Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I got asked once why I don't like corporations.

The answer is not that I don't LIKE corporations, the answer is that I don't TRUST corporations.

I have worked for various corporations for most of the last 20+ years of my life. Corporations are an integral part of the American economy. But they are not trustworthy. BP develops of culture of cutting corners in the pursuit of profit and we have the oil refinery accident a few years ago followed by the largest unintentional oil spill in history. They and the other oil companies basically infiltrated and compromised the agency tasked with regulating and monitoring their actions and now we have an environmental disaster of literally unknown proportions where we won't know the final cost for years. The company that owned that mine in West Virginia where 29 miners died had a long history of simply ignoring the safety rules and then protesting/contesting the fines for as long as possible before finally paying the fines since it seemed to cost them less that way than actually caring about the safety of their workers.

I could go on and on and on.

The newest proof, as if more was needed, was a proposed deal between Verizon and Google where Google's YouTube site would get priority access (and the resulting higher speeds) than other sites not willing to pay a premium. Two big corporations getting together in a way that will in the end only profit other big corporations while relegating smaller companies and non-profits to second class status on the internet. Its not like they aren't already making money on their investments. They just want to make more.

That, after all, is a corporations job. To make money so they can pay dividends to their shareholders, so their stock price will go up.

To make money.

That is their job. That is the principle, even sole motive.

I have no problem with that. Corporations making money drives the economy.

But nowhere in there does the corporation have my best interests at heart. Even if I work for them, they are only as good to me as they need to be to keep me from leaving (unless they decide they can save money by replacing me with someone else, perhaps in China).

Nowhere in there does the corporation care about the environment. Nowhere in there does the corporation care about the larger economy. Nowhere in there does the corporation care about national security. That's not their job. Profit is their job.

So if I think we should regulate industry, so if I think that allowing corporations should be allowed to spend unlimited amounts of money directly supporting the candidates of their choice, so if I think that corporations should not be allowed to get to big to fail, its not because I don't like corporations. I am hoping that some corporation will decide that they like my skill and experience set and hire me.

But I don't trust corporations.
And neither should you.


RKMeier said...

I agree with you in that we shouldn't trust corporations to act in OUR interest.

However, if you want to trust that they'll work toward their own ends, you can take that all the way to the bank. Or the poorhouse.

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree. Yes corporations are out to make profit, along with 99% of most Americans, but the villain here is the government. Government is the gun. That gun, the government can be used by the corporations, to it's bidding with enough money and greasing of the wheels. People too, individuals, can use this same gun, the government, to use on corporations as well, let's say you have land next to your housing area, and the land is sold, by a group of investors (corporation) who bought the land they hire a construction company(corporation)to create a park, more houses, whatever they zones. But you and your neighbors, do not want to buy that land from these investors, (capitalism) but instead complain to the government (the gun) and use this gun to pass a law or change the zoning laws so they cannot build, and your housing prices stay the same.
While I spent 90 percent of my life as a democrat who feels republican never really got it, but studying philosophy, I actually changed my view, my love for Gandhi, and how when he went to college in Oxford, he read a book by Henry David Thoreau, called Civil Disobedience. This book changed his life. He was in for a non violence effort to change governments and the world. I am now an Anarcho-Capitalist.

MK said...

Yeah, down with those corporations dude, profits is all they are about, except off course if they're selling carbon offset schemes. Then they're wonderful and glorious aren't they.