Letter: Beem is wrong about corporate rights

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Corporations are owned by people. Under the First Amendment they have a right to freedom of speech. Edgar Allen Beem seems perfectly happy to ignore the fact that very many Americans, especially those owning corporate stocks, have become so naive and uniformed as to let corporate officers and employees abandon their fiduciary, legal and moral trusts, which should obligate them to operate in a fashion that the owner or owners could be proud of.

But it seems Beem, like Sens. McCain and Feingold, knows or cares little about the First Amendment. That amendment, among other things, simply restricts the Congress and prohibits its making any law which restricts free speech. As with most of the Constitution, nothing could be more clear or definitive.

The ultimate responsibility for the behavior of a corporation rests in the hands of its owners, in the same way that the behavior of a politician or a government is, or should be, responsive to the pleasure of the voters.

At the same time, we would all be better off if people like Beem would become well enough informed to know that this is a republic, not a democracy, while it is very much an economic democracy. With our votes we do have the power to control and direct our governments. And, with our dollars we have the absolute power to reward corporations we approve of and penalize those we deem unworthy.

That is how it works under the Constitution that says we are all equally free.

Tom Crotty