I’ve seen it here and elsewhere: “corporation” has become an inherently pejorative term, like, for instance, “bastard.” Corporations rob the public. Corporations wreck the environment. Corporations don’t pay their pair share of taxes. Etc. etc. etc.
I’ve also noticed that pundits and late-night comedians often sneer: “So corporations are people!!! Ha ha ha guffaw belch snort that’s rich!!!”
These are very popular, populist sentiments. Yet, they reflect a basic ignorance of what a corporation is and what it is for. At worst, “corporation” should be a morally neutral term, like “business.” But there’s no doubt that the former term is now somewhat loaded in American discourse.
Re the “corporation is a person how silly ha ha ha” trope, do that many people really not understand the difference between treating a business entity as human for the purposes of making and enforcing contracts and saying it actually is a flesh-and-blood human being?
I just wonder how this fundamental misperception became so embedded in the American psyche. And if you want to say “Because of the evil machinations of those no-good corporations like Enroniburtongoldman,” I would point out that the vast majority of American corporations behave responsibly and ethically. I really don’t get why “corporation” is synonymous with “devilspawn,” but the names of other forms of business entities carry no such pejorative connotations.