A major conspiracy theory that is making the rounds is the theory that the United States is a corporation.
The primary talking point of those who believe this theory is the 28th U.S. code 3002.
Within that legal document is the phrase that the United States is a federal corporation.
Those who believe the theory also point to the year 1871 as proof.
In 1871, the District of Colombia Organic Act of 1871 was a means for the Rothschild family to further their corporate interests.
In reality, it was a pushback against the 14th Amendment which granted equal rights to former slaves, as well as all American citizens.
That said, there are still many who wonder if the United States is a corporation.
Here’s what you need to know about corporations and whether the United States is one.
Is The United States A Corporation?
No, the United States is not a corporation in modern terms that the general public understands the term as.
It’s important to under the legal context of the phrase, “the United States is a federal corporation,” and how that differs from a commercial corporation.
There are several definitions of a corporation.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes three different definitions to define a corporation.
- 1a: “A group of merchants or traders united in a trade guild”
- 1b: “The municipal authorities of a town or city”
- 2: “A body formed and authorized by law to act as a single person although constituted by one or more persons and legally endowed with various rights and duties including the capacity of succession”
- 3: “An association of employers and employees in a basic industry or of members of a profession organized as an organ of political representation in a cooperative state”
Some believe that the United States falls into some of these definitions, and while there are certain aspects that fit, the definition does not fit entirely.
As such, the United States is not a corporation in the commercial sense.
The modern use of the term “corporation” tends to use the first and third definitions.
A corporation consists of sales workers and various executives in a defined trade guild.
That guild can represent any business industry like technology, healthcare, insurance, etc.
The goal of the trade guild is to earn a profit.
The goal of the governing body of the United States is to administer law and enforce it.
The various parties that make up the United States government each have their own idea, however, on the role of government.
Although the United States is not a commercial corporation, there are elements between the two that are similar.
Why The United States Is Similar To A Corporation
There are a few reasons that one can liken the United States to a corporation.
That is not to say that the United States is a corporation, however.
Here are a few ways the United States is similar to a commercial corporation.
One of the most obvious ways in which the United States is similar to a commercial corporation is in its structure.
When examining the governmental structure of a corporation, there are various tiers of power.
At the top is the CEO or president.
Whenever a big decision occurs, it’s the CEO or president that makes the final one.
When the CEO wants something different to happen, then the rest of the corporation has to follow suit.
The CEO is at the top of the tier.
This is similar to the United States in which the President is at the top of the tier.
However, one significant difference is that the President of the United States has their power checked by various other branches of government.
A CEO does not.
While a CEO is beholden to shareholders and board members, they can effectively guide the business in the direction that they want.
Their rule is more absolute than a President’s.
Below the CEO are several other different executive positions.
There are the executives of finance, operations, and other heads of other departments.
They all report to the CEO and keep them abreast of various issues.
This is also similar to the Cabinet of the United States.
The Cabinet members all represent the various heads and experts of various departments.
They come together to discuss problems or solutions and keep the President informed about various issues.
Finally, there are the rest of the workers in a commercial corporation.
These are the individuals responsible for performing daily tasks to bring profit to the corporation as a whole.
They have different incomes, titles, and functions, yet they all work together to make the corporation profitable.
This is also similar to the United States governmental structure.
Various government workers operate in many different fields.
Each one has a task that helps them enforce the laws administered by the government.
They also provide services to make the lives of those they govern easier, safer, and happier.
They have different income levels, tasks, and titles as well.
Like corporations, they all work together to keep the body of government functioning.
The ways in which leadership and other positions succeed one another is also similar between a commercial corporation and the United States government.
In a corporation, board members receive votes from various bodies like shareholders and executives.
Even the CEO is usually elected by the board members.
It’s a group choice.
That isn’t always the case, however.
In many instances, the former CEO will choose the next CEO.
It’s usually written in a clause somewhere that states that the CEO has the right to choose their successor.
Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, for example, is one such CEO with the power to choose his successor when he retires.
This makes succession in a corporate world more of a monarchy than a democracy.
The lowest tiers of a corporation succeed one another through various hiring and firing stages.
When the corporation needs more workers, then it hires them.
They’re chosen by higher-tier members based on their skills and experience.
When the corporation needs fewer workers, then it fires those who are either redundant or haven’t produced as much as others in terms of profit.
It’s relatively easy to replace workers within a corporation.
The United States government is similar in terms of its succession with the President.
A wider body elects the President to office.
However, one might also argue that it’s similar to a board electing an individual since it’s really the electoral college that elects the President and not the people.
Regardless, the succession of a President is a democratic one.
It is here that there is a difference between a commercial corporation and the United States government.
The President can never choose their own successor.
It may support and endorse someone vying for the position, but they can never state that the next individual they choose is going to be the President.
Otherwise, the government would turn into a monarchy and not a democracy.
Similarly, the various bodies of government also undergo elections.
The people choose who represents them.
They are not hired in the traditional sense.
That said, various workers in the governmental body like clerks and assistants do undergo a hiring process.
Elected officials are more difficult to fire than hired ones.
As such, the process of replacing governmental officials is a lot slower than in the commercial corporate world.
Both corporations and the United States government share a similarity in balancing a budget.
In a commercial corporation, they pay close attention to their budget.
Since the goal of a corporation is to produce a profit, they need to remain within their budget.
Exceeding their budget means they could fall into debt or see reduced profits.
As such, the corporation makes decisions to ensure they remain within their budget.
It also has various means of increasing its budget.
It can rely on private investors, sell stocks to public investors, or even host fundraisers.
A corporation can also increase its prices on its products or services to earn more profit to cover the budget.
A corporation has more flexibility in how it expands its budget if it needs to.
The United States government also has a budget.
Every year, the government meets to discuss the budget they have and how they intend to spend it.
In most cases, the government ends up exceeding its budget.
There are various ways that the government can increase its budget, too.
It can sell bonds, increase taxes, and also host various fundraisers to increase its funding.
Because it works with massive budgets, the government isn’t as quick or flexible to adapt to budget changes as corporations are.
There are a lot of different moving parts within the government.
All those parts have to act with the same mindset for anything to get done.
Because there can be an array of delays that occur, it’s harder for the government to keep to their budget or make changes to ensure they remain within it.
Why The United States Is Not Similar To A Corporation
While there are certain similarities between the United States government and a commercial corporation, there are also significant differences.
Here are a few ways in which the United States is not similar to a commercial corporation.
Perhaps the biggest difference between the United States and a corporation is how they approach the concept of profit.
For a corporation, its ultimate goal is to always generate a profit.
Without profit, the corporation cannot exist.
It falls into bankruptcy and ceases its ability to do business.
To remain alive, it has to outdo competitors, offer innovative products or services, and rely heavily on its marketing to sell itself to customers.
The corporation will also take drastic measures to generate profit.
This might mean that it chooses to cancel bonuses.
It may reduce the insurance benefits that its employees enjoy.
It may even have to fire redundant workers to save money.
A corporation is not interested in the people who work for it.
Its sole interest is to survive which means its sole interest is to generate a profit.
This is different from the United States government.
Although many politicians state that they intend to run the government like a business, this mindset will ultimately make them fail.
The United States government does not generate a profit.
In most cases, it is always in debt and continues to take on debt to protect the people it governs.
One only needs to look at the various social programs that the government provides to see this in action.
Those who want to run the government like a business tend to want to remove these programs to fix the budget and earn more profit.
One can examine the COVID-19 pandemic to see a clear difference between corporations and the United States in terms of profit.
During the pandemic, many corporations had to lay off employees to keep from generating substantial losses.
They didn’t care that these individuals would be unable to feed their families, especially because there was also a hiring freeze going on.
Those who kept their employees either gave them half-pay or no pay at all.
Their goal was to reduce their debt as much as possible at the expense of their workers.
The government took the opposite approach.
It saw that its people were hurting and gave them money.
Instead of worrying about generating a profit, it took on substantial debt to ease its people’s financial burdens.
It even acted against corporations and made it illegal to fire individuals or evict them from homes for a time.
Another major difference between a corporation and the United States is the purpose behind each.
A corporation is a trade guild.
Its purpose is to sell goods or services.
The United States is a government institution.
Its purpose is to represent its people and enact laws that protect them and make their lives easier and fairer.
While there are services that come out of the government as a result, they are not, themselves, a part of a trade guild.
They oversee various trade guilds to ensure they’re acting according to the commercial laws that it dictates.
A final way in which corporations and the United States government are different is their approach to diversity.
In a corporation, if the business wishes to succeed, then it knows that it needs diverse workers.
Diversity brings new ideas and innovations that can push them ahead of their competitors.
Hiring diverse agents is easy.
The United States government is not as diverse, although it attempts to be so.
It isn’t as diverse because of its election system.
Voters tend to vote for those they feel comfortable with.
They tend to feel more comfortable with people who look like them.
Since the majority of voters are white, the majority of those in the government are also white.
While this is slowly changing as younger voters tend to vote based on a platform rather than comfort, and more minorities are starting to vote more often, there is still a long way to go before it reaches the same level of diversity as a corporation.
The United States is not a commercial corporation based on its modern terms.
However, it is a federal corporation which is a different type of corporation that many consider in today’s world of capitalism.
There are some similarities between the United States government and a commercial corporation, but there are ultimately significant differences that separate the two.