Editors’ Briefing: This Week in Political Economy (August 25–September 1)

As Trump ramps up his attacks on Google, Sen. Orrin Hatch asks the FTC to revisit its investigation of the company; as Facebook finally takes action on Myanmar, US campaign strategists reportedly gear up to flood the social network with inflammatory ads; and why are doctors and hospital groups organizing to oppose single-payer health care in California?  

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The Foundation of Corporate Personhood: A Look at the Charles River Bridge Case of 1837

Some 130 years before Friedman could begin arguing that a corporation’s sole responsibility was to make a profit for its shareholders, Boston’s Charles River Bridge Company had to convince the Supreme Court that corporations were private entities whose interests could diverge from the public interest. While it lost that case, the partial success of the Charles River Bridge Company’s reasoning with the court laid the foundations for corporate personhood as it exists today.  

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