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Saturday, January 30, 2010


Are "foreign corporations" the problem?

The outrage over "foreign corporations" that we've heard from the President, the Congress, and from liberals and conservatives alike, is just so much poppycock. It stems from the false idea that "our" corporations have "our interests" at heart unlike "foreign" corporations which do not. Balderdash. Among others being singled out, I've heard mentioned CITGO, a Venezuelan company, which, based on its actual behavior (giving away free or cut-rate oil to poor Americans), has more concern for the interest of U.S. citizens than Exxon, Walmart, GM, or pretty much any "American" corporation I could name.

And, just to point out, the very idea of "foreign" corporations is a squishy one anyway. What is a "foreign corporation"? One which is incorporated in another country, but which could still have a majority of its shares owned by Americans? One incorporated in the U.S., but a majority of whose shares could be owned by non-Americans? Or do only corporations owned by foreign governments count?

The whole "corporate personhood" was an abomination from the day it began, as is the whole idea that "money=speech". Both of those concepts need to be vigorously opposed. But singling out "foreign" corporations? It's a complete distraction.

Update: By the way, note how those complaining about the potential influence of foreign corporations on the U.S. are also the first to cheer Google's attempt to throw its weight around and influence the laws of China (whatever you think of those laws). Just like terrorism, or nuclear weapons, there's one standard for what the U.S. and its friends do, and another for what their "enemies" are "allowed" to do.

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