Some weeks I just want to give it all up and become a large corporation.
Being a human has only been a source of pain and inconvenience. I require periodic food and water. After a few days of subsisting entirely on coffee, I start to become nervous and irritable. I cannot stay awake indefinitely. I have to exist in the physical world, which means that I am never the right temperature, and that I sometimes have to stand in lines. I bang my head on low doorways. People yell at me when I walk down the sidewalk.
Corporations exist in the minds and hearts of Americans and, I guess, were the Founders’ truest darlings. They are people, my friend, but without the disadvantages. You cannot prick them. They do not bleed. But if you wrong them, they can revenge. Theirs is an ideal situation, really.
I keep thinking about it, and the more I stare at the tax plan currently wending its way through Congress and the change to the Obama administration’s net neutrality policy, the more upsides there seem to be.
Do you want a tax break? You should be a corporation. People are getting tiny, ephemeral tax cuts that appear and are gone as quickly as a dream. Corporations are getting big, permanent ones.
Do you want say over the way traffic works on the Internet? Bad news, if you are not a corporation. And even then, possibly still bad.
The life of a corporation sounds like a pleasant one. All you have to do is cough faintly and say that you feel impeded by a regulation and do not think you are going to spend any money on job creation until it is removed, and suddenly everyone is scrambling to remove it.
And being headquartered overseas, even part of the time, sounds relaxing. Or better yet, I could threaten to move overseas! I would like to be courted and listened to by politicians instead of having to telephone them at odd hours to remind them not to remove my kidney. In fact, it would be nice not to have to worry about kidneys at all.
And just think of the freedom! There is a peculiar kind of freedom that the Trump administration seems obsessed with: namely, people’s freedom to buy a worse version of something the Obama administration decided was a public good. This is called “consumer choice.” It covers all kinds of things, from the Internet to health plans. If the last president had decided that everyone deserved to be able to access boats, the Trump administration would be assiduously working to increase our freedom as consumers also to buy boats with large holes in them. If the Obama administration had decided that sandwiches were a public good everyone should have access to, the Trump administration would be defending the consumer’s right to buy two pieces of paper stapled together around an old pickle and have it called a sandwich.
Everyone should have health insurance, but what if instead of being guaranteed a certain minimum level of coverage, we gave you the freedom to afford only a bad knock-off version that covered much less? And then there’s ending net neutrality: Everyone should have Internet, but what if you had the freedom to not have quite so MUCH? People are emitting a loud outcry in exactly the opposite direction of this change. But corporations — well.
The advantages of possessing limitless free speech and no corporeal form seem more pronounced with every passing day.
Okay, corporations cannot vote, but they can do everything but. When a corporation insists that it is being impeded from doing what it wishes by someone’s behavior, we all rally to eliminate whatever is in its way. Internet service providers wanted a lighter touch? They are getting one. No one tries to grope a corporation.
Humans have so many worries. Student loans. Taxes. Being a person — let alone a woman, which is something both more and less than a person — is exhausting. A human body is something that can have its health insurance taken away. It can be objectified. It can choke on a walnut. The Supreme Court could decide that it had no right to control what happened within its borders.
As a corporation I would have no concern other than the strength of my brand. As a human, I already worry about that a little, and I feel guilty for doing so. No more.
Brand me and give me some real estate and let me live and speak freely. I will miss some aspects of human life, but not very many. I was looking forward to getting married, but that will be easy to reframe as a merger.