A Path Appears. Knopf Publishing.
Corporations are not people — no matter what five Supreme Court justices and a failed presidential candidate may say.
I take that position on the basis of my religious faith, the very test that the justices applied in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.
My tradition tells me to ask essential questions.
So here is where I start: May a golem be counted in a minyan? A minyan is a quorum required for certain Jewish prayers, and a golem is a mythological creature created from clay and animated by a sacred incantation.
The golem’s “sculptor” controls its actions; it has no real will of its own.
While there are no biblical texts speaking directly to the issue of money in politics, biblical principles are still relevant, and people of faith have an important role to play in the emerging debate about the future of our democracy. Before exploring those principles, however, it is important to understand the serious issues of inequality currently present in our system, and the correlation between inequality and the money flooding our political system.
The richest 1 percent own more of the nation’s wealth than the bottom 90 percent. The richest one-tenth of one percent have as much pre-tax income as the bottom 120 million Americans.
In Affluence and Influence, political scientist Martin Gilens concludes that, “The preferences of the vast majority of Americans appear to have essentially no impact on which politics the government does or does not adapt.” He details the data throughout his book that clearly demonstrates policy makers are only listening to the wealthy donor class. This situation has been made even worse by the Supreme Court’sCitizens United in 2010, which allowed a huge influx of money to flood our political system after declaring the personhood of corporations.
The Court’s more recent decision in McCutcheon v FEC made matters even worse. Before McCutcheon, one person was able to contribute up to $123,000 to political candidates and parties. In striking down this aggregate limit, the Court paved the way for individuals to contribute more than $3.5 million directly to candidates and party committees. In a report detailing the potential impact of McCutcheon, Demos predicts the decision could result in more than $1 billion in additional campaign contributions by 2020.
"A lot of people don't know that we exist."
The Gullah/Geechee Nation, extending from North Carolina to Florida, battles against corporate encroachment, environmental racism, and climate change.
Will corporations and the courts turn our free and untidy marketplace of ideas into yet another exclusive gated community?
IN FRANCE, about 70 percent of water services are privatized. French corporations continue to vie for control of the global water supply. But in 2010, Paris, in a case of “remunicipalization,” exited contracts with Paris-based Veolia and Suez Environnement, the world’s two largest water service companies.
Corporations are trying to buy up our water supply—and sell it back to us at a premium. Why it matters, and how consumer groups and faith communities are fighting back.
Want some economic good news? Credit unions, employee-owned business, public banks—the "new economy" is breaking out all over.
The Supreme Court's decision in the Citizens United case didn't actually make corporations into people, but it did undercut the role of actual, live human beings in elections.