"If corporations really are people, they're awfully self-centered folks."

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There's a must-read op-ed in today's L.A. Times by Stephen Baker, a former senior writer for Business Week, and author of "Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything."

Throughout the piece, he replaces the word "corporation" with italicized "people". Here's a sample:

I've been thinking about people I know. Apple comes to mind. It's terrific at electronics and has a great eye for design. It's far richer than everyone in my neighborhood. Another person I've known for years is General Motors. It almost died awhile back. Enron, which passed away in 2001, wasn't an especially nice person, or an honest one. But people will be people. [...]

Fortunately, government is run by politics, and politics run on the very stuff that these people are built to amass: money. So they can weigh in, advertising their agenda and investing in politicians who see things their way. Their argument is simple: If they aren't free to make lots of money, they'll go somewhere else where they can, leaving the rest of us in bad shape. The best way for them to make money is to shrink this thing — the government — that has its hand in their pockets and always seems to be writing irksome and expensive new rules.

Citizens United States of America is alive and well, thanks to the Supreme Court, which is why a Republican must not become president in 2012, and why we must must must regain control of the House and increase the number of Dems in the Senate.  After witnessing the recent GOP debate, the alternative is even more unthinkable than ever.

Please hop over and read the rest.

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