Are Corporations People?
- Posted by Jeff Carter
- on March 13th, 2012
The left wing is all upset over last years Supreme Court case (Citizens United) that ruled corporations were seen as individuals under the eyes of the law. Of course, we have over a century of court precedent that affirms this. What the left is really trying to do is get an edge politically.
Even though the left says they are for free speech, they aren’t. They hate the first amendment. What they want is “their speech”. As long as the soundbites fill the air with their mantra, they are okay. When it’s not their form of speech, look out. The name calling begins.
Instead of listening to the platitudes of each side, it might be better to delve into the data. “Money talks and bullshit walks” as they say. First, one assumption. If every positive ion has a corresponding negative ion in physics, then my assumption carries over to this political debate. The corporation’s negative ion is unions, both public and private.
Those evil corporations have boatloads of cash. The political dialogue from the left assumes that they take all their profits and reinvest them in advertising. However, corporations have to answer to their shareholders. With any stock I owned, I would sell if I saw a large percentage of their profit stream being spent on political advertising. That kind of expenditure would tell me the executives of the company were more worried about who was in office than getting close to their customers and earning a profit. Any company that does that eventually goes out of business.
In 2010, corporations contributed 52% of their money to Republicans, and 48% to Democrats. In 2009, corporations sent 59% of their money to Democrats. Ironically, the corporate PAC I am a member of contributed 51% to Democrats, and 49% to Republicans in 2008. When you total up what corporations are spending per year on politics, it hardly makes a difference in swinging an election. Especially because the spending is so balanced between the two parties. Corporations in general are party agnostic.
The opposite charged ion, unions, are different. First, they don’t have shareholders. They have no one to answer to but their members. Because of the restrictions, it would be very tough for a member to buck the union and still have a job. Virtually impossible. As far as dues and spending, there is no choice for a union member. They can’t sell the union stock and take their profit. Union members are stuck and the spending of dues on political campaigns is centrally planned by a few people.
Further, when given a choice, 95% of union members opt out of paying dues and quit the union. Guess that’s why unions are anti-choice when it comes to economics and freedom.
Unions spend 95% of their money on Democrats. It has a huge impact on elections. Unlike corporations, unions never swing the balance of their donations to a different political party. They always give to Democrats, and by a huge margin.
When looking at total money spent from 1989 to 2010, you see the same pattern over and over. Unions outspent corporations by a huge margin.
Out of the top ten donors, two were corporations. One ($ATT) gave more to Republicans (55%-44%), the other ($GS) gave more to Democrats (58%-39%).
The largest percentage difference in favor of Republicans came from Amway. They gave 99% to Republican candidates, and it amounted to an average of $441,790 per year. Hardly enough to swing an election.
When you wade through the data, it helps to put the hyper ventilating speeches aside.
The information in this blog post represents my own opinions and does not contain a recommendation for any particular security or investment. I or my affiliates may hold positions or other interests in securities mentioned in the Blog, please see my Disclaimer page for my full disclaimer.
Jeffrey Carter is an angel investor and independent trader. He specializes in turning concepts into profits. He co-founded Hyde Park Angels one of the most active angel groups in the United States in April of 2007. He previously served on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Board of Directors. He has done market commentary for (More...)