Corporate Marriage: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?
by Buck Quigley - posted 11:42 am, January 22, 2010
Now that the US Supreme Court has ruled that corporations can spend whatever they want on political campaigns based on the concept that they, like individuals, have a basic right to free speech, how long will it take until they are granted other rights that we, as individuals take for granted?
For years, some people have wondered why corporations don’t have the right to vote—a right that was granted to black men (at least in theory) after the Civil War, and to women in 1920—but has thus far failed to gain much traction at the local, state, or federal level.
“Most of the Justices are confused by the concept,” says one Supreme Court insider, “They note that corporations tend to be very tall, mirrored glass buildings, while voting booths are often rather small. They worry that it would put an undue burden on municipalities if they had to provide voting booths big enough to accommodate a skyscraper. Let alone the issue of ambulation for the buildings themselves.”
“Of course, they could fill out an absentee ballot, but then there’s the issue of how they would hold the pen, or even verbally indicate how they would like to vote.”
Proponents argue that since many American corporations serve in foreign wars, it’s an outrage that they aren’t granted this basic right.
Now the argument is shifting to the idea of corporate marriage. There is a stigma attached to the term “merger”. It’s not like saying “we’re married”. And for some corporations, the stress is too much for the relationship.
A German automotive commentator observed that Daimler and Chrysler were showing signs of strain right from the start precisely because they couldn’t enjoy all the rights that married people take for granted. “You had the sense that they wanted their relationship to be recognized and accepted by everyone. Yet they knew that no matter how deeply they were in love, their relationship would never be viewed as anything but a business arrangement. It doomed them.”
Conservative pundits are now taking up the cause. “Think about it,” said a clean-cut Capitol lobbyist, “You introduce your wife at a dinner party as your wife. That’s something that Exxon and Mobil can only dream of doing. They’re just ExxonMobil—those two big corporations that merged into one huge one. It’s heartbreaking. I mean, it’s not like corporations are gay or lesbian. They’re just like us.”