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Index » Entertainment » Movies » The Corporation Page: 1, 2  Next
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Red_Dragon

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Posted: Jul 17, 2020 - 5:18am

On eve of bankruptcy, U.S. firms shower execs with bonuses
Red_Dragon

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Posted: Oct 20, 2015 - 6:24pm

Private Military Companies in Service to the Transnational Capitalist Class
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Posted: Jul 23, 2012 - 6:46pm




Corporation Pushes Six-Year Pay Freeze On Workers While Making Record Profits, Paying CEO $17 Million

by Pat Garofalo
ThinkProgress
July 23, 2012

Back in June, ThinkProgress noted that the manufacturing giant Caterpillar was seeking major concessions during contract negotiations with striking workers, even as it was making billions in profits and giving its CEO a 60 percent pay boost. The New York Times’ Steven Greenhouse added more details today, noting that the company wants to implement a six-year pay freeze and a pension freeze, at a time when it is making record profits:

Despite earning a record $4.9 billion profit last year and projecting even better results for 2012, the company is insisting on a six-year wage freeze and a pension freeze for most of the 780 production workers at its factory here. Caterpillar says it needs to keep its labor costs down to ensure its future competitiveness...

Caterpillar, which has significantly raised its executives’ compensation because of its strong profits, defended its demands, saying many unionized workers were paid well above market rates...

 


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Posted: Jul 19, 2012 - 9:00am



The Problem Isn’t Outsourcing. It’s that the Prosperity of Big Business Has Become Disconnected from the Well-Being of Most Americans.
by Robert Reich on his blog
July 18, 2012

President Obama is slamming Mitt Romney for heading companies that were “pioneers in outsourcing U.S. jobs,” while Romney is accusing Obama of being “the real outsourcer-in-chief.”

These are the dog days of summer and the silly season of presidential campaigns. But can we get real, please?

The American economy has moved way beyond outsourcing abroad or even “in-sourcing.” Most big companies headquartered in America don’t send jobs overseas and don’t bring jobs here from abroad.

That’s because most are no longer really “American” companies. They’ve become global networks that design, make, buy, and sell things wherever around the world it’s most profitable for them to do so.

As an Apple executive told the New York Times, “we don’t have an obligation to solve America’s problems. Our only obligation is making the best product possible.” He might have added “and showing profits big enough to continually increase our share price.”

Forget the debate over outsourcing. The real question is how to make Americans so competitive that all global companies — whether or not headquartered in the United States — will create good jobs in America...




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Posted: Jul 17, 2012 - 2:34pm



After 800 years, the barons are back in control of Britain

by George Monbiot
The Guardian
July 16, 2012

Hounded by police and bailiffs, evicted wherever they stopped, they did not mean to settle here. They had walked out of London to occupy disused farmland on the Queen's estates surrounding Windsor Castle. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that didn't work out very well. But after several days of pursuit, they landed two fields away from the place where modern democracy is commonly supposed to have been born.

At first this group of mostly young, dispossessed people, who (after the 17th century revolutionaries) call themselves Diggers 2012, camped on the old rugby pitch of Brunel University's Runnymede campus. It's a weed-choked complex of grand old buildings and modern halls of residence, whose mildewed curtains flap in the wind behind open windows, all mysteriously abandoned as if struck by a plague or a neutron bomb.

The diggers were evicted again, and moved down the hill into the woods behind the campus – pressed, as if by the ineluctable force of history, ever closer to the symbolic spot. From the meeting house they have built and their cluster of tents, you can see across the meadows to where the Magna Carta was sealed almost 800 years ago.

Their aim is simple: to remove themselves from the corporate economy, to house themselves, grow food and build a community on abandoned land. Implementation is less simple. Soon after I arrived, on a sodden day last week, an enforcer working for the company which now owns the land came slithering through the mud in his suit and patent leather shoes with a posse of police, to serve papers...
 


R_P

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Posted: Mar 8, 2012 - 4:39pm

55 Vermont Towns Affirm: 'Corporations Are Not People'
Can grassroots victory in Green Mountain state spark national movement?

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Posted: Feb 7, 2012 - 10:06am

 romeotuma wrote:


Corporations Are Not People


Jeff Clements, an attorney and author, is the co-founder of Free Speech for People, a national, non-partisan campaign to challenge the creation of Constitutional rights for corporations, overturn Citizens United v. FEC, and strengthen American democracy and republican self-government. He is the author of the Corporations Are Not People (Berrett-Koehler, 2012).


But the Court never said corporations are people!

Really? Maybe that is technically correct in the most narrow sense. Those exact words do not appear in the opinion in that exact order. Yet, the meaning of Citizens United, and the precedents on which it rests are unmistakable...

No matter how the Court couches it, First Amendment rights or any other rights that are demanded and received by a corporate entity results in recognition— implicit, if nothing else — of a corporate Constitutional person, unless the Court explains how the corporate entity is standing in for the rights of real people.

The Court hasn't been willing to do this much, and certainly did not do so in Citizens United. Instead, Justice Kennedy followed the pattern back to Bellotti and Central Hudson of obscuring the "corporation as person" point by emphasizing other metaphors— "speakers," "the source of speech," "voices," or as Justice Kennedy said in CU, "a disadvantaged person or class." That sounds like personhood to me. Even the word "speech" is a human act.

A related technique for the Court to avoid saying "corporate personhood" out loud is the to talk about the "listeners" and the old "marketplace of ideas." Those interests and metaphors are certainly relevant. Yet, in every other area of civil rights litigation we insist on identifying both the exact Constitutional injury and exactly who has the claimed right before permitting the Court's interpretation of the right to trump the democratic branches of government. Not so with corporate speech cases...

No one wonders that now because Citizens United clearly answered the question. No one doubts that Citizens United, as intended by the majority, ruled that corporations as corporations have a Constitutional right to spend corporate money on elections. That sure seems like a "corporations are people, too" approach, dressed up with slightly different metaphors...

The magic only works if we pretend that corporations are just like a human being under the Bill of Rights...

 




Occupying Corporations: How to Cut Corporate Power

by Bill Quigley
Common Dreams
February 6, 2012

"Corporations are people, my friend." —Mitt Romney at Iowa State Fair


Corporations are obviously not people. But Romney is accurate in the sense that corporations have hijacked most of the rights of people while evading the responsibilities. An important part of the social justice agenda is democratizing corporations. This means we must radically change the laws so people can be in charge of corporations. We must strip them of corporate personhood and cut them down to size so democracy can work. People are taking action so democracy can regulate the size, scope and actions of corporations...

Justice demands we make sure corporations do not harm people. Democracy must require that they operate for the common good.

In order to cut corporations down to size, the people must strip corporations of the special artificial legal protections they have created for themselves...

Corporations now claim: 1st amendment free speech rights to advertise and influence elections: 4th amendment search and seizure rights to resist subpoenas and challenges to their criminal actions; 5th amendment rights to due process; 14th amendment rights to due process where corporations took the rights of former slaves and used them for corporate protection; plus rights under the Commerce and Contracts clauses of the constitution.

The most recent corporate judicial takeover of constitutional rights is the 2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United versus the Federal Election Commission. The court ruled that corporations are protected by the First Amendment so they can use their money to influence elections.

Because of the bad Supreme Court decisions, it takes a constitutional amendment by the people to change the laws back. An amendment requires two-thirds of both houses of Congress to agree then three-quarters of the states must vote to ratify. This will take real work. But despite the growing size and unrestricted power of corporations, people are fighting back.

Dozens of groups are working to reverse Citizens United and restore limits on corporate election advocacy. In January 2011, groups delivered petitions signed by over 750,000 people calling on Congress to amend the Constitution and reverse the decision. More than 350 local events were held in late January 2012 to challenge the Citizens United decision...

Massive corporations now rule the earth. But they are recent arrivals which can and should be dispatched. It is time for people to again take control. The legal fiction of corporate personhood and the constitutional rights taken by corporations must cease. Join the efforts to cut them down to size and restore the right of the people to govern.

 




winter

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Posted: Feb 5, 2012 - 1:46pm

 Lazy8 wrote:
 winter wrote:
I would like to take the parties out of it, too, honestly. If candidate X can get enough signatures supporting her candidacy (same rules for everyone, no playing favorites for the Big Two), she gets funding. The parties deserve no more special recogniton or treatment than the Rotarians or the RC Helicopter Hobbyists.

We can't (and shouldn't) take political parties completely out of elections. They serve a useful purpose in political identity. But I agree they shouldn't get state recognition or special consideration.

As for the funding bit...no, because I don't want the people in power having the power to deny funding to those who would challenge them for power.
 



I don't want to take them out of the picture altogether, but I do want to stop building processes and protocols around them. Much as they like to pretend otherwise, they're not part of the government.


Lazy8

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Posted: Feb 5, 2012 - 1:33pm

 winter wrote:
I would like to take the parties out of it, too, honestly. If candidate X can get enough signatures supporting her candidacy (same rules for everyone, no playing favorites for the Big Two), she gets funding. The parties deserve no more special recogniton or treatment than the Rotarians or the RC Helicopter Hobbyists.

We can't (and shouldn't) take political parties completely out of elections. They serve a useful purpose in political identity. But I agree they shouldn't get state recognition or special consideration.

As for the funding bit...no, because I don't want the people in power having the power to deny funding to those who would challenge them for power.

R_P

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Posted: Feb 5, 2012 - 11:54am

 Lazy8 wrote:
RichardPrins wrote:
If the problem isn't who spends/contributes the money, then why propose it to be financed from a (publicly financed) government fund?

If publicly financed would mean everyone (collectives and individuals) can contribute to this fund, which would then be split equally among candidates, there would be no incentive for some parties, and some would no doubt consider it unfair.

Me, for instance.

My political party isn't in power, so it doesn't get to make the rules about who gets funding. So it doesn't get funded.

If that's the only avenue for political advertizing to get funded (and that wasn't clear) then you've effectively silenced my campaign. If it's in addition to the current system how do they divvy up the funds? If it's like the current federal matching funds approach it either acts as an amplifier to normal funding (which brings up the question of how this is any better) or it's irrelevant, since it limits campaign spending and no candidate wants to go to battle unarmed.

Incumbent party conventions are also underwritten by federal funds. Not mine, of course, but then we don't get to make the rules.

Yeah, I think that qualifies as unfair. 

Yes, and you're not alone (I'd rather not see my taxes spent on exorbitant political advertising). So, I think that scheme is problematic too.

PS: I think I'd stick to limited individual contributions to your party/parties of choice.


winter

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Posted: Feb 5, 2012 - 11:42am

 Lazy8 wrote:
RichardPrins wrote:
If the problem isn't who spends/contributes the money, then why propose it to be financed from a (publicly financed) government fund?

If publicly financed would mean everyone (collectives and individuals) can contribute to this fund, which would then be split equally among candidates, there would be no incentive for some parties, and some would no doubt consider it unfair.

Me, for instance.

My political party isn't in power, so it doesn't get to make the rules about who gets funding. So it doesn't get funded.

If that's the only avenue for political advertizing to get funded (and that wasn't clear) then you've effectively silenced my campaign. If it's in addition to the current system how do they divvy up the funds? If it's like the current federal matching funds approach it either acts as an amplifier to normal funding (which brings up the question of how this is any better) or it's irrelevant, since it limits campaign spending and no candidate wants to go to battle unarmed.

Incumbent party conventions are also underwritten by federal funds. Not mine, of course, but then we don't get to make the rules.

Yeah, I think that qualifies as unfair.
 



I would like to take the parties out of it, too, honestly. If candidate X can get enough signatures supporting her candidacy (same rules for everyone, no playing favorites for the Big Two), she gets funding. The parties deserve no more special recogniton or treatment than the Rotarians or the RC Helicopter Hobbyists.
winter

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Gender: Male


Posted: Feb 5, 2012 - 11:38am

 RichardPrins wrote:


If the problem isn't who spends/contributes the money, then why propose it to be financed from a (publicly financed) government fund?

If publicly financed would mean everyone (collectives and individuals) can contribute to this fund, which would then be split equally among candidates, there would be no incentive for some parties, and some would no doubt consider it unfair.

 



Public financing takes fundraising out of the equation. It levels the playing field financially without the need for Byzantine (and easily circumvented) rules about who can give you money and how much. You get this much and it comes from the government, which gets it from taxes.
Lazy8

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Posted: Feb 5, 2012 - 11:38am

RichardPrins wrote:
If the problem isn't who spends/contributes the money, then why propose it to be financed from a (publicly financed) government fund?

If publicly financed would mean everyone (collectives and individuals) can contribute to this fund, which would then be split equally among candidates, there would be no incentive for some parties, and some would no doubt consider it unfair.

Me, for instance.

My political party isn't in power, so it doesn't get to make the rules about who gets funding. So it doesn't get funded.

If that's the only avenue for political advertizing to get funded (and that wasn't clear) then you've effectively silenced my campaign. If it's in addition to the current system how do they divvy up the funds? If it's like the current federal matching funds approach it either acts as an amplifier to normal funding (which brings up the question of how this is any better) or it's irrelevant, since it limits campaign spending and no candidate wants to go to battle unarmed.

Incumbent party conventions are also underwritten by federal funds. Not mine, of course, but then we don't get to make the rules.

Yeah, I think that qualifies as unfair.

R_P

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Posted: Feb 5, 2012 - 11:25am

 winter wrote:
(...) The problem isn't who spends the money on ads and campaigns. The problem is that the ever-escalating costs of getting and staying elected and the ever-longer electoral cycle make it harder and harder for candidates to win office without feeling beholden to those who paid their bills. I think if we put strict limits on campaigning (say, no more than six months before the election) and had the elections publicly financed (everyone has the same amount of money to work with, and it all comes from the same government fund) we could make a bigger and better difference.  

If the problem isn't who spends/contributes the money, then why propose it to be financed from a (publicly financed) government fund?

If publicly financed would mean everyone (collectives and individuals) can contribute to this fund, which would then be split equally among candidates, there would be no incentive for some parties, and some would no doubt consider it unfair.


winter

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Posted: Feb 5, 2012 - 10:58am

 RichardPrins wrote:

The decisions are made by the collective, not by individuals, i.e. a board, a shareholder vote, etc. Of course, some actions are made on an individual basis as well, but in line with corporate directives.

For one, corporations don't get to vote, individuals do. It also depends on the cause in question.

Also, in many cases it's not the corporation directly corrupting the political system. They use paid intermediaries that are not part of the corporation, i.e. lobbyists.

In the same way, I believe foreign money should not be allowed to directly influence elections. It all works to corrupt the system.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campaign_finance_in_the_United_States
 



The collective is comprised of individuals. Each makes a decision, the decisions are tallied, the most popular decision carries the day.

Political parties also don't get to vote. They make their decisions as a collective just as corporations do. So if collective decisions and lack of franchise disqualify a group from making their collective voice heard via spending money, we need to apply that to both parties. Also unions. PACS, too. And groups like the ACLU or "Concerned Citizens For X".

All those same groups use lobbyists, too. You could hire a lobbyist to make your case at the Capitol if you liked. Of course, most of them charge an arm and a leg. You might need to get a group going to share the costs - oops, now you're a collective.

The problem isn't who spends the money on ads and campaigns. The problem is that the ever-escalating costs of getting and staying elected and the ever-longer electoral cycle make it harder and harder for candidates to win office without feeling beholden to those who paid their bills. I think if we put strict limits on campaigning (say, no more than six months before the election) and had the elections publicly financed (everyone has the same amount of money to work with, and it all comes from the same government fund) we could make a bigger and better difference.
R_P

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Posted: Feb 5, 2012 - 10:43am

 winter wrote:

The corporation doesn't exist apart from the people who comprise it: there are no free-floating corporations without employees, stockholders, or officers. Decisions made and actions taken by collectives (governments, corporations, parties, etc.) are always made and taken by individuals. If the officers of corporation X decide it is in the best interests of the corporation to use corporate resources to support a particular cause or candidate, why should they be not allowed to do so? How is a corporation fundamentally different from a political party or a group of concerned citizens? What is it about a corporation that makes it inappropriate for them to be able to support political clauses and candidates?
 
The decisions are made by the collective, not by individuals, i.e. a board, a shareholder vote, etc. Of course, some actions are made on an individual basis as well, but in line with corporate directives.

For one, corporations don't get to vote, individuals do. It also depends on the cause in question.

Also, in many cases it's not the corporation directly corrupting the political system. They use paid intermediaries that are not part of the corporation, i.e. lobbyists.

In the same way, I believe foreign money should not be allowed to directly influence elections. It all works to corrupt the system.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campaign_finance_in_the_United_States

winter

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Posted: Feb 5, 2012 - 10:25am

 RichardPrins wrote:
The people in those organizations don't lose their rights to speech or political contributions, as long as they are made by them as individuals. A contribution made by Mrs. X vs. a contribution made by Corp X. Not the same. If it's a corporation, Mrs. X generally doesn't own the corporation, nor is the money (in it's war chest or otherwise) hers. It belongs to the corporation, though she may be a large shareholder, etc. Of course there are also privately held companies...

The right in question shouldn't be transferable, much in the same way that it shouldn't be transferable in the other (slightly absurd) direction. Do the cells in your body have the right to free speech? No, of course not, it's a right given to a person.

 



The corporation doesn't exist apart from the people who comprise it: there are no free-floating corporations without employees, stockholders, or officers. Decisions made and actions taken by collectives (governments, corporations, parties, etc.) are always made and taken by individuals.

If the officers of corporation X decide it is in the best interests of the corporation to use corporate resources to support a particular cause or candidate, why should they be not allowed to do so? How is a corporation fundamentally different from a political party or a group of concerned citizens? What is it about a corporation that makes it inappropriate for them to be able to support political clauses and candidates?
R_P

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Posted: Feb 5, 2012 - 10:16am

The people in those organizations don't lose their rights to speech or political contributions, as long as they are made by them as individuals. A contribution made by Mrs. X vs. a contribution made by Corp X. Not the same. If it's a corporation, Mrs. X generally doesn't own the corporation, nor is the money (in it's war chest or otherwise) hers. It belongs to the corporation, though she may be a large shareholder, etc. Of course there are also privately held companies...

The right in question shouldn't be transferable, much in the same way that it shouldn't be transferable in the other (slightly absurd) direction. Do the cells in your body have the right to free speech? No, of course not, it's a right given to a person.
winter

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Posted: Feb 5, 2012 - 6:37am

 RichardPrins wrote:

That they are not tax-exempt is besides the point (even if they can get away by not paying taxes at all), as far as the right/concept of freedom of speech goes. By itself it is recognized as a (usually limited) universal human right granted to individual citizens, not to organizations of any stripe. Does an army have freedom of speech? Does a ministry (as in cabinet) or a collective of bureaucrats have it? Not really. The individuals in those organizations do, esp. when they speak off the record or by not being in an official capacity.

As an interesting aside, by becoming part of a corporation or any other organization, we may often be required to give up that right to some degree (NDAs, trade secrets, media protocol, etc.). Also, it's fairly obvious that statements made by a person working for an organization aren't the same as statements made by a faceless organization (of course there can be a face in the form of a CEO, PR person, etc). There are sufficient examples of either party refusing ownership of certain statements by employees, or by explicitly mentioning that the views are 'personal', etc., etc.

I suspect there might be different rules for advertising vis-a-vis both parties, but I'm not an expert of the regulations on advertising. Aside from that there are differences in 'product' and differences in regulations governing those products (extra requirements for certain medical or financial products, etc.)

While talking about free speech, what is really meant it is free spending/purchasing power. In short, money talks.

Finally, to equate corporations (or other organizations) with people is just silly. Corporations aren't people, they are made out of people — and lots of other stuff. Conversely, people aren't corporations either.
 



People joining groups may choose to give up some of their free speech rights as a condition of membership (NDAs, government security clearances, etc.) but with the possible exception of government agencies I'm not aware of any assumption that the mere act of joining a group leads to a loss of the right to express oneself how and when one likes.

You're right, no group is actually a person. But every group we're talking about here - churches, political parties, government agencies, the military, and corporations - is made of people, as you point out. Unless they enter into some kind of agreement with the group that says likewise, each member retains all the rights she had before joining. Being a group member does not automatically reduce her rights.

Let's say I'm a gazillionaire. (Let's say it a couple more times. I like hearing it.) I can use my money to support whatever causes I like: I can donate it, I can run advertisements, I can set up websites or distribuite literature. It's my money.

Now suppose I go into business with some other people. We pool our resources to make a profit - we form a corporation. If we decide that it's a good use of our money to support candidate X or proposal Y, what part of the fact that we're a commercial enterprise deprives us of the ability to do what we have every right to do outside that commercial enterprise? It's still our money. We could, of course, form a PAC whose members happened to be all the officers and stockholders of the corporation. Apart from creating a legal fiction that we're not the same people we are when we're a corporation, what is the difference?

A political party is also a group of people. No one disputes that political parties have the right to advertise and use their money as they see fit to support candidates and causes that favor their interests. But somehow if people band together for commercial purposes we think they should shut up about politics? (Unless they band together to protect the commercial interests of workers. Unions can support who and what they like.)

I don't see the logic of it. I get that the intention is to "de-commercialize" poltiics, and I support that as a goal. But I don't see how we can justify the idea that the owners and officers of corporations (people one and all) can be denied the right to use their resources the same way anyone else could.
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Posted: Feb 4, 2012 - 11:46pm

 winter wrote:
Corporations aren't generally tax-exempt. What's the fundamental difference between a political party spending money to get out its message and a corporation doing likewise?
 
That they are not tax-exempt is besides the point (even if they can get away by not paying taxes at all), as far as the right/concept of freedom of speech goes. By itself it is recognized as a (usually limited) universal human right granted to individual citizens, not to organizations of any stripe. Does an army have freedom of speech? Does a ministry (as in cabinet) or a collective of bureaucrats have it? Not really. The individuals in those organizations do, esp. when they speak off the record or by not being in an official capacity.

As an interesting aside, by becoming part of a corporation or any other organization, we may often be required to give up that right to some degree (NDAs, trade secrets, media protocol, etc.). Also, it's fairly obvious that statements made by a person working for an organization aren't the same as statements made by a faceless organization (of course there can be a face in the form of a CEO, PR person, etc). There are sufficient examples of either party refusing ownership of certain statements by employees, or by explicitly mentioning that the views are 'personal', etc., etc.

I suspect there might be different rules for advertising vis-a-vis both parties, but I'm not an expert of the regulations on advertising. Aside from that there are differences in 'product' and differences in regulations governing those products (extra requirements for certain medical or financial products, etc.)

While talking about free speech, what is really meant it is free spending/purchasing power. In short, money talks.

Finally, to equate corporations (or other organizations) with people is just silly. Corporations aren't people, they are made out of people — and lots of other stuff. Conversely, people aren't corporations either.

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