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In the US, (IMHO very bad) court decisions have made it so that businesses – corporations – are commonly treated as if they were persons under the law. This leads more or less naturally to weighing the rights of the corporations against the rights of a flesh-and-blood person; and when a corporation contributes more to the public trough than the citizen does, the outcome is often a foregone conclusion.

Lately, it’s been rattling around in my old head that perhaps, instead of treating corporations like persons, we should treat them like useful, but very dangerous, viruses. Comparable to one that generates some useful end product, but would eat your flesh off if you got any on you. Because other than the end products they make, I’m really hard put to think of much good corporations do unless they’re legislated into a corner and forced into it.

In this case, the nagging thing is that if there’s corporation on the one hand, and it thinks it has a right to look at your credit history, your online activity, or how you crap in the bathroom, and an actual person on the other, who thinks they have a right to privacy… you know, I’m probably going to side with the person. Perhaps we should be thinking how to best rein in corporations instead of how to rein in employees. Legally.

Might this disadvantage the corporation? Yeah, it might. Just like the constitution disadvantages (well, is supposed to) the government. My response to that is that if the corporation wants to ensure the person’s loyalty and fidelity, that they do so by ensuring that the person in question has every reason to feel that serving the corporation is the best choice. Rather than depending on rights-eroding legislation to trap the employee into a regimented behavior pattern they really don’t support.

Perhaps they could start by paying a little less to the top levels, pruning the ridiculously incompetent middle management, and compensating the people who do the actual work a little better. Maybe even provide decent healthcare, you know? Radical, I know, but it’s late, and I’m riding the caffeine monkey, or vice versa. All I’m sure of right now is that the ringing in my ears isn’t the damned liberty bell.