation, healthcare, abortion pills, cell phones, and all with other people’s money. God let me come back as a woman.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hobby Lobby ”about womens health care”? What rubbish! The Hobby Lobby medical plan still has lots of contraception options. The thing they objected to was the ”morning after” pill, which they considered abortion. That was ALL they stood up against. They did not even try to block more usual methods of contraception, ONLY the morning after pill.

    And the Loony Left pitches a tantrum over the morning after pill?

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