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Corporate America and the Founding Fathers

ThaChozenWun Members Posts: 9,390
edited December 2010 in The Social Lounge
So everyday I'm going to try and create a thread that will trigger intelligent discussion and debate. I got alot to do tomorrow so I'll drop this one now.

As you look at America now you see that it is a completely corporate nation. Our corporations now own the government and have essentially created a monopoly by purchasing and owning multiple brands of companies. So much so were are now seeing companies beginning to own banks. We are now a nation that is a corporate oligarchy. Personally I believe that this is the result of capitalism, which type of capitalism is another topic being there are many types. But capitalism, a system that our founding fathers put into place. So let me ask a few questions.

1.) Did the founding fathers know what capitalism really was or what it could turn into?

2.) Do you think they were anti-corporation, or pro corporation?

I believe that they were anti-corporation and did not have a solid understanding of what their system would turn into.
Thomas Jefferson speaking on the first attempt to establish a central bank in America:

"The system of banking is a blot left in all our Constitutions, which, if not covered, will end in their destruction. I sincerely believe that banking institutions are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity is but swindling futurity on a large scale."

"The end of democracy, and the defeat of the American revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of the lending institutions and moneyed incorporations."

"If the people ever allow the banks to issue their currency, the banks and corporations which will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property, until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."
Sam Adams
"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."
Mischief springs from the power which the moneyed interest derives from a paper currency which they are able to control, from the multitude of corporations with exclusive privileges... which are employed altogether for their benefit.
Andrew Jackson

We have had high ranking politicians warn us of what was taking place.
On the eve of his becoming Chief Justice of Wisconsin's Supreme Court, Edward G. Ryan said ominously in 1873,

"[There] is looming up a new and dark power... the enterprises of the country are aggregating vast corporate combinations of unexampled capital, boldly marching, not for economical conquests only, but for political power.... The question will arise and arise in your day, though perhaps not fully in mine, which shall rule --wealth or man [sic]; which shall lead --money or intellect; who shall fill public stations --educated and patriotic freemen, or the feudal serfs of corporate capital...."

Laws against corporations.
** corporations were required to have a clear purpose, to be fulfilled but not exceeded. [10]

** corporations' licenses to do business were revocable by the state legislature if they exceeded or did not fulfill their chartered purpose(s). [11]

** the state legislature could revoke a corporation's charter for a particular reason, or for no reason at all. [12]

** the act of incorporation did not relieve corporate management or stockholders/owners of responsibility or liability for corporate acts. [13]

** as a matter of course, corporation officers, directors, or agents could be held criminally liable for violating the law. [14]

** state (not federal) courts heard cases where corporations or their agents were accused of breaking the law or harming the public. [15]

** directors of the corporation were required to come from among stockholders. [16]

** corporations had to have their headquarters and meetings in the state where their principal place of business was located. [17]

** corporation charters were granted for a specific period of time, like 20 or 30 years (instead of being granted "in perpetuity," as is now the practice.) [18]

** corporations were prohibited from owning stock in other corporations in order to prevent them from extending their power inappropriately. [19]

** corporations' real estate holdings were limited to what was necessary to carry out their specific purpose(s). [20]

** corporations were prohibited from making any political contributions, direct or indirect. [21]

** corporations were prohibited from making charitable or civic donations outside of their specific purposes. [22]

** state legislatures set the rates that corporations could charge for their products or services. [23]

** all corporation records and documents were open to the legislature or the state attorney general. [24]

We now have corporations who aim for immortal life, that want to maintain it's revenue stream and power at all costs, the founding fathers had it to the point where corporations were only started to last for a decade or two and were only created to suit specific needs. The founding fathers of the United States were not interested in giving constitutional rights to corporations. In fact, they wanted to regulate corporations very tightly because they had had bad experiences with corporations during colonial times. The crown charter corporations like the East India Company and the Hudson Bay Company had been the rulers of America. So when the constitution was written, corporations were left out of the Constitution. Responsibility for corporate chartering was given to the states. State governance was closer to the people and would enable them to keep an eye on corporations.

In the eighteenth century, corporations had very few of the powers that we now associate with them. They did not have limited liability. They did not have an unlimited life span. They were chartered for a limited period of time, say 10 or 20 years, and for a specific public purpose, such as building a bridge. Often a charter would require that, after a certain amount of time, the bridge or road be turned over to the state or the town in which it was built. Corporations were viewed differently in early America. They were required to serve the public good.

3.) So for those like me and believe this nation started as and was intended to be against major corporations where did it go wrong?

4.) Who's fault is it that it has come to this?

5.) Should the consumer be blamed for wanting 25 different flavors of ice cream?

6.) Should the company be blamed for presenting the consumer with too many choices?

7.) Did the right to open up your own business bite America in the ass by giving multiple companies with different brands of the same thing the ability to build it's fortune and later join together while still offering multiple options?


    KTULU IS BACK Banned Users Posts: 6,617 ✭✭
    edited December 2010
    So everyday I'm going to try and create a thread that will trigger intelligent discussion and debate.
    on this forum?

    good luck
    capitalism, a system that our founding fathers put into place.
    Nah, back then it was all about mercantilism.

    Anyway, all this "what would the founders have wanted" stuff is a waste of time since we live in a completely different world than they lived in. These guys never moved anything faster than a horse could run, owned and traded human beings like Pokemon, and didn't think you should be able to vote if you had a 🤬 .

    The only people who worry about this founders stuff are Glenn Beck, Ron Paul, and their legions of idiot fans.
  • janklow
    janklow god's lonely man. Members, Moderators Posts: 8,613 Regulator
    edited December 2010
    2.) Do you think they were anti-corporation, or pro corporation?
    I believe that they were anti-corporation and did not have a solid understanding of what their system would turn into.
    well, i don't think Andrew Jackson qualifies as a Founding Father. but either way, i don't think they were of one unified mind on the topic.
  • Chike
    Chike Members Posts: 2,702 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2010
    America is a corporation, and it's citizens are slaves. Some slaves live better than others of course.

  • Sh0t
    Sh0t Members Posts: 1,162
    edited December 2010
    Depends on which Founding father you are talking about.

    Some were clearly vested interests in corporations as we understand the term today. For example, Robert Morris, Alexander Hamilton and that whole connection. Washington wasn't a 'corporate' man but he was part of the social class of rich planters in the South that served each other well.

    Many others were involved in what we might call a 'drug cartel' today, like John Hancock(smuggling) and Samuel Adams(his lawyer).

    They knew what 'capitalism' was(term wasn't invented yet), and were big fans of it, which is quite reasonable. Europe had for hundreds of years been a conflagration of guilds, court favoritism in business, huge state funded private companies like the East India Company, etc. All one has to do is read Common Sense.

    Unfortunately for us, the bad guys won(the Federalists) and we are left with their legacy.
  • shootemwon
    shootemwon Members Posts: 4,635 ✭✭
    edited December 2010
    What did the Founding Fathers think about corporations?

    What did they think of Nuclear Arms Treaties and Net Neutrality?

    The Founding Fathers didn't know the concept of modern corporations nor modern capitalism. They lived in an agrarian society and as KTULU said, mercantilism was the prevalent economic system of the day.

    Speculating on what the Founding Fathers would say about a current affairs is just a cheap tactic that pundits and politicians use to claim the endorsement of respected historic figures who aren't alive to tell them they're full of 🤬 .
  • Suck Me Beautiful
    Suck Me Beautiful Members Posts: 878
    edited December 2010
    too many words. Learn to express yourself more concisely
  • Swiffness!
    Swiffness! PART OF THE CONSPIRACY Members Posts: 10,128 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2010
    Thread has already been deaded.

    smh @ Andrew Jackson as a founding father, come on my 🤬