Michael holds a BA in Biology with a minor in Philosophy. He likes to spend his free time hiking and defending science, though not usually at the same time. Contrary to popular (but not scientific) belief, the positive and appropriate perception of science is undermined by religion, alternative medicine, the U.S. education system, and most science journalists.
The government creates the legal framework and defines what a [union] is. The government can thus regulate [unions] any way it pleases.
The government creates the legal framework and defines what a [marriage] is. The government can thus regulate [marriages] any way it pleases.
The government creates the legal framework and defines what [free speech] is. The government can thus regulate [free speech] any way it pleases.
Your assertion of government power says nothing about the merits of your case, and never will. Government *can* tax me at a rate of 100%. That does not mean that it should.
1. Yes, that’s true. I don’t get this line of attack. I never see any liberal take the bait.
2. And it does. The only limitation is insofar as it must apply the law equally.
3. Yes. It did that. And the way it chose to regulate it was by creating an amendment that restricts government by virtue of expanding individual rights. Once it creates an amendment declaring that corporations are people and not business entities, I’ll shut up.
4. This hasn’t a thing to do with ‘shoulds’ and ‘should-nots’. Yes, if the government wants to tax you at 100%, it can do that; this is irrelevant and, at best, just plays into my point. The government defines what taxation is and how it is allowed to apply it. Just the same, it can require corporations to all use a logo of dog poop. Interestingly, it can’t do this to you because the government doesn’t define what a human being is (abortion malarkey aside).
1. Corporations consist of people. The government can not trample the rights of people with any type of legislation.
2. The federal government sets up the framework for many things that it does not have the authority to set up. Pretty unfortunate, really.
3. The government does not define what taxation is, the constitution does. How easily we forget that the federal government is to exist in a very limited and very specific capacity.
1. That isn’t a compelling argument in the least. Prisons consist of people, too.
2. Also not a compelling argument. Like it or not, government exists.
3. I’m well aware of how taxation is regulated. I’m also aware that the constitution is itself government.
As soon as corporations become citizens, I’ll acknowledge their rights. Till then, they have none.
1. Prisons (in theory) consist of people who have had their rights curtailed after receiving their right of due process and convicted by a jury of their peers. Again, you are arguing apples and oranges. Free people exercising their right to be part of a corporation do not somehow relinquish their right to free speech when they become part of a corporation.
2. I acknowledge that government exists, I also acknowledge that it currently does not operate within the set guidelines of the constitution, and that is unfortunate. Not really making an argument here, just pointing out a fact.
3. Not sure what you mean when you say the constitution is, itself, government. I would say that the constitution is the framework that the government must operate within.
1. People aren’t allowed to exercise their right to ride a bicycle wherever they please, public spaces close after certain hours, and you aren’t allowed to do any significant gambling in many states. “They’re people” isn’t enough of an argument. Unless you think the yoga group down the street should be allowed to conduct classes on the highway, then you haven’t struck at anything here.
There’s a conservative confusion between corporations and groups. A gathering of individuals don’t lose their rights merely by virtue of being associated. However, if they want to seek a particular legal status that exists solely because of the government, they are no longer merely a group.
2. Well, back to the original point, the government does have the authority to set up the guidelines for what a corporation is. There isn’t anything in the constitution that gives people an inherent right to get together as that particular kind of group. Honestly, if they did, your argument would have to entail that people have an inherent right to [current tax, zoning, permit, etc] regulations that are in place. Obviously this would make no sense as these characteristics of what it means to be a corporation are fluid and always changing.
3. We may get into semantics here. I see government as a body of organizing rules for society. It comes with different levels, the constitution being the highest.
1. You seem to be arguing that corporations only exist as a privilege of the government. This is false. While I do believe that state governments (not federal) certainly have the power to regulate corporations, as per the constitution, the state does not have the power to violate the constitution by denying a shareholder in a corporation their right to free speech, just like they don’t have the power to to deny a shareholder the right to own a firearm, or to throw them in jail without due process, etc. Your yoga analogy doesn’t work because I’m not saying all people have the right to do whatever they want, whenever they want.
2. I agree, STATE governments have the authority to set up guidelines, but those guidelines can’t deny people their rights.
Additionally, I think it’s important to point out that the constitution does not “give” people rights, it simply recognizes them as inalienable. Also, the 9th amendment explains that the enumeration of certain rights in the constitution is to not be construed to deny or disparage other rights.
3. I would agree with your definition of government. The purpose of the constitution, however, is to lay the framework as to how exactly said government is to be set up, and to also specifically define the powers and limitations of the state and federal governments. The constitution gives little power to the federal government, relative to the states.
1. Then we’re at an impasse. A corporation as referred to in Citizens United exists only as a legal entity if it is created and filed according to the government’s laws. I don’t know what a non-legally recognized corporation looks like.
2. Though it may be too expansive in some ways, the Commerce Clause necessarily means the federal government can regulate corporate donations; this is just the sort of power the feds are meant to have.
I don’t know about the recognition of rights in terms of them inherently existing. And certainly an argument can be made that there is no inherent right to vote at age 18 versus 21.
The original intent of the commerce clause was to facilitate the trade of goods and services across state lines by preventing them from imposing tarrifs, duties or other protectionist measures. It had nothing to do with regulating campaign donations, so no the feds were not meant to have that power. Many big-government advocates incorrectly use the commerce clause and general welfare clause to justify government involvement where it doesn’t belong.
And the original intent of the 14th Amendment wasn’t to end segregation, but it did that. Let’s not act like Political Figure Scalia and pretend that the constitution was written to merely reflect the needs of a specific time.
You may as well say that if the government creates Corpo-Religi-Charity 501(c)GoatScrotums that it has no right to limit what people who choose to create such groups are able to donate.