Children need a new dream for what they hope to be when they grow up. As a father of three, I have until now been completely naive about my priorities for their future. Instead, I have allowed them to have petty ambitions: NBA star, pop singer, architect. What I realize – hopefully not too late – is that I want something more for my kids. I want them to grow up to be closely held corporations.
It’s not enough to teach them to mind their own business. I want them to grow up to become their own business. After all, as Mitt Romney said, “Corporations are people, my friend,” only with better rights and lower taxes.
Recent Supreme Court decisions have expanded the notion of “corporate personhood” so that, for example, corporations finally get the freedom to practice their religion (notwithstanding that over decades of regular synagogue attendance, I have never once seen a corporation sitting in a pew near me, not even during the High Holidays). Calvin Coolidge was right when he observed, “The chief business of the American people is business,” so why not push for “individual corporatehood” (IC) as a useful legal category, which would surely be recognized immediately by SCOTUS.
Some of the statutory changes that this new category would allow could be easily put in place, ensuring a low burden on the government and on ICs (and my family).
- Instead of “report cards,” students could issue their own “quarterly grade reports,” in which they identify grade trends and offer up estimates for the next quarter’s grades as well as explanations for why they missed or exceeded the previous quarter’s predictions.
- Marriages could be announced as mergers (or as acquisitions, in the case of so-called trophy spouses), with a resulting change in the corporate structure from an S-Corp (for single adults) to an LLC (Limited Liability Couple).
- Under this new regulation, you might think that newborns should be announced as one-time dividends. But it may be more accurate to define them as new subsidiaries reporting to the parent company. Any naming ceremonies would be called branding announcements but otherwise would not change significantly. And any funds allocated to raising children could be listed as investments and depreciated over 20 years—like any other any capital asset.
- Children leaving the home after college graduation (that does still happen occasionally, doesn’t it?) would be announced as official spinoffs, funded with a one-time investment (that is, down payment) that would give the parent company rights of approval of such matters as mergers (see above), costly dental procedures that the spinoff cannot afford on his own, and “grand-branding”—the naming of grandchildren.
- Any divorces would be announced as de-acquisitions, after hoped-for synergies did not materialize.
- Bar mitzvahs, quinceañera, debuts or other coming-of-age commemoration would be called initial public offerings.
- Annual holiday cards would be called “Annual Reports” and would include balance sheets of assets (promotions, family harmony, good health) vs. liabilities (firings, grudges, illness).
For my children, the benefits of “individual corporatehood” would be significant. For example, as spinoff corporations, my kids could support their candidates and political agendas with contributions limited only by what they’ve saved of their allowances. They could be shielded from some class- actions suits—that is, school dress codes. I just hope they don’t try opting out of homework and cleaning up their rooms by invoking their freedom of religion, whose deity is clearly The Screen.
My wife and I are looking into the benefits of registering our kids as out-of-state or offshore entities. We’ve already started arguing about Delaware vs. the Cayman Island. I’m for Delaware. I think we’ll miss them—and their board meetings– if they’re too far away.