This is in response to the Sun Journal editorial of April 25 which defended corporate rights by saying “It is a dark day when the Legislature gets into discussions of who may or may not have constitutional rights.”

I say it was a dark day when the U.S. Supreme Court came to the decision that profit-making was a freedom over and above the 1st, 4th and 14th Amendments of the Constitution.

I was particularly distressed by the editorial comment, “… corporations are people too, you know.”

I have not read LD 1028, the bill that “allows a municipality to adopt an ordinance that denies corporations constitutional rights” sponsored by Alan Casavant, D-Biddeford. I suspect that if I did, I would be a supporter.

I have learned the hard way that corporations (not all, mind you, but enough) feel free to violate the rights of free speech, due process and conscience when an employee (or individual) chooses to redress inequities and injustices within the workplace, even if they are using the corporation’s own contracts and policy and procedure manuals to do that. That has happened since the Supreme Court decided that they were “individuals,” because profit-making (subsumed under the free market) became a guaranteed democratic freedom.

I believe the nation is presently in a recession because of the short-sighted interpretation of  the 1st, 4th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution, which were to provide free speech, due process and equality for the rights of individuals (including the poor), thus allowing individuals to participate in redressing the imbalances between the haves and the have-nots within American society. More specifically, those amendments allowed some balance between profit making, individual rights and public service in public and private institutions — especially the ones receiving taxpayer money and subsidies.

Those in debt and with no right to redress grievances against corporate employers live under totalitarian rule that is made worse by calling this kind of dictatorship by the wealthy a democracy.

I believe the nation’s present recession  is precisely because corporations have been given far more rights than individuals. People have become enslaved by debt and by the corporate right of the few to deny others any form of legal challenge to the excesses of profit making at our expense.

Who among the poor can survive and thrive with conscience intact? I suspect there are very few.

The Golden Rule has become interpreted to mean that a few rich people can give tax-deductible donations to those they exploit in the workplace. Corporate rights over individual or human rights are a death blow to a real democracy that is of and for the people.

Virginia Durr, Sweden


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