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Much of the scholarly literature critical of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United rings true to people predisposed to view corporate power and free markets with suspicion. In this Article, I seek to reach a different audience—people who believe in the power of free markets to promote social welfare. To do so, I maintain that corporate political expenditures are inconsistent with the principles of classical liberalism and against the interests of the corporations that make the expenditures.
I also pose solutions consistent with classical liberalism. If corporate political spending so threatens the system that preserves liberty and the efficient operation of a free-market society, it is reasonable, under classical liberalism, to permit the state to set rules to preserve its limited role. It also follows that if corporate spending on independent political expenditures is not in the interests of corporations or shareholders, managers should voluntarily limit them by entering industry-wide agreements, or, at minimum, adopt policies requiring full disclosure of the expenditures. . .