gI They were thought to be good
gI hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.h
Thomas Jefferson, 3rd US president 1801-1809
During the eighteenth century, corporations had fewer powers that we do now. They did not have limited liability. They were chartered for a limited period of time, (10 or 20 years), and for a specific public purpose only, such as building a bridge. Corporations were viewed differently in early times. They were thought to be good ways to serve the public good. But over the time, people forgot that corporations are starting to get so powerful and that they need to be strongly controlled. Also, corporations began to gain more power than the wealthy elite. Corporations like the East India Company and the Hudson Bay Company had been the rulers of America. So when the constitution was written, corporations were left out of the Constitution. From the past, corporations had been looking for a way to control state regulation and taxation. They did, by being able to control it by having the federal government say you can’t discriminate, when discrimination meant any rule that applied just to corporations, such as railroads. Because Corporations cannot be trusted to voluntarily protect the environment, they require regulation.
Whenever we fight for clean drinking water, or clean air, or a safe workplace, we are likely to find a corporation on the other side of the issue. The goal of a corporation is, first, to survive, and, second, to return a profit to its shareholders, not to mention for money and if the air has to be fouled to accomplish these goals, then the air will be fouled. Meaning, the corporations will do anything to keep these goals even if it means that they have to cause pollution or some issues. Pollution is one of the problems by the corporations that affect us. The Business Council for Sustainable Development thinks of this as gToday, for instance, the earth’s atmosphere is providing the valuable service of acting as a dump for pollutants; those enjoying this service rarely pay a reasonable price for it,”. This is an example of corporations gexternalizingh their costs. By using the air as a free dump, corporations are able to get away with paying the costs for waste disposal to the people while they profit. This is standard business practice.
At the same time, the influence of business is extremely strong over the daily lives of people. The temptation of high salaries in corporation business drags the smart, aggressive people into the corporate world, rather than into government or education, where it is most needed. This just even increases the power of corporations. When the education system is neglected, corporations educate workers and potential workers for their own purposes and not for the environment. This can make good, loyal workers that donft mean that they will become good citizens that understand the proper role of corporations. They may just turn out to be greedy, corrupt, money lovers in the end.
Another issue is that because of the growth of corporate power, the reliability for enterprises to workers and the communities has declined a lot for the past twenty years. So in other words, workers donft find other job reliable to live with and frequently go into the corporation world, where there is sure money for their living.
Right now about more than a quarter of the world’s economic jobs come from the 200 largest corporations. Also one-third of world trade takes place in different sections of a single global company. This means that prices are set, not by the free market, but by corporate leaders. With the unions continually declining in the private sector, transnational corporations are now starting to have more power over the political system.
The disadvantages of the corporation developments are a shrinking tax base, a speed up of joblessness, building up of insecurity in the work place, increasing poverty and by taking advantage of the increasing global profitable opportunities is the fact that there are inequalities where there are growing highly, super rich people and poor. This is not good for the political image.
Corporations affect other issues. Corporations are one of the main contributors to the depletion of natural resources and pollution. There have been several accidents of oil spills and acid rains, causing natural disasters. Also it worsens the issue of global warming. This corporation issue also has an effect on other countries.h Competitiveness” is what is felt between corporations and to win it involve “downsizing” labor costs and increasing market power through corporate takeovers. About a third of the jobs in the United States causes the increase of glow-wageh workers in China, India, Mexico and elsewhere.
For some time now, corporations have been changing into organizations using billions of money to obtain their goal. Time to time, the market place will check these corporations to see if they are doing anything wrong. If they do something bad the corporations will receive penalties that will affect their profit. However, these days people havenft been able to find an effective way of penalizing and have recently lost control of these corporations. So instead of controlling the corporations, we regulate them.
gThe citizens of every state, acting through their attorney general, have, and have always had, the legal authority to go to court to revoke the charters of corporations that violate the law.h
This means that lawbreaking corporations can be put out of business, and sold to other people as long that it will protect jobs, the environment and the public interest. Corporate crime is rampant. Out of the largest five hundred corporations, in 1982 revealed that twenty three percent of them had been convicted of a major crime or had paid more than $50,000 as a penalty for serious crimes. This is of course only those who got caught.
However, some corporations want these regulations. Regulation limits their liability and in can protect them from competition. An example would be how tobacco companies claim that the warning labels on cigarettes blame them of liability for lung cancers. So polluting corporations actually want a permit system that regulates them, such a system that legalizes the dumping of poisons into air, land and water. To some corporations, the best regulations would be those that appear to cover everything. Therefore these corporations cannot be trusted voluntarily. Regulations were supposed to make these corporations accountable but instead the corporations have used these regulations as a shield against accountability.
So according to the characteristics of a gglobal issueh the problem of corporations abusing power and needing regulation is indeed a gglobal issueh. It affects a lot of people, it affects other issues (pollution etc…), it happens all over the world, and this problem is persistent and canft be solved alone. However, are the corporations totally bad? After all, we created the corporations to help us and it is our public interest that have gone wild because of our democratic freedom and changed into some international monsters of greed that now dominate the world. The corporations we see are the result of building convenience to the people. These corporations are simply one of the steps to grow. The corporation is not responsible for all this harm. The corporations are main things that will improve economy for better or worse.
Corporations have taken over the government and turned it against its own people.”