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Archive for May 5th, 2011

But besides the danger of a direct mixture of Religion & civil Government, there is an evil which ought to be guarded ag[ain]st in the indefinite accumulation of property from the capacity of holding it in perpetuity by ecclesiastical corporations.  The power of all corporations, ought to be limited in this respect.  The growing wealth acquired by them never fails to be a source of abuses…  Are the U. S. duly awake to the tendency of the precedents they are establishing, in the multiplied incorporations of Religious Congregations with the faculty of acquiring & holding property real as well as personal?
  —  James Madison
[I would argue that this tendency is even more pronounced for modern non-religious corporations which avoid “death” by selling themselves (and thereby transferring their real assets without the re-assessment of property taxes) to other corporate entities.  This is the problem with corporate owned property since Prop-13 in California. Corporations don’t fail and dispose of assets.  They simply are purchased and the real assets maintained by defunct, but “legally viable” original entities, wholly owned by another corporate entity.  —  KMAB]
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