Last night former Green Party candidate David Cobb spoke at the Pawtucket Public Library on the topic of corporate personhood. Mr.Cobb is an organizer for Move to Amend, a citizen’s response to the Citizen’s United decision that, in layman’s terms, says corporations are people just like you and me. Really big people. Who speak money as a first language.
Cobb is a lawyer, and did review the history and uses of corporations, pointing out that all of the 13 original colonies were corporations. He outlined the balances and regulations that would bind a corporation to the public good. Including an expiration date.
I like that, seeing as people have expiration dates it’s tough to compete with Immortal Persons.
I have to get to work, so more later. Here’s a Supreme dissent from Citizens United posted on the Move to Amend home page…
“. . . corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires. Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their ‘personhood’ often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of “We the People” by whom and for whom our Constitution was established.”
~Supreme Court Justice Stevens, January 2010
David Cobb warmly praised Occupy for bringing the issue of economic justice for ordinary citizens, the 99%, to the debate. He drew a Venn diagram showing that this issue unites the Occupation and the Tea Party. Having attended 3 Town Halls and heard considerable hostility toward the president, ‘illegals’ and the unemployed, I am not so optimistic about finding common ground. I tried to do this with people who saw accessible health care as not only expensive, but a moral threat. Still, it does not serve We the People to be fighting each other over crumbs when concentration of wealth and power allow a few to walk off with the whole cake.
Equal opportunity does not sprinkle down from an Invisible Hand. We have to defend the right to a basic, decent public life from private profiteers. Like pulling weeds, it never ends.
Cool stuff you see driving around Greater Providence. This train station behind a pharmacy parking lot has granite lions holding chains and shields with a heraldic ‘P’. Public architecture isn’t what it was before the two world wars, for a lot of reasons.
Will the old train station become another public space? I hope it will, because it’s beautiful and they don’t make them like that anymore.
A QUESTION: Donald Wolberg asks if the train station is on the National Register of Historic Places. I don’t know, but I’ve been looking at Greater City-Providence site, and those folks seem to know a lot about city planning and restoration, so they might know. They have an update on The Arcade that is reason for hope.