Mitt Romney got a lot of press for telling a heckler at the Iowa State Fair that "corporations are people." He did not go on to sing that Patti Smith song, People Have the Power.
But corporate "people" certainly do. Their power was on display this week, both in Washington and among the Republicans campaigning for the nomination.
Here's Romney's quote in context:
"Corporations are people, my friend... of course they are. Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to the people. Where do you think it goes? Whose pockets? Whose pockets? People's pockets. Human beings my friend."
There's an interesting parsing of language going on here. Corporate money does eventually go into some people's pockets, of course, but Romney said "everything corporations earn ultimately goes to the people." "The people" is a phrase that refers to everyone -- the citizenry, the polis, the masses ... Romney's implying that corporate earnings go to all of us. The truth is that executive compensation has never been greater when it's compared to worker pay or average family incomes. That's one reason why we've been experiencing a massive transfer of wealth from the bottom 90% of Americans to the top 1%.
But that's not the sort of thing you want to say at a State Fair, is it? In that setting it's better to speak of corporations as "people" - or, if you prefer, as "jes' folks."
Help us spread the word about these important stories...
Bookmark/Search this post with: