the important and the not-so-important, horribly conflated.

Hot Corporate Threesome

In POI on February 20, 2010 at 5:09 pm

A nominee for this week’s sign of impending apocalypse [via TinyMixtapes]:

Live Nation executive chairman Irving Azoff announced at the recent NBA Technology Summit in Dallas that ticketing outlets will open in select Wal-Mart stores across the US (about 500, in major cities). Rather than go online, shoppers will be able to head to Wal-Mart’s entertainment section for tickets to local concerts, sporting events, and other Ticketmaster offerings.

Because the only thing I love more than being charged a 20% “service charge” for my concert tickets from the incestuous Ticketmaster/Livenation megacorp is buying bulk meat. Now I can enjoy both at the same time!

The idea of corporate personhood is really interesting—commentators often oversell the cosmic dissonance of “corporation=legal person,” while ignoring the more concerning implication of Walmart’s or Live Masternation’s legal standing: while corporations may not be a flesh and blood “person,” they can provide, when defined as a “person,” their employees with vital social and political agency and legal protection. But corporations have a conflict of interest—they are legally bound to protect the investment of their shareholders, even if by doing so harms the wellbeing of their employees. The only defensible aspect of their personhood—guarantor of employee representation—is cast off when profits are endangered.

Check out NPR’s latest Planet Money podcast for more fun with corporations.

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