Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Free Speech and Corporate Speech

Last week I commented on the Supreme Court's decision to eliminate certain limitations on corporate free speech. Sheldon Richman of The Future of Freedom Foundation has written a more thorough response that I heartily agree with. I recommend the whole thing, which isn't that long. Here is his conclusion:

"Admittedly this is not the way the story is usually told. Business is thought to favor deregulation, while progressive forces favor enlightened government guidance. But in fact, big business (and a lot of small business too) would panic at the thought of thorough laissez faire — the end to all guarantees. The books of conservative writer Timothy Carney fully document this. Others have an interest in portraying business as pro–free markets because without the charade the public might catch on to the scam.

So here’s the dilemma: limits on free political speech for corporations and unions offend our sense of justice, but they will use free speech to pursue unjust ends. What shall we do?

There is only one answer. We must strip government of the power to dispense privileges to anyone. If we can pull that off, the problem of money in politics will evaporate."

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