1. We are not back in the day.<quoted text>
Not always, back in the day companies would have to do an action in replevin to retrieve goods that weren't paid for.
2. If you read the Adams case, it gives a history of repo, including common law repo.
3. Has nothing to do with whether A&E (which is not a corporation) has to accord first amendment protections to its employees. As you stated, the relationship is contractual and not governmental.