THE BLOG
02/16/2011 05:58 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Corporate People

A lot of people got very worked up last year over the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision. In it, the Court decided that corporations were just like regular people and thus deserved the right of free speech. The more I read the news these days, the more I think those justices might be on to something.

Take for instance the latest news that the Entergy's Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is still leaking. This has been an ongoing issue with the plant, one that the company initially denied. According to the court's decision, we should all look at this as a simple case of corporate incontinence. And we all know that it's not right to make fun of incontinence. Still, we do expect Vermont Yankee to do something about it. I mean, it's one thing if they're doing it in the privacy of their corporate home, but it's another entirely if they're making a mess while out visiting!

Vermont Yankee, like many other older people, seems to have a hard time recognizing its problem. It should listen to the Supreme Court and go out and by some Corporate Depends before things get out of control! Otherwise the doctors at the Vermont Legislature in Montpelier will surely want to operate on it.

That's not the only way big corporation act like real people. In some sense, those huge profits companies make these days are like a version of Corporate Viagra. Yes, they sure appear big, robust and powerful. But it's not that simple; those profits seem to be hiding a more serious affliction, namely employing fewer people, making fewer things, and rewarding people with obscene bonuses.

Nowhere does corporate Viagra seem more rampant than in the financial sector. Even though they've deflated the world's economy, they're still rewarding their Big Swinging Dicks, to use a phrase from Michael Lewis' book Liars Poker. If these obscene profits and bonuses last for more than four straight years, should we call a doctor?

You know, now that I think of it, the Supreme Court was dead on in saying the corporations were just like people. They reminded me of a time I lived in Sweden. Back in the 80s and 90s lots of Swedish men couldn't deal with the demands and equality of Swedish women. So they went looking for wives in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. I'm not saying they were trafficking or doing anything illegal; those men were just looking for the path of least resistance, where the women were trained in subservience.

And when you think about it, that's pretty much what a lot of corporations did when they moved its manufacturing overseas. They left the American workers just like all of those Swedish guys who couldn't deal with those terrific, smart blonde women.

It sure looks like some corporation act like people. Or more precisely, it seems that some corporations act a lot like weak men.

So maybe being just like a person isn't really all that great. Maybe it's okay for corporations to act, well, like responsible businesses. I mean, if you push this all the way out it might mean that one day we could actually elect a corporation as president of the United States. And that would be a supreme mistake.