Corporations v Human Beings

I know why I disagree with the part of Citizens United decision that allows anyone to give unlimited funds is the secrecy.  They, individuals and corporations, can remain anonymous.  And some people with billions of dollars can just buy an election by funding ads that do not have one shred of truth in them.

Let us go back a hundred plus years to when SCOTUS regularly sided with corporations.  I commented on some of them yesterday.

But at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, the United States was still moving from an agrarian based society to one which was much more industrialized – a corporate based society.

From Philip Dray’s “There is Power in a Union”

The economist Herbert Croly captured the matter succinctly in warning that

a simple and poor society can exist as a democracy  on a basis of sheer individualism.  But a rich and complex industrial society cannot so exist; for some individuals, and especially those artificial individuals called corporations, become so very big that the ordinary individual . . . cannot deal with them on terms of equality.  It therefore becomes necessary for these ordinary individuals to combine in their turn, first in order to act in their collective capacity through that biggest of all combinations called the government, and second, to act also in their own self-defense, through private combinations, such as farmer’s associations and trade unions.

The playing field is skewed since Citizens United.  Hedge fund managers making $900,000 an hour can put anybody in office by just funding millions of dollars in advertising.  I may not believe an ad for a Republican (may not?  I’ll never vote for a Repub even if I might believe an ad).  But I can never begin to fund any ads for my favorite Dem.

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