Are Corporations People?

Are corporations people, or are they something else? Corporations are made up of people – including employees, shareholders, and executives. So, are corporations distinct from the people that comprise them? Economics professor Steven Horwitz addresses this question.

Today, many people say we should raise the corporate income tax as a way to tax the rich, or the so-called “1%”. But according to Professor Horwitz, taxes on corporations don’t just tax rich executives, but also average workers and consumers.

So who ends up paying when corporate taxes are raised?

  • Workers pay in the form of lower wages
  • Consumers pay in the form of higher prices
  • Americans saving for retirement pay in the form of lower stock prices and a less valuable retirement portfolio

Professor Horwitz shows that a tax on corporations is not the equivalent of a tax on the wealthy; instead individual people will pay these taxes, regardless of wealth. Working people bear the costs of the corporate income tax.


  1. Matt Wavle

    I can call a house a person, but it doesn’t make it so.  

    — "taxing the rich" is just using greed as a control tool, used against the poor who are not smart enough to know better.
  2. taschrant

    Good comment.  I think you’re right on.

  3. Autumn Reed

    Yep. The government and Walmart are made up of people.

  4. Niccodemus

    I have some friends who might try to disagree. But I wonder what their reasoning would be.

  5. Kenny Legge

    So true. It seems that we forget this fact often, and only to our own determent.

  6. Thomas Pearce

    The left’s argument is that the trickle down to wages and cost of goods is imperceptible.  This video does not address just how significant those effects are.   Coming from a professor, I’d like to see some data to reinforce that intuitive assumption that the trickle down is real and important.

  7. Thomas Pearce

    As do I, they’d certainly disagree because this video gives no data.  Only the explanation of an intuitive assumption.  I tend to agree with speaker, but disappointed in video.

  8. jcrescenzo

    Thomas the Left’s argument is FALSE. So Thomas why would anyone try to make an argument against some false argument??

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