09 June 2011

Now here's a death penalty I can support

Former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, now secretary of Homeland Security for the U.S. government, is a staunch supporter of the death penalty. This is not a position I would normally agree with. However, when Ms. Napolitano refers to the Arizona Workers Act, which she signed into law as governor, as a potential "death penalty" for corporations, I agree with her sympathies entirely.
Contravention of the Act, which was drawn up in order to keep businesses in Arizona from hiring illegal aliens, is punishable by suspension and subsequent revocation of business licenses. Put simply, a business can be terminated. The Act recently survived a challenge in the normally corporate-friendly U.S. Supreme Court.

Whether this is a good or bad law doesn't interest me. What is important is that it reminds us that corporations exist to serve us, and they exist at our pleasure. When they misbehave we have the right to punish them, even to the extent of ending their lives. As they increasingly intrude on our democracy, exploiting powers we have granted them through privatization and globalization, we are well-advised to remind ourselves of this from time to time.

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